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Best Solar Inverters: Enphase, SolarEdge, SMA

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Best Solar Inverters

When it comes to your solar power system, the inverter is one of the most important components. It takes energy generated from the solar panel and transforms it from DC to AC energy (a more usable form of electricity). The inverter is much like the command center of your system, moving energy and monitoring its migration into the grid or battery.

The best solar inverters are produced by a few well-known manufacturers. There isn’t really one single “best” inverter when it comes to your home solar array. The reality is, these three specific inverter manufacturers: Enphase Energy, SolarEdge, and SMA - are the best in the business when it comes to producing quality based solar inverters that perform well and last long.

To know which inverter will be best for you, we need to first find out what type of system you will be using them in, and what application they will have for it. All the inverters we list below are meant for home and business grid-tied solar power systems, and they are commonly used in conjunction with various solar panel installations nationwide.

Here’s a highlight of the best inverters:

Enphase Energy: High Efficiency and Top-Quality with Long Warranty

Enphase Energy

Enphase’s micro inverters are the best solution for expandable systems. They also provide a solution to any shading issue your roof might have – Enphase micro inverters will let your solar panel produce power in conditions when there is any shading and maximizes solar panel performance at the individual level.

As each micro inverter is uniquely paired with a single solar panel, this effectively utilizes each PV module as its own mini solar energy system. If one inverter or panel were to fail, every other solar panel with a micro inverter will keep on producing power for you.

Enphase micro inverters are useful for system owners looking to start small or on a limited budget, then expand the system later when they can afford more, or even if their projected use of energy goes up in the future.

Enphase systems do unleash the power of efficiency for your solar panels and overall system. However, these inverters are quality built, as such, they do cost more than going the route of a string inverter system.

Enphase Energy Warranty is second to none. They offer a 25-year warranty for the IQ7, IQ7 Plus, IQ7X, IQ6, and IQ6 Plus micro inverters. The 25-year warranty effectively matches most solar panel warranty’s, as to help you collect more ROI safely for the entire lifespan of your solar power system. The rest of Enphase’s inverter monitoring, accessories and other products generally come with a 5-year warranty as outlined in their warranty statement.

Enphase Energy Warranty Statement

Overall, Enphase micro inverters are a winning choice for array’s looking to expand in the future, and home roof-top systems with shading issues. The scalability of Enphase micro inverters makes them a versatile solution and can accompany limited budget systems as well. Enphase Energy is a top-quality micro inverter manufacturer that we recommend for any array, especially if you need their products for any of the applications we outlined here.

SolarEdge: Excellent Complete Solution with Power Optimizers

SolarEdge

SolarEdge’s string inverters are one the best residential grid-tied solar inverter solutions available on the market. They also provide an excellent solution for Hybrid systems, and even inverter systems with EV charging. SolarEdge string inverters provide competent power solutions for a solar energy system; the PV optimizers that are attached to the back of each solar panel provide additional efficiency and monitoring at the modular level (much like Enphase micro inverters), and the string inverter handling the full load of your PV modules centralizes module conversion – which means lower cost.

SolarEdge inverters with power optimizers do offer essentially the same capability’s as Enphase micro inverters; increased panel efficiency, module level monitoring, and long-lasting products and warranty that deliver for homeowners.

SolarEdge inverters work well for most grid-tied systems, and they do generally cost less than an Enphase micro inverter system. It’s usually the most rational choice for some solar installations. SolarEdge optimizers do make your system shade tolerant incase those issues are prevalent.

The cost savings are seen on SolarEdge systems for systems more than 8-12 solar panels compared to Enphase. SolarEdge Hybrid inverter systems also integrate with various lithium-ion battery banks. Such as Tesla and LG Chem.

SolarEdge’s Warranty is 25-year for their Power Optimizers, 12-year for Inverters, and 5-year for the rest of their product offerings.

SolarEdge Warranty Statement

SolarEdge is known for producing quality string inverters that work well into Hybrid systems or EV charging. They are one of most common inverters used in grid-tie residential solar power systems – and for good reason, they deliver on reliability, diverse application, ease of use, and cost. This is an overall solution for many PV arrays.

SMA: Quality Built and Cost-Friendly Solution

SMA America

SMA Sunny Boy inverters are the most cost-friendly option while still achieving top quality energy conversion. SMA Sunny Boy inverters are meant to be utilized on systems with no shading issues, and that don’t need certain features that SolarEdge inverters provide. If shade were to affect the SMA system, then the decrease in energy conversion would be seen across every panel in the array.

SMA Sunny Boy inverters can provide the quality seen in comparable string inverter systems, given your system is designed to not be affected by any obstruction of sunlight. These inverters make a great choice for budget minded systems that keep tier-1 quality in their design plans.

SMA Sunny Boy inverters also come with an excellent bonus feature: “Secure Power Supply” (SPS) with 2000 watt, which provides power to your home when the grid goes down, without the need for a battery bank in the event of a grid disruption.

Secure Power Supply will continue to deliver power during daylight hours, in that event SMA inverters with SPS have a dedicated wall outlet, which is wired directly to the inverter, providing security and ensuring power is available when it’s needed most.

SMA’s Warranty is 10-year for most inverters, rest of items are 5-year. They do have warranty extensions however, if the homeowner so desires to secure the SMA Sunny Boy for a longer term.

SMA Warranty Statement

SMA Sunny Boy inverters will provide a quality-based inverter system at a lower cost for grid-tied residential systems with no additionally needed functions such as shading or expansion. SMA’s SPS function provides an aspect of hybrid system operation from a battery bank, without the need for a battery at all. These inverters pack a punch and are a great solution for home solar power systems without obstacles to sunlight, and budget friendly for the quality level.

Which Inverter is Best for Your System?

As you can see, all three of these inverter manufacturer options have a unique function per inverter system. Enphase is more expensive, high quality, great for expandable systems and shading issues. SolarEdge is a popular grid-tied solution, high efficiency with optimizers, works with Hybrid and EV, also shading friendly. SMA is high quality, budget-friendly and a comparable grid-tied inverter solution for home and commercial arrays.

You should focus on designing your solar energy system with the components that make most sense for your project, lifestyle, budget, and product preference. If you would like a quote for a DIY grid-tied system that is designed best for your application, please feel free to reach out and contact us.


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