While it seems to be very common these days to use DC optimizers or micro inverters for any system (no matter if there is shading, or if there is a real need for module level monitoring), it does not have to be this way. In fact, for many years systems have been installed with string inverters, where only one power electronic component is needed (the inverter), which is mounted in a safe location such as the garage. String inverters are the major technology in any other solar market in the world. Thus, if the US code would not require module level shutdown or if better solutions (such as module integrated chips) would be available, string inverter technology could be applied in almost every system, limiting the issues outlined on this website to systems where the benefit of Module Level Power Electronics outweighs the downsides – as opposed to requiring them across the entire industry.
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