SOLAR INVERTERS

The inverter is connected to the solar panels and converts the DC current generated by the panels into AC current to make it compatible with your electricity supply.
 
All the electricity generated from the panels passes through the inverter. It is important therefore that you choose an inverter that is reliable, and has a bona-fide guarantee.

There are 2 types of inverter: String or Micro.

STRING INVERTERS

This is typically (depending on size of your system) a box @ 70cm x 450cm x 25cm that is mounted inside or outside your building. We have used a variety of tried and tested European manufactured string inverters over the years – i.e . Fronius, Power One, ABB, SMA or similar.

However, in the last few years we have been using more and more “Solis” string inverters which are manufactured by a Chinese company and have proved to be very reliable, robust. Coming from China these are more competitively priced and have helped us lower our kit prices without any compromise on quality.

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Advantages of Using a String Inverter
  • The initial cost is cheaper and gives the quickest payback.
  • They “do what it says on the tin” and are extremely reliable
  • String inverters have been around for decades. As a result of this they have a very good track record and have been used on the majority of installs throughout the UK since solar installations began. string inverters have been around for decades.
  • Some string inverters offer a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty.
Disadvantage of Using String Inverter

Should one panel in a string breakdown then the whole string will fail to operate – by using good quality panels the chances of this happening is extremely remote (they all have 25 year performance warranty) – it is extremely rare for a panel to fail.

SolarEdge System

This system is referred to by some, as a micro-inverter system – but it is not. It is however very similar, with the only difference really being that a string inverter is still used to invert the generated electricity from DC to AC.
 
This system is an improvement on the traditional string inverter system (it allows greater generation during poorer light conditions.) It consists of a SolarEdge string inverter and Solaredge Power Optimizers (which make the crucial difference.)
 
An optimizer is placed behind each solar panel. These optimizers are then all linked together and then connected to a Solaredge string inverter.

Advantages of SolarEdge System
  • The SolarEdge Optimizer not only optimises each individual panel, but also acts as a bypass diodes in the event of a panel failure. Therefore, unlike traditional string inverters, If any panel fails to operate for any reason, the rest of the panels will continue to function as normal. 
  • A Solaredge inverter will start generating electricity at a lower voltage input than a standard string inverter.
  • This system responds very quickly to any variation in level of irradiance and therefore produce optimum generate very quickly after, for example, heavy clouds pass over the system.
  • The Solaredge system is safer than a standard string system as the system switches off completely when the ac power supply is stopped. Whenever AC power is off, the DC cables on this system are designed to de-energise providing protection to installers, maintenance personnel, firefighters and your property.
  • The system also has arc detection and switches off in the event of arcing occurring.
  • All the panels can be monitored from a computer via the Internet, and therefore, this extremely easy to use system, allows you to monitor the performance anytime, from anywhere in the world
  • If a panel does fail it is easily identifiable via the monitoring system. Diagnosing any failures is relatively easy.
  • Monitoring allows you to make a claim on your module performance warranty if required as you are aware of how each panel is performing and has performed in the past.
  • SolarEdge Optimizers are guaranteed for 25 years.
  • The SolarEdge string inverter has a 12 year warranty that can, at a cost, be increased to 20 years.
  • Any make of solar panel can be substituted into a SolarEdge system at a later date without it having any adverse effect on the system – so, for example, if technology has advanced greatly in 10 years’ time and you wish to substitute panels within your array, then this can be easily done.
  • SolarEdge are a very innovative company with excellent customer service.

Please note for monitoring purposes you need internet connection.

Disadvantage of SolarEdge System

Despite the warranty, whether you pay for it or not, you will have to replace the inverter at some point in the 25 year period.

ENPHASE MICRO INVERTERS

As the name suggests, these are small inverters that are mounted under each panel.

