Do I Need a Power Optimizer?

A power optimizer is an electrical device added to a solar system to improve its efficiency. Power optimizers are considered to be Module-Level Power Electronics (MLPE), such as microinverters and optimizers help improve the performance and energy production of your solar PV system design condition and fix the voltage of the, DC energy then send it to an inverter where it is converted to AC energy. Power optimizers are usually paired with centralized string inverters as they cannot invert energy Independently.

A power optimizer increases the efficiency of electricity generation in your solar system if your roof is complicated or prone to partial shading during the day. It also allows you to monitor the performance of individual modules for easy troubleshooting, repair, and maintenance.

So, if your modules are prone to mismatch loss due to degradation, partial shading, or manufacturing tolerance, a power optimizer will eliminate these issues and boost energy production.

Do I need a power optimiser

When to use a power optimizer?

There are several reasons to use power optimizers. These include:

  • When you want to monitor the performance of your panels, power optimizers will help you know how individual panels are performing. This allows for quick troubleshooting and repair of specific panels.
  • If your panels face different directions due to a complicated roof, a power optimizer ensures each panel performs at its maximum whenever sunlight hits them.
  • Power optimizers also optimize power production for roofs that experience marginal shading during the day.

With a power optimizer, your solar system will be more efficient and durable.

How do power optimizers work?

Typically, the sun hits PV solar panels Creating DC electricity sent to central string inverters for conversion into AC energy. However, complicated installations and roofs with marginal shading issues may reduce the power output of the panels. Power optimizers use the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) technology to improve the efficiency of each solar panel.

Power optimizers are usually installed at the rear side of individual solar panels and turn them into smart modules. These devices track the peak power output of the panels in real-time and then regulate or condition the voltage before sending the electricity to the central inverter.

It optimizes the performance of individual solar panels in your system regardless of their orientation, damage, or shade.

Which power optimizer do I need?

Before you choose a power optimizer, you should consider the factors below.


Power optimizers have different efficiencies, just like solar panels. The efficiency of a solar optimizer is measured by how much energy is lost when energy is being converted from DC to AC. Optimizers with higher efficiencies are the best to buy as they will offer more solar energy production.


Power optimizers are less expensive than solar panels, but knowing how much they cost. Usually, power optimizers with extended warranties and higher efficiencies will be costlier than optimizers with lower efficiencies and shorter warranties. The device you choose will depend on your budget and preference.


Most manufacturers offer a 25-year warranty for their power optimizers. This warranty protects consumers in case of manufacturing defects. Also, string inverters paired with the optimizers come with a separate warranty that may last  5-15 years. Ensure you read the warranty agreement of several products before purchasing them.


Solar optimizers and inverters are available in different sizes for different electricity voltages. Generally, larger optimizers and inverters will be costlier than smaller ones. Ensure the optimizer and inverter you buy suit your system.

Do I need to use a Solar Inverter with a power optimizer?

Yes, it would help if you use a solar inverter with a power optimizer to make sure each panels’ DC energy becomes converted into AC energy. The power optimizers track the maximum power output of the panels in real time. It then conditions and soothes the DC electricity before sending it to the solar inverter. This ensures the inverter processes more electricity, increasing your solar system’s power output.

Are power optimizers safe to use?

Absolutely yes! Power optimizers come with a safety voltage function designed to automatically reduce the DC voltage of the solar panels to a safe level (usually 1VDC) in case of the following scenarios:

  • When the grid power or inverter shuts down
  • The optimizer and modules become disconnected
  • When the system becomes faulty
  • When the inverter or safety switches are turned off

Depending on city regulations or racking components, your power optimizers can also be grounded.

Does a power optimizer work on days with bad weather?

Yes, power optimizers can still work during bad weather. These devices are designed to function in harsh weather conditions, but their efficiency becomes lower than on days with favorable weather. More so, with the MPPT tracking technology, your solar system may perform better during bad weather than systems without microinverters or solar optimizers.

If a single panel is completely shaded, the power optimizer for that panel may shut down temporarily. This will, however, not affect the performance of the other power optimizers.

Does a power optimiser work on days with bad weather rainy day

What are the advantages and disadvantages of power optimizers?

Power optimizers have several advantages and disadvantages, as outlined below:


Increased efficiency in partially shaded panels

Solar panels partially shaded or installed on roofs with several angles tend to have a lower DC output. A power optimizer increases the production of individual panels that experience shading or do not get direct sunlight. This increases the overall power output of your system.

Monitors individual panels

Solar optimizers are MLPEs that collect and feed solar energy production data such as peak efficiency and output voltage from each panel to the cloud. You can then get real-time updates on individual solar panels in performance.

Smaller inverter size

Voltage cleaning and tracking occur at the individual panel level, which means the inverter will be smaller. This makes power optimizers an excellent choice for homes with limited installation space.


High installation cost

Power optimizers are installed on each solar panel, which means every solar module will have its optimizer. This increases the installation cost compared to the traditional string inverters.

Different warranties

The standard warranty for power optimizers is 25 years, but the inverters paired with them have a 5-15 years warranty. This can be frustrating as you may be forced to replace your inverter before your solar panels.

Limited inverters

Solar inverters are a new technology that is fast becoming popular for commercial and residential solar systems. However, finding a genuine inverter is quite daunting. SolarEdge is by far the only reliable manufacturer of inverters, and you cannot use other brands with their solar optimizers. This limits the options for customers who want to explore other options.

Are power optimizers worth it?

Power optimizers are a worthy investment for commercial and residential solar arrays. If your site or roof experiences shading during the day or you want to increase the efficiency of your solar system, power optimizers are an excellent option.

DIY vs. hiring a Professional

Installing power optimizers are easier than most people think. If your solar panels are already installed, you can affix the inverter to the backside of the panel without a hassle. However, you must follow the installation guidelines carefully.

While DIY installations are cost-effective, they are prone to mistakes, especially if you are a beginner. It is better to let professionals do the installations for seamless results.

Do It Yourself

Below are the pros and cons of DIY installations.


  • They are cost-effective as you will not pay for labour
  • You will get an opportunity to hone your skills
  • You get to decide which power optimizers to use and where to install the inverter
  • You will feel fulfilled and satisfied after the project


  • Higher risk of roof damage and leakages
  • Physical danger due to inexperience
  • It is time-consuming
  • DIY is costly in the long run due to damages during the installation

Hiring a Professional

Some of the pros and cons of professional installations include:


  • Professionals are experienced in installing power optimizers
  • There are low risk of physical danger and damage to the modules, roof, and solar optimizer
  • Pros will complete the installation within the timeline
  • You will get warranties for the solar optimizers and inverter


  • Professional installations are quite costly
  • You may not be sure of the results


Both power optimizers and microinverters are excellent options if you are looking to increase the efficiency of your solar panels. However, microinverters do cost more than power optimizers.

Besides, the cost per watt for power optimizers decreases as the systems get larger. This is because you can use one central inverter when you increase your system size, unlike microinverters, where you have to buy a new microinverter whenever you add a new solar panel.

A solar power optimizer costs around $70 to $100, depending on the size and type. The installation cost will depend on your location and the number of power optimizers you will need for your system.

SolarEdge is one of the best power optimizers in the market. This power optimizer increases the energy output of solar systems on complicated roofs and roofs prone to marginal shading during the day. The SolarEdge power optimizer individually tracks each panel’s MPPT (maximum power point) to make sure it works efficiently.