Solar Panel Inverters - A Rundown

Posted by Radmin on April 24th, 2019

Solar inverters, whether single phase or 3 phase solar inverters are the backbone of a solar panel energy system. Without them, there is no way to convert the DC power solar panels produce into a usable AC form. As more people utilize solar power and other alternative energy sources, however, inverters are becoming more complex and serve multiple roles. Below is a rundown of the types of inverters and how they are used.

String Inverters

These are the simplest type of inverter. They simply convert the power “strings” of solar panels that make up an array produce. They can handle a solitary string or multiple strings. With very large solar arrays, multiple string inverters can be used to convert power and transfer it into a central management system that may include a battery bank for storage or even be connected to the larger electric grid.

Central Inverters

These are similar to string inverters, but they are larger and can handle larger amounts of solar panel strings. The strings are connected via a common combiner box and that runs a single vein of DC current into single or 3 phase solar inverters, which then converts power to AC form. The benefit of a central inverter is that a conversion system requires fewer component connections into the inverter, but it does require the use of a combiner box. Generally, central inverters are used in large solar arrays with multiple strings located in several different places.


A microinverter is a single, module level inverter installed on each solar panel. It converts the DC energy to AC at the source and then transfers the power to a central management system from the source. The benefit of a microinverter is that shading isn't an issue as each panel produces what it can, the power is converted and transferred. Microinverters are usually more efficient, but also more expensive.

Hybrid Inverters

These are the “omnibus” units of the solar conversion world. They can work with the grid and solar panels, with just solar panels or just the grid, with the grid, solar panels and other forms of power or just with the third form of energy power. If you have or are planning a multi-source power system, you want to look to buy solar inverters of this kind as they are the most diverse.

Whether you are utilizing single or 3 phase solar inverters, understanding how each type of inverter functions is critical to using it in the most efficient manner. The type of inverter depends on the type of energy system you are using, which makes matching need to inverter product very easy.

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