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Advantages of Enphase Micro-Inverters
  • Unlike string inverters, a micro-inverter only relies on the panel to which it is connected, and therefore starts putting AC electricity into your premises the second that module starts producing. Therefore, a system using micro-inverters will produce more power during very low light conditions
  • Each panel is optimised by the micro-inverter.
  • There is no “single point of failure” as you have with a string inverter.
  • If any panel fails to operate for any reason, the rest of the panels will continue to function as normal – therefore it is highly unlikely that you will ever have complete downtime on the whole system
  • All the panels can be monitored from a computer via the Internet. This allows performance monitoring anytime, from anywhere in the world.
  • If a panel does fail it is easily identifiable via the monitoring system. Diagnosing any failures is relatively easy.
  • Monitoring allows you to make a claim on your module performance warranty if required as you are aware of how each panel is performing and has performed in the past.
  • Micro- inverters will start generating electricity at a lower voltage input than a standard string inverter
  • There are no mechanical parts in a micro-inverter as they do not require a fan for cooling purposes.
  • Micro-inverters respond very quickly to any variation in level of irradiance and therefore produce optimum generate very quickly after, for example, heavy clouds pass over the system.
  • Micro-inverters are guaranteed for 20 years.
  • Any make of module can be substituted into a micro-inverter system at a later date without it having any adverse effect on the system – so, for example, if technology has advanced greatly in 10 years’ time and you wish to substitute panels within your array, then this can be easily done.
  • When the systems AC switch is turned to off, the entire system is switched off and made safe.
Disadvantages of Enphase Micro-Inverters
  • The initial outlay on an Enphase system is more expensive than standard string inverters and therefore the initial pay-back time of your system will take longer.
  • Unfortunately, in our recent experience, Enphase does not provide a good customer service. Despite having installed more systems than any other company in Scotland we would no longer recommend this system due to this lack of customer service and stock.
  • This system is not as compatible as the previous mentioned systems for battery storage.

Please note for monitoring purposes you need internet connection.

SOLAR INVERTORS

ROOF MOUNTED SYSTEMS

Not perhaps discussed by many, but nevertheless another important component, as there is no point in spending money on panels, to have them blown off your roof in a storm. Whether it be a ground or roof mounted system, we supply only Schletter or Renusol systems which will hold the panels in place in all conditions.

In addition all our operatives are fully trained in the installation of all their systems, and do not for example (as we have seen done by others) drill straight through slates and fix anchors on the top of slates, as opposed to fixing directly through the sarking and trusses below, then fitting lead “soakers” to anchors if required.

IN-ROOF SOLAR SYSTEMS

Aesthetics is the prime advantage of opting for an in-roof system. Integrated solar panels replace the tiles or slates on the roof so the panels sit lower down in the roofline to look more like an intended part of the house than above-roof rack-mounted systems.

At Eco Innovations we can retro fit these systems into existing roofs as well as fitting to new build roofs.

We offer both GSE & Veridian Integrated systems both of which perform very well. We do however tend to recommend the Veridian in-roof system as it is the best ” water proof system” as the panels are specifically manufactured for this purpose with adaptions for flashing kit etc.

In addition, they give the lowest profile and therefore the most aesthetically pleasing profile especially on slate roofs. This is supplemented by the fact that the supplier is UK based and has a very good customer service

GROUND MOUNTED SYSTEMS

We offer two types of ground mount systems – tubs and frame mounts.

Should you require any further information as to which would be most appropriate for your project, then please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss.

“We saved money!”

Great service, great installation, would definitely recommend Eco Power Innovations to anyone looking to save money on their fuel bills.

Mr A Phillips
Bathgate

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Renewable energy can be a confusing subject. If you have any questions or simply wish to discuss your project then click below or call us on 0141 255 0589.

GLASGOW

Caledonia House  |  Evanton Drive
Glasgow  |  G46 8JT
Tel: 0141 255 0589

     
GLASGOW

Caledonia House  |  Evanton Drive
Glasgow  |  G46 8JT
Tel: 0141 255 0589

DUNDEE

Suite 68  | 9/10 Dock Street
Dundee  | DD1 4BT
Tel: 01382 680 160

 

DUNDEE

Suite 68  | 9/10 Dock Street
Dundee  | DD1 4BT
Tel: 01382 680 160