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SolarEdge Inverters: The Complete Review

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SolarEdge Inverters Complete Review

SolarEdge Inverters are one of the most popular and highest quality string inverter solutions for any residential or commercial PV array. The affordability matched with reliable, long-term service from SolarEdge makes this inverter a top pick among all other DC/AC energy conversion systems within it's class. SolarEdge inverters are designed to be effective, reliable and cost effective for solar power systems.

SolarEdge is a global leader in solar inverter and optimizer technology. The company was established in 2006 and was first recognized for their development of PV optimizers, which maximizes the power generation of the array for improved performance and ROI. Their diversified product offerings can be utilized in a wide range of solar energy applications, including: residential, commercial and large-scale PV, hybrid (battery backup) solutions, EV charging, and includes in-depth module level monitoring.

SolarEdge's optimizer solutions pair with their inverter technology to deliver smart, energy enhancing capabilities that result in high energy generation from the solar modules. The increased energy from the optimizers saves system owners both on their current energy bill, and decreases their overall ROI period. As both a short and long term Solar energy storage solution, the company is an industry leader in grid-tied and hybrid solar energy systems.

In this complete review of SolarEdge inverters, we will be looking into the following:

  • Single Phase Inverter - Overview
  • Three Phase Inverter - Overview
  • SolarEdge Inverter and Optimizer Features
  • SolarEdge vs SMA vs Fronius: 7.6kW String Inverter Comparison
  • Solaris Recommendations
See Here: SolarEdge Inverters, Optimizers & Accessories for Sale

SolarEdge Single Phase Inverters - Overview

SolarEdge offers a wide range of single-phase string inverters for various applications. Their lines include the HD Wave, StorEdge Hybrid, Single Phase and EV Charging inverters. Both the HD Wave and Single Phase SolarEdge inverters are compatible with grid-tie, single phase systems. The HD Wave inverter is specifically designed to work with power optimizers and are easily commissioned using the SolarEdge SetApp. The Single Phase line provides built-in module-level monitoring and internet connection through ethernet or wireless connections.

The EV Charging inverters from SolarEdge utilize the HD Wave inverters with a port for the EV charger holder and cable to be connected. The charger holder are manufactured from SolarEdge directly and are sold separately. The StorEdge hybrid single phase inverter is compatible with battery backup, unlike other SolarEdge inverters. The StorEdge inverters are compatible with lithium-ion batteries such as the LG Chem battery. The StorEdge can work both with and without battery backup capabilities.

SolarEdge HD Wave
HD Wave Inverter
StorEdge Hybrid Inverter
Single Phase
SolarEdge Single Phase Inverters
EV Charging
EV Charging
Output Range: 3kW - 11.4kW 3.8kW - 7.6kW 3kW - 11.4kW 3.6kW - 7.6kW
Efficiency Range: 98.5% - 99% 97.5% - 98% 97% - 98% 99% - 99.2%
Application: On-Grid On-Grid / Hybrid On-Grid On-Grid / EV Charging
Weight: 22 lbs - 38.8 lbs 58.5 lbs 51.2 lbs - 88.4 lbs 22 lbs - 26.2 lbs
Dimensions: 17.7 (21.3)  x 14.6 x 6.8 (7.3) in 37 x 12.5 x 7.2 in 30.5 x 12.5 x 7.2 (10.5) in 17.7 x 14.6 x 6.8 in
Monitoring: Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rapid Shutdown: Yes Yes (PV and Battery) Yes Yes
Installation: Indoor or Outdoor Indoor or Outdoor Indoor or Outdoor Indoor (for EV application)
Downloads: Specifications

Single phase inverters are the primary string inverters used in residential applications. If you do not plan on utilizing battery backup, then we recommend the HD Wave inverter. For hybrid setups, the StorEdge and LG Chem combination comes highly recommended .

See Here: LG Chem Battery: The Complete Review

For system owners who already have an HD Wave or Single Phase system installed and are seeking battery backup, a StorEdge inverter would need to be used in place of the current inverter. However, the already installed optimizers would not need to be changed and are compatible with all SolarEdge inverters. Likewise, if you have a non-EV charging HD Wave unit, a new inverter would be required.

