Can I Use Solar Panel and Inverter Without Battery?

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Are you wondering whether you can install a solar power system without a battery? Yes, you can! This post will discuss how you can use a panel and inverter without a battery and still safeguard your appliances from short circuits.

let’s get started!

Solar Panel Installation System

The three essential parts of a complete solar panel are a panel, solar batteries, and an inverter. However, most individuals consider leaving out various components in their installations to reduce expenses because owning them comes with a large initial expenditure. For example, you might have a solar panel without a battery if you have an off-grid solar system. However, this setup may develop problems.

For the standard configuration, when you plug in an appliance, the appliances extract electricity from the batteries. Then, you have to connect a solar inverter to the battery to convert the output current to an alternating current, which is more compatible with most appliances.

Unfortunately, the direct current that all solar panels generate prevents them from working with most appliances. This is why you require an inverter.

This setup ensures the panel transforms solar energy into battery power.

Installing solar power with an off grid battery system

Image credits: www.solarempower.com

Note that you can only connect the inverter in a typical manner when utilizing the battery.

The real kicker is that you can directly connect the inverter to a solar panel. But, to efficiently achieve this, use a hybrid inverter as it can store part of the electricity it converts from the panel.

If you only connect the two components, the inverter’s maximum power capacity may be exceeded by the power generated by the solar panel. On the other hand, the inverter may beep, indicating no current flowing at night or during a cloudy day.

To solve this, we recommend stepping down the voltage to allow the solar power system and inverter to function effectively without a battery.

The practical information is provided below to assist you in comprehending.

1. Linking an Inverter and a Solar Panel Without Battery

Step 1: Verify the panel’s and the inverter’s voltage.

Note that there is a maximum voltage that the inverter can handle. For example, let us say that the solar panel has an output voltage is 20.0 volts and that the inverter’s maximum operating voltage is 15 volts.

Step 2: Calculate the difference.

Subtracting the inverter voltage from the panel voltage will give you the amount of power that has to be stepped down.

Which is: 

20.0 – 15.0 = 5.0 volts.

Solar power installation system without battery

Image credits: www.solarreviews.com

Step 3: Determine how many diodes are required.

The power will use diodes to step down. Each diode steps down 0.5 volts of electricity. We shall split the voltage to be stepped down by each diode to determine the necessary number of diodes.

5.0 volts / 0.5 volts = 10.0 diodes.

The diodes utilized should match or exceed your value. Therefore, a total of ten diodes should be employed.

Step 4: String together the diodes.

Connect 10 diodes in series.

Step 5: Connect the diodes to the panel and the inverter.

Finally, join the diodes by attaching one end to the panel and the other to the inverter. Use Inverters and solar panels in this manner without the need for batteries.

2. Using a DC-to-DC Converter

A DC-to-DC converter helps in connecting a solar panel to a small or medium load without utilizing batteries or the electricity grid.

Running a load off a solar panel without batteries can be challenging when utilizing a DC-to-DC converter. Therefore, it is necessary to set up the DC-to-DC converter to run at the highest voltage the solar panel can produce.

However, you must ensure it maintains that level for as long as possible since the converter works at a stable voltage.

Solar system utilizing dc-to-dc converter without battery

Image credits: media.springernature.com

The DC-to-DC converter will perform its duties and provide a steady voltage output while the panel runs at the specified voltage.

How Does a Charge Controller Differ From a DC to DC Converter?

A charge controller is a form of DC-to-DC converter and cannot transfer electricity from a solar panel without a battery. To work, the solar charge controller must control the flow of electricity from the solar panels to the batteries, charge them, and then deliver the residual electricity directly to the inverter. In addition, the charge controller must be powered by a battery since it is intended to use the batteries as reference voltage output.

The operation of the DC-to-DC converter varies. Batteries are not needed for this gadget, nor is it using them as a voltage reference. Instead, the DC-to-DC converter produces an output voltage in DC and has a reference input voltage in DC. The voltage indicates that the device can offer a fixed output in DC if the solar panel’s voltage falls within the DC to DC converter’s input range.

Is a DC to DC Converter Necessary for Grid-Tied or Hybrid Inverters?

You might ask if you can connect the panels directly to the load using a hybrid or grid-tied inverter. A resounding nay is a response to this.

Dc-to-Dc Converter with hybrid inverters

Image credit: mdpi.com

Grid-tie inverters, as opposed to hybrid inverters, use the grid as a point of reference. These inverters will struggle to regulate the frequency and output voltage due to the fluctuating voltage. Because inverters are fragile electrical devices, they cannot accept inputs that are so changeable without a voltage reference.

Can You Use a DC to DC Converter and an Inverter to Power an AC Load?

You may use a DC-to-DC converter to power an AC load by giving the inverter’s input a constant DC voltage. Still, it would help if you remembered that the inverter must be a battery inverter or an inverter charger.

In this scenario, the DC-to-DC converter operates at the rated conversion voltage.

The inverter generates an AC pure sine wave that powers the small or medium load, provided the solar panel receives full sunshine.

3. Hybrid Solar Installations

A hybrid inverter without a battery can be ideal if you want to power your house effectively and affordably. In addition, this kind of inverter is perfect for people who want to lessen their dependency on fossil fuels but want to avoid investing in a backup battery system since it is charged by both the solar panels and the electricity grid.

Hybrid inverter solar systems

Image credits: www.solarreviews.com

A hybrid inverter will be adequate, for instance, if you wish to operate a radio at home.

How Are Solar Panels Connected to an Inverter and a Battery?

In the past, it was difficult and specialized knowledge was needed to connect a solar panel to an inverter and batteries. However, it is much simpler to do it yourself, thanks to improved technologies.

The procedures to connect your solar panel to an inverter and batteries are as follows:

  1. Get a charge controller. You will first need to buy a charging controller. This crucial component guarantees the solar panel does not overcharge your batteries.
  2. Link the Leads. Connect the solar panel’s positive lead to the charge controller’s positive terminal. Likewise, connect the solar panel’s negative lead to the charge controller’s negative terminal after you have it.
  3. Connect Terminals, Positive and Negative. First, connect the positive cable from the solar charge controller to the inverter’s positive terminal. Next, attach the negative cable from the charge controller to the inverter’s negative terminal.
  4. Attach the raw cable. Connect the raw cable’s positive lead to the battery’s positive terminal and the negative lead to the battery’s negative terminal. Your inverter may now use solar panels to generate power.

Do You Need to Purchase a Hybrid Solar Inverter?

A hybrid solar inverter has a higher upfront cost, but if you want to add solar battery storage to your first solar installation or soon after, the further expense could be justified.

The inverter works incredibly well compared to other solar inverters since it helps solve problems like patchy sunshine and unstable utility grids. Even better, a hybrid solar inverter enables you to store energy more efficiently for later use, including backup power during a power outage or peak hours.

Off grid solar systems

Image credits: www.mustsolar.com

Additionally, they make it possible for more effective power generation and administration, particularly regarding your connection to the larger electrical grid via net metering and time-of-use charges. Additionally, thanks to contemporary technology, you can easily operate and monitor your solar power system from any location using linked smartphone applications.

Installing solar panels without battery backup has the following benefits:

  • Cheaper to install.
  • Lower electricity bills.
  • More ecologically sound.
  • There are fewer parts to maintain.

However, the fact that the system will not supply electricity during a blackout or power loss is a significant drawback.

Note that an installation with battery backup includes batteries to save electricity for later use.

Featured image credits: swt-power.com

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.