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American Sentry Solar By American Sentry Solar • May 23, 2016

Micro Inverters vs. String Inverters: Understanding the Difference

Aside from your solar panels and the type of solar panels you choose, the type of inverter you choose is a vital decision for how well you want your solar panel system to perform. To put it simply, inverters are what convert the electricity to usable energy for the utility grid and your home appliances. The type of inverter you choose to use is often an overlooked decision due to the fact most people are focused on the panels themselves. Continue reading to learn about the different types of inverters and the benefits of each...

Micro inverters for solar panels


Since a micro inverter is attached to the back of each solar panel on your roof, it allows for a greater output of efficiency. For example, if a few solar panels become shaded it will not affect the performance of the non-shaded panels.  If string inverters become shaded it will hinder the performance of the other solar panels.

A big convenience that comes with micro inverters is the ability to monitor the performance of specific individual panels on your roof. If you feel that there is a problem, you’ll be able to identify it quickly.

Due to the topography of Maryland, there is a chance that trees near your home provide partial shading on your roof at certain times during the day. Micro inverters make it possible for you to get the best possible performance given your shade situation.


String Inverters

String inverters are exactly what their name implies.  String inverters consist of a group of panels strung together and connected to a central inverter that transfers the energy to power your home. The best-case scenario to use a string inverter would be on a simple roof that is never shaded throughout the day.

The biggest negative of choosing a string inverter is that if one panel in the string is affected by shading it will affect the performance of the other panels in its group. It’s essentially like having a car where if one tire goes flat, they’ll all go flat.

Which Type Of Inverter Should I Choose?

The type of inverter you choose to use depends on your roof orientation and amount of shade your roof tends to receive. Due to micro inverters ability to offset setbacks from shading and roof scenarios, makes it a very popular choice for residential solar power systems. They also carry great warranties for up to 25 years, which is double the average warranty for string inverters.

Verdict: Micro Inverters are most likely your best option


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