Sungrow Inverters- Independent Review

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Overview of Sungrow – Company History

Sungrow Power Supply Co., Ltd. was founded in China in 1997 by Cao Renxian, a professor at the Hefei University of Technology. Professor Renxian founded Sungrow after learning about the dire state of electrical availability in rural western China.

Sungrow has since grown to be one of the largest solar inverter manufacturers globally. Sungrow has manufactured over 100GW to 60 countries giving them a worldwide market share of 15%. This has contributed to the company’s valuation of $1.5 billion.

Sungrow entered the Australian market in 2012 and has stated that they have captured around 15% of the inverter market. Sungrow specialises in research and development, taking pride in being an innovation leader within the solar industry. This commitment has resulted in more than 1,600 patent applications as of June 2019.

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. There are four types of solar inverters, these being string inverters, hybrid inverters, micro inverters, and power optimisers.

String inverters 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.

Hybrid Inverters have the same characteristics as a string inverter with the additional feature of a charge controller, this is used to manage a battery system. Charge controllers can also be bought as an additional unit, but hybrid inverters provide the option of an all in one device.

What is PV Evolution Labs Top Performer?

PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) with support from DNV GL has been independently testing Solar Panel reliability since 2014, and for the first time in 2019 have tested solar inverters. It is a voluntary test which manufacturers have to pay to be a part of.  The solar panel testing is considered internationally as an excellent indication of solar panel quality. It’s expected that the inverter testing will have the same recognition. To read the full PVEL scorecard click here.

Sungrow 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 98 percent. Sungrow’s CEC Approved inverter models range in max efficiency from 97.7% to 98.6%, with the majority of the models over 98%. This places Sungrow Inverters towards the top of residential inverter market based on efficiency.

Sungrow Inverter Costs

The majority of Sungrow inverters are manufactured in China, this means that they will generally be cheaper than European manufactured competitors.

Indicative pricing

Sungrow Inverter ModelIndicative Price Range
Sungrow SH5.0RT 5kW Hybrid Inverter$3,000 to $3,250
Sungrow SG5K-D-Premium 5kW Inverter$900 to $1,100
Sungrow SG10KTL-MT 10kW Inverter$2,000 to $2,200

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.

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Sungrow Inverters – Point of Difference

The Sungrow CEC approved Inverter range differs from other inverter manufacturers as they offer different types and configurations in the typical power range. Sungrow manufactures both string and hybrid residential inverters, with the following string inverter models coming with Multi-MPPT; SG5KTL-MT, SG10KTL-MT, SG10KTL-M, & SG12KTL-M. All of the CEC approved Sungrow Inverter range are Transformerless Inverters, which contributes to their high efficiency.

Inverter Monitoring

Sungrow provides users the ability to remotely monitor inverter performance, as all inverter models come with WIFI capabilities. Users can monitor performance from their phone through the app iSolarCloud, which is available on both iphone and android.

Sungrow Inverter Warranty

In Australia, the majority of CEC approved Sungrow inverters come with a standard 5 year manufacturer’s warranty. The Sungrow Premium Inverter Range comes with a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty. With the warranty period commencing on the date the inverter is installed, or 6 months after the date of production, whichever occurs first.

The standard 5 year warranty is rapidly becoming one of the shortest inverter warranties offered in Australia with many of the growing Chinese companies like Sungrow starting to offer 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. Sungrow is well established in Australia with an office in North Sydney, NSW.

A Full Range of Sungrow Inverters Available in Australia 

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

These are the following models:

Sungrow SH10RTSungrow SH8.0RTSungrow SH5.0RT
Sungrow SH5K-20Sungrow SH5K-30Sungrow SG5KTL-MT
Sungrow SG10KTL-MTSungrow SG10KTL-M  Sungrow SG12KTL-M
Sungrow SG5KTL-DSungrow SG3K-D PremiumSungrow SG5K-D Premium
Sungrow SG8K-D PremiumSungrow SG2K-S PremiumSungrow SG2K5-S Premium
Sungrow SG3K-S PremiumSungrow SG3KTL-S

Sungrow Inverter Specifications

 Sungrow SH5K-30Sungrow SG2K5-S PremiumSungrow SG5KTL-MT
Inverter TypeHybridStringString
Rated AC Power Output5000W2500W5500W
Maximum Continuous Output Current22.7A11.3A8.5A
Maximum DC Voltage600V600V1100V
Maximum Inverter Efficiency97.7%98.2%98.4%
Dimensions with Safety Switch/Connection Unit457 x 515 x 170 mm300 x 370 x 125 mm370 x 485 x 160 mm
Weight22kg8.5kg20kg
Warranty5 years10 years5 years
Operational Temperature Range-25°C to 60°C

 

-25°C to 60°C

 

-25°C to 60°C

 

Made inChinaChinaChina

Example of a Sungrow Commercial Solar Project 

Sungrow’s 1500V Central Inverter Model SG3125HV-MV were installed at Kristal Solar Park, located in Lommel, Belgium. The 100MW solar park has nine different plots covering 227 Acres and is the largest in the Benelux region. The solar park has been grid-connected since Q4 2019 and is expected to generate 85 MWh annually.

The three-level topology design of the Sungrow SG3125HV-MV contributes to the inverter maximum efficiency of 99% and Europe efficiency of 98.7%, guaranteeing premium yields for the solar park. Due to the 20-foot container design, the Sungrow SG3125HV-MV has low transportation and installation costs.

Benelux's Largest Solar Park with Sungrow 1500V Central Inverter Solutions

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Jack Boutchard

Writer at Solar Choice
Jack Boutchard

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