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To best answer this question, there are three types of inverters to consider:

  • Micro Inverters
  • Standard or Central Inverters : Indoor
  • Standard of Central Inverters: Outdoor

Micro Inverters

The way these inverters work is that they operate 1-2 panels each and so they must be connected very close to the panel. For these types of inverters you have little choice in placement and typically they are attached underneath or to the back of your solar panels.

Standard Inverters: Indoor

Standard inverters will either be rated as indoor or outdoor inverters. Generally, indoor inverters are cheaper since they don’t need to be built to withstand weather affects such as rain.

As such you will want to place them on a wall that is:

  • Easily accessible
  • Away from all weather affects
  • In an area with at least ½ foot free space on all sides of it
  • Away from any sources of moisture

Most people prefer to have these installed in a garage so that they are out of the way, but still protected from the elements. It is critical that the inverters have free air space around them, so that they don’t overheat. If it is placed in a garage, ensure that the usual clutter that ends up there doesn’t surround your inverter.

Standard Inverters: Outdoor

For Standard inverters that are rated for outdoor use there is more flexibility in where they can be placed. However, some of the rules that applied for indoor inverters still apply here:

  • Easily accessible
  • Out of direct sunlight at all times
  • In an area with at least ½ foot free space on all sides of it

These are usually found in garages/carports or on the sides of houses if there is an awning or some shade that keeps them out of sunlight. The key rule still applies, you want to avoid getting inverters too hot because they will lose efficiency and in worst cases reach their heat limit and shut themselves down; so plenty of air space around them and no direct sunlight.