Best Solar Inverters in Australia 2021

solar invertersWhat is the best inverter in Australia to use in your solar power system? There are many factors and options to consider. This article attempts to give our own opinion on the best solar inverters in Australia.

Please take a look at our methodology – we’ve attempted to be very transparent on the conclusion we have reached. Important to note that we are just looking for the best quality inverter in this article ignoring costs – not the best value inverter. In this article we are looking at residential solar so for ease of comparison we have assessed each company’s best single-phase 5kW inverter model.

 

Solar Choice’s List of the Best Solar Inverters in Australia for 2021:

Note: Solar Choice is not an installer and has no incentive to promote one brand over another. Be careful of installers’ articles on the web suggesting the brands they use are the best!

Inverter Image Warranty Max Efficiency PV Evolution Labs Top Performer Key Features/ Comments
SolarEdge SE5000H SolarEdge SE5000H 12 Years 99.2% No Power optimisers

Israeli company

Enphase IQ7+ Enphase IQ7+ 10 Years 97.5% No Micro-inverters

US company

Huawei

SUN2000 -5KTL-L1

Huawei SUN2000 -5KTL-L1 10 Years (extendable to 20) 98.4% Yes* Hybrid inverter

Smart IV curve diagnosis

Fronius Primo 5.0-1 AUS Fronius Primo 5.0-1 AUS 10 years (5+5) 98.1% Yes* SnapINverter technology

Austrian company

SMA SB5.0-1AV-41 SMA SB5.0-1AV-41 5 years 97% Yes* Shadefix function

German company

Delta H5A_222 Delta H5A_222 5 years (extendable to 20 years) 97.5% Yes* Low start-up voltage

Built in DC isolator

Sungrow SG5K-D Premium Sungrow SG5K-D Premium 10 years 98% No LCD display

Built in DC isolator

*Not the same model that is available in Australia is marked as a top performer, but is an indication of a quality brand

Important note: This ranking reflects the opinion of Solar Choice only and we encourage readers to do their own research and come to their own conclusions.

 

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Our Methodology: How we determined the best solar inverters in Australia

1. Max Efficiency

max efficiency solar inverter

The efficiency of the solar inverter is an essential factor because all the DC electricity produced by the solar panels will pass through the inverter to be converted into Alternating Current (AC) which can be consumed by home appliances.

All inverters are tested by independent authorities which provide a maximum efficiency and a european efficiency rating and will display these results on their product datasheet. In our comparison we have used the maximum efficiency for an apples for apples comparison.

A solar inverter’s efficiency will vary based on the amount of power that is generating and the amount of solar energy that is inputted. The maximum efficiency is measured as the highest point in the curve where the inverter is at its optimal performance.

Most solar inverters  maximum efficiency ranges from 96.5% to 98%, with the higher being more efficient.

 

2. Warranty

Fronius Office

The warranty period can vary depending on brand. We recommend that you choose an inverter with a minimum warranty period of at least 5 years with 10 years being ideal.

There has been an increasing number of manufacturers who are offering extended warranties, up to an additional 20 years which usually comes at an additional cost.

As we’ve seen many residential solar installers go out of business within the lifetime of the solar systems they’ve installed, many end-consumers need to get in touch with product manufacturers directly. For this reason we generally recommend you pick a brand with an Australian office and an Australian phone number you can call.

A long warranty from a company with no Australian presence is not worth much in our opinion.

You can review our list of CEC approved inverter brands with an Australian office.

 

3. PV Evolution Labs Top Performer

PV Evolution Labs Scorecard

PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) has been independently testing solar panel reliability since 2014. The solar panel testing is considered internationally as an excellent indication of solar panel quality. 

In 2019, PVEL launched their inaugural ranking of solar inverters, which seeks to identify the top performer solar inverter brands.

A point to note is that the testing process is voluntary and the product manufacturers have to pay to be a part of it so they are not testing the entire market.

You can review our list of PVEL Top Performers, or you can download and take a look at the PVEL 2019 Inverter Scorecard.

 

4. Key Features

We have looked at the key points of difference that each inverter brings to the market to factor into the ranking.

Notably the fact that Enphase’s solution is micro-inverters and SolarEdge include power optimisers has lifted them to the top of our ranking. This functionality enables individual panel level optimisation and monitoring which adds significant value to the end consumer. Read more on this here.

 

Limitations of our ranking

It is clear from our methodology that we have not assessed every factor of an inverter, but are looking to find a simple way to identify the best quality and leading solar inverter options available on the Australian market.

  • Costs – first and foremost as we are considering the ‘best solar inverters’ for Australian market we have ignored price for the purposes of this ranking. The inverters towards the top of this ranking will cost more than the options towards the bottom as per the below indicative guide:
5kW Inverter Option Indicative Cost Range
Enphase $2,400 to $2,600
SolarEdge $1,800 to $2,000
Huawei $1,400 to $1,600
Fronius $1,700 to $2,000
SMA $1,700 to $2,000
Delta $1,000 – $1,300
Sungrow $800 to $1,000

 

  • Other inverter specifications – in order to keep this simple we have selected some of the most important aspects of an inverter to compare. A more holistic approach may lead to a slightly different ordering and outcome. For example if you have 3-phase power or shading impacts on your roof, the list of possible inverters would look different to our ranking
  • Country of manufacture – for some people this can be very important. These days the vast majority of solar equipment is manufactured in China. Even European brands like SolarEdge, Fronius and SMA have major production facilities in China. If you are looking for something that is not manufactured in China you can look at the datasheet of the model of inverter you have been quoted to see where it was manufactured.

 

What about brands that are not on this ranking?

These are what we would consider the top 7 brands in Australia for solar inverters. That does not mean that brands not listed on this page won’t do the job. There are cheaper options from Chinese manufacturers that can serve a customer on a budget well, but you will have to take the risk that they may not last as long as the options here and may not perform as well. You can read our product reviews on all inverters on the Australian market here.

 

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