Discover Our DC/AC Solar Inverters to Save on Costs, Enhance Functionality, and Increase Safety

What is a solar inverter, and why is it an important component of a well-running solar energy system? Consider it the brains of your system.

To put it simply, the solar inverter converts DC electricity into AC electricity—An important duty since solar panels generate DC electricity and AC electricity is necessary to operate most household devices.

Here at Highlands Solar, we rely state-of-the art inverters from SolarEdge. These inverters produce as much as 25% more energy from your solar panels than standard inverters on the market. They are proven to reduce power losses to maximize the energy gathered from each solar panel.

Here’s a bit of background info to help you understand why SolarEdge inverters are the best DC/AC power converters available. Three different inverters are currently used in solar energy systems:

  1. The Traditional String Inverter System—Used in most solar panel installations, where panels are wired in a series as a “string” (or a row of panels connected together).

Drawbacks:

  • Since each panel has a unique power production profile—caused by different manufacturing variances, installation parameters, and shading patterns—the entire system’s output is limited. The weakest solar panel drives down the performance of all of the panels.
  • All strings must be the same length, using the same types of panels, and positioned at the same angle towards the sun. Actual installation constraints result in wasted roof space or unnecessary duplication of system components.
  • The DC cables, which connect a panel to a string, deliver output at a high voltage. The traditional inverter cannot shut down the panels’ DC voltage, thus posing serious risks to installers and firefighters.
  • This system cannot be monitored to track temperature, or any other parameter of a single panel. This makes it impossible to monitor specific panel-level problems remotely.
  1. The Microinverter System—Introduced in the 1990s to scale down the functionality of a traditional string inverter to fit a single panel. By controlling each panel individually, microinverters solved some of the challenges of traditional inverter systems.

Drawbacks:

  • Each panel must have its own microinverter, with fully functioning inverter technology. Any one of these inverters can malfunction.
  • The need for attaching an inverter to each panel raises up-front costs astronomically, compared with traditional inverter systems.

How is the SolarEdge solution different? The traditional inverter functionality is split into two separate units: a power optimizer and a simplified inverter. The power optimizers are located on each panel, providing tracking and real-time adjustments of current and voltage to the optimal working point of each individual panel. The simplified inverter is installed similarly to a traditional inverter, but it is only responsible for DC/AC inversion and grid connection.

Advantages to the SolarEdge Inverter system includes:

  • Panel-level cloud-based monitoring that is accessible from any computer or handheld device. This platform provides full data at the panel, string, inverter, and system level. SolarEdge inverters offer immediate fault detection, real-time alerts, and comprehensive analysis. These important features reduce operation maintenance costs.
  • Reduced costs. Installation requires the same cables, connectors, and methods used in traditional systems to save costs, but more panels can be installed in different configurations to combine long strings with short strings.
  • Panel-level safety mechanisms to protect installers, electricians, and firefighters. With the SolarEdge solution, when AC power is off, the string’s DC high voltage is automatically reduced. This solution meets new safety regulations in all significant solar PV markets around the world, as well as the National Electric Code in the United States.

The technology behind solar inverters and solar energy systems sounds complex. We’re here to simplify the entire process of bringing the sun’s energy to your home. We’ll answer your questions, evaluate your energy needs and present the best options for you.  Get started by scheduling your free consultation at 559-456-1814.

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