Inverter choice is important. Inverters convert DC power produced by solar panels to the AC power used in your home or returned to the grid. There are three types of inverters:
String or central inverters are the most common and the most cost-effective. Panels are arranged in a group called a “string” attached to a single inverter. Use string or central inverters only if no shade is present year-round, otherwise production is reduced.
Micro-inverters are installed on each panel and DC to AC power is converted at each panel. All panels should operate at full capacity of conditions are optimal. Owners are able to monitor the production of each panel. This is a costly option as it requires the purchase of an inverter for each panel.
Power optimizers are less expensive than micro-inverters and are installed at each panel. Power optimizers do not convert DC to AC power at the panel. They send DC power to a single string inverter allowing for efficiency and monitoring.