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This paper presents an overview of single-phase inverters developed for small distributed power generators. The functions of inverters in distributed power generation (DG) systems include dc-ac conversion, output power quality assurance, various protection mechanisms, and system controls. Unique requirements for small distributed power generation systems include low cost, high efficiency and tolerance for an extremely wide range of input voltage variations. These requirements have driven the inverter development toward simpler topologies and structures, lower component counts, and tighter modular design. Both single-stage and multiple-stage inverters have been developed for power conversion in DG systems. Single-stage inverters offer simple structure and low cost, but suffer from a limited range of input voltage variations and are often characterized by compromised system performance. On the other hand, multiple-stage inverters accept a wide range of input voltage variations, but suffer from high cost, complicated structure and low efficiency. Various circuit topologies are presented, compared, and evaluated against the requirements of power decoupling and dual-grounding, the capabilities for grid-connected or/and stand-alone operations, and specific DG applications in this paper, along with the identification of recent development trends of single-phase inverters for distributed power generators.