The benefit of string inverters is that one can easily go battery back up if they are planning to go off of the utility grid i.e. off grid. They are also very inexpensive. The downside of string inverters is that they function like Christmas lights. All panels are connected on the strand, and if one panel becomes shaded or produces less efficiently, the rest of the panels will follow suit. For example, they start at 100% effefficiency then one becomes shaded and the rest of the panels will follow suit. For example one panel becomes shaded and drops to 94% efficiency and so do the rest. Many of our competitors use this type of inverter called the Sunnyboy
The benefit of a micro inverter is that every panel has a micro inverter to change DC to AC at the site of the panel. This enables each panel to produce energy independently from the next and not be affected by one another. They each communicate a signal to a portal site, allowing full monitoring of each panel’s production. The down side of micro inverters is that it is not very easy and not cheap to go battery backup. More parts are required to invert the AC back to DC in order for the energy to be stored in a battery, therefore making micro inverters very costly if going battery back up is your goal.
The inverter Alta Sol invests in is Solar Edge. This inverter is designed like a strand to make battery backup a possibility, yet incorporates optimizer technology to provide each panel with independent optimizing production. Solar Edge is ahead in solar technology accommodating to customers’ needs and future expectations. We are one of the only companies in Utah who provide Solar Edge as an inverter option. So if your goal is to go off the grid and battery backup, but you also want your panels to produce independently of each other, than Solar Edge is the way to go.
A comparison between SolarEdge power optimizers to microinverters
Module level electronics overcome the shortcomings of traditional inverters and enable maximum power, module level monitoring, flexible design and enhanced safety. However, there is no need to add an inverter to every module if DC power optimizers can achieve all these benefits at lower cost, higher efficiency and higher reliability.
The Benefits of SolarEdge - Part I
The first part of the SolarEdge benefits movie reviews the causes for power losses in traditional solar installation, including module mismatch, partial shading, undervoltage and dynamic MPPT changes. The movie further reviews the SolarEdge three part architecture and describes how it reduces these power losses, enabling production of up to 25% more energy and a faster return on investment.
The Benefits of SolarEdge - Part II
The second part of the SolarEdge benefits movie explores the SolarEdge design and installation benefits by comparing installation of SolarEdge vs. a traditional system on two identical roofs. The movie shows how the flexibility of the SolarEdge architecture eliminates design constraints, allowing for longer strings, less BoS components, strings of unequal lengths and different orientations, and finally maximum area utilization.
The Benefits of SolarEdge - Part III
The third part of the SolarEdge benefits movie describes the added benefits of module-level power optimizers, including module-level monitoring for greater system visibility and enhanced troubleshooting, and complete safety solution for protection of installers, maintenance personnel and firefighters.