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Best Solar Inverters

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PUTTING THE TRUST BACK INTO SOLAR, HELPING YOU BUILD A BETTER LIFESTYLE

Best Solar Inverters Australia
& Is Buying The 'Best' Wrong?

If you’re looking for a decent solar system and you’re wondering, “What are the best solar inverters in Australia?” that can help you get the most energy savings from your system then you’ve landed in the right place.

Don’t worry, most people ask this same question as you. It’s a common question we get asked almost every single day. 

We cannot overemphasise the need to have the right solar inverter that can enable you to optimise energy in your home or business address. Each solar inverter will perform differently to the rest.

Anyway, let’s get stuck into finding the best inverter for your home. You’ll need to consider a few factors here. Firstly, your budget… How much can you afford? 

Secondly, the size system. This will depend on your energy usage. Finally, specification factors like warranty, efficiency and technology. 

Overall, I’ve created this article to help you understand how to buy the best solar inverter and how to understand which one is going to work the hardest for your budget. 

If you’re really stuck, then please don’t hesitate to get some help from one of my solar design engineers here. We can run through which inverter is going to be best suited and give you the genuine reasons why (based from our extensive solar electrician experience).

Table Of Contents

What Are Solar Inverters?

How does a solar inverter work?

A solar inverter is a device that enables converting a photovoltaic solar panel’s variable direct current output into a usable alternating current, which can be transmitted into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local off-grid electrical network.

That’s quite some jargon, right? In more simple terms, a solar inverter is a device that converts direct energy derived from the sun via a solar panel into alternating current that can be used by the electrical components of a home or office. Now, it’s pretty simple!

So, you won't be able to generate power without a solar inverter?

Pretty much, the inverter is just as important as the solar panels in the system. 

So essentially, you won’t be able to use a DC current from your system without installing and converting the energy into AC through a solar inverter. Like I mentioned above, some solar inverters work very differently from the rest. 

It is essential for you to enjoy the best satisfaction anyone can get from using a solar inverter, whether at home or in your business place. Of course, you may only need a small, good budget solar inverter whereas others might require a bigger, more advanced solar inverter. 

This all really depends on the homeowner, your budget, your goals for going solar and the size of your system. That is why we are taking the time to let you know why solar inverters are essential and help you identify some of the best solar inverters in Australia in 2021.

digaram showing how solar inverters work: Energy produced from the solar panel is passed into the solar inverter and converted from DC in AC to be used in your home.

Why Are Solar Inverters So Important?

Considering how many people are asking what the best solar inverter is to install in their home, I believe you may be wondering why solar inverters are so important? 

Of course, one of the BIG questions about life and the occurrences that characterise it is “WHY?” Hence, why do you need a solar inverter?

The foundation of every solar system consists of the solar inverter and the PV panels, this is what you are able to claim financial incentives on. The solar inverter is responsible for the extent of the quality of the power generated out of your solar system, as well as its safety. 

Solar inverters are so crucial because they are responsible for converting direct current (DC) received from the solar system (sun) via the solar panels to alternating current (AC) that is usable by your home or exported to the grid.

Solar inverters also optimise the percentage of energy that gets converted for use…

It also ensures that it optimises the amount of energy generated under different conditions. When energy enters the solar inverter, some energy will get lost in the process of converting that energy from DC into AC. This % value is known as the inverter efficiency

So if an inverter is 98% efficient, this means you will be losing 2% of your energy every time it gets converted for use if that makes sense. 

Therefore, to enable your household to use the power contained in the solar system, you would need a solar inverter along with the solar panels. For the sake of emphasis, you cannot do without the solar inverter among the lists of components.

Solar inverters are important, but is buying the best one just as important?

So, I’d just quickly like to highlight that buying the best solar inverter might not be ‘best’ for you…

I’ll quickly explain why. The best solar inverter in the industry is obviously going to cost more than others because A) it’s the best and B) it used highly advanced technology compared with others. 

Although this might suit some homeowners, (around 40%) a majority might not actually need this level of technology or the high investment price that comes with it. 

Really, you want to be buying the solar inverter that works best for you. This means understanding your budget, your goals (e.g. if you want a fast ROI, a long term ROI & long lasting system etc) and of course the size of the system you’re after. 

