The solar inverter is a central piece of equipment for your solar power system. Because your home can’t use the DC power that your solar panels produce, you’ll rely on your SMA inverter just as much as you’ll rely on the panels themselves. That inverter converts the DC power to AC that your home can use, so it’s essential to choose an inverter right for your system. But how do you choose between 2 of the most popular options: string inverters and micro-inverters? Keep reading to learn more about these types of inverters.


Benefits of String Inverters

String inverters are probably the most common type of solar inverter for residential setups because they’re the most cost-effective option. With this type of inverter, panels are connected in series—or a “string”—and wired directly into a single inverter. These inverters are often installed in the home and easy to access, making any maintenance needed easy to perform. String inverters can also be paired with power optimizers to improve panel performance and output. (We’ll discuss this more a bit later.)

Benefits of Micro-Inverters

As the name implies, micro-inverters are smaller inverters that attach directly to a single solar panel, essentially making each panel its electrical system. It allows for much more flexibility in panel configuration and orientation, so if you have an oddly shaped roof, this might make installing solar easier. They also allow for more scalability, as you can start with just a few panels and micro-inverters, then expand later.


Cons of String Inverters

Because panels must be connected in series, string inverters don’t offer as much flexibility in system design as micro-inverters do. Additionally, that “string” arrangement can impact panel performance; if a single panel is shaded and output drops, it can affect the output of other panels as well. It is similar to how a single burned-out bulb on a string of Christmas lights can cause the rest of the bulbs on the strand to go out as well.


However, you can connect power optimizers to individual panels in the string to negate this issue. A power optimizer can control the output of a single panel and ensure that if one panel is under-performing, the rest are not affected.


Cons of Micro-Inverters

Micro-inverters are the most expensive inverter option in terms of cost per watt. While they may be more cost-effective in small systems with only a few panels, micro-inverters are too costly to be a sensible option for most larger systems. They can also be difficult to maintain, as the micro-inverters are mounted on the roof beneath each solar panel and are not easy for homeowners to access.


The right inverter for your system will depend on many factors, including its size, orientation, the amount of shading it receives, and many others. If you’re not sure whether you should opt for micro-inverters or a string inverter, like SMA solar inverters, contact The PowerStore, Inc. today. We can consult with you to help you determine the most cost-effective and efficient choice for your system.