Deciding Which of the 3 Solar Inverters Are Right for Your Home
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Deciding Which of the 3 Solar Inverters Are Right for Your Home

There are 3 different types of solar inverters on the market. What are the differences and which is right for your home? Find out more in this article.

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Deciding Which of the 3 Solar Inverters Are Right for Your Home

Solar inverters are a cornerstone of any solar power system. This piece of equipment is responsible for turning the DC power your solar panels create into the AC electricity your home uses to power most equipment and your lights. But did you know that there are three different kinds of solar inverters on the market? How do you know which one is right for you? Keep reading to learn more about these different types and their pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.

String Inverters

String inverters are the most common type of inverter for residential solar power systems. As the name implies, this type of inverter requires your panels to be connected in a “string,” similar to how Christmas lights are connected in a strand together. The power from all panels is funneled through the single inverter.

As the oldest type of inverter on the market, string inverters are tried and true. They’re incredibly reliable and have been continuously improved upon over the years to keep up with the demand for more efficient solar equipment—so, in this case, being older doesn’t mean this type of inverter is outdated. However, despite constant improvements, string inverters do have one weakness in terms of efficiency; because the panels must be connected in a strand, shading on one part of the array causes a decrease in efficiency for all panels. Their central location on the side of your house makes them easy to access and repair when needed, and they’re also the most affordable type of inverter available.

Power Optimizers

On their own, power optimizers are not inverters. These are intended to work with a string inverter to help overcome the aforementioned weakness to shading. They’re mounted on the back of each solar panel and help to optimize the output of every panel on an individual level. This means that when a panel is shaded, it won’t impact the output of the rest of the array.

Obviously, this is a big benefit, but it does increase the cost of having a string inverter. Still, investing in these could pay for itself over time if you frequently deal with shading on your array.

Microinverters

Like power optimizers, microinverters are mounted to the back of each panel. However, they are inverters in their own right and convert DC to AC power right at the source without needing a string inverter. They’re highly efficient and minimize any impact from shading. They also make it easy to expand your system; if you want to add more panels, you just need to give each of them a microinverter instead of worrying that your string inverter is the proper size, which might mean replacing the entire inverter. However, these are the most expensive type of inverter, and their location makes them hard to maintain.

Now that you know more about the three different types of solar inverters, you should be better prepared to choose the right one for you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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