Yes, you might be interested in the best solar inverter, but it definitely won’t be the best one for you. This is why it’s important to speak to a solar engineer who can help you understand which options are best for your home.

Let’s jump into this in more detail below:

Should I go for the best Solar Inverter?

Soooo…back to whether you should go for the best solar inverter. These are some of the factors you should consider in choosing a solar inverter to help you try and get one that’s best suited for your home.

Check the warranty of the inverter

When you know the warranty of the inverter, you can decide if it’s worth getting for you. On average, solar inverters have a warranty of 10 years. The top end is 25 years. If you are selling your house in 5-10 years, is there much point of going for the best? 

However, if you are buying solar panels with 25 years warranty, then it’s best you get an inverter that’s going to last the same time as well or else it won’t make much sense… Right?

Check the power rating

You must also check for the power rating and surge rating to ascertain the number of watts of overload that the inverter can handle within a short period. 

The surge rating typically varies from 3 seconds to 15 seconds. There are variations in the surge rating of different solar inverters, even inverters of the same brand.

This is important for those who are looking for a big system and wanting to use a lot of self-consumption energy.

Compare the price with other solar inverters

Like I briefly mentioned above, your budget is a big factor in this. You should be getting the best inverter that’s within your budget. You can find out what you can get for your money by speaking to a solar design engineer who has experience in the industry. 

It’s best to always look at one good budget inverter, one mid-range inverter and of course one high-end inverter. This way you can get an understanding of your budget and what you can afford.

Check solar inverter efficiency

Although I wouldn’t say this is the most important (or even that important, here’s why…) it’s always best to get an understanding of your solar inverters efficiency. I think right now, Sungrow has the best efficiency in the industry

Either way it’s interesting to see how much energy you will be able to retain when converting from DC to AC.

Consider peak power and typical power

A solar inverter supplies both peak power and typical power. The peak power talks about the maximum power the solar inverter can provide for a short period, usually around a few seconds to 15 minutes. 

The typical power talks about the usual power steadily supplied by the solar inverter. So if you want to go virtually off-grid and not use any energy from your grid, you will need a high peak power solar inverter. 

If you have a big family and when their kids come back from school or a lockdown is happening, it’s best to consider a top range inverter with a high peak power to optimise for the maximum amount of savings.

understanding how to buy the best solar inverter thats going to work the hardest for your budget.

How long do Solar Inverters last?

Ideally, grid-connected solar inverters last between 10 and 20 years. A good quality unit lasts a minimum of 10 years. There are some factors that may change this. 

The biggest factor by far is the installation. If your installation is done by some unqualified sub-contractors you’ll be lucky to see 3-5 years on that. If your installation is done by a solar electrician who knows the trade, you could easily push 20 years. 

Some other factors are location (If it’s in direct sunlight or outside with rain or bad weather) and of course how much it gets used and how much energy gets put through the system. Solar inverters do begin to very slowly lose efficiency over time

There are usually warranties for solar inverters covering 5 to 12 years, and the high end do offer 25 years. To be honest, I’d say that on average (with good installation) you can get 15 years from your inverter.

The 5 Best Solar Inverters in Australia

Now, I know I’ve banged on about there not ‘really’ being the best solar inverter because it simply all depends on you as the homeowner… BUT I thought I’d share with you my favourites in the industry. 

If you are looking for the 5 best solar inverters in Australia, then here are my top picks. They are some of the highest-quality solar inverters that anyone and I’d be happy sharing them with you.

5. GoodWe Solar Inverter:

GoodWe is a manufacturer of photovoltaic solar inverters and energy storage solutions that ranked as the world’s top 10 solar inverter manufacturer in 2012. They are one of the leading companies that focus on research. They have been serving the Australian market with quality solar inverters since 2010.

To be honest, this is definitely a good budget option for those who are looking for a quick payback period and a fast return on investment.

GoodWe SDT Series

           Specifications:
  • Nominal Output Power – 5kWh
  • Max. DC Input Power – 6.5kWh
  • Max. Efficiency 98.0%
  • Cooling –  Natural Convection
  • Operating Temperature Range (°C) -25~60

4. Growatt Solar Inverter:

Growatt is another big name in the solar system industry with the recognition of being the No.1 Chinese Residential PV inverter brand by PVBL since 2017. They also became China’s top inverter exporter by 2011. 

