Power Optimizers versus Micro Inverters
Many people confuse micro-inverters with power optimizers. Although they have similar features, there are significant differences that need to be pointed out.
About a PV Optimizer and Benefits of The SolarEdge Power Optimizer
Power optimizers are a DC converter connected to each PV module in the solar array. This allows the power optimizers to increase total energy output and monitor each PV panel for the maximum power point. That translates to a faster rate of return from your PV solar system and more money in your pocket. SolarEdge power optimizers use a 'monitoring portal for enhanced and cost effective module level maintenance.' SolarEdge optimizers also come equipped with a patented SafeDC feature which is automated to turn off the DC voltage should the solar array experience a grid power shut down. Additionally, Solar Edge has an industry leading 25 year warranty on all of their power optimizers.
Learn more about SolarEdge Power Optimizers
An Inverter Refresher
As PV solar panels generate DC (direct current), a converter is needed to convert the electricity into AC (alternating current). Central or string inverter systems used a single inverter to convert the entire arrays DC into AC. As panel technology improved power output, central and string inverters were not strong enough to handle the arrays maximum performance and were only able to optimize for the weakest link in the solar arrays chain.
The Basics of a Micro-Inverter
Conversely, a micro-inverter optimizes for each panel and not for the entire solar array as the string and central inverters do. This is the micro-inverters most significant advantage as it allows each panel to achieve maximum performance. On average, a micro-inverter delivers up to 15 percent greater energy performance than a string or central inverter.