Central to your solar PV system, a solar inverter is responsible for turning the DC power your solar panels produce, into the AC power your home and appliances run on.
Where most faults in a solar PV system occur, it’s important to choose a good quality inverter that will last at least 15 years, to ensure you get a good return on your initial investment. While it may be tempting to purchase a cheaper inverter in the beginning, the cost of replacing it further down the line will negate any original savings.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 inverters found in Australia, based on warranties, manufacturing processes, and monitoring features, that we’d be happy to recommend to friends and family, or install in our own homes.
Founded in 1981, SMA is a global leader in the photovoltaic technology industry. All inverters are manufactured in Germany, and SMA has over 3,000 employees across 20 countries. Setting the standards for renewable energy products, SMA gives consumers greater independence when using their energy.
Manufactured with highly reliable technology, SMA inverters require less service than competing models, saving time and money over the long-term.
SMA have an Australian office located in North Sydney, NSW.
One of the most popular inverters in Australia, SMA Sunny Boy Inverters have average maximum efficiencies of 97%.
Renowned for their high quality, installing a SMA inverter is a very safe bet. The only downside is that you tend to pay a premium for their superior technology.
All SMA inverters come with a 5-year warranty. You also have the option to extend your warranty to 10, 15 or 20 years (dependant on model).
SMA’s warranty includes all costs in the unlikely event of an issue/failure, including shipping and on-site replacement.
SMA offer a number of different internet based monitoring solutions, ranging from the basic to the highly detailed. These include:
– Sunny View
– Sunny Home Manager
– SMA Energy Meter
– Sunny Portal
Winner – ees Award 2016 (Europe’s largest exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems) for the Sunny Boy Storage.
Winner – INTERSOLAR Outstanding Solar Projects Award 2016 for the photovoltaic diesel hybrid system SMA designed on the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius.
Winner – Smart Energy Award 2013 for the SMA Smart Home comprehensive energy management solution.
Winner – Intersolar Award for the Sunny Central 800CP central inverter.
Founded in Austria in 1945, Fronius’ origins lie in the manufacturing of battery chargers and welding transformers. Since developing their very first solar inverter in 1995, Fronius has grown into a solar inverter manufacturing powerhouse, developing sustainable energy technologies and solutions.
All Fronius inverters are manufactured in Australia, plus built-in smart grid features allow their inverters to integrate seamlessly with even the most complex grids.
Fronius opened its Australian branch in Melbourne in 2010, offering local service and warranty support to Australian customers.
Fronius inverters average maximum efficiencies of 97 to 98%.
Expect to pay a price on the high end of the scale for Fronius inverters.
All Fronius inverters come with a 5-year warranty, that can be extended by an additional 5 years, free of charge, when you register your inverter online.
You also have the option to extend the warranty by 10, 15 or 20 years, for a fee.
All Fronius Inverters are WiFi enabled for easy monitoring, commissioning and warranty.
Winner – iF DESIGN AWARD
Winner – Smart Grids Pioneer
Winner – Reddot Design Award
Winner – Plus X Award
Since being founded in 2010, SolarEdge has shipped an estimated 3.4 Gigawatt of inverter systems, which have been installed in almost 100 countries worldwide.
Headquartered in Israel, and with manufacturing facilities in Canada and China, SolarEdge design and manufacture inverters, power optimizers, and storage solutions for everything from residential to commercial and small utility-scale solar installations.
All SolarEdge DC-AC PV inverters are specifically designed to work with the SolarEdge power optimizers. This allows for maximum power production due to module-level maximum power point tracking (MPPT), and limits the effects of module mismatch caused by shading or degradation.
SolarEdge’s Australian office is located in Collingwood, Victoria.
SolarEdge inverters have a weighted max efficiency of greater than 97%, independent of string length and temperature.
SolarEdge’s high quality results in a high price for their inverters.
SolarEdge inverters come with a standard 12-year warranty, extendable to 20 or 25 years for a fee.
All SolarEdge inverters are able to be monitored by a web-based portal.
Winner – Solar Power Portal Awards
Winner – Solar Industry Awards
SolarEdge places in the Global Cleantech 100
Winner – Intersolar Innovation Award
Finalist – SunSpec Open Standards Champion Award (supplier category).
A pioneer of solar technology, ABB works closely with utility, transport and infrastructure industries in over 100 countries. Founded in Switzerland in 1988, ABB has more than four decades of experience in manufacturing and designing digital technologies.
ABB offers powerful single and three-phase string inverters, ranging from 2 to 50kW in size. Boasting a highly durable design and quick and easy installations, ABB provide a quick return on investment.
ABB inverters are manufactured in China, Italy, the USA, South Africa and Slovakia.
ABB’s Australian Head Office is located in Sydney, NSW.
ABB inverters have max efficiencies of up to 97%.
While still on the expensive end of the scale, ABB inverters are less in price than the brands ranked 1-3.
All ABB inverters come with a 5-year warranty that can be extended to 10, 15 and 20 years for a fee.
ABB solar inverters offer remote monitoring via the Aurora Vision Plant Management Platform.
Winner – Zayed Future Energy Prize
Ranked as one of the world’s leading sustainable companies by Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), for the sixth consecutive year.
Named one of the world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute.
Named as one of the world’s top 100 innovators by Thomson Reuters.
At the forefront of power and thermal management solutions, Delta was founded in Taiwan in 1971. Detla’s portfolio of renewable energy solutions includes string inverters, hybrid inverters, battery storage systems, and EV chargers.
While Delta products are manufactured across Thailand, China, Taiwan and Europe, inverters sold in Australia are exclusively manufactured in China.
Delta has an Australian office located in Notting Hill, Victoria.
Delta inverters average maximum efficiencies of 96-97%, depending on model.
Because Delta inverters are manufactured exclusively in China, they are less expensive than the inverters ranked 1-4.
Delta inverters come with a 10-year product warranty as standard.
Delta string inverters can be monitored wirelessly with the SOLIVIA Monitor 2.0. Delta inverters are also compatible with third party monitoring systems Web’log and Solar-lo.
Winner – National Excellence Award at the National Workshop on Rooftop Solar
Winner – Channel News Asia’s Green Luminary Award
Whether or not you decide to go for an inverter on our top 5 list, it’s always worth ensuring your choice complies with relevant Australian standards. (This means your inverter is safe for installation and usage within Australian homes.)
To check the list of approved inverters, click here.
Remember: And as always, remember to shop around and never settle on your first solar quote. Providers may quote different prices for the exact same model inverter.
To compare the cost of inverters between local solar providers, click here for three obligation-free quotes..