The inverter is one of the essential components of a solar power system. It ensures the correct conversion from DC power, which is produced by solar panels and stored in rechargeable batteries, to AC power, which is required by most home appliances. Without a good inverter, solar panels and generators are ineffective.
As such, when you put together your solar power system at home, you want to make sure that it benefits from one of the best solar inverters on the market. We’ve put together a list of solar inverter reviews to help you accomplish just that.
The Best Solar Inverter: Reviews in 2020
Some inverters are designed for off-grid applications, while others work best when connected to an existing power grid. In what follows, we review grid-tied inverters ideal for home use. These can help you reduce your monthly electricity bills when connected to your power grid or, in the right circumstances, switch entirely to solar energy.
SolarEdge SE7600H-US 7600W Inverter
This unit by SolarEdge takes the top spot in our list of solar inverter reviews due to its high versatility and affordable price. Essentially a grid-tied string inverter with optimizers, it presents the advantages of a centralized design (including a lower installation and maintenance cost), while also allowing you to monitor each solar panel individually.
For home use, we recommend the SolarEdge 7600Watt inverter, which features a rating high enough to startup all household appliances at once. The same model can be purchased for 3kW, 11.4kW or higher for smaller households or commercial use, respectively.
When you install this inverter by SolarEdge, the voltage of each panel is managed by means of individual optimizers, while the DC to AC conversion takes place in the central unit. Cooling components and heavy processing are no longer necessary, which makes for a much smaller and up to 50% lighter unit.
- Sufficient inverter rating to power up a home for an affordable price
- A hybrid model that offers the advantages of both central string inverters and microinverters
- No cooling or heavy processing components necessary, which translates into a much smaller and lighter unit
- Comes in a variety of sizes (from 3kW to over 11.4kW for commercial use)
- Preferably installed in a sheltered area, away from rain and other elements
- Must be purchased with individual optimizers for each solar panel
Fronius Primo 5.0-1 5kW Solar Inverter
A transformerless string inverter, this unit by Fronius features at the very top of most solar inverter reviews. The main reason why this is the case? Although slightly pricier than other options, it is built with excellent quality components that make it reliable and very durable.
It’s also super easy to install. In fact, Fronius is a high-end Australian manufacturer that became popular only a few years ago due to the inverter’s snap-in design. Coupled with easy-to-read monitoring features and dependable customer service, the performance of Fronius inverters has quickly achieved notoriety worldwide.
We recommend the Fronius Primo 5.0-1 because its size is ideal for the average household, but additional versions are also available for smaller or larger conversion ratings. At a peak conversion efficiency of 97.9%, you’ll need a PV input of about 7800W in order to make the most of this inverter.
- High-end, reliable manufacturer
- Quality built designed to endure prolonged outdoor exposure for more than 15 years
- Easy to install and monitor
- Comes in several sizes fit for small to large households or businesses
- More expensive than other options
SMA Sunny Boy 3000 US Solar Inverter
Unlike Fronius, SMA has been on the solar energy market for more than a decade. Indeed, SMA is by far the longest-serving and largest solar inverter manufacturer in the world. For potential buyers, this means reliable products and highly bankable warrantees.
The SMA Sunny Boy 3000 is the manufacturer’s best solar inverter for single phase applications and it comes in a size of 3000W that can power up a small to average household once connected to sufficient solar panels and the existing electricity grid. For three phase applications, home owners might consider the SMA Sunny Tripower, which also comes in a variety of sizes.
The SMA Sunny Boy comes with integrated “auto-sensing technology” and can automatically detect output voltage of 208VAC or 240VAC for ease-of-use. It supports solar panels in series and its autonomous grid monitoring facility lets you connect the AC output to any electricity distribution node in the house.
- Reliable, long-serving manufacturer
- Top quality components and durable, weather-proof build
- Comes in different versions and sizes, suitable for single- or three-phase applications
- Easy to install and use: automatically detects output voltage and can be connected to any distribution node in the house
- Slightly more expensive than other options
AIMS Power PICOGLF60W24V240VS Inverter Charger
Not necessarily as popular as other options in terms of solar inverter reviews, this unit by AIMS is nevertheless one of the most solid and reliable inverters you can buy. Featuring a marine/industrial grade frame, it will withstand all manners of weather and impact and continue to function flawlessly for years.
At a standard capacity of 6000W and a 20-second surge power capacity of 18000W, this inverter can startup just about any appliance. It can be used to power pumps, motors, compressors, and other large appliances that require three to seven times their running power in order to startup.
Moreover, AIMS Power’s best solar inverter can produce AC in 110, 120, 220, or 240V, which means it can be safely connected to any device, anywhere around the world. Its in-built charge controller and smart battery charge will let you select which power source (solar panels or electric grid) you wish to use first and which should serve as backup. Though ideal for home use, this inverter can also be used off-grid.
- Very solid, reliable, and durable
- Marine/industrial grade frame designed to withstand weather and impact
- Decent 6000W size and 18000W surge power capacity capable of powering up any appliance or machine
- Versatile: can be used anywhere around the world, at home or off-grid
- Heavy build
- Uses a fan for cooling that can be somewhat noisy
Giandel 1200W Power Inverter
Smaller in size and much lighter than other options, the Giandel 1200W features in our top best solar inverter reviews because it is ideal for both a tight budget and off-grid applications. While the inverter can be plugged into a home electricity grid, it can also be easily connected to portable solar panels to charge devices on the go.
At a size of 1200W and a peak power output of 2400W, this is one of the best solar inverters by Giandel. It will startup household appliances such as TVs, computers, refrigerators, and even an air conditioner. Included with the inverter is an in-built 20A PMW charge controller. As such, without any additional components, you can use this unit to connect a solar panel to a device or battery for charging.
The inverter features two AC outlets and one USB port that can be connected to various devices, while its output and input sockets are isolated from each other for enhances safety and ease-of-use.
- Very affordable compared to other options
- Ideal for both off-grid and at home applications
- Light, safe, and highly portable
- Sufficient size to startup most common household appliances
- Not as powerful as other options
- Suitable for most household appliances, but will not startup certain power tools or other demanding machines