Solar microinverters are small, low-power inverters that are attached directly to each solar panel in a photovoltaic (PV) system. They convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the panel into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is compatible with the electrical grid.
This is in contrast with a string inverter, which is a centralized inverter that is connected to multiple solar panels (referred to as a “string” of panels) and converts the combined DC electricity generated by the panels into AC electricity for use in the electrical grid.
How does it differ with regular string inverters?
The main advantage of using micro inverters instead of a central inverter is that each panel operates independently, resulting in better overall system performance. In traditional systems with central inverters, shading or other issues with a single panel can affect the entire system’s output. However, with microinverters, only the affected panel is impacted.
Additionally, microinverters allow for easier installation and maintenance, as well as real-time monitoring and diagnostics of each panel’s performance. This allows for quick and efficient resolution of any issues that may arise.
Microinverters can also optimize the performance of each panel based on its unique characteristics and local conditions, such as temperature and shading. This results in a more efficient and effective system overall.
Are there any trade-offs?
|String inverters tend to be less expensive upfront than microinverters.
|Microinverters are typically more expensive upfront than string inverters due to the added cost of having an inverter for each panel.
|Efficiency: If one panel in a string inverter system is underperforming due to shading or other issues, the entire string’s output will be impacted.
|Complexity: Installing microinverters can be more complex and time-consuming than installing a single string inverter.
|With a centralized inverter, if there is an issue with the inverter, the entire system will be impacted, requiring a more complex repair.
|If a microinverter fails, only the affected panel will be impacted, but it still requires replacement of the microinverter.
Are microinverters already available in the Philippines?
There are EPCs that are already using and selling microinverters here in the country. One of them is Spectrum, a subsidiary of Meralco, and they are using Enphase. Another is LightupSolar and they are the official distributor of Hoymiles inverters.
In conclusion, solar microinverters offer numerous advantages over traditional central inverters, including improved system performance, easier installation and maintenance, and real-time monitoring and diagnostics. They are a smart choice for those looking to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their solar PV system.