What is a Three-phase Inverter
What is a Three-phase Inverter

What is a Three-phase Inverter

There are different types of solar inverters, but today, I will focus on three-phase as the leading actors in today’s entry. They are well known, but what exactly is a three-phase inverter? What are its advantages over single-phase ones? Pay attention to the following questions because we will reveal your secrets.

What is a three-phase inverter?

Starting from the base, we know that a solar inverter transforms the electricity solar panels generate for use in homes or businesses. In short, it converts the direct current (DC) generated by the plates into alternating current (AC). However, this process can be done on a large scale in three-phase inverters.

A three-phase inverter is characterized by converting the energy generated by the plates into three different phases. This element is used when the electrical installation of our home or industry is divided by three different circuits through which energy circulates for three different areas or places of the same supply.

To understand it better, imagine that you have a three-level house, and each floor receives electricity through an independent system. A three-phase inverter would be better for us since the energy must be distributed through each system. It is not mandatory to pass the same amount of light, but dividing the process as accurately as possible is advisable.

How does a three-phase inverter work?

Later, I will analyze the single-phase variant. However, knowing that a three-phase inverter uses this technology but multiplied by three is essential. A single current forms the first as a sine wave with highs and lows. The second use that wave and two more so there is never a moment of low tension. In the following example, you can see it better:

As we can see in the black circles, the tension never reaches zero due to three different waves that keep it above 0.5. Once we understand the operation of the three-phase circuit, let’s exemplify it within a grid-connected photovoltaic self-consumption installation.

First, the solar panels transport the energy to our three-phase inverter. Then, as I have indicated, it distributes the electricity through each of the property’s circuits. Once the process is finished, our machinery or appliances will have light.

What are the advantages of three-phase inverters?

Depending on our installation, we must choose one power converter or another. However, if you have purchased a three-phase inverter, you must know all the advantages they offer. Look at the list I have prepared and draw your conclusions.

1. They support substantial installations: No matter the installation’s size or dimension, three-phase inverters can support any solar installation power greater than 10kW.

2. Can be linked with other elements: More advanced options include linked elements in an all-in-one. A battery charger or MPPT charge regulator can be associated with a three-phase inverter.

3. Advanced monitoring: Most three-phase inverters have an internet connection. This allows the user to monitor and control the power passing through the inverter. The smartest ones can even manage the electricity that comes and goes.

4. Low maintenance: These elements carry systems, meaning the user does not have to perform maintenance tasks. They are resistant to water and dust and have very advanced protection systems.

What is a three-phase hybrid inverter like

Three-phase hybrid inverters are a step further when discussing this type of device. These energy converters are always linked to battery storage systems in a facility or planned for the future.

They are the highest in price on the market, but their functionalities linked to the batteries make them the most complete. In short, three-phase hybrid inverters perform the same function as a normal one but transfer part of the energy in alternating current to the batteries. In this way, they are charged when consumption is low to be used at night.

Many of them, as we have said before, have built-in MPPT charge regulators to protect the battery from excessive energy traffic it. You can choose this option or not. However, in the long term, it is the most recommended.

Can I place a three-phase inverter in an isolated installation?

Don’t worry, there is no problem. We can incorporate any three-phase inverter in photovoltaic installations isolated from the grid. Generally, they are more suitable for installations with high powers or high-consumption machines/devices, but the possibility is unknown.

Likewise, the three-phase inverter we choose must be hybrid in most cases. Remember that this type of home is not connected to the grid, so the only energy source is solar panels and installed batteries. The storage option is not mandatory but highly recommended since we will not have electricity at night.

Is it worth converting three-phase current to single-phase?

The first thing you should know is that there is the possibility of transforming the three-phase current of your home or company to a single-phase. To do this, we will use transformers that adapt the voltage lines to our desired characteristics, for example, going from 400V to 230V.

Although it may not seem like it, it is an activity that usually does more than we think. However, first, you must thoroughly study your installation and connected devices.

One way to know whether or not it is worth switching from three-phase to single-phase current is by contacting an electrical technician.

If you are clear about changing from three-phase to single-phase, you must know it is an economically expensive process. Your marketing company will contact the distribution company, and they will carry out all the procedures. Once completed, you will have a new electrical bulletin.


Knowing how to differentiate whether we have a single-phase or three-phase current installed when choosing the solar inverter, we will install it in our photovoltaic installation. Today, I have analyzed in detail all the functionalities of the three-phase inverter, the most common in customers with large consumption or powers greater than 10kW.

The three-phase inverter transfers the three-phase current into three different phases. If our installed power is 6 kW, there will be three different circuits, so a maximum power of 2 kW will be supplied. Finally, this type of inverter can be linked and adapted to battery chargers or charge regulators.

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