Optimisers Vs Microinverters: Which To Choose This Year​

Optimisers vs Microinverters: Which to Choose This Year

Optimiser-based solar systems are the future of your savings, safe and reliable.

This is not a topic to take lightly. Do not waste your hard-earned dollars on a product that is less reliable, less efficient, and more expensive than its expert quality counterpart.

The safety of our own planet, let alone the safety of your home solar does not encourage the hazard of, “lesser product.”

Choose optimisers over microinverters for your home solar. They are far better when it comes to the crucial and fundamental details, warranty terms, reliability, efficiency, efficacy. They are the choice for home solar.

Look only at the most significant names in Australia for each and it is clear. The snake oil will push at you with Enphase microinverters. The thinkers, the clever, they will suggest very aptly SolarEdge optimisers.

SolarEdge Optimisers

SolarEdge optimisers come with a standard 25-year warranty.

Conversion efficiency for SolarEdge Inverter Systems is 99.25%. This means that 99.25% of direct current (DC) electricity generated by solar panels is converted to usable alternating current (AC) electricity.

SolarEdge optimisers function without issues during especially hot days, with an internal temperature of up to 85 degrees Celsius.

SolarEdge optimisers require 8 volts per panel to start up. This means that they perform well in low light situations.

Enphase Microinverters

Enphase microinverters come with a standard 10-year warranty.

Conversion efficiency for Enphase microinverters is 96.50%. This means that 96.50% of DC electricity generated by solar panels is converted to usable AC electricity.

Enphase microinverters cannot be installed in areas that exceed 65 degrees Celsius ambient air temperature, per the installation manual and datasheet. Many metal roofs will reach this temperature on hot days.

Enphase microinverters require 22-33 volts per panel to start up. This means that they perform poorly in low light situations.

Keep in mind, Enphase use flashy marketing words, for example, say their microinverters “store electrons” & “use capacitors to allow lower startup” —but this is poorly phrased and is just a glossy marketing writeup for something just not true as the microinverters don’t have enough voltage or current from the panel itself.

Just look at the optimiser, which draws current to boost voltage; a piece of engineering that actually works.

A Brief History of the Power Optimiser

To begin our brief history of the power optimiser, first we must look to the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm. Initially developed and invented in the early 1980s, it was pioneered by Dr. Martin Klein and his team at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia.

The team extensively researched solar power systems to develop the MPPT algorithm. This algorithm allowed for efficient and best solar panel output in charging batteries.

Their work was the foundation for the development of MPPT solar charge controllers that are used today in both grid and off-grid solar systems.

MPPT solar charge controllers were developed in 1985 by Australian Energy Research Laboratories (AERL).

The MPPT solar charge controller is a possible basis for the development of the power optimiser in 2006 by SolarEdge in Israel.

The main principle behind MPPT is to continuously adjust the operating voltage and current of the solar panel to ensure it operates at its maximum power point (MPP). In the best words, MPPT ensures maximum power optimisation and thus maximum power output from solar panels.

MPPT monitors the output voltage and current of solar panels. It then calculates the power at different voltages and current combinations. Finally, it compares the calculated power with the maximum power that the solar panel is able to produce. By doing this, in simplest words by tracking changes in power, MPPT can determine the optimal operating point for solar panels.

By using the MPPT algorithm, power optimisers are able to adjust the voltage and current output of each individual solar panel, as they are attached to each individual solar panel.

The power optimiser provides a DC-to-DC conversion, and feeds into a solar inverter which converts the DC to AC electricity.

The added benefit of the power optimiser is system safety. By isolating and monitoring each panel and its voltage, the risk of overvoltage is safeguarded. Module-level shutdown is set up in case of emergencies, maintenance, or safety concerns. Temperature is monitored also, and rapid shutdown capabilities are set up.

In short, by connecting a power optimiser to each solar panel, maximum energy production and system safety is enabled.

Optimiser-based systems

 Optimiser-based systems use power optimisers. These are installed under every panel to individually optimise the power output. This means better performance in shaded or mismatched areas of the roof to make sure every solar panel always operates at its maximum potential.

Optimisers allow for real-time individual panel-level monitoring. Optimiser-based systems are highly efficient compared to string-based systems.

Optimisers increase system safety by reducing the risk of electrical arcs and fires. They provide rapid shutdown capabilities, minimising the voltage and current when the system is turned off or during emergencies.

Overall, optimiser-based systems are highly reliable and are a great choice for home solar.

Microinverter-based systems

Microinverter-based systems use a small, individual inverter for each solar panel. These work in the same way that a string inverter operates, converting the DC electricity output by the solar panel into AC electricity, to power your home.

This takes away the need for an inverter to be stuck on a wall and improves system efficiency.

Microinverter-based systems enable individual panels to operate independently, overcoming shading and positioning limitations. This means more energy production.

These products have a sub optimal conversion efficiency, meaning some electricity output potential is lost. They perform only in brighter situations, meaning times of day for usage vary, and meaning less reliability on cloudy days. They are less reliable and more difficult to replace than power optimisers, due to poor warranty conditions and short warranty terms.

Overall, microinverter-based systems are less reliable and less efficient at converting DC to AC than power optimisers but are still a common choice for home solar.

String-based systems

A string-based solar system is a type of solar power setup where multiple solar panels are connected in a series, or “string,” and connected to a single inverter. In this setup, all the panels in the string must face the same direction and have similar shading conditions. The inverter then converts the DC electricity generated by the panels into AC electricity to power your home.

While string-based systems are simpler and generally less expensive, they can be less flexible and efficient compared to optimiser-based systems.

This can mean a short-term saving on the total system cost, but a long-term loss in total savings on your home electricity bills.

SolarEdge’s PV Monitoring Platform

Benefits of PV Monitoring Platform:

These features help integrators, installers, maintenance staff, and system owners improve site performance, maximise solar power harvesting, and reduce maintenance costs by increasing system uptime and resolving faults effectively.



A SolarEdge optimiser-based system brings many benefits, with a 25-year warranty, great performance, great conversion efficiency, and in all is a far better choice for your home solar needs. It will provide far better savings on electricity bills than its Enphase microinverter-based counterpart. It is the best choice for your solar needs.

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