Microinverters: Do you really need it? this blog will help you decide!
Solar panels are the most cost effective and reliable source of clean energy for powering your home. Solar panels produce direct current (DC), however, most of our appliances use alternating current (AC). To supply power from these solar panels to our home or grid, we need an inverter, which transforms DC energy into AC energy.
The solar plant usually does not require much maintenance, but in order for the solar panels to operate at their optimum efficiency they should be placed in a shadow-free-area. Yes, this is an important consideration. If there is shade on any of the panels, it impacts the generation of the entire solar plant. It could be that a building gets constructed post your installation, which creates a shadow on your plant – in that case, the power generation would drop significantly.
Another consideration is the orientation of the panels. For the most optimum generation, panels should be oriented to the true south, however, that may not be possible to do in all roof spaces. In such cases, conventionally the roof space cannot be solarised.
In order to counter shade and have a more flexible orientation of panels to allow the benefit of solar to penetrate more roof spaces, the microinverter proves to be an essential component of the solar solution.
But how does the microinverter actually mitigate the aforementioned problems? Are microinverters worth installing? Do they require a lot of maintenance?
To know more about this continue reading the blog, in this article we have tried to provide answers to these questions.
What is a microinverter?
Microinverters are miniature inverters that are attached to each solar panel directly. They are part of the Module-Level Power Electronics (MLPE) family, which is a technology that maximises your PV system’s output. With the help of Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) technology, each solar module is individually designed to provide its maximum output.
How does the microinverter mitigate the shadowing effect?
Microinverters offer a solution that allows every solar panel to operate independently at its maximum power output. Each microinverter is separately attached to each panel and transforms DC energy to AC energy at the panel level. If a shadow falls on any of the panels or any panel gets damaged, only the efficiency of that panel is reduced; the other panels in the system remain unaffected.
We at Fenice Energy, provide a solar microinverter with four channels in case of a three-phase microinverter and two channels in case of a single-phase microinverter where each channel can be connected to two panels. So when any panel gets damaged or a shadow falls on any panel only the efficiency of that particular channel gets deteriorated keeping the other channel’s efficiency intact.
Microinverter for the solar panel is gaining popularity in the market due to the following benefits which ensure higher power generation in the long run:
Improved Shade Tolerance: With a microinverter, we get better shade tolerance. This might not be the case if you go for a string or central inverter.
When it comes to safety, the microinverter proves to be far better than the string inverter, it provides higher protection. Microinverter ensures safer AC on your roof. Since it is connected to only two panels, at no point in time the DC voltage exceeds 120V.
Microinverters are connected at the back of the panels and the conversion from DC to AC happens right behind the panel. So, minimum DC wiring is required which reduces the chances of arc flash and increases safety and results in a longer life with lower maintenance.
Easy modular expansion:
If you plan to add more loads to your home, then the energy capacity required to be generated will. Thus you will need additional solar panels. Adding solar panels to the existing installed solar energy system is easy with a microinverter and almost impossible with a string inverter.
Flexible panel orientation:
If you want to install solar panels on the entire roof, you may need to add solar panels in different directions. With a microinverter, it is simple to orient solar panels in different directions and achieve maximum efficiency.
The system provides modular monitoring, which simplifies diagnostics at the panel level. This allows you to immediately identify and minimise any faults, whereas a string inverter can only monitor at the system level.
Lifetime and warranty:
Microinverter comes with a lifespan of around 25-plus years. Generally, depending on the manufacturer, it comes with a 5-10 years product warranty.
Fenice Energy provides a warranty of 10 years which can be extended up to 20 years and is designed to last for 25 plus years.
When microinverter is worth the investment?
Microinverter is a smart investment for most solar customers, especially if their roof is complex or partially shaded. If the roof structure has an irregular geometrical orientation, i.e. if panels are installed facing different directions or tilting to varying degrees, then installing a microinverter will aid in optimising the solar plant’s performance. Installing microinverters on each panel allows them to operate independently to their full potential, irrespective of the other panel’s performance efficiency.
Before going for a microinverter one must consider the following things:
Look out for IEC certification on your microinverters. One must make sure to install a microinverter of a reputed brand to avoid any further technical issues.
Before selecting, check the clipping loss( this refers to the loss of electricity that your solar panels would otherwise generate) of your microinverter. If your microinverters can support native 550Wp panels without clipping loss, then it is a good option to go for.
Make sure the brand you are selecting comes with a trusted warranty and service. Generally, manufacturers make tall claims about service and warranty, but usually do not follow through when it comes to after-sales services. So, make sure you go for a value-added trusted solar installation brand.
If you require a higher load capacity, a three-phase microinverter is a better alternative than connecting three single-phase inverters and converting them to three-phase, as this will increase the cost in the conversion procedure and may not provide the optimum power rating.
Fenice Energy provides the native 3-phase microinverter that will provide an accurate rating.
I hope our articles gave you enough insight into microinverter, if you still have doubts contact us. Our team will be happy to answer your doubts and help you with a perfect solar solution that will match your requirement and budget.