String vs. Micro Inverters: What is the Difference?

Posted by New Day Solar
4 years ago | May 16, 2017

As you are comparing solar power companies and the different types of solar equipment that is available, it can be confusing if you hear terms that you don’t understand. It can be helpful to talk to an industry expert to learn more about these phrases and what they mean.

One thing that you need to consider is the difference between string and micro-inverters. The inverters are a necessary part of a solar system, because the direct current (DC) that comes from the sun needs to be converted into usable alternating current (AC), which is the electricity used in a typical home.

Here’s a quick overview of two inverter options to give you a general understanding of the difference between them:

String Inverters

When a solar electric system is designed with a string inverter, the solar panels are connected in a line that moves the electricity to a central inverter. These connected panels are known as an “array”.  Solar panels on a solar array are like a string of holiday lights. When using a string inverter, if one solar panels fails, the entire string is affected or if one of the solar panels output drops – due to shade, a passing cloud, or some other unavoidable factor – the solar system’s overall performance drops to match that lowest-performing module. 

Many homeowners find that a string inverter works for their individual requirements.  The string inverter usually come with a 10 year manufacturer warranty and, normally, using string inverters is a less expensive way to install a solar system.

Micro-Inverters

If you want the latest technology, then you might consider the benefits of a micro-inverter system.  In this application, you would have 1 inverter for each solar module.  Many people have found that the performance output increases when micro-inverters are installed instead of a string inverter.

One of the distinct advantages of micro-inverters is that the solar panel can be isolated from the whole system so that they don’t negatively impact the overall performance, if there is a problem with one of the inverters. Also, micro-inverters don’t have the same cooling need as the string inverter solar system, so there is a reduced risk of failure. For example, if one panel is shaded because of snow or debris, it won’t influence the performance of the other solar panels that are still working as designed.  Micro-inverters typically come with a 25 year manufacturer warranty.

How do you choose the solar system that is best for your electrical needs? Contact the team at New Day Solar by calling: (855) 444-6329, or visit our website at www.newdaysolar.com.  Any member of our team, will be happy to help you!   Each of our solar systems are designed for our client’s individual energy needs. Let us use our 28 years of expertise to design and install solar electric system for you!

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