What are String Inverters and Micro Inverters? Which is better?

Many people are thinking about installing a solar roof. and is currently studying Everyone must have heard the word Inverter because it is an important piece of equipment that is indispensable for installation. Today we will get to know what this device does. And how important is it?

What is an Inverter?

An inverter serves as a mechanism that transforms direct current (DC) generated by solar panels into alternating current (AC), enabling its utilization across a range of electrical devices within a household.

There are many types of Inverters available today. But there are two types that are popular for use with solar roofs installed in general homes: String Inverter and Micro Inverter.

What is String Inverter?

The String Inverter or Central Inverter, a long-established type, converts direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) for Ongrid systems ranging from 2 to 60 kilowatts. Employing a single unit, it manages the entire home’s electrical system through a serial connection.

Advantages of String Inverter

  • The price of installation and equipment is cheap. Because it uses only one Inverter to control the solar cell panels.
  • Connecting the cables is easy. Because the connection between solar panels is DC, the positive terminal to the negative terminal is not complicated at all. Therefore, problems in connecting cables are less likely to occur.
  • If there are any problems (Troubleshoot) that occur from the system, it can be done easily. Because there is only one Inverter.

Disadvantages of String Inverter

  • Regular maintenance is crucial for String Inverters due to the series connection of solar cell panels. This setup leads to a cumulative increase in solar panel voltage, posing a risk if it surpasses safety standards, potentially resulting in hazardous conditions.
  • The installation of a Rapid Shutdown system is essential to comply with Engineering Institute (EIT) standards for solar energy installations. This system ensures that electricity on the rooftop can be swiftly cut off in case of an emergency. Adhering to the guidelines set by the National Electrical Code (NEC), the Rapid Shutdown system is mandated to deactivate rooftop electricity within a specified timeframe for safety purposes because implementing a Rapid Shutdown system is critical for firefighter safety in solar panel incidents. In situations like a short circuit leading to a rooftop fire, the String Inverter system retains solar panel electricity generation even if the inverter in the house is switched off. The cells remain active as long as sunlight persists, necessitating the Rapid Shutdown system to swiftly deactivate rooftop electricity for emergency response and firefighter safety.
  • In a String Inverter setup, if one solar panel encounters issues like shading or damage, it impacts the entire series, decreasing overall electricity production. For instance, in an array of 8 solar panels where the 4th panel is shaded, causing a 50% power output reduction in that panel, the entire series will also be limited to 50% output. This limitation affects the remaining 7 panels. Consequently, String Inverters might not be ideal for homes surrounded by trees or those with limited roof space requiring multiple arrays.
  • In the future, if you want to increase the amount of electricity production used It will be difficult and expensive. Because another Inverter must be connected in parallel. The brand must be the same. And there must be a mode that can be connected in parallel or change the electrical cabinet.

What is a Micro Inverter?

The Micro Inverter is an innovative technology that allows for the parallel connection of solar panels on rooftops, operating in a parallel configuration. This compact inverter is affixed to the rear of individual solar panels. It enables a 1-to-1 connection (one Micro Inverter per one solar panel) or in some cases, certain brands utilize a 1-to-4 configuration (one Micro Inverter catering to four solar panels).

Advantages of Micro Inverters

  • Installation of Micro Inverters is straightforward: simply mount the Micro Inverter on the roof, attach it to the respective solar panels, interconnect the wires, and run the AC cable down to link with the house’s breaker. Once completed, electricity becomes immediately available for use.
  • With parallel connections facilitated by Micro Inverters, issues like partial shading or diverse shadows affecting individual solar panels do not compromise the entire system’s performance. If one solar panel encounters problems, it doesn’t impact the overall electricity production of the system. This resilience allows the remaining solar panels to function optimally. Consequently, Micro Inverters are well-suited for homes surrounded by trees or those lacking sufficient space for a singular installation, requiring multiple arrays across different roof sections (gables).
  • There is an application to help check which makes it easy to check which solar cell plans have problems. Which plan will produce how much electricity?
  • Safe for various workers who will go in and fix problems with the electrical system on the roof. Because there is an emergency power cut-off system on the roof or Rapid Shutdown already built in, and the voltage of each plate is mostly no higher than NEC standards, so you can rest assured.
  • Indeed, expanding a system with Micro Inverters is hassle-free. Simply add more solar panels and corresponding Micro Inverters onto the roof without the necessity of laying down new wires. This seamless integration streamlines the process of system expansion without requiring additional wiring adjustments.

Disadvantages of Micro Inverter

  • More expensive than String Inverter

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