Big on Solar Micro-inverters

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: EnergyExteriorRoofing

Solar technology is constantly advancing, and improve ments are contributing to better products that are more efficient and cost-effective.

This is particularly true in the photovoltaic or “PV” solar field. The invention and advancement of the micro-inverter — which allows each panel to convert the DC electricity that is created by the sun into AC electricity that your house runs on — has been revolutionary so far. It has improved efficiency from the individual panels and allowed each panel to work at its maximum.

Before the invention of the micro-inverter, a centralized inverter was the only option. One negative aspect of centralized inverters is that they only allow the entire collection of solar panels to work as well as the weakest one and not at all if one panel fails. Micro-inverters, however, are like mini computers for each panel. They optimize the function of the panel and even cut the power from each panel if your electrical service is interrupted. This may sound odd, but it is much safer that way. If the power was interrupted in your neighborhood and HECO sent out a crew to make repairs, they would not have to worry about getting shocked by your electricity back feeding into the system.

Micro-inverters also allow for remote monitoring, so that your system is always being watched. If there is a problem of any kind, e-mail alerts can be sent to the customer and the installer so that it can be addressed right away. Remote monitoring also allows you to see how much electricity is being created at any time, along with monthly production and total production reports.

Until recently there has not been much choice in micro-inverters and this led to a lot of mismatches with panels. High production panels do not work well with micro-inverters that can’t keep up. Panels work best when they are rated to produce roughly 15 percent more power than the maximum production of the accompanying micro-inverter.

Up until now, the “Perfect Match” has been Sanyo panels and EnPhase micro-inverters, which were designed to work together and are still the most efficient mass-produced product out there. EnPhase is releasing a higher rated micro-inverter that will work with many other brands of panels out there, thus allowing for more production at a lower cost.

If roof space is not an issue and maximum efficiency is not necessary to offset your electric bill, there are other brands available that will lower the cost of a project, which will allow you to recoup your costs faster and allow you to get to the point where your electricity is free.

EnergyPro Hawaii proudly installs “Perfect Match” PV systems, along with other cost-effective products, including Heliodyne Solar Hot Water Systems, Attic Breeze Solar Attic Fans and Rinnai Tank-less Gas Water Heaters.

Fore more information, call EnergyPro Hawaii at 596-2890.

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