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How to Choose Inverter for Solar System 101

This is a simple guide on how to select an inverter for your solar system.

What Type of Inverter?

The first decision is to decide on what type of inverter you need: microinverter, string inverter with optimizers, or just a string inverter? It comes down to if you have shade, if you want individual panel monitoring, and how much cost plays a factor.

What Size Inverter and How Many?

If you know how many panels/kWs you need, you can just use theSolar Kit Guide to calculate what inverter(s) works best for your system.

If you want to get down to it, there are two main components on the datasheet that you should take note of: Watt Rating and Input Voltage.

Watt Rating:

Taking the new SolarEdge 7.6kW HD-Wave for example, you’ll note that it has a 7,600W maximum power output and 11,800W maximum power input. This means that while the inverter can handle up to 11,800W in energy from your solar panels, the maximum wattage it will output is 7,600W.

Input Voltage:

Taking a look at the input voltage on the datasheet, we find that the maximum input voltage for the SolarEdge 7.6kW HD-Wave is 480V. What this indicated is the maximum number of optimizers that an inverter can have per string.

P370 has a Maximum Input Voltage of 60V = 480V / 60V = 8 per string

P400 has a Maximum Input Voltage of 80V = 480V / 80V = 6 per string

What Is the Best Inverter Brand For Me?

If you need help in narrowing it down, here’s a comparison of the most well-known brands from each category:

Solaredge vs Enphase vs SMA

Also Microinverter Comparisons:

APsystems vs Enphase Microinverters

APsystems YC600 vs Enphase IQ7 vs Enphase IQ7+

APsystems Warranty vs. Enphase Warranty

Again, if you want a fast comparison of different quotes with inverters and have the size/number automatically calculated you can use the Solar Kit Guide.