Choosing MicroInverters, Optimizers Or A Single Inverter For Your Solar System

Before choosing an inverter system, it is important to understand what inverters do for your solar system. Inverters are responsible for converting DC power generated from the solar panels into usable AC power for your home. Clean solar offers both micro inverters and single phase inverters.

Microinverters

Microinverters are modules installed behind each solar panel. They work independently per panel to convert DC power into useable AC power on your roof. When shade hits a panel, it won’t affect the production of the surrounding panels that continue to produce energy. Clean Solar offers Enphase IQ6+ microinverters.

This is the micro inverter that goes behind each panel to convert DC power into usable AC power
This is the microinverter that goes behind each panel to convert DC power into usable AC power.

The IQ6+ module features a design where there are no moving parts inside. Most inverters require moving parts such as fans to keep cool, and these moving parts cease to perform over time, causing the inverter to stop functioning. This module is also designed to withstand both extremely low temperatures and high temperatures alike. These inverters are rated a 97% efficiency by the California Energy Commission and offer a 25-year warranty.

Optimizers

Single phase inverters work by using optimizers and a single inverter to convert DC power into AC power. Each panel has an optimizer installed underneath it to take the DC power and send it through a single phase inverter that will turn the DC power into AC power. Like the micro inverters, a shaded panel won’t affect the production of the other panels since each optimizer works independently. Clean Solar offers the latest single phase inverters from SolarEdge that feature HD-Wave Technology.

The optimizers are connected to this inverter that converts DC power into usable AC power
The optimizers are connected to this inverter that converts DC power into usable AC power.

The HD-Wave Technology features a slim inverter design that requires less cooling elements and magnets to operate than a traditional single phase inverter. This inverter technology features a 99% efficiency rating from the California Energy Commission. Clean Solar offers multiple versions of the Solar Edge single phase inverter to meet your solar system size requirements. The optimizers come with a 25-year warranty and the inverter will come with a 12-year warranty.

Single inverters

Single inverters are the most cost-effective option available in the market. The system works by arranging panels into groups connected by “strings.” Each string of panels is connected to the single inverter, which will convert the DC power produced by the panels into useable AC power. This type of inverter system should only be used for roof tops that have zero shading issues and panels that are not facing multiple directions. The reason for this is the string of solar panels will only produce as much electricity as its least performing panel. This means that if one panel is shaded, the other higher performing panels on the string will drop power production to match the lower performing panel.