What is an Inverter?

The main function of inverters is to convert the direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC), so all the appliances can use electricity. They are vital to the functionality of your solar system given the fact they have complex parts and software installed. Besides choosing panels and other materials is essential to choose the best type of inverter. There are 3 types of inverters:

1-String Inverters; Centralized

2-Power Optimizer System; String inverters + Power optimizers

3-Microinverters.

String inverters are the most popular option and are the best option especially for bigger systems. However, options 2 and 3 have gained popularity in the market since their price has fallen down in the last years. Listed below are the best two companies that manufacture inverters: Enphase and SolarEdge.

enphase logoEnphase Energy is a publicly held company based in Nothern California and it was founded in 2006. They manufacture batteries, inverters, and other accessories. Their inverters make the solar system more productive, more reliable, smart, and safe for customers to use it. Inverters deliver optimized output in an elegant design that is very aesthetic and durable.

SolarEdge

Solar Edge is becoming a popular choice in the USA due to its unique design. The company with headquarters in Israel was founded in 2006 and offers a wide range of inverters for residential and commercial use. The company offers PV Power Optimizers, PV Monitoring Portal, and Solar Inverters. They produce inverters that use power optimizers to maximize power generation from every single panel. Customers benefit the most by knowing that they can have data from monitoring each panel so they can reduce the impact of shading and other performance issues.

Comparing the Products

Micro Inverters + Envoy

Enphase is a system that uses micro-inverters that were first introduced to the world in June 2008. Those are tucked under each panel and they will convert the DC electricity to AC electricity. Besides the microinverters, the system has the Envoy system which is essentially its brain. Envoy will gather all the data from the micro-inverters and will deliver it to Enlighten software. Also, Envoy will report any issue related to the microinverters are performing and will deliver updates.

Solar Edge Inverter

SolarEdge has a solar panel optimizer that is attached to each panel and all those are connected to one inverter. That means that if one of the panels is in shade, the rest of the modules are unaffected. The same is for Enphase but the difference is that SolarEdge sends the DC solar power to one inverter, but on the other side Enphase’s microinverters convert the DC to AC immediately at the roof.

What happens if an optimizer or inverter does down completely?

Both Enphase and Solaredge offer the best products on the market. If the inverter fails, the entire system will shut down, so if you are getting Solar Edge be sure to have a good warranty. You just have to wait till it gets replaced if they are covered under the warranty.

But on the other side, if a module of microinverter fails with Enphase, you don’t have to worry because they all act independently from each other so the system will continue to produce electricity. Besides that, the biggest advantage that Enphase has is that it’s easy to scale and upgradeability. Each part of the system acts independently meaning that you can add more solar panels to your system as your energy needs change over the years. So Enphase gives you that flexibility.

With Solar Edge, you will need an entire new inverter if you will add more solar panels to your roof. This part is important if you are planning in the future to get an electric car or you wanna add more storage to the house or if you are buying bigger appliances. If we compare the prices Enphase is slightly more expensive but you will have a product that is adaptable and durable.

Enphase Inverter
Solaredge Inverter

Would you like to learn which Inverter is the best option for you?

You can reach us at 1-877-772-6357 or contact our NuWatt Solar Consultants by filling out the form below.

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