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The Difference Between String Inverters and Microinverters

by Kevin Smith Author

A solar inverter is a key component of any home solar system. Without it, those solar panels on your home are simply generating power that will be of no use to you. An inverter takes the power current that is generated by the panels and turns that power into a kind that can be used throughout your home. Whatever power is not used by your home is then fed onto the grid or into your own battery storage system.

String Inverter

A string inverter is also known as a centralized inverter. Most small scale solar systems will use this type of inverter. In this type of system, each solar panel is wired together in a “string” and connected to a single inverter. This is where the system gets its name. Often times the inverter will be secured on the side of your home, in your garage, or in your basement. The biggest pro to this system is that it is super easy to access and maintain. It is a tried-and-true system that most people have been using for years. They are also the cheaper option of inverters. The biggest con to this system is that it tends to have a bottleneck with the cells all being connected together. The lowest functioning cell will slow down the flow of energy as it travels through the cell. Cells being in shaded areas tend to cause the most trouble with these systems.

Microinverter

Where a string inverter system is more centralized, a microinverter system is distributed. Each solar panel has a small inverter installed on it. They all function separately, preventing any bottlenecking. The energy is converted right on your roof rather than in one location. The benefits of this system are that it is far more efficient than the other system and monitoring the panels is easier. Energy will continue to be produced, even when one or two panels are not functioning as they should be. Microinverters can help you to monitor the performance of each panel individually which helps you to find problems without having to dig into the entire system. The downside is mostly the cost. These systems are more expensive than the string inverters. The more complex problem is that if one of the inverters breaks, fixing it is difficult as they are on the roof and not easily accessible.

Choosing the right solar inverter usually comes down to the size of the system and what you want to get out of it.

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About Kevin Smith Senior   Author

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Joined APSense since, December 7th, 2016, From Utah, United States.

Created on Jun 25th 2019 00:02. Viewed 218 times.

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