Solar inverter on the outside of a house

What’s a Solar Panel Inverter?

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One of the best ways to reduce your home’s dependence on fossil fuels is to install solar panels.
One specialized component of a solar panel is an inverter. Here are some basic details about solar inverters and why these devices are so important for Arizona homeowners.

The ABCs of Solar Inverters

Did you know that Phoenix ranks as the fifth most sunny city in the world? When the sun shines on your solar photovoltaic (PV) system, electrons within the solar cells begin to move around producing direct current (DC) energy. This is when a solar inverter starts to do its magic.

The brain of your house’s solar energy system is called a solar inverter. This device converts DC electricity generated by solar panels to alternating current (AC) used by your home devices, lighting, and appliances. This conversion has to be done before the sun’s energy can actually power your home.

Types of Solar Inverters

There are three basic types of solar inverters for residential solar panels. Let’s take a look at some advantages and disadvantages of each type.

  1. String Inverters
    String inverters are the most common type of solar inverter. Each solar panel is connected together into a string with up to three connected to a central inverter. The central inverter then converts all the electricity from your solar panels into AC electricity.
    They are the least expensive, they work best when there are no large trees or chimneys causing shade on your roof, and when all the rooftop solar panels face the same direction. The biggest disadvantages are individual panels can’t be monitored separately and overall PV system solar production may decrease if any one panel is damaged.
  2. Microinverters
    Microinverters are built into each solar panel. These inverters function well for PV rooftop panels that face in different directions, for rooftops with shade, and for when you want to expand the existing number of solar panels. The main disadvantages are microinverters are more expensive and can be more difficult to maintain and repair.
  3. Power Optimizers
    Power optimizers optimize the electrical current before sending it on to the central inverter. The advantage is they’re more efficient than string inverters. The disadvantage is these inverters have a higher initial cost.

Cool Blew Solar’s professional installers have the resources to help you make the best decision about which solar inverter would be the top option for your rooftop. Call us today at 623-234-2836 to schedule a free solar panel system estimate.