What are the solar power inverter options available?
The solar power inverter is a very important component for any solar power system, because it converts the power you've collected from your solar panels (being DC power), and turns into electricity that you can use to run your home or business (being AC power).
There are three solar power inverter options in general use.There is the Standard Inverter (also known as a String Inverter), there are Micro-inverters, and there are Hybrid Inverters.
A string inverter is typically a box that is wall mounted to your home or business. For a simple array of panels with the same aspect and no shading, then a standard string inverter might be the right solution. Being on a string means all of the panels work as one, so if one panel is in shade or not working, then all of the panels on that string will be reduced to the same output as that one problem panel. String inverters are often the cheaper solution, although they might not always be the best option for every circumstance.
Micro-inverters are an inverter that sit on the back of the solar panel, where they immediately convert the DC power into AC power, so there is no central controller unit or wall mounted box for this setup. Micro-inverters are more often used for an array with multiple roof aspects, for complex installations, or to help to overcome the challenges of roof shading. Systems with micro-inverters are often more efficient, although you will need to invest a bit extra for this type of solar system.
Lastly there is the Hybrid Inverter, which is designed for solar systems with solar storage batteries. So the Hybrid inverter will either divert that electricity that you're creating directly into your home or business, or divert it into the storage battery for use later in the day or night. If you're thinking about buying a solar system and giving yourself the flexibility of adding a battery in the future, then it could make sense to get a hybrid inverter now.
Ultimately if you find a reputable solar power installer, they are going to give you the best design options available that are customised to your particular needs.