What’s So Great about DIY Solar Panel Micro-Inverters? Posted on 29 Aug 09:00
DIY solar panel systems rely on inverters to convert the sun’s energy into usable electricity, just like professionally installed photovoltaic arrays do.
Central or string inverters have long been the traditional choice for rooftop PV panel systems, but micro-inverters can be a preferable alternative.
Micro-Inverters Maximize Solar Energy Production
When using a string inverter, the photovoltaic panels in an array are arranged in a series, or string.
The modules feed the solar energy they capture into a single inverter, placed in a central location. Because the panels are wired together, a problem with any one panel affects the output of the entire array. Consequently, if a module is damaged or shaded, energy production for the whole system will go down.
With micro-inverters, every photovoltaic panel in an array is wired to its own separate inverter.
This isolates the performance of each module, so if one solar panel has an issue, the others are unaffected and continue to produce energy. Installing micro-inverters can maximize the amount of electricity produced by a solar panel system also, particularly in residential areas that have partial shading.
Micro-Inverters Are Cost-Effective for DIY Solar Panel Systems
String inverters often cost less than micro-inverters. However, in the long term, they may not be as financially attractive.
Inverters are often the most expensive components of DIY solar energy systems, so it makes sense to invest in models that will last for a long time. String models have a shorter life span, and are more likely to require replacement eventually.
Micro-inverters typically carry a 25-year warranty for defects in workmanship and materials. In contrast, string models generally offer a warranty of only about 10 to 12 years.
Micro-Inverters Are Safe & Easy to Install with DIY Solar Panel Systems
Homeowners can install their own micro-inverters. In fact, it almost couldn’t be easier or safer, as they are basically plug-and-play devices.
String inverters, on the other hand, are not quite as simple to handle because of their wiring requirements. Solar DIYers installing string models require the assistance of an experienced electrician to safely complete the wiring connections. The utility company may still require a technician to approve the wiring, but paying for an inspection will cost much less than hiring an electrician to do the work.
Solar GOODs offers a full range of inverter equipment, photovoltaic panels and accessories, especially for do-it-yourselfers. Visit us online today to learn more about DIY solar panel and kit components and installation.