Solar Inverter Transformer vs. Transformerless Inverters

Last Updated on July 11th, 2023

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As Solar panel system technology started, common standard pieces of equipment were used daily to sync with the larger local power grids, like that of the transformer. As a result, these units effectively and efficiently convert direct current into a usable A/C output. 

Then came the realization that homes didn’t need these industrial-sized transformers inside the home, and the solar energy experts and inventors began working on more feasible transformerless inverter technologies. 

Today, these transformerless inverters are becoming very popular with homeowners across the United States, especially because of the reduced heat being released by the equipment. 

What are the Differences?

The major difference between these two types of inverters will be the amount of heat produced by the equipment. When overworked, the transformer technology would get super-heated and become a potential fire hazard. 

The other difference will be in the inversion technology, in which transformers are more direct conversion while the newer tech transformerless inverters will break the process into separate steps. 

The new conversion process will take the Photovoltaic charge and convert it into a high-frequency active current, which is then inverted into a direct current, to be inverted a final time to a usable A/C output. 

Of course, the accompanying hardware will be different, and the optional equipment will also vary. 


What are the Similarities?

When it comes down to the similarities, it will be in the function of these two types of inverter systems. Both pieces of equipment perform a vital function in converting the photovoltaic power from the solar panels into a storable D/C form to be housed in batteries. 

Then when you apply these systems to the household, you will find these conversion pieces of tech will then also convert the D/C flow into the usable A/C output. 


Pros and Cons: Solar Inverter Transformer vs. Transformerless

When it comes to speed, effectiveness, and reliability, the traditional transformer has been there for years and has performed well. 

This being pro, the con will be that these pieces of hardware will become super-heated, to the point that it becomes a fire hazard if not properly ventilated. 

The transformer-less inverter technology will be more efficient in converting the current into active and direct flows, plus have the flexibility to have other components plugged in. 

The cons will take the form of grounding wire issues, which is because of the inventors’ lack of electrical isolation between the DC and AC circuits. 


Which One is More Common?

The traditional transformer is used on most telephone polls and is used for powering homes across the United States. 

There is hardly a fair comparison between the two, which then brings us to the Solar system inverters, and we find a move towards transformerless technology. 

For the most part, when you think about the newer tech, it presents less of a risk to the home while providing adequate conversions and inversions for those solar panels to home circuits. 

This will lend to a trending movement toward the new inverter systems, possibly replacing them all together and becoming the norm going forward. 


Which One is More Efficient?

When it comes to efficiency, there will be two different ways to compare these two inverters. The traditional transformer will get hot, granted, losing energy recklessly, but then again, this conversion happens within seconds, providing efficiency in the form of saving time. 

When it comes to the transformerless inverter systems, it may take milliseconds more than the transformer systems, but it will also be more efficient (close to one hundred percent) in converting photovoltaic energy into a direct current for storage. 

Therefore, all facts included the better unit for efficiency will be the transformerless hardware because of the nearly hundred percent efficiency. 


Final Thoughts on Solar Inverter Transformer vs. Transformerless

If you have one of these older transformer inverter systems, now might be a good time to ensure that the area is well-ventilated and to begin looking into newer technologies. 

If you are at this second step, striking up a conversation with a solar panel installation expert might spark inspiration for the system you wish to have installed. 

Inverters have become more complex in design, allowing for flexibility and adaptation when it comes to adding hardware, meters, and circuit components. 

Therefore, it might be better to go ahead and spend the extra dollars on higher-quality power conversion system hardware, including the inverter units. 


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