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Our Blog

04/13/2017 - Be Aware of the Micro-Inverter Power Problem

BE AWARE..

DON'T FALL FOR THE "MICRO INVERTER" SOLAR “NO-POWER” PROBLEM

 
When you purchase a Solar System, Know What You Are Getting Into!
 
  • Why pay for an expensive solar system that goes down with the Power Grid?
 
WHAT THE SALES PEOPLE DON'T TELL YOU:   MICRO INVERTERS = NO POWER IF GRID GOES DOWN
 
If you are just interested in reducing your electric bill and don't care about having electrical power in case the grid goes down...then a Micro-Inverter Solar System is good for you.  It is a very popular system currently because a lot of solar energy companies are being paid by the power companies to sell it to consumers.  
 
The reason is the consumer/homeowner provides space for the solar panels and pays for the system that provides energy to the power company, which in turn reduces the amount of money it charges to the consumer.  
 
PROBLEM #1: MOST POWER COMPANIES “LIMIT” WHAT THEY PAY
However, consumers should be aware that in many states, the power company can limit or “cap” the amount of money they pay for the energy from homeowners, and so, often the homeowner ends up sending a lot of free energy to the power company.  Additionally, in the future the power companies could even lower the cap even more. 
 
PROBLEM #2: GRID- DOWN PROBLEM
Besides this, the main problem is… if you have a Micro-Inverter solar system and the grid goes down for whatever reason, you won't have electrical power.  You will be just like everyone else (without power), even though you have paid a lot of money for installing solar panels, etc. on your roof.  This is because you send the solar energy power to the electrical company... and then they send power back to you to power your house. If the grid goes down…they don’t have energy to send back to you.
 
How micro-inverters work:  Solar panels generate DC (DC=Direct Current) electricity. However, houses, businesses and the electric power grid use AC (AC=Alternating Current) electricity.  You need an “INVERTER” to change DC electricity to AC electricity.  Micro-Inverters are attached on or near each solar panel and change the electricity from DC to AC and then usually send that power directly to the power grid.
 
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REGULAR SOLAR SYSTEMS & MICRO-INVERTER SYSTEMS
HOWEVER...If you are interested in ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, or EMERGENCY BACKUP POWER in case the grid goes down... you will need to get a regular solar system, including batteries. (Batteries store DC electricity).  Regular solar systems provide energy for the house/business first and then can send extra energy to the power company if that is wanted.  Often because power companies do not pay full price for energy from homeowners, most choose to install a complete “Off-Grid” system, which is fully or partially independent of the power grid.  (Some Independent Solar Systems use the grid as a backup.)
 
Also, other energy generation systems… such as wind or hydro, can be easily added to a Regular Solar System.  Whereas, not so with a Micro-inverter system.
 
Interesting, a regular solar system complete with batteries... is often very close to the same price as many companies charge for a Micro-Inverter system. 
           
So... Be Aware, do your homework and make sure you are getting what you want or need before you take the big step and install a solar system.  
 
Final Note:  It is expensive, and very inefficient to redo a micro-inverter solar system so that it sends power to the house first, and then to the power company.  Essentially, you have to unhook the micro inverters and buy and install a regular solar system. 

 
 
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