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What to Look for in a Microinverter: All to Know About Microinverter Vs String Inverter

More Americans than ever before are opting to power their homes using solar energy due to government incentives and lower installation costs.

The Solar Energy Industries Association states that the cost of solar panels has dropped by more than 70% compared to more than a decade ago.

Due to these advantages, it’s predicted that the number of homes powered by solar energy will triple by 2030.

If you’re planning to make the switch, one of the decisions that you’ll have to make is to choose the right inverter for your solar panel system.

These inverters are responsible for converting direct current (DC) energy from your solar panels into the alternating current (AC) energy that powers your electronics.

One of the inverters that you can choose from is the microinverter, and here’s all that you need to know about it.

How do microinverters compare to string inverters?

There are two main types of solar panel inverters: string inverters and microinverters.

Some homeowners opt to choose string inverters because they are relatively cheaper. However, these are less efficient in producing solar energy output since all connected panels will generate the same output as the lowest-performing panel.

On the other hand, microinverters are smaller units connected to each panel on your system. Thanks to their setup, homeowners can get the most out of each panel’s output.

solar-panels-roof-mounted

What features do you need to look for in a microinverter?

The Right Size

Though microinverters are relatively smaller than string inverters, they can also come in different sizes based on the voltage of electricity they can handle. Choosing a microinverter that matches your panel’s output is essential as the voltage changes from positive to negative within the solar inverter system.

Other filters and electronics can help in producing usable energy, so the inverter is primarily in charge of switching the direction of the DC input back and forth to create an AC output.

If the panel generates too much DC input that the inverter cannot handle, this puts a hard limit on your overall energy output. Thus, it’s advisable to get a bigger microinverter if your solar panels are generating more DC wattage.

Level of Efficiency

Besides considering how much voltage it can handle, you also need to check the microinverter’s efficiency in converting DC to AC energy. A microinverter with greater efficiency is less likely to reduce energy during the conversion process, leading to greater output.

But because the microinverter is generating huge amounts of electricity all year round, it’s also important to analyze the power integrity of its board design.

Take into account whether the components in the microinverter can consistently deliver optimal amounts of power from the solar panel to the electronics. This ensures that you can get the most out of your solar panels every day of the year.

Rapid Shutdown Features

The National Electrical Code requires rapid shutdown features as a safety requirement for solar panel systems in 34 states. This allows you to quickly halt the energy generation within a rooftop solar panel system.

Such technologies can be beneficial for homeowners, especially if it has a signaling system that can help you assess the system’s health.

This system can transmit signals every time it is working properly, so it’s easier for you to gauge whether the system is working to an optimal level and when it requires maintenance.

Microinverters are a great option, especially if you have a solar panel system with different voltages. But before investing in these tools, check their size, efficiency, and rapid shutdown features to ensure that you get the most out of your solar energy system.

To learn more about other components, check our resources on solar power systems. These guides will help you choose the best solar-powered products for your home or business.

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