Can A Solar Panel Work Without Inverter?

By Kami Turky

Last Updated:

When it comes to solar energy, the “can solar panel work without inverter?” is one of the most common questions that many people ask themselves.

The answer to this question is yes, a solar panel can work without inverter but if you are trying to power an ac appliance, it simply won’t work and might even damage both the appliance and the solar panel.

This article will help you to understand:

  • What is a solar inverter?
  • Do you need an inverter for your home or business
  • What can go wrong if it’s not installed properly?

So without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

What Is An Inverter?

To answer your question, first, you need to understand what is an inverter and what it’s used for.

A solar inverter can be defined as a machine that changes the low voltage (DC) electricity produced by the sun into high voltage alternating current (AC) which can then power appliances in your home or business.

The inverter actually converts DC to AC, it also makes sure all appliances are powered at the correct frequency of either 50 Hz or 60 Hz, depending on where you live.

Related article: How To Read Inverter Specifications?

What Happens If I Didn’t Use An Inverter?

If a standard PV panel is hooked up directly to an appliance, it can result in damage to both components, especially if they require a certain frequency of electricity.

Note: This also can happen if your inverter isn’t properly grounded.

Additionally, it can cause the circuit breaker of the home or business to trip at any given time, resulting in a power outage.

Without an inverter, it’s also possible for you to lose grid solar power at any given time when your standard solar systems produce more or less voltage than what is required by the appliance.

Related article: Why Do Solar Cells Need An Inverter?

So, Do I Need An Inverter For My Solar System?

The short answer is that it really depends on what you need to power.

Most of our home appliances work on Alternative Current that comes from the utility grid (grid power).

However, solar panels can produce 12 or 24 volts of electricity which can be used to power DC appliances in the home.

Related article: How Do Solar Panels Work?

While it is possible for a solar system to work without an inverter, it can result in different voltages being supplied depending on what the appliance requires, which can damage your device.

For instance, you can use the grid solar system without an inverter to power appliances that use DC currents such as lights and TVs but it cannot do so efficiently.

Grid tied solar systems can also use renewable energy to charge batteries which can then supply AC power to your home while the sun is down. However, you need a charge controller to prevent the battery backup from overcharging.

Some people even use solar panels to supply the power for an electric fence around their homes.

On the other hand, other appliances that use AC such as refrigerators, dishwashers, space heaters, etc can be damaged if you connected them directly to solar systems without an inverter.

So whether you need to use an inverter or not really depends on the type of appliance you are connecting to the panel.

Related article: How To Reset Inverter?

Last Words

Solar panels can work without an inverter, but it can damage the appliance and other components.

It’s also not advisable because panels produce DC solar power which can cause a mismatch with appliances that require AC current.

When purchasing a solar panel system for your home or business, make sure you buy one that comes with its own inverter.

If you can’t afford to buy an inverter, then it’s best that you wait until you can save up the money before purchasing a PV panel for your home or business or using it to charge a battery backup.

Even if this means waiting months or even years, it will be more than worth it in the long run because repairing appliances can be expensive and time consuming.

Kami Turky

Kami is a solar engineer with nearly a decade of experience in researching, testing, and reviewing various solar products. He has also provided technical consultation to several organizations on the best ways to incorporate solar energy into their operations. When he’s not busy helping others find the best solar solutions, Kami enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, camping, and exploring the natural wonders of his home state.

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