Microinverters are a common component in residential solar power projects built to handle the wattage of small PV arrays. However, like solar modules, microinverters have increased capacity and can handle larger electrical loads.Example: Inverter manufacturer AP SystemsThe new QT2 microinverter can convert energy from four solar panels at once, unlike previous models that were mounted on a single module. Jason Higginson, Head of Marketing for APsystems USA, is here to discuss this new breakthrough and the subsequent trend of microinverters entering the commercial and industrial solar market.
Below is an excerpt from the APsystems Solar Spotlight Podcast. solar power worldbut listen to the full episode here or on your favorite podcast app.
Why are microinverters, traditionally primarily residential solar products, trending toward C&I?
You can see the shifting happening because many of the microinverter hang-ups in C&I applications, especially 3-phase applications, no longer exist. Therefore, despite being our new line of three-phase microinverters, QT2ideal for C&I projects, but there are still many myths and preconceived notions regarding the use of microinverters outside of residential solar power.
Tell us about the new QT2 microinverter.
QT2 is a native 3-phase microinverter that handles four PV modules simultaneously. You can combine it with 4 PV modules up to 550W to 575W, which is probably the best, but you can go with even higher wattage modules without negatively impacting your inverter. That’s why we have 208 V and 480 V models that can also be used in wye delta and 240 delta high leg configurations. So, in practice, new or existing commercial and industrial buildings can use this microinverter.
What myths exist regarding the use of microinverters in the commercial and industrial solar space?
Microinverters date back to this industry and have traditionally had a lot of success in residential solar power. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems that if you do something well, it’s all there is to it. It’s like telling people they can use a barbecue to cook pizza. By the way, I’ve done it before and it wasn’t really that bad. We designed his QT2 specifically for C&I applications, but it quickly met with opposition from the industry. Without looking at specs or prices, customers would say microinverters are too expensive and not powerful enough. None of these apply to his QT2.
How did microinverters suddenly become more competitive in C&I?
Therefore, historically, microinverters have been twice as expensive, sometimes more, than string inverters, the popular C&I inverters. When looking at the cost per watt of output, the price has changed dramatically over the years, especially considering it was designed to accommodate 4 PV modules, and it costs the same as 4 separate microinverters. not. Compare it with a string inverter. String inverters must now have a quick shutdown system for rooftop applications, adding 50-70% of the inverter cost to the system price.
Anything else I should know about QT2?
Yes, I also want to say that another one of these big myths is shading. So, in addition to the constant clouds and rain, we often see dust, dirt, bird droppings and snow. The microinverter performed better under all these conditions compared to the standalone string he inverter.
This podcast is sponsored by APsystems