We’re often asked the age old question “Should I Cover My Solar Inverter?”.
Continue reading below to learn more and discover the answers to all of the scenarios you might encounter.
Firstly, you need an understanding of what a solar inverter is and why the location of your inverter is critically important. To learn more on this topic read our article “Is Your Rooftop Solar System Healthy? A Focus On Solar Inverters“.
The questions we’ll cover in today’s article are listed below:
- Can A Solar Inverter Be Installed In Direct Sunlight?
- Should Solar Inverters Be Installed In The Shade?
- Can I Enclose My Solar Inverter?
- How Should You Cover A Solar Inverter?
- What’s The Best Cover For My Solar Inverter?
Can A Solar Inverter Be Installed In Direct Sunlight?
The answer to this one is simple…NO! Solar Inverters cannot be installed in direct sunlight. Doing so causes them to overheat and run inefficiently. It can also decrease the lifespan of your inverter.
If your inverter fails due to being located in direct sunlight there is a good chance that your solar inverter warranty will be void.
Ensure this doesn’t happen to you, read on to learn more.
Should Solar Inverters Be Installed In The Shade?
The ideal location for a solar inverter is in a fully shaded location.
The best examples of this are a garage or carport. On a newly built home one of these two locations should be easy to achieve if you factor it in during the design phase.
On an existing property this can prove difficult. One option is installing the inverter on a south facing wall, as it won’t receive direct sunlight throughout the day. Bear in mind that sometimes this isn’t feasible due to the aspect of your house, or the practicality of installing cables between your switchboard and the inverter.
If none of these options work for you, shade your solar inverter buy protecting it from the sun with a suitable inverter cover. We’ll cover this in the following topics.
Can I Enclose My Solar Inverter?
Totally enclosing your inverter in a small cabinet/box is not recommended and should not be done under any circumstances!
Granted it will block the sun, however there will be zero airflow passing through the inverter to properly cool it. Your inverter will overheat (fast) and fail. The inverter manufacturer will likely void your warranty in this situation.
If you need to cover it, do it properly. More on that below.
How Should I Cover My Solar Inverter?
A solar inverter can be covered if it’s installed in direct sunlight, using a suitable solar inverter cover. This means that you can’t just cover it with anything that you see online.
We’ve seen plenty of old installations with a Bunnings awning shade being installed above an inverter. They are generally considered bulky and unsightly and not the first choice for most residents.
A far more popular choice now is an inverter cover.
The inverter cover you use must block the sun AND allow sufficient airflow through the inverter. It should also be approved for use by the inverter manufacturer where possible.
Examples of inverter manufacturer approved solar inverter covers can be seen here.
Your rooftop solar system is a hefty investment that needs to function properly for many years to pay itself off. Treat it properly and give your solar inverter the cover it deserves!
What’s The Best Cover For My Solar Inverter?
People often ask us “What’s the best cover for my solar inverter?”.
As we explained above, a solar inverter cover must maintain adequate airflow across the inverter and block direct sunlight. Unfortunately there are sub standard options on the market that do one and not the other.
For inverter covers that tick all the boxes you can check out the FC Inverter Covers range here. They’re designed by highly regarded solar industry veterans with a passion for providing high quality products and service.
We discuss the FC Inverter Covers range in greater detail in our article Affordable High Quality Inverter Covers For Everyday Aussies
You can also see our newest addition, the Tesla Powerwall Battery Cover here