In the span of a few years, the photovoltaic (PV) microinverter has evolved from an intriguing and potentially disruptive technological advancement to a market-leading product category in the residential and commercial solar installation market. Millions of devices have been deployed and have already helped genrate terawatt-hours of electricity from hundreds of thousands of rooftop and ground-mount PV systems.
The peak output power of a top-of-the-line microinverter has increased to 250 W (ac), compared to the 175 W of the first-generation devices.
Other hardware enhancements include the introduction of standardized “integrated ground” capability in the microinverter system. Bundling the equipment grounding into the cable and the inverter itself and isolating the dc circuit from ground within the microinverter allows solar system integrators to design and deploy ungrounded PV systems that are easier and less costly to install. Systems are also safer from an electrical shock and fire standpoint than standard “grounded” systems.