Phone: 877-536-7860

How Solar Inverters Work

Picture of an installed solar inverter on a roof.

What's the Purpose of an Inverter?

Your solar panels will produce DC, direct current, electricity. Most household and office electronics run off of AC, alternating current, electricity. An inverter is needed to convert this DC electricity (what solar panels produce) to usable AC electricity that your home or office electronics can use.

Basic Types of Solar Inverters

Two basic types of inverters are used in solar energy systems, microinverters and traditional string inverters. Microinverters attach directly to each panel in your solar system. A string inverter is kept in a box attached near your electricity meter. Leo Sunergy typically uses Enphase Microinverters and SMA Sunny Boy inverters. (For more information about how inverters work, visit Solar Inverter Technology)

When deciding which inverters you'd like you'll also want to consider whether you want off-grid or grid-tied inverters. Your Solar Consultant can take a look at your specific situation and recommend the best type of inverters for your solar energy system.

Microinverters vs. Traditional String Inverters

Traditional String Inverters:

  • Are more than sufficient for your energy needs in most cases
  • Are less expensive than microinverters
  • Can connect to third party monitoring systems
  • Convert DC to AC electricity using a large centralized unit
  • If one panel isn't performing due to shading or another performance issue, the entire energy output of your system will be affected


  • Are great if your roof has shading issues
  • Produce 10-25% more energy than traditional inverters
  • Convert DC to AC electricity at the solar panel level instead of a centralized unit
  • Safer since they don't have live DC wires connected to a centralized unit
  • Connect to a monitoring system and allow monitoring at the module level
  • Are modular so they allow you to increase the size of your solar panel system as your energy needs increase
  • If one panel isn't performing correctly or is shaded for a period of time during the day, the entire energy output of your system will not be affected

Off-Grid Inverters vs. Grid-Tied Inverters

Leo Sunergy typically installs grid-tied inverters, but we can install off-grid inverters too.

Grid-Tied Inverters:

  • Are tied directly to the electricity grid in your area
  • You can make money off your system if your solar panels produce more energy than what is needed for your home (ask your Solar Consultant for details)
  • Are available with Battery-Back-Up- if there is an electricity outage, your home or business can keep the lights on even when the rest of your area is experiencing the outage

Off-Grid Inverters:

  • Store your solar energy in batteries
  • Must be very large and able to handle the power surges your electricity needs produce
  • Offer excellent portability
  • May be more cost-effective for remote areas without power lines

Which Inverter Do I Choose?

Your Solar Consultant can help you make a decision on which inverter is best for your solar energy needs. Contact Leo Sunergy so we can custom design a solar energy system for you, 877-536-7860.

For more information about inverters, visit Solar Inverter Technology

We provide solar power installation in Maryland (MD), (including Baltimore, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Rockville,) Washington DC, Virginia (VA), Pennsylvania (PA), New Jersey (NJ) and Delaware (DE).