Solar Micro Inverter

DIY Solar Panel PlansA solar power system for your home is a great way for you to generate a good amount of free electricity and can help you lower or eliminate your electricity bill each month.  Over the years, improvements in these systems have made them less expensive, more efficient and easier to install than older systems and the innovations still continue.  One of the latest technological improvements being offered in several solar panel systems is a device called a solar micro inverter and this may prove to be a major upgrade to the standard solar panel.

All solar power systems work in a pretty similar way.  The solar panels themselves are mounted on the roof of a home, or in an area that is exposed to the sun for most of its daily travel.  When the sun strikes the panels, they produce a DC current proportional to the amount of sunlight that they receive.

The DC current from all of the panels in the solar power system is routed to a large inverter that is usually located near the homes electrical panel.  This inverter does a few things, but its primary job is to convert the DC current being produced by the solar panels into AC current that can be used by your home.  When the panels are producing current, the inverter will send this to your home and disconnect you from the local power utility.  If you generate more power than you are using during the day, the excess power is sent back to the local utility and you will receive a credit for this power.  In the evening when the sun has set, the inverter switches you back to the local utility so you can once again buy the power you need for your home.  The idea is to generate enough excess power during the day to offset any power you need to buy during the evenings and on cloudy days so your electricity bill will be zero.

The challenge with this current scenario is that because of the long run of wires between the solar panels and the inverter, there is a lot of power lost in the journey. Also a low voltage DC current suffers more loss than a higher voltage AC current does and this compounds the problem.  Up until now this loss was just tolerated as part of the system and adjustments had to be made to generate more power to compensate for the loss.

The new solar micro inverter is looking to change all that and is fast becoming a favorite among solar enthusiasts.  Instead of having one large inverter that handles all of the conversion from DC current to AC current for the home, these new solar panels have a solar micro inverter installed in each of them that does this conversion in the panel.  This solar micro inverter takes the DC current generated by the solar panel, and converts it directly to AC current before leaving the panel.  This way you have a complete solution within the solar panel that can produce the exact power your home needs to operate.  Because higher voltage AC electricity has a lot less loss over the long wire run into your house, you get a more efficient conversion and can use a larger portion of the power you are generating with your solar panels.  This also makes expanding your solar power system each year easier as well since you can simply buy more panels and add them to your homes wiring.  There is never a need to worry about having to upgrade your inverter.  Even though these new solar panels are a little more expensive than the older ones, eliminating the cost of the larger inverter makes the total system cost about the same.

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