AC (Micro Inverters) power or DC (String Inverters) power solar systems?
Most of us don’t think twice when plugging our cell chargers into a wall outlet is no accident. Homes and businesses today are powered by safe alternating current (AC) electricity
Over a hundred years ago, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison were the leader in power generation. Tesla championed AC electricity, and Edison did the same for direct current (DC) electricity. Tesla’s safe, low-voltage AC power became the standard for homes and businesses.
AC power’s historical advantage
AC power and DC power both move energy through a circuit. In AC power systems, current cycles between positive and negative; they alternate. In DC systems, current is fixed at a constant positive, ‘direct’ current”. So why are most modern homes served by AC power? Ever touched a Low voltage DC electric fence? Don’t try High voltage.
Thomas Edison, DC power, believed in a system which small power generators located in neighborhoods was the answer. Nikola Tesla, AC power, believed in a system in which large, centralized generators would send out power through transmission lines. George Westinghouse inventor of the modern electric grid, choose Tesla’s safer AC system, and the rest is history.
Why AC systems are safer
DC power systems are higher voltage and have to be monitored for arc faults, which pose risk of fire and bodily injury. Equipment failure, such as a damaged cable or a loose electrical connection, can generate an arc fault.
In an AC power system, voltage continually cycles between positive and negative values, making it possible to virtually eliminate the risk of an arc fault.
Rooftop solar systems using DC power also rely on high voltage to move energy from a full array of solar panels (600 Volts) to a centralized string inverter, then AC to your electrical panel box.
Solar AC power systems like our Microinverter System always operate at low DC (36 Volts), and converted to AC voltage at the collector then send the AC power to your electrical panel box. That is a safety feature homeowners benefit.
It’s important to trust the products you bring into your home, including solar power systems. By choosing our AC system, you’re as safe as with any quality home appliance introduced in the last hundred years or so.
Our advice, use the power company’s choice of power - Stay safe and keep it AC.