Inverters are necessary with a solar panel installation because they change the DC power being produced by the solar panels to usable AC energy consumed by your home. Catch up on the basics of what microinverters are here. Rather than one central inverter for each solar system, we typically use microinverters on residential systems for a few important reasons.
- Microinverters are modular unlike string inverters. Therefore if one panel is shaded it will not affect the surrounding panels attached to the string. If your solar installer used a regular string inverter and one panel was shaded or stopped working it would take down all panels attached to the string. (Similar to old Christmas lights... If one goes out, they all go out.)
- 25-year full warranty from Enphase, a US company.
- The panel by panel monitoring is fantastic for all parties and allows everyone to see if there is an issue with any specific panel (in the unlikely event of a manufacturing defect or a damaged component) - See the snapshot above showing the level of detail you get with a microinverter for each solar module.
- The new Enphase 'Envoy IQ' household production/consumption monitoring system adds great value to the homeowner to see how much energy is being produced and where that power is going. You will be able to view all this information through the Enphase monitoring portal from your smartphone or computer.
- This monitoring system allows you to see how much power the home is consuming from the grid or the solar system 24-hours a day.
Interested in how inverters work and their role in helping you monitor you solar? Here are additional resources:
Inverter comparisons simplified: If solar inverters were cars
The benefits of Enphase inverters
How to tell if your solar is working: Data monitoring from your inverter