A solar mini-inverter is a compact, plug-and-go device utilized in photovoltaic, which converts direct electrical current produced by a single photovoltaic module to alternating current using an inverter. It is an excellent way to convert solar energy into household usable current, and it also reduces the need for an expensive solar pv system to provide your home with power. It is important to note though, that a microinverter is merely a component, and like all components, it needs to be maintained to ensure maximum performance. Failure to properly maintain or repair a microinverter can have a detrimental effect on the output of your solar power system. Therefore, here are a few tips on maintaining your microinverter.
The first thing you need to realize is that a solar array is essentially only as good as its weakest link. In other words, the micro inverter system itself is only as good as its connector. Therefore, the first thing you want to look out for is if the connector is working fast and efficiently, this means that the switch must be in fast forward mode.
Another important consideration is the shading of the microinverters. Some of the more complex roof structures in the country, such as ones found in Florida and Arizona, can pose serious obstacles to the transfer of solar arrays. In these areas the sun can be shaded to a certain extent by large walls. Therefore, when dealing with these types of roofing structures, it is vital that the microinverters have a good path for easy connection. Also, if you find that there is some rust on the connector, then basically you are dealing with a broken link, so you'll need to replace the whole microinverter system. Typically, however, most of these problems are easy to repair; especially if you are dealing with an off-the-shelf system.
Other problems that can occur are the microinverters becoming isolated from each other. When one panel is shaded, say due to a large wall or large foliage covering, the rest may also become unreadable. Because of the way that the Solar Cells converts the energy from the sun, they tend to get hot while the hot wire connected to them tends to get cold. This is why it is crucial that every single connection is tied together tightly. If the solar array becomes isolated, even one connection can become damaged and affect the entire solar system.
Some manufacturers offer complete kits with all of the needed parts to connect a complete solar panel to a microinverter effectively. These systems often come with everything that is needed to connect the solar array and the microinverter as well as the wiring used to attach the two together. One thing to remember is that many solar companies will actually tell you that you should build your own solar panels yourself for maximum efficiency. For the most part, this is true. However, if you are building your own panels, be sure to check and double-check with your installer or distributor that the solar cells that are being used in your new system are compatible with your inverter.
As opposed to the photovoltaic cells themselves, the Maximum Power Point Tracker(MPPT) uses tracking systems to capture energy from passing sunlight. This process is achieved by tracking panels on the top of a solar array. Once the sun reaches the peak of its rays, the solar panel's tracking system will activate the electric motor on the back of the solar array, which in turn drives the rotation engine of the generator and then the batteries. This entire process occurs simultaneously for both the photovoltaic system and the wind generator. As soon as the maximum amount of energy has been captured, the motor switches itself off and the batteries are charged. When the sun is no longer available, the system and battery switch themselves off automatically.
The power generated by the solar panels and wind generators is then routed to the mains through the use of an electric charge controller. The power generated is then stored in a low impedance bus wire system and sent to the homes via an adjustable ground fault circuit interrupter (AGC). As soon as the mains are charged, the charge controller will turn the engine off and disconnect the battery from the mains, so it can be safely charged again. With this setup, any power lost due to manual interruptions becomes completely eliminated, making maximum power point tracking a very economically sound method for both powering the home and actually generating electricity in the event of a power outage.
Another important thing to keep in mind when purchasing a new microinverter is the DC input signal that it receives. All solar panels and micro inverters have an input voltage rating. This number is typically referred to as the "V ampere" rating for that particular unit. Microinverter with higher V amperes typically produce a better quality sound and are less likely to damage sensitive electronics when used outdoors.
The final point to keep in mind as you select your microinverter is the maximum power point for that particular array. Microinverter are typically designed to output power in a very specific amount of watts, so be sure that the system you choose will meet your needs. Microinverter are typically only suitable for arrays that have enough power to run all of the electronic components in your solar system.
If your solar system consists of solar panels with multiple layers, you will definitely want to consider purchasing a microinverter with the ability to rapidly shut down when not in use. These types of systems will automatically shut down once their input energy has been depleted. If you are using your micro inverter to power a battery-driven system, you can then connect the battery directly to the microinverter. When the battery is completely drained, the microinverter will instantly shut down and disconnect from the battery. This feature can save you significant time during the night because it means you won't have to manually switch batteries during the day!