A micro inverter may also be referred to as a module inverter, so don’t be confused if you hear this term instead. Individual micro inverters usually attach directly to photovoltaic solar modules, and they work to extract the power from each panel. This is a very reliable inverter option which can enhance design flexibility. Micro inverters are particularly relevant for residential systems and rooftops with complex, shaded situations. Micro inverters are exceptionally reliable and typically come with 15 year warranty. The potential downside is their expense, and they can add cost to the overall photovoltaic solar installation.
The panels in grid-tied photovoltaic solar systems are wired together, creating a string of panels. This is done to increase voltage while keeping current low, simplifying wiring needs and the size of the wire needed. String inverters can be wired into several strings of panels. A string is made up of 7 to 14 panels. String inverters are widely used and usually include a warranty period of 10 years to 20 years.
A central inverter is a kind of string inverter, but it is best suited for use with larger photovoltaic solar installations. In these applications, a central inverter is a better choice because they can simplify installation and offer higher efficiency versus string inverters in large application scenarios. Using string inverters in a large application can drive up installation costs, whereas using central inverters can keep costs in check.