Types of Inverters
June 9, 2022

Inverters are crucial components of every solar system; they are its brains. The inverter’s primary function is to transform DC electricity generated by the solar into usable AC power. Inverters help owners and installers see how the system is operating. It also gives diagnostic data to assist O&M workers in identifying and correcting system problems.
Inverters take a task for battery management as the solar and storage market grows. These critical components are progressively taking on control duties to help increase efficiency and grid stability. Here’s a rundown of the various types of inverters.

String Inverters

A Solar panel is arranged in rows and connected by a “string.” For instance, if it has 16 panels, it could have four rows and four panels. You can use a single-string inverter to connect multiple strings. Each string transports the DC power generated by the solar panels to the inverter, transforming it into usable AC power that you can use to generate electricity. You could have multiple string inverters, each getting DC power from a couple of strings, based on the magnitude of the installation.

String inverters are ideal for installations with no lighting issues, and the panels are on the same plane, facing the same direction. If you use a string inverter system and a single panel is shaded for some hours, the performance of other panels on the same string is lessened to the point of the stressed panels. You can use these inverters in conjunction with power-optimized. These module-level power devices are mounted at the component level, so every panel has one.

Power optimizers provide advantages to microinverters, making them viable alternatives to microinverters or string inverters. String inverters cannot minimize shading impacts, but power optimizers can. They regulate the DC power before passing it through the inverter, resulting in more substantial overall productivity than just a string inverter solely.

Central Inverters

These inverters are significantly larger and can handle many strings of panels. They’re suitable for large installations that require continuous output across the array. Rather than strings installed straight to the inverter, you can attach it in a specific combiner box that sends DC to the inverter for conversion to AC power. Although central inverters needless component connections, they do necessitate the use of a combiner box and a pad.

Micro Inverters

Micro-inverters, like power optimizers, are electronic components installed at the module level; thus, it is on each panel. Micro-inverters convert DC electricity to AC directly at the panel, eliminating the need for a string inverter. The panel-level conversion means that even if a few panels are shaded or performing at a lesser level than the rest, other panels will not suffer. These micro-inverters can be used in installations with multiple planes or shading issues of solar panels facing different directions.

To make them work, you’ll need a battery. A battery-based charger or inverter is a bi-directional device that includes an inverter and a battery charger. A battery-based inverter/UL charger’s design and rating determine whether it is grid-interactive, grid-tied, standalone, or off-grid. Essential loads can remain operational with an inverter/charger system even if the grid is unavailable or in disrepair.