HiQ TrueString Solar Inverters
Rugged low-cost modular solar grid-tie inverters.
Made in California™
HiQ Solar TrueString Inverter Review
What is unique about HiQ Solar inverters?
Rugged Enough to Mount Anywhere
NEMA6 weatherproof enclosure.
Because HiQ Solar inverters are sealed, waterproof, modular, silent, rugged and reliable, they can be mounted just about anywhere. The rugged NEMA6 weatherproof enclosure can be run over with a car and still function! Completely waterproof, it can be immersed indefinitely underwater. The HiQ Solar inverter system is uniquely suited to hostile environments such as the heat of the desert, cold of high altitude and the moist salt mist of coastal regions.
TrueString Inverter Mounting Examples
Roof mount under solar panel array
Outdoor ground mount
Under solar carports
HiQ Solar TrueString inverters may look like this after surviving the heat and dust of the Death Valley desert yet they still function like new.
HiQ Solar Inverter System
Heat and cold tolerant components.
Cars tend to be hostile environments and require tough and long-lasting electronics. Unlike any other inverter, HiQ Solar uses automotive-grade components inside the inverter. These components have been time tested in an extended operating temperature range of -40°F to +220°F.
One can expect the HiQ inverter to operate comfortably in an operating range of -40°F to +149°F. This is one main reason HiQ TrueString solar inverters are often the first choice for harsh outdoor environments.
No electrolytic capacitors.
These electronic components are very common in many household items as well as most solar inverters. It is well-documented that with time and heat electrolytic capacitors tend to dry out and fail, often in only 5-7 years. They are a leading cause of failure in inverters. HiQ Solar TrueString inverters have been specifically designed to perform flawlessly for the life of your PV system without these capacitors.
One single-sided circuit board.
Two of the most common causes of failure in electronic systems are connectors and cabling. Inside of some leading inverter models, there are 7 or more separate circuit boards and many, many cables and connectors. These extra components become a likely cause of future problems. The internal electronics of each HiQ Solar inverter are on one board, this allows for a bare minimum of cables and connectors.
Convection cooling requires no fans.
Many people have experienced failures with the electric fans that cool their computers, and its the same with inverters. Fans are another common cause of inverter faults. In addition, they tend to suck dirt and dust into the enclosure which is not desirable. One of many advantages of HiQ inverters being fully sealed, waterproof and NEMA6 certified is that dirt cannot get inside. The over-sized heatsink allows for plenty of heat dissipation from the efficient components inside.
Small & Lightweight
Small & Lightweight
Light enough to carry under your arm.
HiQ Solar packs up to 8kW of output power into an inverter that weighs only 24 lbs. It is not just light in weight, but also very small; a guiding design principle of HiQ Solar inverters is that they should be liftable and capable of being carried under your arm. This makes installation easier, and usually achievable by just one person. No OSHA safe-lifting limits to worry about.
Reliable Built-in AFCI
Solar PV systems have been known to cause fires in the past. This is not surprising given that typical installs are comprised of many, many high voltage connections, arising from the stringing of PV modules serially together. The combination of high voltage (up to 1,000Vdc) and many manual installation steps where the probability of imperfect connector mating is high, makes arcing a real and frequent risk. To protect against this, US rules require solar PV systems to have arc detection. Fires that have started due to faulty arc detection demonstrate that there is a gap between product compliance, and the detection of real-world arcs in the field.
Reliable detection of real arcs is a very difficult engineering problem. It is easier for an inverter with single strings, and placed close to the array than for large string inverters placed long distances away from the array and with strings paralleled together. These large string inverters, and also central inverters, may turn to the use of combiner boxes, which separate the strings and do arc detection per string. These devices must then communicate with the inverter to shut off when an arc is detected. Clearly this entails a lot more hardware, more failure points, more headache, more costs.
Tests prove HiQ TrueString inverters can detect and extinguish arcs where other "AFCI compliant" inverters fail in the real world. The inherent nature of the design of the HiQ inverter allows the arc detection to be performed within the sealed enclosure so no extra external components are required.
NEC 2014 Rapid Shutdown 690.12
If your inverter was designed to hang on a wall, it would be hard to force-fit it onto a roof. It's a lot easier if your inverter was designed from the ground up to be array-mounted, like the HiQ TrueString inverter. Tuck it out of the way, safe in the knowledge that it's easily within the 10 foot allowed area specified in 690.12 of the 2014 NEC.
The HiQ Touchscreen Gateway allows a True String inverter solar PV system to commuicate with the Internet and provides convenient direct access to monitoring your system's performance.
HiQ inverter comparison
for the day, week, month or year.
Monitor system performance
for each day of the year.
Excellent Monitoring Capabilities
The best monitoring system on the market.
HiQ inverters have extensive monitoring derived from many built-in sensors that keep track of the operation and external conditions.
HiQ TrueString inverter systems utilize the Hi-Q GW-A Communications Gateway (far right). While HiQ Solar inverters can operate without one, a wealth of monitoring and control becomes available when a HiQ Communications Gateway is added to the system. It communicates with local inverters over the power line by being plugged into one phase, and uses a proprietary communication method that is robust and reliable. Instigating auto-discover on the device will cause it to quickly search out newly added inverters and report back.
Once connected to HiQ inverters, the Gateway logs data in near-real-time and stores it on an internal SD card. Up to 10 years of data may be archived this way. Information may be accessed through the touch screen, or over an Ethernet network. The network connection gives access to the built-in web server, allowing complete control through a web browser.
The data produced is useful from the commissioning process onwards for the life of the solar PV power production plant, allowing performance to be observed in real-time.
Lower Cost with Less BOS
When comparing Balance of System (BOS) costs between a HiQ Solar based system, it is common to make biased claims about cost savings; so the following was done:
Two different bid tools, one proprietary that is used internally by the customer, and the second a new web-based tool from PVBid were applied to a subset of cases. All cases are based on commercial solar systems of varying sizes and 3-phase voltages. The cost of the inverters were taken out of the comparison so that BOS costs may be directly compared.
The overall conclusion is that in these bids, HiQ inverters save between 5¢/W and 7¢/W for 480V systems, without including any difference in the cost of the inverters themselves. The gain at 208V is considerably higher. Similar differences would be expected compared to other string inverter brands. You should find that these savings are estimated on the low end of what we actually witness from customers.
HiQ Solar TrueString Inverter Models