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How to choose the best solar panels and solar inverter for your home

A major step to helping drive down energy bills and taking advantage of the power of the sun is investing in solar panels and a solar inverter. But it can be tricky selecting the right panels and inverters for you and your family.

Choosing the best solar panels and solar inverter for your home will depend on a few factors, such as your location, the amount of sun your area receives, the amount of electricity you use and your budget. 

While your chosen solar installer will run you through these elements when providing a quote, it’s always helpful to do some research beforehand so you can ask the right questions.  

Let’s go through the steps you can follow to choose the best solar panels and inverter for your home:

Determine your electricity needs: The first step in choosing the best solar panels and inverter is to determine how much electricity you use. This will help you determine the size and number of solar panels you will need, as well as the size and type of inverter. Simply check out the last three electricity bills to see how much energy you use each month, the last three will show more of a holistic image of what you require. 

Determine your roof orientation and sun exposure, including any potential shading: The amount of sunlight your area receives will directly affect the performance of your solar panels.

Compare different products: Look for products that are high quality and have a good warranty. The solar installer will be able to help you with some recommendations.

Solar panels
When researching you will come across Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline panels, the difference in performance between these panels only really matter in a commercial setting, what’s more important is that you buy panels from a reputable solar installer.

Inverter: An inverter is one of the most important elements of your solar panel system, but is often overlooked. The inverter converts direct current (DC) electricity to appliance-friendly alternative current (AC) electricity. The most important element of an inverter is to manage the voltage keeping you and your family safe. 

There are three types of inverters; string, microinverters and optimisers.

  • String: One inverter located next to your switchboard. This inverter is connected to all of the panels in your array via one or two strings. Important things to note, shade decreases the efficiency of the entire system as there is no Individual panel monitoring and inverter issues stop all electricity production.
  • Microinverters: Microinverters are installed on each panel, providing independence for optimal energy production, unlike string inverters if one panel is shaded the other panels are not impacted.
  • Optimisers: These are exactly what they sound. They are the step up from string and step below microinverters, optimisers are installed into each solar panel individually, however, they don’t convert the DC to AC electricity on the spot. An optimiser will essentially ‘prep’ the DV electricity and pass it to a string inverter. 

When choosing between different types of inverters, there are a few factors to consider. A string inverter is typically less expensive and easier to install, but a panel-optimised inverter can offer greater efficiency and flexibility. It's important to consider your specific needs and budget when making a decision. A professional solar installer can help you determine the best option for your home.

Consider your budget: Solar panels and inverters are an investment, so it's important to consider your budget when making a decision. Look for products that offer the best value for your money and consider financing options like Brighte. Government incentives can also help offset the cost.

Choose a trusted solar installer: A professional solar installer can help you choose the best products for your needs and ensure that they are installed correctly. Check out our guide for choosing the best solar installer for you.

The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and, where appropriate, seek professional advice.