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Can I increase my solar energy system's size in the future?

asked 2015-03-13 15:32:17 -0500

hcmg2015 gravatar image

Can I add solar panels to my system over time? what does that mean if I have a sting inverter? Can I add a micro inverter system as an add-on to a single string inverter system?

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answered 2015-03-26 23:19:15 -0500

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updated 2015-03-26 23:19:15 -0500

energysage gravatar image

The answer to your question depends on both what your utility will allow you to do as well as what inverter technology your system uses.

First of all, check with your utility and see if there are any limitations on system sizes, or if increasing your system will void any incentives you are currently receiving (such as http://blog.energysage.com/net-metering-the-back-and-forth-of-solar-power-systems/).

To answer your original questions about inverters and increasing system size:

If you have a string inverter system, it may end up being costly or troublesome (or both) to have someone come out and put more panels on. Generally speaking, with string inverter systems, all panels must be perfectly matched for brand and output. If you upgrade your system sometime in the future, technology may have changed and the best panels for your particular system could be harder to come by.

If you have a microinverter or power optimizer system, installing a new panel is more straightforward because there isn't the same need to match the panels - microinverters and power optimizers will fix the mismatch automatically. If you can find someone to add more panels at a reasonable price and you have space on your roof to add more panels, it could certainly be a worthwhile thing to do.

Another consideration: If you went solar with a solar lease or power purchase agreement, it may also depend on whether the company who owns your system will allow you to increase the size. They probably will if you have a power optimizer or microinverter system, but it may be more difficult if your system has a central string inverter.

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Asked: 2015-03-13 15:32:17 -0500

Seen: 297 times

Last updated: Mar 26 '15