Since the photovoltaic process within your solar cells produces direct current, that is charge that flows in only one direction, this presents a bit of a problem when it comes to integrating that flow into your houses power grid, which uses alternating current. That’s where the inverter comes in; taking your unidirectional flow of electric charge and reverses polarity from positive to negative 50 – 60 times a second or 50-60 Hz. This is the mains frequency rating. The easiest way to conceptualize how an inverter works is to imagine a simple circuit with a 9 volt battery hooked up to a volt meter. When you line up the positive lead of your volt meter with the positive terminal of the battery and the negative lead of your volt meter with the negative lead of the battery, your meter will read 9 volts on the display. If you reverse the leads, touching the positive lead to the negative terminal and vice versa, the volt meter will read -9 volts. If your hands were deft enough to switch the wires in this manner 50 times per second, you would effectively be serving as a crude mechanical inverter that takes the DC current of the 9 volt battery and transforms it into AC current at 50 Hz.
Most inverters have indicator lights to show whether the system is producing electricity and a simple electronic display that shows how much solar electricity has been generated. Some inverters may have additional monitoring features such as wireless in-home displays but these are usually at an extra cost to the basic inverter system.
String Inverters String inverters treat your entire solar panel array as a single giant solar panel. Some of the benefits of string inverters include a lower initial cost per peak watt price and easier install. Since string inverters accept DC current from multiple panels, wiring tends to be easier on initial install. However since string inverters treat the entire system as a single large panel, and performance problems experienced by one panel are extended to the other panels in the array.
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