With so many manufacturers of solar inverters nowadays, determining how long a solar (PV) inverter will last and picking the best inverter for your solar energy requirements might be difficult.
Depending on the sort, manufacturer, or style of solar inverter, its life span might be considerably shorter than that of the solar panels it is connected to. Solar inverters also have more electrical components than a solar panels. And are needed to convert solar panel DC power into AC. These elements are more heat-sensitive than any other portion of the complete PV system. Making them even more prone to failure.
How long does a solar inverter last? Solar inverters have varying lifespans, with the average lifespan for a string inverter ranging from 10 to 15 years. But some microinverters and DC optimizers have estimated lifespans of 20 to 25 years. However, if you are searching for off-grid battery-based PV inverters, their longevity ranges between 2 and 10 years depending on the manufacturer.
When it comes to selecting the finest inverter, microinverters, and DC optimizers may appear to be the obvious answers due to their longevity. But only in specific situations do these solar inverters make financial sense. This is why, in the past, string inverters have been more popular when installing solar in a home or business. However, some people who live in remote areas without access to electricity may benefit from inverters that are battery-based since they may store energy for later use.
This is why we wrote this tutorial to help customers better understand the many sorts of inverters not just from a longevity standpoint. But also from a practical and economic standpoint so that consumers may get the most out of their PV system.
What Are The Different Types Of The Solar Inverters? And How Long Do They Last?
There are many various types of inverters to select from as a solar citizen. Let’s go through the most important ones in detail.
String Inverters (10 Years)
This is the most popular Solar Inverter form. It is only used with solar installations that are grid-tied. They are one of the cheapest types of inverter and are the most commonly utilized. Despite this, they do not have a long lifespan like other inverters. Out of one, you can expect to get about ten years of service. As a result, we advise budgeting for an inverter upgrade every ten years.
Microinverters (15-25 Years)
This is a very costly inverter device with a lot of advantages. Lower running costs, long-lasting service (15-25 years), and productivity improvement (usually 5-25 percent, depending on shade) are just a few of its many benefits. However, because you will need one in your program for each stand, it will cost considerably more. A string inverter costs between 2 and 4 times as much as a stand-alone inverter. They will be difficult to get to if they need to be serviced or replaced. Because they will be located beneath your panels instead of on your home’s side.
Battery Inverter (Expect 10 Years)
The job of this inverter is to convert direct current (DC) from a battery pack into alternating current (AC). This is the inverter you will need if you are considering an off-grid solar installation. You will also need one of these if you want to connect a battery to an existing solar system with a string inverter.
Hybrid Inverter (10 Years)
A hybrid inverter is a string inverter with battery charging and discharging components added. As a result, it is known as a “hybrid.” This is the inverter to go with if you are getting solar panels or want to do so in the future.
Solar Inverter Warranties
Warranties are an excellent approach to learning more about building safety. Many firms provide warranties that last 5-12 years (with microinverters having a longer guarantee). Some manufacturers do allow you to purchase extended warranties. If your guarantee is increased to 10-15 years, this may be a good investment. Make sure you are reading the small print.
If you are offered an inverter that does not have a guarantee, do not think about it. Another issue to consider is whether the manufacturer has offices in your nation. Substituting devices might be much easier if this is the case.
Why Do You Require The Inverter For Solar Panels?
Solar panels are made of layers that include two major silicon semiconductor that has layers wired together, as well as a non-conductive layer in between. When photons from sunshine expose the electrons in the top silicon layer, they become active. When the electrons are turned on, they become attracted to the atoms in the bottom semiconductor layer. And move through the wire toward the bottom layer in one direction, generating a charge or current flow that is also known as DC or direct current.
To be safely converted to AC and used in a home or sent back into the utility grid, solar energy must first be converted to AC. This is where a solar inverter comes in handy since it’s best at this process. As well as ensuring that the system remains optimally tuned for peak performance.
Do Solar Panel Inverters Require Servicing?
It is a good idea to examine the outside of your inverter physically once every three months. Looking for any external indications of damage and ensuring that all vents, as well as cooling fins, are clean.
However, an inverter is the most difficult component in a PV system to maintain. So it is recommended that inspections be performed every five years by a qualified solar installer.
Solar panel maintenance is a simple procedure that may cost from $200 to $300, but some solar installation firms may give you a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that covers any maintenance and monitoring for up to 20 years.
In some grid-connected systems, your utility provider might demand regular inspections to ensure all anti-islanding devices are in good working order. This ensures that your PV system shuts down correctly if the power goes out so the lineman can work safely on adjacent electricity lines.
During the examination, the inspector should inspect the inverter’s interior for indications of corrosion, damage, and even tiny rodents that may have squeezed through a vent. They should also do some testing and ensure that all connections are clean and properly tightened. Having your inspections done on a regular basis will allow you to get the most out of your PV system, resulting in a faster ROI.