Solar Inverters are becoming more and more popular nowadays as electricity costs rise and we become more environmentally conscious. There are many manufacturers of solar inverters nowadays, leading us to be more and more selective. There is no doubt that we all want to choose a solar inverter with long life to reduce our financial losses.
According to experts, the lifespan of a solar system is between 25-30 years. However, the lifespan of a solar inverter may not last that long. Most inverters last between 10-15 years. However, solar inverters last up to 25 years, depending on many factors, such as the type, brand, or model of an inverter.
How Long Do Solar Inverters Last
Solar inverters have a variable lifespan. This is because most string inverters have a 10- to 15-year estimated lifetime, whereas certain microinverters and DC optimizers have a 20- to 25-year predicted lifetime. Off-grid cell-based PV inverters, on the other hand, have a much shorter life duration, ranging from 2 to 10 years depending on the manufacturer. Residential solar systems can last up to 30 years in total. As a result, you’ll almost certainly run into a worn inverter at some point during your setup and will need to replace it.
How long do the different types of solar inverters last?
String inverter – 10 years
The most frequent type of solar inverter is this one. While inexpensive and popular, String inverters are incompatible with solar cells, a new type of battery inverter. It is the cheapest form of inverter and is only available for grid-tied solar arrays.
They do not, however, endure as long as other inverters. String inverters should last roughly ten years. That’s why we recommend setting aside money every ten years to replace your string inverter.
Microinverter – 15 to 25 years
This is a relatively expensive solar inverter that has numerous advantages. Lower operational costs, a longer life span (15-25 years), and an increase in overall productivity (typically 5-25 percent, depending on shading). It will, however, be more expensive because you will need one for each booth in your program.
They are much smaller and less valuable than typical string inverters. A micro inverter is installed at the back of each panel instead of a central inverter. Micro inverters perform better than string inverters when a cloud or screen partially covers the board, but they are much more expensive.
Battery inverter – 10 years
If you wish to connect the batteries to an existing solar system with a string inverter, you’ll need one of these. The sole purpose of this inverter is to take power from a set of batteries. You’ll want this if you’re looking for an off grid solar setup.
Hybrid solar inverter- 15 years
A solar hybrid inverter is a string inverter with charging and discharging mechanism for batteries. The name «hybrid» comes from this. A solar hybrid inverter combines the functions of a battery inverter and a string inverter. Hybrid solar inverters are less expensive than purchasing two inverters separately, but their utility is diminished. Even if you don’t have solar cells, you can use the inverter by building a hybrid inverter.
Grid connected inverter
This subgroup of inverters has the same current as the grid and helps your solar system deliver electricity to the grid. The grid-tie inverter includes most string, hybrid, and micro inverters.
Off grid solar inverters
As the name implies, these inverters are designed for off grid maintenance and are appropriate for diesel power generation. Depending on their capability, PV systems can have a single inverter or numerous units. Off grid solar inverters vary in model, form, and brand, and solar inverters have a shorter lifespan than solar panels.
In addition to converting DC power from solar panels to AC power, off grid solar inverters run more electrical components than solar panels. These components are more vulnerable to heat than any other portion of the PV system, increasing the likelihood of machine failure.
Factors affecting the life of solar inverters
Numerous conditions can cause your solar inverter’s lifespan to be shortened unintentionally. Tine maintenance, for example, can have a direct impact on the inverter’s overall lifespan and solar system effectiveness. Here are a few examples.
Solar power inverter overheating
The temperature within the inverter is the most crucial element affecting its lifespan. Several internal electrical components in solar inverters are vulnerable to temperature fluctuations. As a result, putting your solar power inverter without ventilation or in direct sunlight might soon cause it to overheat. These conditions can damage the solar inverter’s components and limit its overall life if they persist for an extended time. As a result, the location of your solar inverter is crucial.
Excessive temperatures might degrade the modules’ performance and lifespan. According to studies, the life of a capacitor is reduced by 50% for every 10 degree increase in temperature. A solar inverter is a piece of heat-generating equipment with power modules, inductors, switches, and connections. Should release This heat throughout time rather than being held in a small region. Otherwise, the temperature will continue to rise.
During installation and ensure the inverter’s internal temperature remains stable. We should pay particular attention to the following issues.
