One of the most important parts of a solar array, the entire system producing energy from the sun, is the inverter. Inverters are hard at work in the background as your solar panels are soaking up the sun’s rays. Let’s look at what an inverter is and the different types available for your home.
Solar Inverters Function
An inverter is tasked with converting direct current (DC) electricity, generated by solar panels, to alternating current (AC) electricity by way of a transformer. The power grid can then use this AC electricity to power electrical equipment without damaging it.
There are four types of solar inverters for homes with different advantages and disadvantages.
Standard String Inverter
This type of inverter is the most common type of inverter used in home installations. A wiring harness connects a string of solar panels to one inverter forming one continuous electrical circuit.
- Less costly to install because of fewer parts.
- Maintenance is easier as this type is mounted below the roofline or near the power meter.
- Usually, the least expensive type of inverter.
- When one solar panel decreases its energy production due to shading, power production for the entire string of solar panels can decrease.
- 10-to-15-year warranties.
Optimized String Inverter
The power optimizer manages DC energy, and there’s one power optimizer for each solar panel to keep the flow of energy equalized.
- Consistent energy flow.
- Enables panel monitoring for each solar panel.
- Generally, 25-year warranties.
- More expensive to install.
- Some power optimizers are installed at the factory and may not be repairable.
Microinverters are installed for each solar panel and may be factory installed with the panels or installed on site.
- Energy conversion happens at each panel.
- Better for homes with shady roofs.
- 25-year warranties.
- More expensive than string inverters.
- Can be more difficult to access when repairs are needed as microinverters are installed on the roof and underneath the solar panel.
Hybrid inverters combine a few different types of solar technology into one smaller component.
- Programmable, allowing you to choose the best times to use power from the grid, solar panels, or backup battery.
- All-in-one system.
- Can be used with or without a backup battery.
- Energy efficiency may be reduced.
- Solar array system design may be more limited.
Call Cool Blew Solar
Cool Blew Solar professional installers can help you determine which type of solar power inverter to choose. Call your Valley of the Sun experts today at 623-234-2836 to schedule your free appointment.