Power Inverter for Solar Panels
Solar inverters are an inseparable part of the solar system. Their main function is to convert energy. While micro-inverters convert the energy accumulated from each specific panel, string inverters accomplish this action from the solar array and not the individual panels. One type is not inherently better than the other. They are just different ways of accomplishing the same thing. The string solar inverter cost ranges from $2000 to $3000 on average. Micro-inverters on the other hand are a lot less expensive than string inverters as they can support 1 – 4 panels per inverter.
Since a solar panel inverter converts energy from one form to another, there will be a loss of energy in the process. The efficiency rating will provide this value. Today, the gap in the efficiencies of the solar micro inverters vs. string inverters is mostly negligible.
TYPES OF SOLAR INVERTERS: CENTRAL INVERTERS AND MICRO-INVERTERS
As mentioned previously, central or string inverters support more panels and tend to be more sensitive to shade interference. Micro-inverters take DC as its input from the solar panel and then outputs the same energy in AC electrical form. The panels closely ties the AC outputs of each micro-inverter, and the cut-off switch routes a single set of AC wires at ground level downstream.
The major advantages of micro-inverters are:
- If there is a shade on one or more solar panels, facing different directions, or not functioning at all, the system will continue to function as a whole. The output will be degraded only by the amount of the lower functioning panels.
- The failure of any micro inverters will not affect the functioning of the whole system. You can replace the failed micro-inverter when convenient.
- The system can be easily expanded, and different panels and micro inverters can be utilized in the system.
- You can monitor and report the health and output of each panel individually.
- Some solar panels come with micro inverters for more straightforward and speedier installation.
Micro-inverters work with many (but not all) solar panels based on their technical specifications.
For example, many micro-inverters do not support 72 or 96 cell panels (in this case you need string inverters). Also, individual micro inverters have a limit on their AC output. Thus, the micro-inverter will only output its maximum limit regardless of the solar panels’ maximum output. This limit may be less than the panels.
TYPES OF SOLAR INVERTERS: SOLAR PANEL STRING INVERTER
The DC outputs of all solar panels are connected to a standard set of wires on the roof and then routed to the DC cut-off switch at ground level. From the DC cut-off switch, the DC is input into the central string inverter that in turn outputs AC.