How Long Do Solar Inverters Last?
What are the different Types Of Solar Inverters? And how long do they last?
There are quite a few types of inverters you have to choose from as a solar citizen. Let’s run down the most need-to-know ones.
- String Inverters – 10 Years
This is the Solar Inverter form most common. It operates ONLY for grid-tied solar installations. They are the cheapest type of inverter and are the most used. They just don’t last like other inverters, though. Out of one, you can expect about 10 years. That is why we are suggesting budgeting to upgrade your inverter every ten years.
- Microinverters – 15-25 Years
This is a relatively expensive inverter device, with many great benefits. Lower operating costs, long service life (15-25 years), and overall productivity boost (usually 5-25%, depending on shade). This will cost quite a bit more, however, as you would need one in your program for each stand. The cost of a string inverter per kilowatt may be as much as 2-4 times that. And if they need to be serviced or repaired, they’re going to be hard to get to, because they’re going to be under your panels instead of on your home side.
- Battery Inverter – Expect 10 Years
This inverter has one job: Get electricity from and into a pack of batteries. If you are looking at an off-grid solar system, you’ll want this one. If you want a battery to be connected to an existing solar system using a string inverter, you’ll need one of these too.
- Hybrid Inverter – 10 Years
A hybrid inverter is essentially a string inverter with the battery charging and discharging mechanisms. Hence the word “hybrid.” If you’re getting a solar panel, or are hoping to do so in the future, this is the inverter that you’re going to want to go with.
What to look for in a good solar inverter?
Now, when you’re looking at investing in your solar PV system, what should you look for in a good solar inverter? There are a few things that make a big difference like we covered earlier.
Solar Inverter Warranties
Warranties are a perfect way to get an understanding of building safety. Many companies offer guarantees that last 5-12 years (with guarantees of a microinverter lasting a little longer). Some manufacturers do let you buy extended warranties. If this moves your guarantee to 10-15 years, then this might be a successful investment. Verify that you are reading the fine print.
If you’re shown an inverter that doesn’t have a warranty, then forget about it. Also, one thing to consider is if the manufacturer has offices in your country. That could make the process of substitution much easier.
Is Your Solar Inverter Weather-Proof?
Such devices come weatherproof. That means that they are able to withstand any violence of mother nature. Others don’t, so that means you’ll need to buy a weather-proof package. That means extra expenses and potential installation errors.
Solar System Balance & Expand-ability
One of the greatest impacts your solar inverter has on performance is how well it suits your solar panel array. Too much or too little strength, and also your inverter will not be able to work.
Another big question is that you want to build your solar installation. If you’re planning to add more panels in a couple of years, then you’ll want something to fit that.
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