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String Inverters, Power Optimizers, and Micro Inverters: Comparison

Well, inverters are known to be a crucial component for any solar panel system. With proceeding time, as the needs of customers increased, marketers preferred to evolve with the type of inverters as well. Earlier, string inverters were highly used in the market; gradually, power optimizers and microinverters began to make their places with newer technologies.

In this article, you will get introduced to these three types of inverters with their characteristics.

String Inverters

These types of inverters are generally very cost-effective and the most renowned inverters in the market. String Inverters can convert solar panels’ DC energy into AC energy. And that makes it compatible with the power and grid home appliances. Initially, solar installation companies used to offer systems with string inverters for a gabled roof. However, presently software and hardware updates made them applicable for a wider set of circumstances. These are mostly suitable for commercial utility.

How do String Inverters work?

For a string inverter solar fixing, a single inverter is necessary per string of solar panels. The inverter itself optimizes the functions of the entire module string using its MPPT algorithm. This way, it makes sure that the solar panels perform at their maximum power without bothering about the weather condition. Albeit these are the most reliable types of inverter, but they might not be applicable for all sorts of installations.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Easy maintenance
  • Proven technology
  • Guaranteed longevity
  • Low cost

Cons:

  • Only string-level monitoring
  • Tough to expand the system size

Power Optimizers

Power optimizers are considered as a form of module-level power electronics and are quite affordable. These are MLPEs that categorizes the monitoring circuitry and an MPPT from the inverters. A monitoring and MPPT module gets installed at almost every solar panel. It further allows optimizing the panel specifically in accordance to minimize mismatch and shading impact on the system. They are preferable for commercial and residential uses.

How do Power Optimizers work?

Although power optimizers are devices located at each panel, they do not convert DC into AC. They instead ‘condition’ the DC electricity and then pass it on to a string inverter. Especially for shaded roofs, panel-level optimization achieved from these types of inverters leads to higher system efficiency as compared to that of a string one. These inverters also offer panel-level function monitoring and lessen the effect of pane shading on the system. Apart from this additional optimizer, the architecture of this inverter is more or less the same as the system of the string inverter.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • It contains an individual panel
  • MPPT is great for partial shading
  • A rapid shutdown of panel-level
  • Presence of panel-level monitoring

Cons:

  • Tough maintenance with partial electronics
  • Difficulty in expanding the system size

Microinverters

These are the invertors that operate full-fledged even at low power output and lower voltage. Each microinverter is capable of handling the resistance of a single panel. It is the reason why they get produced in a smaller and optimized package. Also, they result in better reliability than any other inverters. These inverters are perfectly suitable for residential purposes.

How Microinverters Work?

The microinverters are fixed on each panel of a solar panel system, thus, developing the benefits of MLPE. They gather the DC electricity from the solar panels and convert them into AC on the roof. And to fulfill that, it doesn’t even require a separate central inverter. To draw a comparison between the microinverter and power optimizer, the latter aggregates the electricity from the panel and sends it to a central inverter for conversion. However, the former one makes DC to AC inversion at each panel without any hassle.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Expandable size
  • Low operating AC voltage
  • It contains an individual panel
  • MPPT is its great weapon

Cons:

  • Can be expensive
  • Very difficult to maintain

Conclusion

These are the features and characteristics of the three most efficient and renowned inverters that are reigning in the market at present. So, if you want to get the best inverter installation on your roof, avail of the services of GoRunSolar. With their CEC accredited installers, industry experts, and high-quality products, they provide the best and most reliable services.

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