Warm up to winter solar power with micro inverters

Posted on 31 May, 2017 in Solar Power

Does winter have to mean reduced solar power?

Winter's on the way, and with it comes a drop in sunlight hours across Sydney. As the clouds roll in, residents with solar power systems might be wondering how this will affect their panels performance.

However, PV systems with Enphase micro inverters can sit happy knowing that no matter the season, their solar panels are making the most of available sunlight.

Will winter be a problem for your solar panels?
Will winter be a problem for your solar panels?

Why winter isn't all grey skies for solar panels

Sydney solar customers don't have to worry about how temperature might affect their PV panels.

Solar panels are tested at 25 °C, and higher temperatures can limit the maximum efficiency, reports Gizmodo, so a drop in temperature can actually be good thing. 

However, winter isn't just about a drop in the thermometer. Winter means shorter days and longer, more persistent shadows that can adversely affect PV efficiency.

In a previous article, we explained the difference between micro and string inverters. String inverters are nice under optimal conditions. However, the reality is that not all roofs face the same way, there's the occasional shading and weather patterns can affect the overall performance, especially in winter. In this case, micro inverters are the ideal solution.

Why Enphase micro inverters are the smart choice the whole year round

Micro inverters are the ideal type of inverter when solar panels are subject to a variety of conditions which would otherwise lower the efficiency of string inverter systems. 

But even in optimal conditions, Enphase micro inverters outperform string inverters, reports PV magazine. In an independent test conducted by PV Evolution Labs, over the course of six months Enphase micro inverters were able to produce 1.2 per cent more energy than a string inverter system under unshaded conditions.

In optimal conditions, Enphase micro inverters outperform string inverters.

Additionally, in low light conditions, Enphase micro inverters were able to harvest over 10 per cent more energy than the compared string system.

"Enphase microinverters can convert available energy of a solar PV module at very lower power levels with higher conversion efficiency due to a feature called 'burst mode'," Enphase CEO Paul Nahi explains to PV magazine.

During winter, with fewer daylight hours and longer shadows cast by the sun, string inverters are much more likely to deliver low output energy, says PV magazine. This is because during winter some panels within a solar system will be shaded for longer, dropping overall performance.

Enphase micro inverters do not have this problem and can draw out the most from the available sunlight all year long.

To find out more, get in touch with the team at RK Solar today.

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