Micro-inverters vs. string inverters

The micro inverter vs string inverter question is one that plays a critical role in any solar power system design. The inverter converts direct current (DC) produced by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) and makes it usable. The inverter is the “brain” of the entire system, so it is a pretty important part of your going solar.

Micro-Inverters: The basics

A micro inverter connects to a single solar panel and converts that panel’s power to AC. Basically, a string inverter connects a whole solar array to the grid at once, while micro-inverters connect each individual panel, making installation and monitoring a simple and accurate process.

In this model, every panel has its own micro-inverter, creating a large unit composed of completely independent units. The benefit of micro-inverters is that with the same amount of panels, the system will actually produce more power because of its superior production early in the day and later in the evening. Micro-inverters are so efficient they will even register the sun reflecting off of a full moon! The most important benefit to micro-inverters is the fact that if any micro-inverter or panel fails, only that one panel is affected. With inverters being the most common component to fail, most people see the decentralized architecture to be superior against the most common solar problem.

String-Inverters: The basics

The string inverter is a more traditional model that allows multiple solar modules to be connected in a series circuit to a DC electric cable. Since all of the solar modules are connected to one inverter, if just one of the panels is obstructed by shade, snow, etc., or goes off-line for any reason, it hinders the entire solar array’s energy production.

If one panel fails, the whole system shuts down. Also, if the central inverter fails, which is the most common event, the entire system fails. All of the panels are electrically wired in series, like a Christmas light string. The entire array of panels is limited to the weakest performing panel.

String-Inverter with optimizers

String inverter systems with power optimizers can offer individual monitoring, but also add extra components to your roof. Historically, string inverters have also shown to be more trusted and reliable, but Rooftop Solar offers a guaranteed 30-year warranty on all of its components.

Choosing the right type of inverter

Overall, micro inverters make the most sense in most cases, but string can offer a couple advantages. Meet with a Rooftop Solar specialist today to find out what works best for you!

Find out if solar makes sense for you

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