Friends don't let friends buy string inverters

At our own personal solar array on Gabriola Island, we have a hybrid system. Before we started Sweet Spot Solar we installed two small string inverters for 10 roof mounted modules. It’s what most people were doing 6 years ago, and it’s still what many of our competitors do today.

We quickly learned that they have many shortcomings, and subsequently used micro-inverters instead for our expanion of 13 additional solar modules.

A string inverter is a centralized inverter that all modules are connected to, while micro-inverters are placed behind each module. Some micro-inverters are two module or four module systems with their own independent MPPT (maximumum power point tracking) per module to optimize power production.

One (of many problems) with string inverters is that they require higher Voltage inputs to keep up the inversion process to power your home.

Here’s what happened today at 5:08PM with each of string inverters. They have turned off for the night.

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By contrast, the display for our 13 micro-inverters shows that they are still generating a combined 830 Watts of power for the exact same time of day. They will continue to generate power for at least a couple more hours today.

At Sweet Spot Solar we are focused on providing you with the highest quality, best performing solar system possible. If your solar installer tries to sell you on a string inverter, RUN. It is old technology with many issues including lower power production, shorter lifespans and warranties, higher fire risks, and they don’t perform as well with shadowing, snow, dirt, etc.

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Michael Mehta