Microinverters Vs. Dc Optimisers: Which option is best?

optimisers and microinverters

If you’ve decided on panel-level optimisation, which is the better choice, microinverters or optimisers?

Good grief this article is going to get me into trouble with some solar installers.  Why? Because by the end of it I will give my humble opinion on whether microinverters (e.g. Enphase) are better than DC optimisers (e.g. SolarEdge or Tigo). [Read more…]

Solarmax Inverter Bankruptcy: What it means for Solarmax owners.

solarmax logo

Solarmax have gone bust.

Bad news for fans of Solarmax inverters as its parent company, Sputnik Engineering, has just filed for insolvency.

Solarmax are a 20 year old Swiss inverter manufacturer who made fantastic quality inverters at a great price. It seems, with hindsight, that the price was a little too great!

If you were considering buying a Solarmax, then you should probably change brands so that your warranty is with a solvent manufacturer. Go for a big brand like SMA, Fronius, Sungrow, ABB, Zeversolar, Delta, Enphase or Solarbridge (feel free to leave any big brands I’ve missed out in the comments!)

If you already have a Solarmax on your home, then don’t panic! [Read more…]

Are micro inverters & battery backup compatible?

3 microinverters and 2 batteries

Can you combine micro inverters with batteries? Yes you can!

Can you use a micro inverter off grid? Or even for grid connect with batteries?

With the growth in the use of micro inverters, I’m starting to get more and more emails asking: can micro inverters be used in off grid (or hybrid) solar power systems? [Read more…]

Enphase Micro Inverters Claim Higher Profits, Lower Costs

A recent survey showed of 32 residential solar installers over a two-month period showed that micro inverters were able to reduce soft costs compared to conventional central inverters. In fact, major micro inverter manufacturer, Enphase claim that installation using their TRUEAC modules have can reduce labor costs by up to 48%!

They also claim that installers in the US had to walk away from 1 out of 4 jobs if they weren’t using micro inverters (which are easier to install on difficult roofs).  I find this really hard to believe, but if it’s true I can only put it down to the prevalence of online quoting without a site visit over in the USA.  You really do need a site visit if you want a high performing solar system properly designed for your roof.  You simply can’t do it with Google maps (even with micro inverters)!

Read more about this here.

Will Enphase Revolutionise Solar Power Storage?

Yesterday, Enphase revealed the Enphase Energy Management System that they claim could revolutionize solar power and its integration into the grid. The new Gen 5 “S Series” micro-inverter is bi-directional, allowing for more energy to be stored, managed, and controlled. The system’s AC Battery is a modular, plug and play battery. This will allow you to simply add storage as you go (and as your funds allow) instead of ponying up for a massive battery storage system all at once. Thirdly there’s an app (gotta have an app!) that allows users to match loads to energy generation, store energy when it is most profitable to do so, and other controls. Read more about it here.

AC Solar Panels (microinverters) : The #1 Solar Trend to watch for in 2012?

Will 2012 be the year of the AC Solar Panel?

Before answering that question I should probably explain exactly what an AC Solar Panel is…

An AC Solar Panel converts sunlight to AC electricity at the solar panel.

 

What is an AC Solar Panel?

The short answer is: An AC Solar Panel is a solar panel that takes sunlight in and spits AC (Alternating Current) electricity out. This compares to a “conventional” DC Solar Panel which takes sunlight in and spits DC (Direct Current) electricity out.

AC Electricity is the type of electricity you need to power the appliances in your home. DC panels need a Solar Inverter to convert the DC electricity to AC. The big advantage of AC panels is that there is no need for an inverter to do that conversion, so you have a really simple design, a simpler installation, and adding extra panels becomes almost plug and play.

[Read more…]

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