Jessica PirroFebruary 20, 202023161
When it comes to getting a solar panel installation, it’s important to know that all of the equipment used in a solar power system is going to be vital for solar power production. A solar inverter is just as important as the solar panels when it comes to finding the most efficient solar power system, but most homeowners don’t know much about solar inverters, because they don’t see this part of the solar panel installation. But it’s important to know how a solar inverter works and to figure out which solar inverter is going to be the best fit for your solar panel installation.
What Does a Solar Inverter Do?
In the most basic explanation, a solar inverter converts DC solar electricity to AC solar electricity.
DC is going to be short for Direct Current, which is the electrical current that is only going to flow in one single direction. Direct current is used to charge solar batteries and is a good power supply for electronic systems.
DC power is the form of electrical current that is generated by solar panels. But we use Alternating current power for our homes and the majority of our electrical needs. The power that is coming from the utility grid is also going to be AC power.
There’s going to be different kinds of solar inverters that you can choose from for your solar panel installation, and there’s going to be different sizes when it comes to solar inverters.
Different Kinds of Inverters
A microinverter is a solar inverter that is small enough to attach under each of the solar panels in the solar panel installation. By installing the microinverters under the solar panels it allows them to operate independently from each other, converting the DC solar power right at the solar panels. The microinverters allow the solar panels to work their best under less than ideal conditions.
Rooftops come in all different shapes and sizes, even in the same neighborhood. Some are big and some are small, the same goes for solar panel installations. Some solar panel installations are going to be on the same side of the roof pointing in the same direction, and others are going to spread out pointing in various directions.
In situations where the solar panels are installed spread out, a microinverter would be the best option for you. If there are large objects (like trees or chimneys) that are casting shade on some of the solar panels, microinverters are going the perfect option for you. It’s important to keep in mind that the sun is moving across the sky, shadows are going to move across the solar panels. It’s also important to keep in mind that a shadow that is in December, may not be there in July. In the situation where at any given time, there will be certain solar panels that are being shaded and other solar panels are getting direct sunlight, a microinverter is the perfect fit for you.
Say your roof has many small arrays, installed across the rooftop, and smack in the middle of your roof is a chimney. This chimney will cast shadows that will move across the rooftop throughout the day. When one section of the solar panels is receiving direct sunlight and the other is going to be a blow to the amount of solar electricity that the solar panels are generating. This will be the ideal situation for microinverters. If some of the solar panels are receiving sunlight, with a microinverter you are not going to need to worry about the being slowed by the solar panels that are being shaded.
String Solar Inverters
Now let’s sat that you have a big and open space to install your solar panels. This could be a large section of your roof or even an open field that is on your property where you might place a ground mount. All of the solar panels that are in the solar power system can be installed side-by-side and that there aren’t any objects that will cast shade on the solar panel installation. All of the solar panels will be installed under the same conditions. This is going to be the perfect opportunity for the string solar inverter to shine.
The String inverters come in different sizes and wattages. A string solar inverter, all of the solar panels send their DC solar electricity to a single solar inverter, which will then convert all of the DC solar electricity to AC solar electricity. They are efficient and have fewer moving parts and fewer possible points of failure than the microinverters. They can be used individually or in different combinations to match the size of any solar power system. The solar panels might be configured into two or three different strings per solar inverter which allow for a certain amount of flexibility and increased efficiency. String solar power inverters will also come with two distinct advantages.
Instead of being placed on the roof, the hottest and the least accessible part of the house, the string solar inverter will be placed right next to the utility meter. It will be in the shade, which is going to boost efficiency, and will be easily accessible for any possible service. The second advantage is a lower price tag. In general, a string solar inverter is a less expensive option than microinverters, and saving money, along with reducing your carbon footprint and saving the environment.
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