What Is a Solar Inverter?

What Is a Solar Inverter?

What Is a Solar Inverter?

Your solar panels produce electricity in the form of direct current (DC). However, most home appliances run on alternating current (AC). An inverter changes DC into AC.

Solar inverters are the brains behind your energy system. In addition to converting DC into AC, they can also monitor and report power production.

Choosing an Inverter

The inverter is one of the most important components of a solar energy system. It converts DC electricity from your solar panels into usable AC household current. This is the type of electricity that most household appliances run on. Without an inverter, your solar power would only provide DC electricity directly from the sun.

Choosing the right inverter for your home or business is a very important decision. You should always choose an inverter that is rated to power your devices at their maximum wattage. This will ensure that your inverter is able to handle the power requirements of your items at all times.

It is also important to choose an inverter that is a Regulatory Listed model. This means that your inverter Solar Inverter has been inspected and approved for use by a third party agency and meets stringent standards for safety and efficiency.

If you have any questions about choosing an inverter for your solar energy system, please contact us. We can connect you with a specialist who can answer your questions and help you create a customized solar energy solution that fits your needs. We can also explain our financing options, which can make going solar even easier on your wallet!

String Inverters

String inverters take DC electricity from solar panels that are connected in a series to the inverter for electrical conversion. Then, the inverter converts that DC electricity into AC electricity for use in homes (or fed into the utility grid in a grid-tied system).

Because they are designed to operate as a single unit, string inverters typically have comprehensive warranties. They also cost less to install than microinverters.

A key drawback of using standard string inverters is that they reduce the energy output of your entire array if any panel experiences shading. This can significantly reduce your ROI and prevent you from reaching your energy goals.

Fortunately, a new option called power optimizers can help you overcome this issue. By attaching them to each solar panel in your array, they condition the DC electricity to ensure that the string’s maximum output is maintained, even when a single panel experiences shade. As an added bonus, they also provide power production data for each individual panel. This makes it easy to monitor each panel’s performance and diagnose problems quickly.

Power Optimizers

Power optimizers combine the best of both string inverter and microinverter technologies. They are module-level power electronics (MLPEs) that are installed at each solar panel in a system, where they condition the electricity produced by the individual panels, increasing its efficiency before sending it to the inverter for conversion.

They work best in installations where shading is an issue. Unlike traditional string inverters that can only operate at the level of the lowest-performing panel in a string, power optimizers allow solar panels to continue producing energy even when one or more panels are shaded.

Power optimizers are not without drawbacks, though. Because they are constantly bucking and boosting the voltage of each solar panel, they will consume some amount of energy. And because they are operating during the times when sunlight is the least intense, their internal losses will outweigh any additional energy yield they might provide during early mornings and late evenings. Lastly, power optimizers must be paired with a centralized inverter from the same manufacturer in order to communicate effectively. This can add to the overall cost of a PV system.


Like power optimizers, microinverters make the DC to AC conversion right at each solar panel. They’re usually mounted on the back of each solar panel, or on a racking system that connects them to each other. They’re the perfect option if you plan on expanding your solar panel array in the future, as they’ll allow you to do so without worrying about additional components.

They also give you more control over the energy yield of your solar panels, as you can monitor them individually. This can help identify performance problems and increase the overall output of your solar panel system. Microinverters are also smart choices for shaded solar installations, as they maximize the production of each panel independently of its neighbors.

Another benefit of using a microinverter is that it isolates equipment failures, meaning that if one piece fails, the rest of the system will continue to produce electricity. However, if you have a large system that uses many microinverters, the odds of a failure will increase. This is why it’s solar charge controller 12v important to use high quality equipment from trusted brands like TSUN, Enphase, or Holly Miles.


Maximum power point tracking is a critical technology that maximizes energy extraction from solar panels. MPPT solar charge controllers digitally track the optimal levels of voltage and amperage between the panels and battery or grid system under a variety of conditions.

As shown in the image below, a solar panel’s output will have a sharp peak at one point – this is the maximum power point. An MPPT controller finds this point digitally and then regulates current and voltage to force the PV module to operate closer to this point, extracting more energy into the system.

Global MPPT is a feature in inverters that sweeps the IV curve of the PV array within its operating limits and finds the point where the global maximum power occurs (see the image below). PVsyst can model this functionality, but we recommend not assuming every inverter has it. The assumption that every inverter has this capability can lead to severely underperforming systems post-install. Using this feature can reduce PV losses caused by DC-to-DC conversion. Also, this functionality can be used for daily power sharing between the different MPPT inputs of a same sub-array.

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