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bhavin66

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #1 
Have been a member for a long time here and trying to study as much as possible from members experience.
Now it's time for me to implement.
Question is do I go with micro inverter based system or optimizer and string inverter system.
Big players push for optimizer and the local small players offer micro inverter options but they are tad more expensive.
In the recent developments optimizers provide the same advantages of micro inverters of individual panel monitoring and have a long history of string inverters operations vs micro inverters failing rapidly for the first generation within a year of installation.
Any insight on which way the trend is leaning?

Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #2 
"Question is do I go with micro inverter based system or optimizer and string inverter system."

Depends what your goal is and how your going to use it.

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Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #3 
https://www.energysage.com/solar/101/string-inverters-microinverters-power-optimizers/
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Willie, Tampa Bay
bhavin66

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Reply with quote  #4 
Goal is to get a system that covers almost 100% of my electricity usage and in the process get the best system that would last as long as it could.
Question here was about failure rate of optimizers/inverter vs micro inverters.
bhavin66

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Reply with quote  #5 
Already read through the article. I am looking for real world performance statistics.
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #6 
Sorry.

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Willie, Tampa Bay
Thor

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Reply with quote  #7 
I would go with solaredge, they use optimizers, they also have an inverter that is battery bank ready for when the day comes you wish to add batteries.
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My little boy calls me Thor! [biggrin]
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colinmcc

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Posts: 139
Reply with quote  #8 
For domestic use I have no hesitation in recommending micro inverters. Although 'retail' prices for the enphase M215IG for example  are up on the $175 range most days they are available on ebay for under $100 and I recently bought several cases of 12 for $78 per unit.

If you have a site with absolutely no shading then optimisers and a string inverter might be a cheaper way to go, but with micros you have the advantage of monitoring each panel's output, and if one panel fails the others all continue at full production. (one panel failing in a string can kill the whole string).

bhavin66

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinmcc
For domestic use I have no hesitation in recommending micro inverters. Although 'retail' prices for the enphase M215IG for example  are up on the $175 range most days they are available on ebay for under $100 and I recently bought several cases of 12 for $78 per unit.

If you have a site with absolutely no shading then optimisers and a string inverter might be a cheaper way to go, but with micros you have the advantage of monitoring each panel's output, and if one panel fails the others all continue at full production. (one panel failing in a string can kill the whole string).



That's what is confusing me.
It is said that optimizers gives the same functionality of micro inverter and help better manage shading issues and also gives the ability to monitor individual panel performance.

colinmcc

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Posts: 139
Reply with quote  #10 
"It is said that optimizers gives the same functionality of micro inverter and help better manage shading issues and also gives the ability to monitor individual panel performance. "

Optimizers just do MPPT while micro inverters do MPPT and generate the 220V AC  waveform at  panel level, so with micro inverters you could in theory start with a few panels (even just 1) and add on as funds allow. Since Thor mentioned SolarEdge's optimizers earlier, they pair with SolarEdge's string inverter(s), and if you know exactly how many panels you will put up it may well be a cheaper way to go. Both enphase and SolarEdge offer individual panel monitoring via their web based services.

One thing to note is that  Enphase uses the 220v AC power lines to monitor their inverters/panels while Solar Edge uses the DC line to their series inverter, so if you might have a lot of 'noise' on your AC lines (power line communication intercoms, X10, large Air Con motors starting etc) you might be better with the DC based monitoring system, although enphase have toroid ring suppressors available when the AC is dirty.

You mention reliability, both technologies are now 'mature' I'm not sure that either is 'better' or 'worse'. I do however think that if one micro inverter goes down you loose an amp or so of generated output, and have to shell out a hundred bucks or so,  if your serial inverter turns up it's toes then your whole system is dead and you are out thousands.[bawl]

And, as Rick observes, "Depends what your goal is and how your going to use it." Do you want to just be net metered, and use the grid as your battery? Do you want to be off grid or have battery backup for times when the grid is down? All are possibilities, and depend on your needs and depth of pocket! [smile]

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