How do solar inverters work?

Solar Inverters

What is a solar inverter?

A solar inverter is one of the most significant parts of a solar power system. A solar inverter converts the electricity generated by solar panels into usable electricity that can be used by homes. The excess electricity in your household is later fed into the grid or the home battery storage.

How do solar inverters work?

The process of collecting solar energy begins with the sun shining down onto your solar panels (photovoltaic cells). Electrons inside the solar panel cells to move, which creates energy. Circuits collect this energy and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. The appliances with your household can only be run on alternating current (AC) electricity. A solar inverter receives direct current electricity (DC) and converts it to alternating current (AC) electricity.

Types of solar inverters

There are many different types of solar inverters available for residential use. The inverter you get is dependent on a variety of factors such as shade, the company you hire, and utility requirements within your area. When considering a solar system, one of the most important decisions to make is what type of solar inverter you need to install.

String inverters

String inverters are one of the most common and cost-effective options available. A single string connects a group of solar panels to a central inverter. The least productive solar panel in the system will produce electricity since the solar panels are all connected. String inverters benefit homes that have a simple solar installation and have a lot of access to sunlight. String inverters are known for their durability and easy maintenance. String inverters are not advantageous for homes with shading or panels facing different directions.


Microinverters are very small and are attached to each solar panel. These inverters are desirable for homes that have more shade and more complicated installations. This is because they optimize each solar panel, offering more energy. If a solar panel is not performing well, the other panels will continue operating efficiently. These inverters allow a homeowner to monitor the power production level for each solar panel. Microinverters are, however, a more expensive option for homeowners.

Optimized string inverters

Optimized string inverters are a hybrid version of both string inverters and microinverters. They are more expensive than string inverters but less expensive than microinverters. Optimized string inverters condition DC electricity and after sending it to the string inverter. The optimized inverters connect to each solar panel, which also allows you to monitor the power production level for each panel. These inverters are a good option for homeowners with shading and who are looking for a more cost-effective option.

Hybrid inverters

Hybrid inverters allow you to connect batteries to your solar system. This inverter combines a solar inverter (either string or optimized string inverters) and a battery inverter. Hybrid inverters are popular amongst homeowners looking for energy backup options because it is cheaper to install a battery. Homeowners who install a solar system with a traditional inverter and decide later to add a battery incur higher costs because a battery-specific inverter will also need to be added. However, getting a hybrid inverter will be less expensive. Many homeowners get a hybrid inverter without batteries in anticipation of getting them later in the future.

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