Enphase Microinverters vs. String Inverters

Solar power is a technological marvel. The fact that we here on Earth can create energy from a shining star that’s over 92 million miles away borders on the mind-boggling. But if you live in an area that gets a lot of sun, like Lake Havasu City, AZ, you likely already have a healthy respect for its power.

After feeling the sun’s heat, you might have thought about investing solar panel services. A workable form of green energy, solar energy could help you save not only the environment, but some money on utility costs as well. One choice you’ll have to make is between an Enphase microinverter and a string inverter—we’ll cover the differences below.

Difference between an Enphase microinverter and a string inverter

Before we compare these two devices, let’s look at how they’re different. Any solar panel array must have a solar inverter, which is a device that converts the direct current energy received from the sun into the alternating current needed to power the electrical grid. These are two different inverter systems.

A string inverter is a bit more inefficient as a system. It links together each solar panel (hence the “string” name) and routes the panels’ power to the inverter. It’s not very precise, as the inverter doesn’t know the exact power output of each individual panel, just the total combined power output of all the panels.

An Enphase microinverter, on the other hand, can offer precise readings of each panel. This is because there are small inverters linked to each panel, allowing each panel to operate independently of the one next to it. This process is more definitive, more accurate and more streamlined than the string inverter.

Next, we’ll examine some characteristics of each type of inverter and how they measure up.


Enphase microinverters take almost 90 minutes less to install than string inverters. This is likely because of new power safety codes that require string inverters to have rapid shutdown capabilities in case of an emergency. Often a special optimizer needs to be installed to enable these shutdown procedures, making the installation of string inverters take longer.


For the initial cost, Enphase microinverters cost about $1,000 more than string inverters, depending on where you live and the vendor. Other figures have string inverters costing a third as much as Enphase microinverters.


One downside of Enphase microinverters is that they’re more difficult to fix. With a string inverter, most times a technician can simply put in a new string on the side of the house without having to go up to the roof. But if you need solar panel services for your Enphase microinverters, the technician will have to go up and individually repair or replace the self-contained microinverter to get your system back online.


For this category, it’s no contest—Enphase microinverters are more productive and more efficient than string inverters. This is because Enphase microinverters are self-contained, and a problem with one cell leaves others unaffected. Since string inverters are interconnected, they’re only as strong as their weakest cell. Not only that, but independent studies have found that Enphase microinverters produce 3.1 percent more energy than string inverters.

Call to discuss solar energy solutions today

If you need solar panel services in Lake Havasu City, AZ, call the team at Mohave Solar. We’d be happy to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of Enphase microinverters and string inverters for your residential or commercial solar energy needs.