If you have a three-phase supply of power, you’ll need to decide how you want to connect your solar power to the supply. An inverter will allow you to turn the solar power into electricity for your home but you’ll need to decide which type of inverter to use. The two choices you have are a single-phase inverter or a three-phase inverter. Here is some more information that will help you decide between single-phase inverters and SMA three-phase inverters.
Connect Solar Power Using a One Single-Phase Inverter
One option you have is to connect your solar power to your home using one single-phase inverter. This is a good option if you’re looking for a smaller inverter that won’t generate as much. Typically, three-phase inverters will start at five kilowatts and move up from there so if you’re looking for something smaller than that, your only choice is a single-phase inverter. Since you’re only using one single-phase inverter, this system will only allow you to use one phase at a time. In the end, you’re probably not getting the most out of your three-phase supply using this system.
Connect System to All Three Phases with Three Separate Single-Phase Inverters
A common misconception is that you need a three-phase inverter in order to take advantage of a three-phase supply. While this is usually preferable, it’s not the only option. You can also connect the system to all three phases with the use of three separate single-phase inverters. This might be desirable if you desire less than five kilowatts but you’ll also suffer larger voltage drops. In fact, the voltage drops of a single-phase inverter is about three times larger than that of a three-phase inverter. You might also suffer from an unbalanced load. The load might be larger on one or two phases than the others, resulting in problems.
Connect All Three Phases Through a Three-Phase Inverter
The third option is to use a three-phase inverter. While this is a little more expensive than buying a single-phase inverter, there are certain benefits that can be experienced. A three-phase inverter will ensure that your supply is balanced and you’ll experience lower voltage drops. Given the primary benefits of a more robust system, the increased price is often considered worth it for those with a three-phase supply.
It’s commonly thought that a three-phase solar power supply requires a three-phase inverter. This isn’t necessarily the case but there are advantages to using a three-phase inverter. These are some of the things you should know about using a single-phase inverter or SMA three-phase inverters.