GoodWe Inverters- Independent Review

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Overview of GoodWe – Company History

Jiangsu GoodWe Power Supply Technology Co Ltd was founded in 2010 in Suzhou, China. In 2012, GoodWe established itself in the Australian market, setting up an office in Melbourne. GoodWe designs and manufactures inverters for the residential, commercial, and energy storage markets. GoodWe manufactures inverter sizes ranging from 0.7kW to 250kW of both single and three-phase types.

GoodWe quickly grew to be an internationally renowned inverter manufacturer, with more than 1200 employees situated in 15 different countries. By the end of 2019, GoodWe had distributed inverters to more than 100 countries totaling a global PV installation of 15GW.

GoodWe in 2019 was considered the largest storage hybrid inverter supplier, and a top 5 single-phase string inverter supplier worldwide by Global energy research consultancy group Wood Mackenzie. In 2020, EUPD Research awarded GoodWe the Top Brand PV seal in Australia for the second consecutive year. In February 2020, GoodWe became the world’s first non-European inverter manufacturer to obtain the prestigious VDE-AR-N 4110-2018 compliance certificate by TÜV Rheinland Industrie Service. Also in 2020, GoodWe was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Following a scrutinuous selection process, GoodWe has been awarded an exclusive licensing contract for global sales by General Electric (GE).

 

A Brief Rundown on Solar Inverters

A solar system’s inverter is the point at which the DC electricity produced by solar panels is turned into grid-compatible AC electricity. Typically there are 2 approaches to inverters – either string inverters or micro-inverters

String inverters (such as most of GoodWe’s product range) have traditionally been the standard in the solar industry. They send the power produced by solar panels to a central inverter that changes it from the DC electricity to the usable AC electricity that powers homes. Goodwe also specialise in hybrid string inverters which provide the ability to charge a battery as well as use solar power immediately as its created.

Micro-inverters, generally a more expensive solution, provide a small inverter for each solar panel that is installed. This means that each panel operates individually which creates more visibility over performance and can offer some advantages in partly shaded conditions.

 

GoodWe Inverters – Points of Difference

Range of Hybrid Inverter options

GoodWe has the largest range of storage inverters on the market including single phase LV hybrid solutions (ES, EM), single phase AC coupled retrofit solutions (SBP), single phase HV hybrid (EH) and three phase HV hybrids (ET).  This makes GoodWe a good option if you are installing a battery that requires a hybrid inverter or if you plan to keep your options open to installing batteries in the future.

Multiple MPP Trackers

Maximum Power Point Trackers (MPPTs) dictate how many different roof orientations a string inverter can handle. If panels on the same MPPT are tilted differently they will only perform as well as the lower performing panel which will impact output through-out the day. GoodWe’s inverters are often selected as they offer more MPPTs than their competitors across different inverter sizes. GoodWe’s MS series is the only 3 MPPT single-phase inverter in the Australian market. This means if, for example, you were hoping to install panels on the North, West and East sides of your house, your options would be to use a GoodWe MS or use a more expensive micro-inverter or power optimiser solution.

DC Oversizing 

DC oversizing refers to installing more solar panel capacity than the output potential of the inverter. At face value this seems like a design like this could be wasting some power, but after factoring in efficiency losses and acknowledging that solar panels will never output their nameplate watt rating, oversizing by 33% can be a cost-effective design and is permitted by the Clean Energy Council’s guidelines. Oversizing beyond 33% can be advantageous if you have a battery installed and can store surplus DC energy.

GoodWe EH Series Hybrid Inverter

The XS Series is GoodWe’s smallest available inverter about the size of an A4 piece of paper and only weighs 5.2kg. It’s a Single-Phase string inverter with 1 MPPT available in sizes ranging from 0.7-3kW. It offers 33% DC oversizing and up to a max efficiency of 97.6%.

GoodWe XS Series Inverter

The EH Series maximises its capacity and wide MPPT voltage range through the 33% DC oversizing capability. The EH Series is GoodWe’s only residentially manufactured Hybrid Inverter range. The EH Series is compatible with high voltage batteries, being able to be connected to lithium-ion batteries in the 85V to 450V range.

GoodWe MS Series InverterThe MS Series is GoodWe’s industry leading 3 MPPT’s single-phase model available in 5-10kW sizes. It is a small but powerful inverter, weighing up to 22.5kg and offering as much as 100% DC oversizing.

Goodwe MT Series inverter commercialThe MT Series is focused on commercial applications with 3-phase models up to 80kW in capacity. These inverters feature 4 MPPTs and can oversize DC input by as much as 50%.

 

How much do GoodWe Inverter’s Cost?

GoodWe inverters are manufactured in China, this enables them to be sold at a cheaper price in comparison to European manufactured competitors.

