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Best Solar Inverters 2022 in Australia

Best Solar Inverters 2022 in Australia

A solar inverter is the most critical aspect of your solar power system. It’s also the component within your solar panels system that’s most likely to fail, that’s why selecting the right inverter is vital.

This article:

  • Explains the main functions of a solar inverter
  • Describes the three main types of solar inverters
  • Provides a list of the best solar inverters in 2022 that are available in Australia
  • Explains each of the key selection criteria used in compiling this list

Main functions of a solar inverter

The purpose of a solar inverter is to convert DC electricity to AC electricity. The solar inverter converts high voltage DC (direct current) electricity to lower voltage AC (alternating current) electricity which can be used in your home, or exported to the grid.

In addition, most modern solar inverters will have built-in Wi-Fi monitoring that provides you with real-time information on your solar power generation. The best solar inverters go a step further and provide consumption monitoring, so you can see how much solar power you’re using in your home.

Four main types of solar inverters

The four main types of solar inverters are:

  1. String inverters
  2. Optimiser systems
  3. Microinverters
  4. Hybrid inverters

String inverters are the most common type of solar inverter and the most cost-effective. They are suitable for roofs that are exposed to sunlight for most of the day, and where the roof layout is straightforward. Most solar panel systems use string inverters because of these advantages.

Optimiser systems are a highly effective, affordable way to optimise the power output from each panel independently. DC power optimisers attached to the back of each panel optimising the performance of that panel and ensuring that if one panel is partially shaded or compromised in any way, it doesn’t affect the performance of any other panels.

Microinverters have a small inverter (the size of your hand) on the back of each panel.  This makes the solar system more robust as there is no single point of failure.  If one microinverter fails, the rest of the system will continue to work.  Microinverters provide panel-level optimisation and monitoring.  Because of the sophistication of the technology, microinverters are more expensive than string inverters.

Hybrid inverters, sometimes referred to as battery-ready inverters, are like string solar inverters but enable the direction connection of a battery storage system. Whilst this sounds like a good idea, many of the top battery brands include a built-in battery inverter that serves this purpose.  We don’t recommend a Hybrid inverter unless you are looking to purchase a battery within 9 months as the communication between inverter and battery may change. We may recommend Hybrid inverter if you buy a battery at the same time; if not we can still supply you with a battery ready system.

Best solar inverters in 2022 in Australia

All solar inverters on this list meet relevant Australian standards and are on the Clean Energy Council approved list of solar inverters.

 Inverter typeStandard warrantyWarranty extension at extra costEfficiencyPanel-level optimisation Operating temperature range, ºCPanel layout flexibility Noise, decibelsHead office location Australian officePrice
SolarEdge HD Wave GenesisDC optimised12 yearsUp to 25 years99.2%Yes-40 to +60Excellent<25IsraelYesPremium
EnphaseMicroinverter10 yearsUp to 25 years97.5%Yes-40 to +65ExcellentNot stated. Natural cooling, no fans.USYesPremium
FroniusString inverter5 + 5 yearsUp to 15 years98.1%No-40 to +60Standard< 42AustriaYesPremium
SMAString inverter5 yearsUp to 20 years97%No‒25 to +60Standard25GermanyYesPremium
GoodweString inverter & Hybrid inverter10 yearsUp to 20 years97%No-25 to +60StandardNot stated. Natural cooling, no fans.vChinaYesBudget
SungrowString inverter10 yearsUp to 15 years98%No-25 to +60StandardNot stated. Natural cooling, no fans.ChinaYesBudget

Note: This list of solar inverters reflects the views of Solar Run and is based on data provided in the solar inverter manufacturers’ datasheets.   

Criteria used to select best solar inverters

The most important criteria for selecting a good quality inverter are described below. But before we dive in, a quick note about Australian support:

Australian support

Every solar inverter on our list is produced by a manufacturer with a customer support office in Australia. This is extremely important.  If you need to make a warranty claim on your solar inverter, your first port of call should always be your solar installer.  But if they are no longer in business, you’ll need to go direct to the manufacturer.  If that happens, you’ll want a manufacturer that has an Australian office with phone and email customer support.

You should also select a manufacturer with a strong field-service team who’ll come and fix the inverter at your premises, rather than require you to ship it to them.

We know what type of customer support each solar inverter manufacturer provides in Australia.  Talk to us to find out more.

Standard warranty

The standard out-of-the-box warranty that comes with an inverter is one of the best indicators of the durability of the inverter and the confidence that the manufacturer has in supporting it.

SolarEdge provides the best standard solar inverter warranty in the industry at 12 years. This warranty can be extended up to 25 years at a modest extra cost; making it one of the best extendable warranties on the market. With warranties this good, it’s no wonder that SolarEdge is the world’s most installed residential inverter!

Interestingly, some other premium solar inverter brands fall short when it comes to warranties. Fronius is one example. Their out-of-the-box standard warranty is 5 + 5 years.

