1. High temperatures
By their nature, flat rooftops on
commercial buildings are harsh environments with excessive heat and inclement
weather. While it is commonly known that higher temperatures have an impact on
the efficiency of solar modules, the impact on inverters is often times
overlooked. Even in temperate climates commercial roof tops can quickly reach
temperatures of 110°F or more. The typical ambient operating temperature
of commercial inverters goes up to 140°F. Power electronics in the
inverter automatically (de-rate) as a protective measure when temperatures are
too high affecting system yield.
There are several options to keep
the inverter's temperature lower and to avoid de-rating: choosing a location
that is not exposed to direct sunlight or installing a shade cover for the
inverter. Natural airflow around the inverter is also beneficial and following manufactures
specification for distance and positioning between multiple inverters all
minimize high temperature challenges.
Furthermore, inverters with
active cooling (fan) perform better in high temperatures than inverters with
only natural convection in the demanding roof top environment.
Commercial rooftops are complex
usually coming with multiple architectural obstructions, impacting design and
cost solar system installation. HVAC units, chimneys, setbacks or pathways are
only a few obstructions that designers and installers have to deal with.
Correct Inverter choice for rooftop makes
a big difference in
profitability. Distributed inverter placement at zero tilt with minimal
sub-arrays provides more design flexibility, leading to efficient conduit and
conductor management, and making installation both simpler and faster. Choosing
the correct Inverter for the roof top environment matters and the right size
string inverter is not necessarily the largest kW available (bigger is not always