Indicative pricing

GoodWe Inverter ModelIndicative Price Range
GoodWe XS Series 3KW Inverter$500 to $600
GoodWe DNS Series 5KW Inverter$600 to $800
GoodWe MS Series 10kW Inverter$1,250 to $1,400

Keep in mind that inverter costs generally only run between 10-20% of your total system, so often it is worth investing in a high-quality inverter given this will have a large impact on the efficiency and performance of your Solar Power project.

Compare quotes from up to 7 installers in your area now.

 

GoodWe Inverter Efficiency

An important aspect of getting the most value out of a solar inverter is to choose an appropriately sized inverter to optimise the solar panel system efficiency. To read about the importance of inverter sizing and system efficiency click here.

Residential inverter efficiency standards are generally 95 to 99 percent, GoodWe inverters meet these standards. The least efficient GoodWe inverter is the NS Series 1kW which still records a 96.5% max efficiency. Asides from this one inverter all GoodWe inverters have at least 97% max efficiency.

A number of GoodWe models have over a 98% max efficiency, one of these models is the SDT Series 10kW. This Three-Phase Dual-MPTT string inverter has a 98.3% max efficiency, making it one of the industry’s more efficient inverters.

 

GoodWe Inverter Warranties

In Australia, all CEC approved GoodWe inverters come with a standard 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. For the DNS and MS series Goodwe offers an additional 5 years where they will replace the ‘parts-only’. In years 5 to 10 the customers would receive the replacement parts for free, but would still be required to pay for delivery, all labour costs and any taxes/duties.

In 2012 Goodwe launched an online warranty extension service. Customers can conveniently extend their warranty periods up to 25 years depending on the model of the inverter, simply by entering the serial number via their online portal and following the prompts. This needs to be done within 6 months for a inverters above 25kW in capacity and within 2 years if below 25kW in capacity

 

The Limitations of Goodwe’s Inverters

GoodWe inverters won’t perform as well as micro-inverters or power optimiser solutions in partly shaded conditions. If there are trees above your roofline on the North, East or West side of your house then it would be worth discussing the pros and cons of an alternatives with Solar Choice before making a decision on technology.

Additionally the 5 year full warranty offered by GoodWe is rapidly becoming one of the shortest inverter warranties offered in Australia with many of the growing Chinese companies offering a standard 10-year warranty. As we’ve discussed previously, a warranty is only worth something if the company providing it is still around and there is an accessible route to claiming it if your Solar Installer is no longer around – by all available measures GoodWe looks to be a good bet.

 

A Full Range of GoodWe Inverters Available in Australia 

The majority of GoodWe’s Inverters are approved by the Clean Energy Council for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which is Australia’s home solar rebate program.

The following GoodWe Inverter Series & sizes are CEC approved:

 

Comparison of Common Residential GoodWe Inverters

 GoodWe XS Series 3kWGoodWe DNS Series 5kWGoodWe MS Series 10kW
Rated AC Power Output3,000W4,999W10,000W
Maximum Continuous Output Current14.3A21.7A45.5A
Maximum DC Power3,900W6,650W13,500W
Number of MPPTs123
Maximum Inverter Efficiency97.6%97.8%97.7%
Dimensions 295 x 230 x 113 mm354 x 433 x 147 mm511 x 415 x 175 mm
Weight5.8kg13kg22.5kg
Warranty5 Years5 Years5 Years
Operational Temperature Range-25°C to 60°C

 

-25°C to 60°C

 

-25°C to 60°C

 

Made inChinaChinaChina

The Future of GoodWe

GoodWe have informed us that they will be launching a new premium GE branded range of inverters into the Australian market in November 2020. GE will provide its own service, sales and marketing while GoodWe will manufacture the products and distribute them.

In the commercial space, GoodWe are hoping launch their HT Series including inverters from 100kW to 136kW in capacity. The 136kW model is boast an impressive 12 MPPTs and 1100v dc input. They also expect to enter the utility-scale market within the next 2 years with a 1500v 250kW inverter currently under development.

 

Example of a GoodWe Commercial Solar Project 

In March 2020 the largest solar power plant in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil commenced operation. The plant is located on two campuses of the state’s largest university, Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo (UFES).

The power plant will generate approximately 7.7 million kWh of electricity a year. This will reduce the largest campus’s electricity consumption by almost 50% and reduce the university’s total power consumption by 30%. Due to the system’s size, the initial investment will be paid back in less than 5 years.

The inverters used in this power plant system are from the GoodWe MT Series. This commercial inverter is ideal for large-scale roof and power plants. The MT Series comes in 50-80kW sizes, it is a three-phase string inverter with 4 MPPT’s that can achieve a max efficiency of 98.8%.

largest PV power plant project in Brazil’s Espirito Santo

Jack Boutchard

Writer at Solar Choice
Jack Boutchard

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