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What Is a Synchronous Inverter?

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  • Written By: K. Reynolds
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2014
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A synchronous inverter is used to distribute electricity to and from the public power grid, commonly referred to as a grid tie system. Essentially this electrical inverter works in sync with the local power grid system and enables one to effectively monitor and regulate overall power consumption within the home or the office. For instance, if photovoltaic cells were being used to generate electricity from the sun, a synchronous inverter performs the electrical power conversion from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) for easier application in day to day use.

An inverter is an electrical device that converts DC to AC. Alternating current is the controlled electrical energy that powers televisions, microwaves, personal computers, and many other electrical devices. There are three main types of inverters: the synchronous inverter, the multifunctional inverter and the stand alone inverter. Most homes with alternative power sources apart from the local power grid utilize inverters.

The main benefit of a synchronous inverter is that it allows you to use energy from the power grid as well as alternative sources of energy. When the alternative energy reserves are depleted, the synchronous inverter draws electricity from the main power grid. In some areas, utility companies allow for net metering systems, which means that if an alternative power source produces additional electricity, it can be sold to the utility company.

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Stand alone inverters, as the name implies, are the most basic devices for electrical power conversion. These inverters switch electrical power stored in batteries into usable alternative current. Multifunctional inverters on the other hand are a combination of synchronous inverters and stand alone inverters. These electrical power systems allow you to utilize either electricity from the power grid or battery stored electricity for residential or commercial needs. Therefore, a multifunction inverter can draw on alternating current from the batteries when they are fully charged and once they have been drained, the inverter automatically switches to the power grid supply.

There are some basic factors to keep in mind when choosing an electrical inverter, such as the load requirements and the maximum input and output voltage requirements that are needed in order to effectively fulfill the load requirements. These factors will help determine whether a synchronous inverter is the best option for the electrical system. Although there is no perfect solution for electrical power system components, being aware of the different types of electrical inverters will ensure that the correct device is chosen for the system.

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