Comparison Table

8 Ways Power Optimizers are Better by Design

Microinverters & Power Optimizers - a Technical Comparison

How both approaches are similar

Module-level electronics, namely microinverters and power optimizers, address the shortcomings of traditional PV systems by managing the system at the module-level and not at the string level. Both microinverters and power optimizers achieve higher energy harvest than traditional string or central inverters, through module-level Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT). Additionally, module-level electronics offer enhanced maintenance and greater system performance visibility via module-level monitoring, enhanced safety through automatic voltage shutdown and design flexibility.

Why the power optimizer approch is better

Microinverters achieve module-level functionality by placing a full DC/AC inverter at each module, making the DC/AC inversion the center of their concept. While power optimizers also allocate power electronics to the module, but conversely keep the DC/AC inversion at the inverter-level. There is no need to add an inverter to every module since DC/DC power optimizers achieve all the module-level benefits at a lower cost, a higher efficiency and with much greater reliability.

BENEFITS COMMON TO MICROINTERTERS AND POWER
OPTIMIZER OVER TRADITIONAL INVERTERS
BENEFITS OF POWER OPTIMIZERS OVER
MICROINTERTERS

1. Higher energy harvest

2. Safety

3. Module – level monitoring

4. Design Flexibility

1. Greater module compatibility and no power clipping

2. Higher energy yield through MPPT range

3. High reliability

4. Superior efficiency

5. Superior communication technology (DC Power Line Communication)

6. Compliant with advanced grid codes

7. Lower system cost, faster ROI

8. System scalability

  Traditional inverter SolarEdge
Design
  • Limited space utilization
  • Higher nr. of strings and more BoScomponents
  • Full space utilization
  • Fewerstrings and less BoSSystem
Maintenance
  • Low probabilityto detect system problems & time consuming
  • High probability to detect system problem & time/cost efficiently
Safety
  • Voltage hazards during maintenance and firefighting
  • Safe maintenance and firefighting
Cost & scalability
  • Mostly lower cost
  • Inverter scalable
  • Mostly higher cost
  • Inverter scalable, optimizers: fixed cost/W
Energy output
  • Energy losses (shading, mismatch, soiling, aging)
  • Energy increase (mitigationof all loss factors)
ROI  
  • Faster return of investment