Solar Inverters Explained
A solar inverter is really a converter, though the rules of physics say otherwise. A solar power inverter converts or inverts the direct current (DC) energy produced by a solar panel into Alternate Current (AC.)
Homes and businesses use AC energy. DC energy is not safe to use in homes. If you run Direct Current (DC) directly to the house, most gadgets plugged in would smoke and potentially catch fire. The result would be that most appliances, computers, power strips, TVs, entertainment systems, home security devices, and a whole host of other electronics would become fried. Solar arrays use inverters to change the DC to AC, which is safe for home usage.
Traditionally, an inverter is the component in a solar system that converts the DC power from the panels into AC power suitable for the home appliances and national grid. A hybrid inverter fulfils this purpose, while also sending DC power to a battery to conserve it for later use, and from the battery when required.
Microinverters are small units built into each individual solar panel that convert power.
This gives each panel the ability to function at peak performance, independent from the surrounding panels. Even if the panel next to it has shading for most of the day, all the other panels can convert at full capacity. Any drop in efficiency only affects one panel.
Microinverters also enable you to monitor the performance of each individual panel. This is helpful for spotting any issues with a single panel so you can have it repaired before it slows down the whole system’s productivity.
This type of inverter can be more expensive than string inverters,
Microinverters also make it easier to add solar panels to your system if you want to. Say you buy an electric car, and you need more power to charge it. Adding more solar panels with micro inverters is easier and less expensive than adding an additional central inverter to a string inverter system.