Compare solar equipment types and brands

Adrienne SorensenAugust 30, 20184630

Compare solar equipment types and brands 

Comparing different solar panels and inverters is a great way to know what you need and want in a residential solar panel system. If you read this article you will know how to tell the different solar panels apart, and how to tell if you need string-inverters or microinverters your project. There are more than 100 different solar panel brands, too many for most people to try and analyze. The good news is that solar panels are all pretty standard, with very minor variations across brands. If two panels have the same power rating, they should both function the same, regardless of the price. The biggest variations in solar panel costs have more to do with brand popularity than the actual quality of solar panels. If you want to analyze panels brands and models in depth, you can compare them based on efficiency, durability, warranty, and visual appeal.  Keep in mind that though you will pay more for higher efficiency solar panels, you only need to worry about maximizing efficiency if your roof space is limited. Choosing the right power inverter is crucial to the performance of your solar powered system. A good inverter can mean a difference of up to 20 percent in your system’s production. Inverters convert the DC electricity produced by solar panels to alternating current (AC) electricity, which is the type used by your home.

Introduction to string inverters

They convert electricity from multiple panels in a string.  These have traditionally been the cheapest, but prices are now leveling out. These are not as shade-tolerant and don’t let you monitor each panel’s performance, so they’re best if your roof has full sun all day.  Any problems with one panel will be felt across the entire string because string inverters essentially treat a group of panels as if they were a single large panel.

Introduction to microinverters 

They convert electricity from one panel. This can be a great option if you have any shading. If one or two panels are shaded at any time, the rest of your panels will still keep producing. Most microinverters allow panel-level monitoring. Microinverters can be more complex and costly to install because they must be installed in tandem with individual solar panels. You can read a more a detailed comparison of solar inverters here.

If you want to move into the future and join the solar revolution, or if you want to find out what solar panels are right for you, go to and try our price checker tool. You can see how much a system will cost, and how much you can save over the next 20 years. For more information relating to going solar, don't forget to visit our solar blog section for more handy guides and articles.

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