The inverter is the heart of a solar power system. It converts the DC output of the solar panel to AC power that can be used by your home appliances. With a sub–standard inverter, your solar power system is at best, under–performing and at worst, an expensive white elephant on your roof. Choosing an inverter is an important decision and one that warrants significant research and investigation.
There are many different brands of solar inverters and the variance in terms of quality, performance and longevity are huge! Most inverter manufacturers have a single-phase option for the most common inverter sizes and fewer three-phase options. The most common inverter sizes for residential applications are 3kW, 5kW and 10kW. Most commercial solar installations are 3 phase starting at 10kW.
When choosing a solar inverter it is important to consider:
About the manufacturer –
How long has the manufacturer been around?
How long has the manufacturer been producing inverters?
Is the manufacturer financially stable and a good long term bet?
Is there a competently staffed Australian office to handle warranty?
What is the warranty period? Minimum 5 years parts + labour is industry standard. The warranty can be extended with most brands (at additional cost).
How difficult is the warranty procedure? Some inverter manufacturers excel in the warranty procedure area and some are dismal at best.
About the inverteritself –
What size is going to suit your current needs and possible future usage?
Do you have good, strong, reliable WiFi at the inverter location? Many inverters no longer have screens on the front, so monitoring the production relies on internet connectivity.
Do you have shading issues? Micro–inverters or power optimisers are ideal for this application.
Do you want to have panels facing more than 2 different directions or inclinations? Micro–inverters or power optimisers would be required.