What is the best location for my inverter? Are inverters required to be outside of the building or can they be inside - closer to my home breaker panel?
You can put an inverter wherever their NEMA rating will allow. NEMA stands for National Electrical Manufacturers Association and they have a comprehensive numbered list of electrical enclosure ratings that goes beyond Solar Inverters. Typically, an inverter will be rated as NEMA 3 or above. This loosly means that the inverter can be safely and reliably installed outdoors. You can check the inverter datasheet to find the NEMA rating.
There is more information about NEMA ratings here:
While you typically have the freedom to install an inverter outdoors near the PV system or indoors in a utility closet or garage you may want to consider a few other factors:
• It is recommend to keep an inverter in a shaded cool area to improve the efficiency and prolong the lifespan.
• It may be preferable to locate the inverter in an easy to access location or perhaps, an optimal location for shorter system wiring.
Overall, you will want to ensure that you are following local codes for your installation. Be sure to check with your local building authority if they have a preference on the inverter location.