Micro Inverter - The Little Inverter

The Micro Inverter is the latest addition to the ever expanding list of solar products. They are very much similar to the solar inverters. My friend let’s check them out!

We are very much aware of the fact, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”. These small inverters were invented just because there was a necessity. Initially they were used for wind turbines. As they were found suitable for solar systems their use increased to popularity.

These Small Inverters resolve pressing issues like system efficiency, the Christmas light effect by integrating them in a solar power system. A distributed approach of these inverters reduces effects of shade on solar panels, dust, debris on the array which hinders the very fundamental operation of the normal string inverters, i.e. to provide maximum power Output.

Their working principle is similar to solar inverters. They convert the DC power from every individual panel into AC power. The Maximum Power Point Tracking algorithm is also present which provides maximum power output at the individual panel.

Micro Inverter
Micro Inverter

Advantages of a Micro Inverter

Allow the monitoring of the solar power generated by each and every panel. This monitoring can provide vital information about the “health” of a solar panel. The pv module related issues are difficult to detect in case of an array of panels which use the normal string inverter.

These small inverters help subdue the Christmas light effect. Commonly solar panels are connected in series to get the desired voltage level. Sub-optimal angles of solar irradiance, non-consistent cell temperature, Dust & debris falling on the panels affect their power output. For example if a few leaves fall on any one of the panel, then the power output of that panel reduces.

In case of small inverters only the individual dust or debris affected solar panel’s power output reduces, other panels continue to supply power, as they all are connected in parallel. By being connected in parallel they increase system stability.

Some Industry Experts believe that these small inverters make the system more reliable, more efficient and smart by simply improving the power harvested by the MPPT algorithm at every panel level. They even have a lower DC output which is safer as compared to central inverters.

Some of these inverters can improve the amount of power harvested by 5% to 30%.

One of the best advantages is the flexibility, they can even be used as grid tie inverters. You can always add more solar modules to your existing home solar power system. A mismatch in the manufacture date, internal resistances, voltage output levels are always prevalent in any system having a central inverter, but these small problems will not bother your system if you choose to buy and use a micro inverter.

Inverter Interconnections
Inverter Interconnections

Small Inverters - The Dark Side

An inverter is one of those components in any solar power system that has the most probability of failure as compared to other components. If you ever wondered, “Why do inverters have less warranty period?” this is the answer for it.

Now if you add more components in a system which fails the most, then the system fails the most. But if only one particular inverter fails, only some amount of energy generated is reduced in comparison to the string inverters. When a string inverter fails 100% of the power generated is lost.

My friend you now have got the right insights about these small inverters. Finally it’s for you to decide what suits you the best.

Tip: A Micro Inverter is sized precisely for the generating capacity of a pv module.

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