- Must install the best solar inverter in a well-ventilated area with good outside ventilation. If the inverters for solar are installed indoors, the available site must be at least 10 times the size of the inverter. Should install Exhaust fans and other relevant equipment. Air conditioning can be installed if possible.
- Keep out of direct sunlight. If the solar inverter is to be installed outside, it should be placed against a wall or under the frame to protect the roof or module from direct sunlight.
- Install the best solar inverter as far from hot regions as possible, such as boilers, electric furnaces, heat pipes, and exterior air conditioner vents.
Input voltage and current of solar inverter
The inverter’s life can be shortened if the input voltage and current characteristics are not correctly matched. For instance, some ranges are 200-1000 V. This signifies that the inverter can function properly if the input voltage is within this range. The input voltage affects the lifetime of a solar inverter as well. When the component power is fixed, the series component voltage should not be too high or too low. It’s preferable to make sure the series element voltage is near the inverter’s rated voltage.
Creating a good external environment for the solar inverter is also very important. Although the inverters for solar can reach IP65 outdoor protection conditions, which can be dustproof, rainproof, and fog proof, the service life in a clean environment is longer than that in a dirty environment.
If the external environment is heavily polluted or dusty, it is recommended that the inverter be installed in an enclosed space. When dust falls on the heat sink, it will affect the heat dissipation function. In addition, if dust, leaves, and sand enter the air duct of the inverter, it will also affect the heat dissipation function.
Installation of solar power inverters
Indoor and outdoor solar power inverters are the two types of inverters. Indoor inverters for solar will be less expensive than outdoor inverters. This is due to the fact that outdoor inverters must be able to survive adverse weather conditions such as rain and extreme heat.
Outdoor inverters, on the other hand, can survive specific weather conditions.
However, they should be kept out of direct sunlight to avoid becoming too hot and losing efficiency. An interior inverter should be installed in a covered space, such as a garage, away from direct sunlight. Because direct sunshine and extreme heat can cause solar power inverters failures and interruptions, as well as limit its life, this is the case.
Cleaning and maintenance
Solar inverters are frequently kept in places like garages and carports. Therefore, it is critical to inspect them regularly to ensure that no debris or dust has accumulated. This will prevent electrical components, vents, and heat sinks from being clogged or damaged. It’s also crucial to make space for solar inverters, which require proper ventilation to avoid overheating.
Every few months, it is advised that you inspect your inverter thoroughly. This will ensure that no modifications or circumstances occur in the vicinity of your solar inverter that could result in future harm. If apparent damage has been caused, it is best to have your solar provider come out as soon as possible to check if the damage poses a safety risk to your home.
Fault codes that appear
Solar inverters can have issues on occasion. When this happens, it will display a fault code that will tell you what the problem is. You must fix the problem and clear the code as soon as possible.
Failure to address small issues can progress to more severe problems, leading to premature inverter failure.
How can I maximize the life of my solar inverter?
Although solar inverters have a finite lifespan, there are numerous methods you may take to extend their life.
Here are 5 suggestions for extending the life of your solar inverter.
- Right sizing: You may assist extend the life of your solar inverter even before it is installed by selecting the proper inverter for your solar system. Panels should be up to 133 percent of the inverter’s capacity as a general guideline.
- Location: Install your solar inverter in a location with low humidity and good ventilation after you have it. Most importantly, keep the inverter away from direct sunlight. Finally, make sure there is enough space between each inverter in a setup with numerous inverters.
- Cleaning and maintenance: Remember that after installation, your solar inverter will require monthly maintenance. To avoid dust buildup, clean all inverter sections and the area around it first. The inverter can easily «breathe» and control its temperature, preventing overheating.
- Check the warning lights: Finally, look for any active error codes or other lights when cleaning and maintaining the solar inverter. Always remember to fix any issues with the solar inverter while still minor. Otherwise, they may cause more serious issues, shortening the device’s lifespan.
- Check the warning lights: Finally, be certain you are aware of the warranty coverage to which you are entitled. An extended warranty is also available from some manufacturers, which is worth considering. Again, the guarantee will not extend the inverter’s lifespan. However, they can save you money by preventing you from spending it on a new inverter if it fails prematurely.
When solar inverters leave the factory, they are all meant to last the same amount of time. However, factors such as installation, operation, and maintenance can have a significant impact on the actual service life. We must consider these contributing elements and take suitable measures in order to increase the life of the inverter.