There are three main solar power inverter types for residential solar power. They are string, micro-inverter, and power optimizer. All of them convert the DC power that your panels produce, to AC power that your house uses. Each type has its own set of strengths and drawbacks, but which is best?
Let’s go over the pros and cons of each inverter type individually to see which is best for you.
String inverters are the most common type of solar power inverter system because the technology has been around for more than 20 years. It is a simple system with each solar panel connecting to the next panel in a “string” and eventually feeding into the central inverter.
Pros: Lower initial cost, simple design
Cons: Lower efficiency, hard to troubleshoot, susceptible to shading issues
A micro inverter system is very different from a string inverter system. Each solar panel gets its own small inverter attached to the back of the panel. This converts the power to AC immediately and then combines the panels to feed the house.
Pros: More efficient, easy to troubleshoot, not susceptible to shading issues, a lower initial cost
Cons: More susceptible to heat failure, more complicated system overall, less popular in general, low long term reliability
A power-optimized system combines the best attributes of the string and micro inverter systems. It is a string inverter at its core, utilizing a central inverter. However, it integrated a power optimizer module, that is attached to the back of each panel, to regulate the power coming out of each panel. This increases efficiency to 99.5% and mitigates any shade or troubleshooting issues.
Pros: Very efficient, easy to troubleshoot, good long term reliability, heat tolerant, not susceptible to shading issues
Cons: Higher initial cost, newer technology
At Solar Solution AZ, we have installed over 3,000 solar panel systems on homes all over the Southwest.
We highly recommend SolarEdge Power Optimized systems, due to their great track record with reliability and efficiency.
Give us a call to learn more from a solar expert! (520) 858-0220