A string inverter is connected with a string of solar panels, which is called the solar array. A typical solar array can consist of around 15 solar panels of 250Wp each.
String Inverters and Micro inverters
As you may have figured out, an inverter is an essential component of your solar power system; they convert the electricity produced by solar panels (Direct Current) into a form, which is used by many household appliances (Alternating Current).
A good quality inverter is important, as it will increase the reliability and efficiency of your solar power system.
There are two types of inverters one can choose, which are:
String inverters explained
A string inverter is connected with a string of solar panels, which is called the solar array.
There are many different ways of connecting a string of solar panels. A typical solar array can consist of around 15 solar panels of each 250Wp.
Each solar panel is connected in series to the string inverters. The inverter combines all the direct current received from each individual solar panel and, at once, converts it into alternating current.
The number of solar panels that can be connected to a string inverter depends upon the input voltage rating of the inverter.
Advantages of using string inverters
String inverters are the most common type of solar inverter and have been around for decades.
The main reason for their success is their robustness and durability, and.. a few years ago they weren’t any alternatives on the market ;)
Ease of Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Most of the string inverters are installed in a common room, mounted on the wall. This facilitates the ease of maintenance, as one does not have to go back and forth to the field for troubleshooting. This is a serious benefit in places with extremely cold or hot climates.
As mentioned earlier, string inverters have been around for decades. As a result of this, most string inverters are reliable and it’s a technology well understood by electricians.
When it comes to the costs, string inverters are currently cheaper than micro inverters. You only need one string inverter per installation, while for micro inverters, one would need one inverter per panel.
Disadvantages of string inverters
Single point of failure
If the inverter breaks down, the whole solar array will be inoperable. This could be a significant loss of electricity production.
Unless you buy an oversized string inverter, expandability in the future is restricted as once installed for a certain rating, the rating of the inverter could not be altered. In this case you would need to buy an additional inverter.