Micro inverters vs string inverters

I’d like to know what type of inverter are the best for residential installations, micro inverter or string inverter, and why. I mean, I’ve read a lot about this subject, micro inverter optimizes for each solar panel alone, increases the performance, since the micro inverter applies the maximum power point to each individual panel, has longer warranty, easily expandable, so why the people still uses the string inverter? Does anyone know the advantages and disadvantages?

Hi Alyne

Good question. The main disadvantages of micros are a) upfront cost is higher, and b) you have more points of failure. B is not so much an issue if you get high quality micros with good monitoring, but that may accentuate A.

You may be interested in our discussion here on micro inverters vs string inverters (with power optimisers)

Also, see our article on micro inverters and Enphase here

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Thank you very much, Marty. I just read the article. I have another question. If my energy consumption can be covered with just 2 modules, would it be better to use a micro inverter for each panel, for using one string inverter would be oversized.

Hmm, that is an interesting question. To be honest no one in Australia installs a system that small. If you were to, in theory, I think you would definitely be best off using micro inverters.

What country are you in? I think the reason the average install here is over 3kW is because the cost of labour to install the system is quite high, and the smaller the system size, the higher the labour proportion. However, if the labour cost where you are is low, then it could be worth while getting a small system. In which case, sure, I’d recommend micro inverters.

I’m from México. Actually, I’m not planning to install a PV System soon, I’m a student, and I’m working on a project in which I’m calculating the system size for a particular location. I’ve been studying this subject for a long time, but it’s so difficult to me to know the labour cost, no one here explains me. So far, I know that MicoInverters not only are better performers than string inverters, but also very expensive, so much that it’s not worth using Micros if I’m only dealing with a 2 modules PV system. Nevertheless, it’s possible to use them technically, pulling aside the high costs, and that way I wouldn’t have to worry about matching the power output of my Array with a string Inverter

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