Microinverters are a relatively new technology. They are an innovative advancement on the traditional “gang “or “string” inverter. An inverter functions to convert the DC energy from the sun into AC energy that we Americans use within our homes. Before microinverters were around, a string of panels on the roof of your house was connected to one inverter on the side of your house. If one of the panels had a performance issue from shading, bird droppings, or any other type of malfunction, the whole string of panels connected to that shared gang inverter would go down and stop producing power until the issue was resolved. Even worse, to figure out which panel had the issue you had to physically inspect each and every panel.
But now, by using microinverters that are wired on the backs of panels, each panel is independent of one another.
If a panel using a microinverter has a performance issue, only that specific panel will stop producing power. Even better, the microinverter functions as a unique tracking device, and with Enphase’s innovative Enlighten remote software monitoring package, all panels with microinverters are continually sending performance data to Enphase employees who are paid to make sure your solar array is always producing the optimum level of power. When an issue arises, 9 times out of 10 the problem can be resolved by sending a simple reboot signal to the microinverter. But even if that doesn't work, you don't have to spend countless hours troubleshooting each and every panel. The microinverter is self-identifying.
Enphase even has a 100% uptime guarantee that states they will reimburse eligible customers 100% of the cost of any energy lost due to the malfunction of one of their microinverters, for up to 30 days, and based on a reimbursement rate of 20 cents per kWh (the average GA utility customer pays 12 cents per kWh and members of the GA Power Solar Buyback Program are paid 17 cents per kWh of generated renewable energy). The microinverters come with a 15 year limited warrantee and have been laboratory tested under simulated conditions to work for over 100 years!