Over the past 5 years they’ve become extremely popular in Australia because of their fantastic price point and high performance technology. Growatt is also moving into the solar battery market and has started offering home battery solutions. 

Again, I’d say this really suits those homeowners who are looking for quality budget systems that provide fast ROI and are unsure if they might move home or sell in the future.

Growatt MIN 2500-6000TL

           Specifications:
  • Nominal Output Power – 5kWh
  • Max. DC Input Power – 7kWh
  • Max. Efficiency 98.4%
  • Cooling –  Natural Convection
  • Operating Temperature Range (°C) -25~60
growatt solar inverter

3. Sungrow Solar Inverter:

Sungrow is yet another big shot in the solar industry, serving 99%+ efficiency PV inverters for over 24 years now. They have the largest PV inverter R&D team with their installations in more than 150 countries globally.

Impressively enough, they actually offer higher efficiency than Fronius and some people claim the fan is not as noisy compared to other inverters as well. The price range for this technology is really affordable which makes Sungrow stand out. 

I’d say that Sungrow inverters are the perfect example of a mid-range solar inverter in terms of performance, price and warranty.

SunGrow SG3K/3K6/4K/4K6/5K

           Specifications:
  • Nominal Output Power – 5kWh
  • Max. DC Input Power – 600 V
  • Max. Efficiency 98.4%
  • Cooling –  Natural Convection
  • Operating Temperature Range (°C) -25 °C to 60 ℃ (>45 ℃ derating)
sungrow solar inverter

2. Fronius Solar Inverter:

Fronius is one of the leading and well-established manufacturers of inverters globally, founded in 1945. They are one of the companies in the solar industry with a notable reputation since 1992 that speaks quality. They are a European brand unlike the others, focusing on quality as a big selling point.  

Fronius products are characterised by efficiency, reliability, and they form the indispensable heart of every photovoltaic system. The power categories of their products range from 1.5 to 100KW, which means suitability for both residential and commercial purposes.

A lot of people will argue that Fronius is the best in the industry, although they might be right on paper (in terms of specs) it might not be the best for different homeowners. Nonetheless, Fronius has made it to #2 on my best solar inverter list.

Fonius PRIMO Inverter

           Specifications:
  • Nominal Output Power – 5kWh
  • Max. DC Input Power – 7.5 kW
  • Max. Efficiency 97.9%
  • Cooling –  Controlled forced ventilation, variable speed fan
  • Operating Temperature Range (°C) -40 to 55 C
fronius solar inverter

1. SolarEdge Solar Inverter:

SolarEdge occupies a top position in the solar industry with its pioneering concept of string inverter matched with individual DC optimisers on each solar panel. They have a 12-year warranty that can be extended up to 20 or 25 years on their products, which speaks of reliability and efficiency.

SolarEdge products have a power range of 3KW to 10KW and 12.5KW to 33.3KW for residential systems and commercial systems, respectively. The inverters provide superior efficiency, and they rank 5-star ratings from most review pages by customers.

Overall, this is a high end system similar to the lists of Enphase inverter systems. The smart technology and full visibility sets it apart from the crowd. You have access over where your energy is being used and how your system is performing.

SolarEdge HD Wave Inverter

           Specifications:
  • Nominal Output Power – 5kWh
  • Max. DC Input Power – 7.75 kW
  • Max. Efficiency 99%
  • Cooling – Natural Convection
  • Operating Temperature Range (°C) -40 to +60C

Conclusion:

Just remember, buying the best solar inverter shouldn’t be your biggest price point. You should really find one that works the hardest for your budget. This is why it’s always best to speak to an expert to find out which one. 

Either way, you don’t have to wonder, ‘What are the best solar inverters’ anymore, as you have received the relevant information. Now is the best time to get solar as well, so what are you waiting for

Is it time to turn your home and business place into a solar energy hub with any of the reliable solar inverters of your choice? Well let us know in the comments below. 

Share your thoughts on which you think is the best inverter in Australia below👇!

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Written By:

Luke Cove
Managing Director
Lightning Solar & Electrical

2 thoughts on “Best Solar Inverters”

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