Microinverter: Advantages and Disadvantages

A microinverter is an inverter that is used to convert DC power to AC power for a single solar panel. Micro-inverters differ from string inverters in that there is no centralized inverter in solar PV systems based on micro-inverters. An individual micro-inverter is connected to each panel instead.

Microinverters have recently become popular in the solar market, surpassing the popularity of traditional string inverters. The increasing demand for micro inverters is attributed to their ability to instantly convert DC power (generated by solar panels) to AC power.

Microinverters are much smaller than string inverters, and they are attached to the back of each solar panel.

A microinverter converts the DC power generated by the panels into AC power instantly at the panel’s output. Each microinverter functions independently, so if one panel’s output is affected by shading, the other panels will remain unaffected. The use of micro inverters tends to be more expensive, but they can be a vital component of maximizing the energy output of systems with unique specifications.

It is most advantageous to use microinverters:

  • When there is shading on some or all of your panels.
  • When your panels are oriented differently.
  • There is a plan to add panels in the future.

A micro inverter also allows you to add additional solar panels in the future if your energy requirements increase. In addition, additional solar panels are installed and are connected to their own micro-inverters. If you are using a conventional string inverter, adding a second inverter will be necessary to expand your system. Consequently, the installation of future panels may be more challenging and will incur substantial costs.

Microinverters are also advantageous in terms of monitoring solar systems. Data obtained from the inverter is used to assess the performance of a solar system. A string inverter provides information regarding the overall output of your solar system, while a microinverter provides information regarding the performance of each individual panel. Troubleshooting maintenance issues can be facilitated by using this information.

Advantages and Disadvantages of micro inverters

Advantages of micro inverters

There are several advantages to using a microinverter. Here are a few pros to consider:

1. A micro-inverter and solar panel pair is essentially a self-contained solar PV system.

2. Whether you require smaller or larger micro-inverter based solar PV systems, panels can be built in any configuration or orientation.

3. A micro-inverter isolates each individual panel’s output and provides the ability to monitor at the panel level.

4. The system can be implemented at a small scale that matches your budget, and then expanded as needed in the future.

5. The micro-inverter converts DC power into AC power instantly, thus eliminating any safety risks linked with high-voltage DC electricity.

6. Micro inverters come with a longer warranty period compared to string inverters.

7. It can track the real-time power generation of a solar panel. The Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controller, which is installed inside the microinverter, monitors the real-time solar intensity as well as the temperature of the carrying cells throughout the day. This results in better value over the long term for homeowners.

Disadvantages of micro inverters

Listed below are some of the disadvantages of micro inverters that need to be considered.

1. In terms of cost-per-watt, micro-inverters are the most expensive option.

2. It becomes more cost-effective to use string inverters (with or without optimizers) on larger systems than micro-inverters over the long term.

Final thoughts

Microinverters offer many benefits, but it is important to take into account your property and solar requirements before installing one. Solar inverters play a critical role in determining your solar system’s cost, efficiency, and monitoring capabilities. It is recommended that microinverters be considered if your property experiences considerable shade. As micro inverters monitor individual panels for optimal performance, microinverters offer exponential value over time for commercial solar PV installations.

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