What type of inverter should I install?

If you are considering installing solar panels on your home, there are different inverter types for you to fit your needs.Back in 2013, we wrote an article about how microinverters and DC optimizers were not for everyone. However, that’s not always the case. If you are considering installing solar panels on your home, inverters are a very important part of any solar system. String inverters are cost-effective and original technology. But microinverters and power optimizers (also known as “Module-Level Power Electronic” or MLPEs) have gained popularity as their costs have come down. So, how do you know what type of inverter to install? We asked a few of our installers which inverter type they preferred installing, and the majority chose power optimizers.

Why are inverters important?

Inverters are an essential device in any solar power system. They convert direct current (DC) energy generated from your solar panels into usable alternating current (AC) energy. There are several reasons why AC energy is preferred over DC energy. One reason is that solar panels produce DC energy. An important advantage of AC energy is that it can be easily increased in voltage through a transformer, while DC energy flows at a relatively steady voltage. Also, electricity grids and most high-powered industrial equipment operate on AC energy.

How do Power Optimizers work?

Power optimizers (also known as DC optimizers) offer many of the same benefits as microinverters. They are usually integrated into the panels themselves. But instead of converting the DC energy to AC energy, they “condition” the DC electricity and send it to a string inverter. This approach results in higher system efficiency than a string inverter alone. Likewise, optimizers reduce the shading impact on system performance as well as performance monitoring. A power optimizer ensures that each panel produces power independently and isn’t brought down by a shaded panel. Also, systems that use optimizers are typically more affordable than systems with microinverters.

HelioPower can help you find the best match

Optimizers offer design flexibility and help mitigate panel shading on string inverters, as well as boost production in all types of weather conditions. For example, SolarEdge provides a great solution for the module-level rapid shutdown requirement and energy monitoring.

As technology continues to evolve, it’s important to explore your inverter options while staying up to date with the latest models. So, if you’re interested in a solar power installation project or more information about possible inverter options, please contact us today!