SolarEdge assists with easy upgrades to both battery storage, EV Charging and their other smart energy capabilities. If you are looking to upgrade your inverter, be sure to contact SolarEdge first to see how they can help you transition to your new solar energy setup.

SolarEdge Optimizer InstallationIt is important to consider your energy goals when selecting your inverter. As outlined above, some inverters limit the applications you can utilize down the road. SolarEdge optimizers are highly compatible along the inverter line. In order for any SolarEdge inverter to work properly, optimizers must be installed on each solar panel.

Utilizing string inverters and optimizers comes in at a lower overall cost than a microinverter system. For example, a SolarEdge HD Wave 7.6kW system will come in at a lower price point than a 7.6kW Enphase Energy system. When compared to single phase inverters that do not require optimizers however, SolarEdge comes in at a higher price point, making string inverters and optimizers a mid-range cost solution.

Prospective system installers should consider using SolarEdge inverters and optimizers if they do not have a south facing roof, have multiple roof angles or exist in a low sun hour environment. The optimizers will enhance the overall output of your system, it optimizes the output of each module individually therefore, your system will continue functioning even if part of the array is exposed to shading. Without optimizers the system will experience energy loss and possibly stop working under similar conditions.

See Here: Power Optimizers: Everything You Need to Know

SolarEdge Three Phase Inverter - Overview

Commercial Three Phase SolarEdge SystemSolarEdge offers commercial 3-phase lines with their Three Phase models. The line supports medium sized three phase systems above 9kW as well as large scale commercial.

The commercial application includes both Primary and Secondary inverters, primary can be used as a stand-alone inverter, however Secondary inverters must be paired with a Primary inverter. Secondary inverters are typically used for necessary additional power for the system.  SolarEdge Three Phase inverters are easy to install and can be installed with a minimum of two people. Each inverter unit can be mounted separately and are equipped with cables for simple connection between units. These features decrease the cost of balance of system and labor when compared to smaller string inverters.

The inverters operate independently, which makes the system more serviceable and enables higher up-time. In addition, the inverters can be wall mounted, rail mounted, or horizontally mounted under the modules (10° inclination); making them highly versatile particularly in large scale commercial applications.

SolarEdge Three Phase
SolarEdge Three Phase
Commercial 3-Ph (Primary)
Commercial Three Phase
Commercial 3-Ph (Secondary)
SolarEdge Commercial Three Phase Inverters
Output Range: 9kW - 20kW 66.6kW - 100kW 43.2kW
Efficiency Range: 98% - 98.5% 98.5% 97%
Application: 3-Ph Small Commercial 3-Ph Commercial 3-Ph Commercial*
Weight: 73.2 lbs - 99.5 lbs 48 lbs 45 lbs
Dimensions: 21 x 12.5 x 10.5 in 37 x 12.5 x 10.5 in 21 x 12.5 x 10.5 in
Monitoring: Yes Yes Yes
Rapid Shutdown: With installation of rapid shutdown kit With installation of rapid shutdown kit With installation of rapid shutdown kit
Installation: Outdoor and Indoor Outdoor and Indoor Outdoor and Indoor
Downloads: Specifications

*SolarEdge Three Phase Secondary Inverter must be paired with a Primary Inverter

Unlike the single phase StorEdge, the Three Phase line cannot be used with battery backup . However, three phase-based hybrid and battery backup systems are currently not on the market. If battery backup is a consideration for your commercial project, you may want to consider a single-phase system. Whether or not this is feasible is largely depended on the commercial solar system size and budget.

SolarEdge Three Phase inverters work with all SolarEdge optimizers and include module level monitoring with Ethernet or cellular GSM cards. The inverters are fixed voltage, which results in superior efficiency (97%) and allow for longer strings. They also include arc fault protection and rapid shutdown, making the inverters compliant with industry safety codes such as NEC 2014 and 2017.

