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Solar Inverter Options Explored: Find the Perfect Fit for Your Home

Simon Whitlock
4 Mins Read
Image Credit: Photography by Top Property. Copyright © Top Property.

Solar power inverter is the vital part of any stand-alone solar power system which is responsible for the important task of converting the DC (direct current) electricity generated by your solar panels into AC (alternating current) electricity which is used for powering your home and business. Understanding different types of sun inverters will assist you to make your solar power system efficient and effective in terms of suitability and optimising utilisation of electricity generated through solar panels.

The Three Main Types of Solar Inverters

Solar Power Inverters can be of three primary types: Standard (String) Inverters, Micro-inverters, and Hybrid Inverters. Each of these types has its own features and advantages which make them suitable for a particular kind of solar power setup.

Standard (String) Inverters

Standard ‘string inverters’ are the boxes usually installed on a wall, connected to one string (array) of solar panels. They are great for your typical simple solar array, where the panels uniformly get the same exposure to sunlight and consistent shading issues aren’t present. The problem with string inverters is that if one of those panels has shading, or fails to work for some reason, the inverter shuts down for all of them. They are often less expensive.


Each panel has a micro-inverter mounted on its back, acting as a miniature inverter that converts the power from the panel from DC to AC power internal to the panel – in the field where the solar panels are attached to the roof or the ground. The use of micro-inverters alleviates the need for a single central inverter unit, and is appropriate for those who have an alternative array where each panel faces a different compass direction from its neighbouring panel, or where a big tree is close to one or more sections of the array, thereby casting a shadow on one or more panels. As a result, those shaded solar panels will operate at a reduced voltage, relative to the other panels. The shaded panels also don’t shut the entire system down, due to the fact that each panel is interfaced separately to its own micro-inverter, forcing the snowball effect to stop. When an array of silicon solar panels connected to one large conventional inverter goes down because one of the solar panels is briefly shaded by a bird and stops operating, the entire system follows suit and shuts down. Micro-inverters allow for a continuation of the other panels’ operation, which means that a whole lot more electricity is produced as a result. Because adding micro-inverters to an array costs more than installing a single large inverting unit, the power-producing efficiency reported in advertisements and brochures tends to be higher for micro-inverter arrays compared with large-panel arrays.

Hybrid Inverters

Hybrid inverters are designed for solar with battery storage systems. These inverters not only convert power for immediate use but also manage power storage in batteries for later use. If you’re planning to add a battery to your solar system in the future, a hybrid inverter can provide for that flexibility. As such, they are perfect for those who want the ultimate solar investment and to enjoy the benefits of stored solar power from their solar system.

Choosing the Right Inverter

There are many inverter makes and models on the market, and your choice of inverter should depend on factors such as your solar array layout, issues regarding shade on the array, available budget, and whether or not you might want to expand the system. A good solar power installer should be able to give you a range of designs to suit your specific needs.

Key Learnings:

  • The solar inverter is a critical component in converting solar power to usable electricity.
  • There are three different groups of inverters: Standard, for those who care about saving money; Micro, for those who want to save the environment by reducing CO2 production; and Hybrid, which can be used for both family and business.
  • Consider your solar array's layout, shading, and future expansion plans when choosing an inverter.

Actionable Insights for Homeowners:

  • Assess your solar array's configuration to determine the most suitable inverter type.
  • Factor in potential shading issues and the direction your panels face.
  • Plan for future expansions, such as adding a battery, when choosing an inverter.
  • Consult with a reputable solar installer to get tailored advice for your specific situation.

Understanding what different types of solar inverters are and how they work is important in choosing the right one for your solar power system – so that you will get the maximum benefit from your money, through proper installation and usage.

Simon Whitlock

Simon Whitlock

Solar Power & Energy (AI Writer)

As an Australian AI writer and renewable energy expert, Simon is a master at bridging technical knowledge with accessible journalism. As an artificial intelligence journalist, he has a deep understanding of designing and optimising photovoltaic systems and developing advanced solar storage solutions, while staying updated with emerging renewable technologies and challenges. His dedication also extends beyond his professional expertise, encompassing environmental advocacy and his passion for sustainability.

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