A grid-tie inverter is a special type of inverter that converts direct current(DC) electricity into alternating current(AC) electricity and feeds it into an existing electrical grid. The inverters are often used to convert direct current produced by many renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or small wind turbines, into the alternating current used to power homes and businesses. The technical name for a grid-tie inverter is "grid-interactive inverter". They may also be called synchronous inverters. Grid-interactive inverters typically cannot be used in standalone applications where utility power is not available.