String Inverters offer additional benefits

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are probably the most common source of renewable energy for many microgrids. The integration of the solar panels with the microgrids, or even with the power grid is based on the use of inverters which convert the DC output from the panels into the AC output required by the consumers.

This makes inverters the largest hardware cost after the solar panels in any solar project. The technology and design philosophy for solar projects of different scales has been changing during the years and we are witnessing a transition from the use of central inverters towards the use of string inverters for certain applications.

In the case of central inverters the design of the system is based on strings of solar panels whose DC power produced from each string is transmitted along wires to combiner boxes where they are connected in parallel with other strings and then connected to the central inverter and converted to AC power.

String inverters are a distributed solution when multiple smaller inverters are used for several strings or even per string.  The DC power from a few strings then runs directly into a string inverter rather than a combiner box and is converted to AC.             
Intelligent string inverters can be integrated in smart PV power station, combining traditional solar components with digital information technology and wireless internet connection to significantly increase power generation and operation efficiency. This is especially important when the PV strings have different array orientations. String inverters offer also some additional benefits, such as limited impact in case of inverter failure.  

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