Sofar Solar Inverters: An Independent Review by Solar Choice

Sofar Solar Residential solar inverter

Note: Solar Choice is not a solar installer and has no financial or other incentives to promote any product brand over another. 

Overview of Sofar Solar – Company History

Sofar Solar, a division of Sofar Group, is a Chinese manufacturer of solar inverters established in 2013. We weren’t able to find any information on the web about the Sofar Group or its ownership, so the financial backing of this company is not very clear.

Sofar Solar’s two manufacturing facilities are located in Shenzhen and Xinyang in China. Sofar Solar distributes its products around the world with particular focuses in China, India, Australia and Europe. Despite a later start in the inverter industry Sofar Solar has advised their sales rapidly grew to $300 million in 2018. Sofar Solar also manufacture battery storage systems and electric vehicle chargers.

Sofar Solar first entered the Australian market in 2018 initially having their products de-listed by the Clean Energy Council as their inverters failed to shut down correctly in the event of a grid failure. Sofar Solar have now resolved all technical issues with their first round of inverters and now has 41 inverter models approved by the Clean Energy Council. They have an Australian office set up on Pitt St in Sydney NSW.

A Brief Rundown on Inverter Technology

A solar power system’s inverter is the point at which the DC electricity produced by solar panels is turned into grid-compatible AC electricity.

String inverters (such as Sofar’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 DC electricity to the usable AC electricity that powers homes.

On the other hand, Microinverters, convert DC to AC electricity at each panel and allow for monitoring and power regulation at the panel level. This is useful for homes that are located somewhere with shading from clouds, trees, or other buildings and is more expensive tthana string inverter solution.

Sofar Solar Inverters – Point of Difference

The Sofar Solar inverters have some functionality built into the inverter that typically installers would have to install a separate device to manage.

I-V Curve Scanning

This functionality is designed to measure the maximum power point voltage (Vmpp), current (Impp) and peak power (Pmax) of the solar panel arrays that are connected to the inverter. In simple terms, they help you identify where the output of the panels is declining more rapidly than the normal degradation rate. This could be due to soiling or some issue with the installation, or it could be claimable under the solar panel’s performance warranty.

Export Limitation

In many areas of Australia, solar is only permitted by the local distribution network if the solar power system does not export any energy back to the grid. In these cases, an installer will be required to install an export limiter which will effectively ramp down the power generated to match what is required by the building. Sofar Solar inverters have this functionality built-in enabling a quicker and more cost effective installation in these circumstances.

LCD, Sound and Alarm Systems

Most residential solar inverters are simple devices that rely on a wifi connection and their online monitoring system and/or app to assess the performance of the system. Sofar’s residential solar inverters feature an LCD display which and built in sounds which enable the user to be better informed directly from the physical device. They also have a comparable monitoring system that supports their inverters.

25 Years of Data Storage

Sofar Solar’s inverters come with an SD card built in which will record the energy generation data for up to 25 years. For most inverters this will be located on a server and only available with an internet connection.

Sofar Solar Inverter Technologies

There are 97 of SOFARSOLAR’s Inverters (under the name of Shenzhen SOFARSOLAR Co Ltd) approved by the Clean Energy Council for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which is Australia’s home solar rebate program. The majority of the listed inverters are available in Australia.

Sofar Residential Solar Inverters

Sofar Solar Residential solar inverter

Sofar Solar’s single-phase residential range of solar inverters extends from 3kW  to 10kW. Each inverter comes with 2 maximum power point trackers (MPPTs) meaning solar paired solar panels can be installed on 2 different roof orientations.  

Their commonly used single-phase 5kW inverter has a maximum efficiency rating of 98.4% for their latest edition (model number 5KTLM-G3) which is towards the leading end of the market. 

The inverter comes with wifi and bluetooth connectivity and a small LCD display to help users interact with their system. The built-in zero export function keeps cost down in areas where owners are not able to sell energy back into the grid.

Sofar also have a 3-phase residential solar range with models from 5kW to 10kW. These inverters have very similar characteristics to the single-phase options with a slightly higher maximum efficiency rating up to 98.6%.

Sofar Commercial Solar Inverters

Sofar Solar commercial solar inverter

Sofar target a range of commercial solar systems with the commercial solar inverters extending up to a output capacity of 110kVA.

Their larger solar inverters feature a maximum efficiency rating of 98.6% which compares favourable against other popular brands.

The commercial inverters up to 20kW in AC capacity are limited to 2 MPPTs. For simple commercial roof spaces with a 2 sided fall this will suffice, however for more complicated roofs there may be a requirement to install an extra inverter or power optimisers to avoid system losses. 

While from a technical perspective the solar inverter offering from Sofar now appears to be competitive, Solar Choice has not observed Sofar inverters gain much traction in the commercial solar market.

Sofar Hybrid Solar and Battery Inverter

Sofar Solar hybrid solar and battery inverter

A hybrid inverter refers to inverters that can perform as a grid-connected inverter and as a charger for a battery bank. 

Sofar has single-phase hybrid inverters with output capacities of 3kW to 6kW. The inverters are designed for use in both on-grid battery systems and off-grid.The on-grid solutions can activate an emergency power supply (in the event of a power outage) in around 10 seconds.

