Small solar micro Inverter packs BIG benefits!

What is a MICRO INVERTER? Small but powerful.

A microinverter is a miniature inverter (15” x 10” x 1.5” @ approximately 3 lbs.) that takes the output received from the solar panel and converts it into the electricity that you need. A solar panel generates direct current power as it receives rays of sunlight, but the common grid of electricity utilizes alternating current power and thus it’s necessary to convert the energy into a format that is usable for the electronic grid and subsequently usable for your home.

What’s the difference between a micro inverter and a central inverter?

The normal set up of a solar system with a large regular central inverter is the connection of multiple solar panels into one system that creates a single, strong power source. The power from this source goes to the central inverter, which is commonly put inside a garage. Alternatively, a microinverter is much smaller and is made to be put directly onto the solar panel itself, thus directly converting the energy from the panel right into your home.
What advantages do microinverters have?

There are many advantages to using microinverters. For one, your array of solar panels are not dependent on each other, so if one or two are blocked by matter, or under shade, the rest will continue to function normally, whereas with a central inverter all panels are connected and something that brings down the power output of one will do so for all the others. Similarly, if there’s any bug or error with the panels for a central inverter each other panel will be affected. With a microinverter this isn’t a problem, it turns each solar panel into an independently functioning system which produces its own energy.

Another thing about central inverters is that there are a limited amount of sizes and power outputs, which means that it’s common for people to have to buy a central inverter system for their home that produces far too much energy. With microinverters comes customization and allows you to put the precise amount of solar panels you need or already have to get the perfect energy output.

Central inverters are commonly big and loud, they take up lots of space and have big fans which can hum noisily. A microinverter takes up hardly any space, since it’s simply on the solar panels on the roof, so there’s no need to find a place to put it. Furthermore, microinverters use less equipment because they run lower than central inverters, so you can eliminate equipment like transformers and cooling fans.

Generally microinverters are accepted as being more reliable and dependable, due to longer warranties (often 15-25 years in contrast to 5 or 10 years with a central inverter), less power and heat produces, and because they’re easier to repair and allow solar panels to function independently.
How much do microinverters cost?

Due to the fact that microinverters have to produce the same parts of a central inverter at a small size they can be a little more pricey. However cost, as well as efficiency, are constantly improving and indeed have done so a lot recently. Also, newly developed technology in 2011 allowed to microinverters to run two panels ar the same time, which means less is required and ultimately lower prices.

Article written by Jennifer Coleman of Sun Source Solar Energy Brokers, providing solar brokering, brokerage, and solar energy consulting services in Santa Rosa, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano and San Francisco Counties.  For more information, please visit

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