Micro inverters are small inverters that are attached to each solar panel in a solar power system. Micro inverters offer advantages over traditional central inverters. They increase system efficiency, decrease system shade losses, and increase solar system design flexibility.
What is the difference between a micro inverter and a string inverter?
What is a central (or "string") inverter?
A string inverter or central inverter converts the DC power output of a string of solar panels to AC power useable in your home or business. Central inverters control the voltage and current output of a string of several panels to maximise the amount of power from that string. Central inverters are generally mounted so that they are accessible without needing to access the panels (e.g. wall mounted at ground level).
What is a micro inverter?
A micro inverter is a small device installed under each solar panel which converts the DC power output to AC power for that panel individually. A solar system that uses micro inverters will usually have one micro inverter for each solar panel.
What are the advantages of micro inverters?
The key advantages of micro inverters are as follows:
- Improved performance: Because micro inverters are attached to each individual panel, they are able to optimize the performance of that panel. This can lead to a higher overall energy output from the system. This is because each panel has its voltage output set for the photo-current it is producing so that it is able to operate at its maximum potential. In contrast, central inverters can only optimize the performance of a string of panels as a whole. Therefore, if one panel has a problem or is shaded it can affect the system as a whole. This makes micro-inverters a good solution for rooftops that have to deal with partial shading.
- Enhanced panel-level monitoring: Micro inverters allow for panel-level monitoring, which means that you can track the performance of each individual solar panel in your system. This can help you identify any panels that may be underperforming and take steps to address the issue. With a central inverter, it can be more difficult to pinpoint specific panels that may be causing problems. Micro inverters easily allow you to compare a panel output to that of its neighbour.
- Increased reliability: Micro inverters are less complex than central inverters, which means that they are generally more reliable. They also don't present a single point of failure, as each panel has its own micro inverter. This can increase the overall reliability of the solar energy system.
- Greater design flexibility: Because micro inverters are attached to individual panels, they allow for greater design flexibility in terms of the layout of the solar panels. This can be particularly useful in cases where the roof or other installation area has shading or other constraints that would impact the performance of a central inverter system.
Why use micro inverters?
Micro inverters offer several advantages over central inverters, including improved performance, enhanced panel-level monitoring, increased reliability, and, greater design flexibility. While they do increase system costs, they are a good choice for;
- anyone looking to optimize the performance of their solar energy system,
- areas that have to deal with partial shade, or;
- systems that need greater design flexibility.
If you are interested in finding out more about micro inverters talk to LuvSolar today