Micro inverters & how are they different from the other inverters?

A solar micro-inverter is simple a plug-n-play device, generally used in Solar Panels. It converts the solar panel generated direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) in form of electricity that can use at your home or office. As everyone can see the Solar panels on top, and we think that it does everything for a complete Solar Power system. But in a real scenario, it’s the micro inverter that does all the real work. So if you are about to choose an inverter, when going solar, that will be the most vital & crucial decision you’ll have to make.

A good Micro inverter should give you higher production, advanced intelligence, and greater reliability.

In short, the advantages of Micro-Inverters are:

  • Micro inverters work independently, as each panel can perform at the most. One dirty or shaded panel won’t affect other parts of the solar power system.
  • Micro inverters produce more energy for a longer solar day in low-light or at dawn, dusk conditions with the use of burst technology.

Let’s have a look at the micro inverters available in Australia, which will be best, suited for your solar power system:

  1. Enphase IQ 7 and IQ 7X Micro inverters: With The high-powered smart grid-ready Enphase IQ Series Micros™ technology it produces the highest system efficiency. It has optimized for high-powered cell-like, 60-cell, 72-cell* and 96-cell* modules.
  2. SMA TS4-R-DEN1725 Inverter: It has the TS4-R module technology, which is a cost-effective system that fits into any PV module design to make it an exact solution for every solar application. It ensures and configuration flexibility & maximum energy yield, and minimal maintenance costs.

How are the macro inverters different from the other types of inverters?

The grid-tied solar inverters are in 3 types: micro, string & central. In this part of this blog, you will learn, how the micro inverters are different from the other 2 types with each type’s advantages and disadvantages. A series string inverter (a traditional way of connecting solar panels together) can cause a few numbers of complexities. These problems can overcome by using Micro Inverters in Solar Power System. Let’s discuss the complexities:

High Voltage DC: A series string inverter can create a risk of very high temperature arcing and potentially fire by producing a high voltage DC. As micro inverters convert DC to 240V AC, which can minimize the potential risks.

Switchgear: In Micro Inverter, it requires switchgear, which is cheaper & more commonly available. High voltage DC (mainly String inverters) requires relatively expensive protective switches and fuses.

Shading: As Micro Inverters are located independently on each solar panel, their outputs are completely independent of each other. So that no external materials like bird poo, can affect the soiled panel. But in a series string, shading can dramatically affect the entire.

Solar panel mismatch: At the time of manufacturing of solar panels, due to imperfect manufacturing tolerances, they each have slightly different electrical characteristics. It’s effect as  “mismatch” when they are connected together in a series string. But in Micro inverters, they adapt to the individual characteristics of each panel to avoiding mismatch.

Maximum Power Point Tracking

Like the effect of mismatch, different electrical characteristics also create different Maximum Power Points for each solar panel. The maximum Power Point is the perfect point for extracting maximum power from a solar panel and micro inverter attached to individual solar panels can therefore target this point better.

Monitoring and fault finding

Almost all inverters have some level of monitoring and fault finding however; it can only see the combined output from every solar panel in the series string. A micro inverter, however, can monitor each solar panel individually, allowing you to easily identify exactly what’s happening more quickly and easily.

Factory fitted

Assembling and connecting components in a factory environment is inevitably a more controlled environment and can potentially save time and money. A number of solar panel manufacturers now factory assemble micro inverters to produce AC Panels.

Redundancy

If your series string inverter develops a fault, your entire solar array stops producing power until it is fixed. If a micro inverter develops a fault, the remaining units can continue to operate, so you should have a more reliable system.

Modularity

Series string inverters can only accept a specific number of solar panels per inverter, so it’s not always possible to simply add a few more panels at a later date. AC Solar Panels, however, can be added much more easily because they are independent of each other.

Orientation

In a series string, all your solar panels need to be connected in the same orientation so they are combining to produce the right voltage at the same time to fire up the inverter. Because they operate independently, AC solar panels can be oriented in any direction and will not affect the operation of other solar panels.

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