Micro-Inverter Technology Helps Solar DIYers Posted on 16 Dec 11:07


For solar DIYers, new micro-inverters are a great alternative to the traditional variety because they’re easier to install and use.

Solar DIY systems function by capturing sunlight and transforming it into electricity, the same way that professionally installed systems do. The photovoltaic panels produce direct current (DC) electricity, which must be converted to alternating current (AC) for home use. To accomplish this, the panels must be connected to an inverter.

What Is Micro-Inverter Technology?

With conventional central or string inverters, the solar panels are connected in a series or array. The array is then wired to a large inverter in a central location. String inverters convert the power for all of the photovoltaic panels at once.

Micro-inverters, on the other hand, are not centrally wired. Instead, each solar panel — or pair of solar panels, if dual micro-inverters are used — is connected to its own small inverter.

Many solar DIYers opt for this technology today, as it can help optimize your photovoltaic system’s output. In fact, manufacturers say that micro-inverters can boost system performance by anywhere from 5 to 20 percent over conventional string inverters!

A More Reliable Energy Source

With micro-inverter technology, each solar panel’s performance is isolated. This means that if you have an issue with one module, the rest of the system will be unaffected. With string inverters, however, if one panel has a problem, the performance of the entire system will be affected.

For these reasons, micro-inverters are considered to be a practical choice for solar DIY systems.

Many residential areas have partial shade, and if one panel is blocked, the rest of the system still will continue to produce energy. Systems with these inverters also are unaffected if snow or bird droppings cover a panel or if one panel malfunctions.

In a similar situation, central inverter systems may perform poorly.

Easy to Install

Optimized performance isn’t the only reason solar kit users prefer micro-inverters.

This technology is ideal for do-it-yourselfers, as homeowners can install it safely and easily. Basically, these inverters are plug-and-play, and as simple to install as a dishwasher or clothes dryer. Conventional inverters are more complicated to wire and may require advanced electrical experience.

Many solar experts also like micro-inverters because of their flexibility: They can be installed on a rooftop or at ground level, and they’re lightweight and easier to work with.

You also easily can add more solar panels at a later time, to increase the size and output of the system. With central inverters, a new (and expensive) piece of equipment may be required to expand your PV array.

At Solar GOODs, we offer micro technology as well as standard inverter equipment, so you have the freedom to choose exactly what you need for your installation. Solar GOODs is your solar DIY superstore!