Suitable Location for Solar Inverter Installation
The most suitable location for solar inverter installation should be determined to ensure optimum performance of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Inverter is the central hub of the solar PV system. When properly installed in the right way based on manufacturer’s specification and at the optimum location, there is little to worry about the efficient functioning of the inverter system. The manufacturer’s specifications are usually included in the user’s manual. However, the choice of a suitable location is often a difficult challenge in some site installations. Thus, this article will discuss some of the factors to be considered in selecting a location for inverter installation
Indoors or Outdoors Installation
The choice for indoors or outdoors installation of inverter depends on the type of inverter. Generally, grid-tied inverters are suitable for outdoor use but can be installed indoors as well. They often come in NEMA enclosures that protect them against dirt, rain, snow, water, corrosion and other damages. Most off-grid inverters however don’t have an IP65 waterproof rating, limiting their options for outdoor installation. Therefore, to guarantee their optimum performance, they should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Inverters are electronic devices. Direct sunlight on electronic device can degrade its components and subsystems and reduce its service life.
Note: National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is an American standard while Ingress Protection (IP) is a European standard
Cable distance between solar module and inverter
Some voltage drop is usually expected along the cable connecting the solar module and the inverter. This voltage loss is directly proportional to the length of the wire and inversely proportional to the diameter of the wire. So, to minimise voltage losses, it is necessary to use short-length and bigger diameter cables that will keep the solar inverter and battery as close to each other as possible.