What is the best inverter for solar?

This post answers which is the best inverter for your needs.

 

We get asked alot by customers.  Which is the best inverter for my solar?

In this blog I  will talk about the differences in the various inverters,  their advantages and disadvantages.

 

What types of inverters are there?

The main types of solar inverters are

  • String  – perfect for most installations and by far the most reliable.
  • Hybrid – Specifically designed to have batteries fitted with a DC connection.
  • Micro inverters. –  Have an inverter on every solar panel.
  • Optimized systems.  – Have an MPPT on every solar panel.

 

String                                                         Hybrid                                               Micro

Each have advantages and disadvantages based on the following.

  • The type of installation
  • Whether you will install batteries immediately
  • If there is any shading issues.

You should base your choice on.

  • Lots of shade? = Micro inverter.
  • Nice big roof with no issues? – String inverter.
  • Plan to install batteries straight away and want backup power functions? – Hybrid inverter.

But what about brand? Isn’t that important?

 

Yes, the brand is very important. 

  • Many inverters carry similar warranties some 5 years some 5 + 5.
  • They are made with very different components.
  • The companies act very differently when it comes to warranty.

 

I believe, how the company acts when a warranty has to be claimed is by far the most important.

It is one thing to “say” you have a ten year warranty.

But if you take 6 months and never ending phone calls and issues trying to claim it. Then it’s hardly a good customer experience.

In my experience the best inverters for warranty claims are as follows and in order of ease to deal with.

  • Sungrow.
  • Goodwe
  • Fronius
  • ABB
  • Enphase
  • Solar edge.

 

I personally would not deal with any other inverter companies.

After 12 years in the industry and having dealt with just about every inverter company out there.

These are the only ones I have not had never ending issues with. 

 

Fail rates? What’s that?

 

This should also be a considered part of your decision.  As a general rule more expensive does not always mean more reliable.

Every brand has what is called a fail rate.  This means a % of them that stop working well before they should .

In my experience micro inverter, optimized systems and Hybrid systems  fail at vastly higher rates than string inverters.

 

In my experience the most reliable inverters are as follows and in order .

  • Fronius
  • ABB
  • Sungrow
  • Goodwe
  • Enphase
  • Solar edge.

So if you don’t mind paying the higher price for the fronius, it is definitely less likely you will have a break down in the first 10 years.

However they are very significantly  higher priced than the sungrow.

Given they are a bit more difficult to deal with on warranties I often ask if it is worth the extra money.

Conclusion

 

All in all, make sure you consider what’s most important to you when selecting an inverter.

Price, warranty, suitable for your needs. All are very important.

Cheers.

Leon

 

 

 

 

 

 

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