Listen Up: Improving Solar Panel Output with Optimizers

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feature-0-1416508569607.jpg Solar panels keep getting more efficient. That's a great thing. But they can't communicate, can't adjust to environmental circumstances, and don't have automatic shutdown capabilities. Fortunately — and with apologies to the Farrelly brothers (who seem to have similar limitations) — solar panels aren't getting any dumber. Many of the newest solar panels are equipped with optimizers, either built into the junction box or attached as a separate component to the back of the panel. Microinverters (which convert the DC output of a panel to AC) provide the same basic benefits at similar costs; however, unlike microinverters, optimizers operate on the DC side of the system and are always connected to a central or string inverter.

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