Sofar’s 3-phase hybrid inverters, ranging from 5kW to 20kW suiting larger residential applications or off-grid solutions with 3-phase requirements. These inverters only have 1 battery input channel for inverters up to 10kW and 2 input channels for the 10kW to 20kW options.

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Sofar Solar’s Inverters Efficiency

An important aspect of getting the most value out of a solar inverter is choosing 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 98 per cent. Sofar inverters meet these standards and have at least 97.5% max efficiency for their residential G3 range and extend up to 98.6% for the 60kW commercial solar inverter (60000TL).

See our summary below of the average efficiency of each range of solar inverters that is offered by Sofar Solar:

  • 1 – 3kW String inverter (Single MPPT): Mean of 97.7%
  • 3 – 6kW String inverter (Dual MPPT): Mean of 97.6%
  • 4 – 12kW String inverter (Three-phase & Dual MPPT): Mean of 98.3%
  • 10 – 20kW String inverter (Three-phase & Dual MPPT): Mean of 98.2%
  • 20 – 30kW String inverter (Three-phase & Dual MPPT): Mean of 98.6%
  • 30 – 40kW String inverter (Three-phase & Dual MPPT): Mean of 98.7%
  • 50 – 70kW String inverter (Three-phase & Three-MPPT): Mean of 98.6%

Sofar Solar Inverter Warranty Offer for Australian Customers

In recent years, Sofar have upgraded their warranty offer to a 10-year term of all inverters in the Australian market. This is a positive improvement and now meets the expectations of Australian inverters.

Sofar’s warranty will only cover the labour required to replace or repair their faulty inverter under a certain set of conditions and at their own discretion. These conditions include ensuring the inverter has been serviced (although they don’t specify how regularly) and that Sofar is contacted prior to the site visit which may not be logical if the customer can identify the if the inverter is the problem themselves.

In our opinion it is likely that the customer could be left with a bill for the electricians time in the event of a warrantied defect or failure.

Customers have the option of purchasing an additional 5, 10, 15 or 20 years of warranty from Sofar within 12 months of the date of production (at Sofar Solar’s discretion). If this is something you are interested in then it would be sensible to ask your installer to confirm that the warranty can be extended before making a purchase.

If customers experience any warranty-related issue, the original installer who installed the system should be the first line of support for replacing or repairing the product. However, Sofar also suggests that customers who can no longer contact their original installer could contact them directly at their Australian office in Brisbane :

Address: 6 / 81 Beal Street MEADOWBROOK QLD 4131

Tech Support: 1300 1 SOFAR (1300 176 327)
Sales / Admin: 1300 2 SOFAR (1300 276 327)

You can read more about Sofar Solar’s warranty conditions here.

Comparison Sofar Solar’s Inverter Specifications (common models)

 5kW Inverter


Sofar 5KTLM-G2

10kW Inverter


Sofar 10000TL

70kW Inverter



Rated AC Power Output5kW10kW70kW
Maximum Continuous Output Current22.8A15A90A
Number of MPPTs223
Maximum PV Input Power6.65kW13.3kW93.1kW
Maximum Inverter Efficiency98.2%98.2%98.6%
Dimensions 405*315*135 mm709*492*246 mm713*737*297 mm
Warranty5/7/10 years5/7/10 years5/7/10 years
Operational Temperature Range-25°C to 60°C-25°C to 60°C-25°C to 60°C
Made inChinaChinaChina

So, is Sofar a good solar inverter brand?

Currently Sofar Solar have limited experience in the Australia market. The inverter brand is reportedly in the top 3 of inverter brands used in India and the top 5 in China, so the company is not as small as its Australian market penetration would initially suggest. Given their hope to grow market share in Australia, their products are priced at a discount to bigger brands.

As they don’t have the proven track record in Australia as many of the other inverter brands, in our opinion it would be a riskier choice in terms of reliability. While they have received the required approval from the Clean Energy Council, Sofar’s products do not have any notable awards or third-party proof of their quality or reliability.

Example of a large-scale SOFARSOLAR Inverter Solar Project 

A 2.4 MW ground-mounted solar power plant in Korea has utilised Sofar Solar’s 33KW commercial inverters (SOFAR33000TL).

Read more product reviews from Solar Choice

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Since 2008 our knowledge and sophisticated software has allowed over 300,000 Australian households and businesses to make a well-informed choice on their solar & battery installer.
Jeff Sykes

Reviews from Australians who have installed Sofar Inverters

Rated 3.83 from 6 reviews
8th April 2024
6kW system

Stopped working.

27th March 2024
7kW system

App is easy to use and the screen on the inveter is handy

24th January 2024
TAS - 7109
10-15kW system

Very high efficiency. Equal or better than a number of high end expensive brands.

20th December 2023
VIC - 3672
7kW system

Can’t comment yet

27th June 2023
TAS - 7277
7kW system

As it was a new product there were initial issues with the logger, but that was quickly resolved by updates. The brand is one of the most widely used in the world, and being a DC connected system it had all the features I wanted such as the ability to operate on battery or solar during mains power outages, the ability to charge the battery with off-peak power to use during peak pricing times, etc.

18th February 2022
WA - 6532
6kW system

Probably chinese. Nothing was clear as far as gov rebates went. I believe I got $3k off. But still expensive.