Solar Panel Optimisers: Unlocking Maximum Solar Yields

Unlocking Maximum Solar Yields:

A Deeper Dive into String Inverters, Micro Inverters, and SolarEdge Solar Panel Optimisers



As an authoritative voice in the field of solar energy, we frequently address questions about optimal inverter technology for commercial solar projects. This comprehensive article aims to dissect the drawbacks of string inverters, the benefits but high costs of micro inverters, and the impressive advantages of SolarEdge solar panel optimisers. The SolarEdge system, with its cost-effective blend of string and micro inverter benefits, often emerges as the preferred choice for maximising commercial solar returns on investment.

Dissecting String Inverters: The Mismatch Losses Challenge:

In a solar power system, string inverters connect solar panels in a series. While this setup is cost-effective, it is marred by the ‘Christmas light effect,’ whereby the performance of the entire string is dictated by the weakest panel. This leads to a phenomenon known as mismatch losses, wherein the output from the string is compromised due to panel-level variances such as shading, soiling, or inherent manufacturing differences. Such losses can significantly impede the potential solar yield in commercial solar applications.

Compounding Mismatch Losses: The Case of Negative Power Tolerance and String Inverters:

In addition to the inherent disadvantages of string inverters, coupling them with cheap solar panels exhibiting negative power tolerance can further compound mismatch losses and impede solar energy yield.

Power tolerance in a solar panel indicates the variance between the actual power output and the rated power output. Cheap solar panels often come with a negative power tolerance, which can range up to -5%. This essentially means that the actual power output can be up to 5% less than the rated output.

When such panels are wired in series via a string inverter, the yield of the entire string can potentially suffer losses equivalent to the worst-performing panel’s negative power tolerance. In other words, the weakest link determines the overall strength of the chain, causing significant energy yield reductions across the string.

This compounded effect of negative power tolerance and string inverters can drastically reduce energy yield and undermine the overall efficiency of commercial solar projects.

Micro Inverters: Eliminating Mismatch, but at a Price:

Micro inverters, installed on individual solar panels, overcome the challenge of mismatch losses. By allowing each panel to function independently, they ensure that the underperformance of one panel doesn’t affect others, effectively harnessing more solar energy. However, this comes with a steep price tag, leading to extended return on investment periods, which can make them less appealing in a commercial context where payback timeframes are crucial.

SolarEdge Optimisers: Harnessing the Benefits of Both:

SolarEdge offers an effective solution to this mismatch problem by deploying solar panel optimisers, which operate on a per-panel basis. This panel-level optimisation mitigates the impacts of negative power tolerance and enhances overall energy yield. Each panel, irrespective of its individual power output, contributes its maximum potential to the overall energy generation.

SolarEdge solar panel optimisers are a game-changing solution that mitigates the drawbacks of string inverters and harnesses the advantages of micro inverters, but at a much lower cost. By offering panel-level optimisation akin to micro inverters, SolarEdge solar panel optimisers eliminate mismatch losses and enhances solar energy yield. However, unlike micro inverters, SolarEdge does so without significantly driving up costs, thus improving payback timeframes.

Safety and Monitoring Features of SolarEdge:

The SolarEdge solar panel optimisers system shines when it comes to safety and monitoring. Its SafeDC™ feature ensures panel-level shutdown when necessary – a crucial safety measure for commercial applications. Additionally, real-time, panel-level monitoring allows for quick identification and correction of underperforming panels, thereby optimising energy yield.

Fault Diagnosis Capabilities of SolarEdge:

Furthermore, SolarEdge solar panel optimisers possess superior fault diagnosis capabilities. By identifying issues at the panel level, they enable quick troubleshooting, reducing downtime and ensuring peak performance – a key consideration for commercial solar projects that need to maximise return on investment.

SolarEdge in the Commercial Solar Landscape:

Considering the commercial solar landscape, the proposition offered by SolarEdge is compelling. Combining the benefits of string and micro inverters at a competitive price point, SolarEdge solar panel optimisers boost energy yield, provide key safety features, and ensure swift fault diagnosis. These benefits position SolarEdge solar panel optimisers as a prime choice for commercial solar applications, where capturing maximum solar yields and ensuring quick payback periods are paramount.


In the realm of commercial solar applications, the choice of inverter technology significantly influences the solar yield and return on investment. String inverters, while cost-effective, often fall short due to mismatch losses. Micro inverters can capture additional solar yield but come at a higher cost. In this complex landscape, SolarEdge solar panel optimisers often stand out, blending the benefits of both technologies while maintaining a lower cost, thereby optimising payback timeframes. By striking this balance, SolarEdge solar panel optimisers can help commercial solar projects unlock their full potential.