With the Fronius 5+5 year warranty, you get the first 5 years covered for parts and labour, but the second 5 years are only covered for parts.  You would have to pay for labour.  For a premium priced solar inverter, this is a big minus and one of the reasons why we recommend SolarEdge over Fronius.

Warranty extension at extra cost

It’s good to know that with any of the solar inverters on our recommended list, you can increase the duration of the warranty by paying a bit extra.  Given that solar inverters are main point of weakness in any solar power system, it pays to get an inverter with a long warranty that covers parts and labour.

Cheaper solar inverters sometimes require that you ship the inverter back to the manufacturer to be fixed.  This can be costly for you in terms of higher electricity bills.  It’s much better to pay a bit more for an inverter from a manufacturer who will arrange for your inverter to be fixed at your property or ship a replacement to you.

Efficiency

As the prime purpose of a solar inverter is to convert DC electricity to AC electricity, the key statistic to check out is inverter efficiency.  The higher the efficiency rating the better.  For our comparison, we’ve used the maximum efficiency rating in each manufacturer’s product datasheet to give a like-for-like comparison.  These efficiency ratings are independently verified. They are one of the most important selection criterion as even a small drop in efficiency can cost you a lot of money in higher electricity bills over the lifespan of your solar system.

SolarEdge’s HD-Wave Genesis inverter has the highest maximum efficiency rating of all solar inverters available in Australia.  At a staggering 99.2% efficiency, they lead the field in terms of solar energy production.

Panel-level optimisation

Panel-level optimisation means that each individual solar panel in an array generates the maximum possible power and is not affected by the performance of other solar panels.  This is a great feature if you have a roof that’s partially shaded as only the affected panels will drop in performance.

There are two main manufacturers who offer panel-level optimisation: Enphase and SolarEdge.  But they do it in different ways.

Enphase uses microinverters, small inverters attached to the back of each solar panel, to convert DC electricity to AC electricity at panel level. SolarEdge, on the other hand, attach DC optimisers to each panel which optimises energy production at individual panel-level.  If one panel underperforms (due to shading, dirt, ageing etc), the other panels will continue to work at maximum production.

Both SolarEdge and Enphase provide panel-level monitoring via your laptop or mobile phone.  At SolarRun, we provide full consumption and solar generation monitoring as part of the SolarEdge solution.  With Enphase, consumption monitoring is an extra cost.  Consumption monitoring shows you how much of your self-generated solar is being used in your home at any time – it’s invaluable information to help you get the most from your solar!

Operating temperature range

Solar inverters don’t like the heat.  So, to prolong the life of your solar inverter we recommend getting it installed in your carport or on an external wall that doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight.

If it is going on an outside wall, it’s a good idea to get a shade cover for it even if there’s only a few hours of sunlight hitting the inverter every day.  The extra cost is marginal, and it means you’ll get more out of your inverter.

All the solar inverters on our recommended list are rating to perform in temperatures up to 60ºC and to temperatures well below zero.

Panel layout flexibility

If you have a complex roof with lots of angles, or limited roof space, panel layout flexibility will be an important selection criterion.  With 10kW solar panels systems becoming the new norm, finding space for around 25-30 panels can be a challenge.  That’s where both SolarEdge and Enphase have the advantage over string inverters.

SolarEdge and Enphase offer complete flexibility with panel layout; you can have panels arrange portrait or landscape, on multiple arrays (e.g., 3 or more rows) and facing any direction.

Noise

Most solar inverters these days have a natural cooling system and don’t use a fan.  However, checking out the decibel rating is important if your inverter needs to be positioned near a living area or bedroom.  Whilst inverters only work when the sun’s shining, it’s preferable to choose an inverter that’s going to be as quiet as possible.

Head office location

Most solar inverters are either European, American or Asian.  Some people prefer European or US brands. But even European brands like SMA and Fronius have major production plants in China.

Whilst not all Chinese solar inverters are in the top league, many are.  The leading Chinese inverters – which you’ll find on our list – compare favourably with the best inverters from Europe and the USA in terms of price and performance.

Price

The most expensive solar inverter is Enphase, costing up to $800 more than it’s rival SolarEdge.  Fronius and SMA are on a par with SolarEdge but offer less in terms of warranties and panel optimisation.

The budget options – like Sungrow and Goodwe – offer excellent performance at a highly competitive price.  For anyone on a budget wanting a reliable inverter from a well-proven manufacturer, these are great options.


Get in touch for a quote

Everyone’s needs are different when it comes to choice of solar panels system and solar inverter.  Every year, we help thousands of Australian homeowners select the best solar inverter and solar panels for their property and budget.

Contact us if you’d like expert advice on solar inverters and a quote for a solar panels system.  We operate Australia wide and install thousands of solar power systems on homes each year. Because we operate at scale, we have impressive buying power with the major manufacturers.  That’s why we can offer the best prices for quality solar inverters and panels for your home.

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