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Micro Inverters

In microinverter architectures, each solar panel has its own inverter that performs power conversion for each module. Microinverter architectures are more expensive than the other two but offer the highest power optimization and design flexibility and also avoid a single point of failure. Microinverters have several advantages over conventional inverters. The main advantage is that small amounts of shading, debris, or snow lines on any one solar module, or even a complete module failure, do not disproportionately reduce the output of the entire array. Each microinverter harvests optimum power by performing MPPT for its connected module. Simplicity in system design, lower amperage wires, simplified stock management, and added safety are other factors introduced with the microinverter solution. The primary disadvantages of a microinverter include a higher initial equipment cost per peak watt than the equivalent power of a central inverter since each inverter needs to be installed adjacent to a panel (usually on a roof). This also makes them harder to maintain and more costly to remove and replace. Some manufacturers have addressed these issues with panels with built-in microinverters.

The main focus is on microinverters, particularly microinverters that are based on the interleaved flyback converter topology. Solar energy systems based on microinverter architectures are gaining in popularity as they are less prone to shading and PV cell malfunction since each solar panel in a system has its own low power inverter. A number of microinverters are single-stage flyback inverters that are based on the DC–DC flyback topologies.

Like their name suggests, microinverters are much smaller in size and capacity than standard string inverters. While the latter ranges from 1.5 to 5 kW in size for residential applications, microinverters are usually around 200–250 W in size. Instead of one central inverter that converts all the DC electricity your panels collectively produce, microinverters are usually installed on the back of every individual panel and are only responsible for the conversion of the panel on which they are installed.



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