Your inverter is one of the most important components of your solar power system. As far as brands go, it’s best to buy European or Israeli technology. These have been independently proven to be the most efficient and reliable inverters on the market.
There are 3 types of inverter technology:
- String. eg. Fronius or SMA
- DC Optimiser. eg. SolarEdge
- Micro inverter. eg. Enphase
There are some really reliable string inverters available. eg. Fronius and SMA, but there’s one main downside of this technology: if a panel is underperforming due to shade, leaf litter, bird poo or panel failure … all the other panels it’s connected to will produce at the lowest-performing panel’s output (a bit like the impact of one light going out in a string of Christmas lights).
For this and other reasons, we tend to steer people towards DC Optimiser technology, which does a similar job to micro inverter technology (they both allow for individual panel performance). The main difference is that micro-inverter technology is AC-coupled (there’s one less energy conversion/loss) and DC Optimiser technology is DC-coupled (there’s an additional energy conversion that takes place: AC -> DC -> AC, which means there’s a slight loss in the amount of energy converted), but we believe DC Optimiser technology has enough positives to outweigh this small negative. eg. it’s more efficient, comes with a much longer warranty and is compatible with a broader range of batteries. Best of all, if one panel’s performance is down, it doesn’t affect the rest of the system. And if there’s ever a fault, you’ll pick up on it right away.
There are heaps of other perks associated with optimized inverter technology. Check out this blog we wrote recently if you want to learn more.