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Difference between conventional central inverters and micro inverter?

A solar system consists of an array of panels connected in series. These are then connected to a solar inverter which takes the direct current (DC) voltage and converts into alternative current (AC) voltage usable by your home or fed back to the grid. All homes on the grid use AC electricity.

Micro-inverters are installed differently to conventional central inverters. Micro-inverters are attached to each and every panel in the solar panel system (sometimes there is one micro-inverter connected to two panels) and convert the DC current from each panel to AC current. The electric power from several micro-inverters is combined and fed into an existing electrical grid via your switchboard.

Micro inverter

In short the difference between convention central inverter and micro-inverters is that the micro-inverters are connected to multiple solar panels in contrast to the conventional string or central inverter devices, which sees panels connected into strings and the complete string is connected to the central inverter.

Micro-inverters can have several advantages over conventional central inverters. The main advantage of a micro-inverter is that the output of an entire string of panels is not reduced (only the affected panel) if there are amounts of shading, debris or leaves in any one solar panel. While this shadowing issue will cause a loss of output from the complete system string with a string inverter. Each micro-inverter obtains optimum power by performing maximum power point tracking for its connected panel. The primary disadvantage of micro-inverters is that they currently have a higher initial cost than the equivalent power in a central inverter. Also as they are located in a potentially very hot environment, on the roof the longevity of these micro-inverters is still to be seen in years to come.

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