When buying a solar system, it’s challenging to really know what’s good and what’s not.
After all, very few salesmen are going to tell you what they’re peddling isn’t very good. So this short guide provides an indication of what some of the best inverter brands on the market are.
This doesn’t mean these are the only inverters worth getting, but it does mean that these five are considered to be the best of the best.
The top five inverters were selected according to the following criteria:
- Presence in Australia
- Monitoring (Optional)
Based on experience within the PV industry and working in a technical role, here are our Top five inverters, in order of preference:
SMA is a German manufacturer that has been around for a good number of years. They are a leader in the inverter manufacturer field and deservedly own a large share of the inverter market.
SMA is known for their quality, level of service and exceptional monitoring capabilities.
They are an easy choice for first place.
2. Solar Edge
Solar Edge fell just behind SMA because of a pricing element. They have a slightly different setup which uses ‘power optimisers’ on each panel as well as a central inverter. While this system does cost more it also allows each panel to be operated and monitored independently.
With connection via a web portal your system performance can be viewed from any computer you want as long as it has internet access, meaning it has one of the best monitoring solutions out there.
3. Aurora (Power-One)
Aurora is an Italian brand that has been around for a while and has a good reputation in the industry. They are a well priced reliable unit. The indoor model particularly, feature excellent and informative LCD displays.
What lets Aurora down is the lack of a good monitoring solution without buying additional attachments. However, if you don’t much care to monitor your system then this is a very solid inverter.
Fronius and Aurora are very close and really Fronius is an equal 3rd to Aurora. As with Aurora these are a very reliable inverter that has been proven in the market over a long period and has a good reputation.
However, as with Aurora what pushes these guys down below Solar Edge is the lack of good in-built monitoring. Though there are monitoring solutions in place they are an additional cost and do not come built in like the >2kW SMA and Solar Edge inverters do.
5. Delta Inverters (SOLIVIA)
Delta Inverters are another solid option with all the main criteria. They are a solid quality build, they have a presence in Australia and they have a warranty that fully covers the full gambit of replacement costs.
What’s put them 5th on the list is the size of the units and their limited flexibility for system design. By sticking with a transformer these inverters are bigger than their transformerless contemporaries. Additionally with only one maximum power point tracker even at the 5 kW range means that you can only use one roof face which limits where these inverters can be effectively installed.
Any of the above inverters are excellent for use in a residential PV system.
All of them have good reputations for excellent build quality, technical support within Australia and warranties that don’t put you out of pocket if you need to use them.
If you choose to go with something different to any of the above though, be sure that whatever inverter you choose has these same qualities.
The worst thing that can happen is that you end up buying something that won’t last, is a hassle to get repaired/replaced and leaves you with a hole in your wallet.