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What is the difference between microinverters and string inverters?

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Enphase IQ8+ inverter


Solar panels generate direct current (DC) electricity, which is not compatible with the alternating current (AC) electricity that your home uses. Inverters convert DC electricity into AC electricity. There are two main types of inverters: string inverters and microinverters.

String inverters are connected to a string of solar panels. If one solar panel in the string fails, the entire string will stop working. Microinverters are connected to each individual solar panel. If one solar panel fails, the other solar panels will continue to work. String inverters last about 10 years.

Microinverters are more expensive than string inverters, but they offer several advantages. Microinverters are more efficient, they can help to improve the performance of your solar panels in shaded areas, and they can help to protect your solar panels from damage caused by power surges. Microinverters last more than 25 years.

With microinverters, every panel has an independent inverter that is controlled by the “brain” of the operation (your solar box). If a panel gets shaded and is not performing well, that panel will turn off and not affect the other panels. With string inverters, if a panel is operating at 70%, then all the solar panels will operate at 70%. A simple way of understanding this system is the difference between a string of colored lights. Some will not work when one of the bulbs go out because they all need each other to operate, other strings of lights are designed so that if one bulb is out, the rest stay on. Which would you rather use for your solar panels?

Difference between microinverters and string inverters
Microinverters vs. String Inverters

Enphase microinverters has some of the best technology on the market while being able to withstand all sorts of weather conditions. They have designed technology to capture more energy in low-light conditions, such as when there are shadows or clouds passing over the solar array. And most importantly, all panels operate independently.

We use top of the line solar equipment to make sure you are getting the best system for your solar project.

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