SolarEdge Inverters vs. Enphase Microinverters: A Detailed Comparison
When it comes to solar energy systems, the inverter is one of the most critical components. The inverter's job is to convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used in the home. There are two main types of inverters: central inverters and microinverters. Central inverters are a single, large unit that is connected to multiple panels, while microinverters are small, individual units that are attached to each panel. This article will compare the pros and cons of SolarEdge inverters and Enphase microinverters to help you make an informed decision.
SolarEdge Inverters: Pros
1. High Efficiency: SolarEdge inverters are known for their high efficiency. They can convert up to 99% of the DC electricity generated by the panels into usable AC electricity, which means that very little energy is lost in the conversion process.
2. Monitoring: SolarEdge inverters come with a monitoring system that allows you to track the performance of your panels in real-time. This is useful for troubleshooting and maintenance purposes.
3. DC-Coupled: SolarEdge inverters are DC-coupled with DC-power optimizers. Each panel has it's own optimizer ensuring if one panel is shaded, the rest are operating at peak efficiency. In addition, in a DC-coupled system, batteries are charged directly by your solar, and are only inverted once when your home needs power, resulting in far less energy loss.
SolarEdge Inverters: Cons
1. Scalability: SolarEdge inverters require a minimum as well as have a maximum number of panels that can be placed on a given string, so it limits some scalability if you are only looking to add one or two panels down the road.
2. Complexity: SolarEdge inverters are complex and require professional installation. If you're not familiar with electrical systems, you may not be comfortable installing a SolarEdge inverter on your own.
Enphase Microinverters: Pros
1. Easy Installation: Enphase microinverters are designed to be easy to install. They can be attached directly to the solar panels, eliminating the need for a separate central inverter.
2. Monitoring: Enphase microinverters also come with a monitoring system that allows you to track the performance of each panel in real-time.
3. Reliability: Enphase microinverters are known for their reliability. Because each panel has its own microinverter, if one panel fails, it will not affect the performance of the other panels.
Enphase Microinverters: Cons
1. Cost: Enphase microinverters are typically more expensive than central inverters, so they may not be the best option for those who are looking to save money.
2. AC-Coupled: Enphase microinverters are AC-coupled, which results in roughly a 9% loss in efficiency in battery integrated systems. This is due to the extra conversion of AC to DC to store power, then the extra inversion back to AC when that power is needed.
Progreen Solar, a certified installer for both SolarEdge inverters and Enphase microinverters, always recommends the option that provides the best value to the customer based on their specific home and needs. Both inverter options have their pros and cons, and the choice ultimately depends on your specific requirements and budget. Whether you choose SolarEdge inverters or Enphase microinverters, Progreen Solar will help you make the most of your solar energy system.