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What is the difference between a string and a micro inverter for my solar power system?


String and microinverters are the two different solutions. In 2008, nine, 10 when the industry started, pretty well everybody went for string inverters. Which means the panels are basically connected up and it goes into one box that's on the side of your house. That works very well if you have a clear roof and no shade, and it's a little bit cheaper than other solutions that involve micro inverters or optimizers.

In the case of microinverters and optimizers, they're the ideal solution really, for when you have a shade issue, such as a chimney or nearby trees, et cetera. Then you really need to go for optimizers or microinverters. The three brands that we recommend are Tigo, SolarEdge and Enphase. So those are the brands that will do that. Now the why do I need it? If you have one string of panel and there's shade on it, the output of the whole string will be reduced in the string inverter.

It's like somebody slow walking out of the plane, whatever they walk everybody behind is the same. Well, if you have microinverters, each panel is treated individual. And so you get the best output out of each individual panel. So if you want more output in shade, you've got to go with that microinverter optimizer solution.

If you use a microinverter, each panel is treated as its own unit and performs to the best of its ability. If one of them has shade, the ones next to it will not be affected. If you go use a string inverter, unfortunately the whole string is affected for the shade. No shade; string inverter possibility, shade; micro inverter or optimized.

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