See Here: SolarEdge Installation Guide

SolarEdge Inverter and Optimizer Features

To understand how inverter and optimizer systems work we have compared the features between the technologies. In the comparison, SolarEdge Systems are defined as inverter and optimizer systems, while Typical Systems are defined as string inverter systems without optimizers (such as those from Fronius and SMA). Other inverter manufacturers offer optimizer solutions, such as the SmartModules from SMA, however they are not required to run the solar system like they are with SolarEdge.

SolarEdge Optimizer vs Typical Systems

The optimizers maximize power production from each solar module and eliminate power losses that can occur when exposed to outside environmental conditions such as dirt buildup, partial shading, snow, and so on. By optimizing to decrease energy loss, SolarEdge systems can lead to more power and a shorter return on investment period for your system. This should be considered when comparing costs between SolarEdge Systems and Typical Systems.

SolarEdge optimizers ensure that only the shaded module is affected by the shading conditions, the rest of the modules operate at their maximum efficiency. Whereas, in the Typical System example, the rest of the panels are lowered to the output of the shaded module in the series despite not being subject to shading. Optimizers increase the output of your system, and enhance day to day operations within your system despite adverse factors.

Optimizers allow installers to utilize multiple roof faces without negatively affecting the performance of the inverter or the system. This feature is helpful for site conditions with limited roof space as well as allowing for maximum energy potential.

Multi Roof Capabilities

Complete module level monitoring is available for free through SolarEdge’s monitoring and app platforms. Module level monitoring gives you a complete overview of the power output of your system and allows for quick troubleshooting with limited downtime.

SolarEdge inverters and optimizers provide built-in safety features that are compliant with the most advanced safety standards to ensure rapid shutdown compliance, fire safety and to assist in negating system damage.

SolarEdge inverters have a 12-year warranty period the longest string inverter warranty on the market. This warranty is extendable for 20 or 25 years at an additional cost with the manufacturer. SolarEdge optimizers include a 25-year product warranty, which is on par with Enphase Energy microinverters. If the extended warranty is not purchased, the installing party should plan to replace their inverter about halfway through the warranty period of their optimizers and solar panels.

Overall, SolarEdge's inverter and optimizer solution is recommended for sites with exposure to partial shading, non-ideal facing roofs, multiple roofs and areas  with low sunlight. Due to the optimizers being required for ever panel in your solar array, the initial investment cost is higher with this solution than with standard string inverter systems. Expected ROI periods can be lowered with SolarEdge's optimized inverter solution, however, there may be future costs associated with a potential string inverter replacement.

See Here: SolarEdge Warranty Statement

SolarEdge vs SMA vs Fronius: 7.6kW String Inverter Comparison

To get a better understanding of the differences between SolarEdge, SMA and Fronius residential string inverters, we put together this basic comparison below.

7.6kW String InvertersSE7600H-US

SMA Sunny Boy
Primo 7.6-1 TL
Fronius Primo 7.6-1 TL

Series Line: HD Wave Sunny Boy Primo
Power Output (Watts): 7600 Watts 6900 @208V; 7950 @240V 7600
Efficiency: 99.2% 97.1% @208V; 97.5% @240V 96.9%
Pricing: See Price
See Price
See Price
Dimensions: 17.7 x 14.6 x 6.8 in 21.1 x 28.5 x 7.8 20.1 x 28.5 x 8.9 in
Weight: 26.2 lbs 57 lbs 82.5 lbs
Warranty Period: 12 Years (Opt. Ext.) 10 Years (Opt. Ext.) 5 Years (Opt. Ext.)
Downloads: Specifications

Solaris Recommendations

SolarEdge provides industry leading, optimized and highly efficient inverter solutions that can be used as the power centers for both residential and large scale commercial applications. Their optimizers function to increase the output of your solar array under normal conditions, and also maintains the performance of the system even if part of the system is shaded. This technology can be useful for improving performance of the system when sunlight is prevented from directly hitting the solar cells, such as when the panels are covered with snow or debris.

SolarEdge inverters come in with higher than average efficiency than comparable string inverters. As highlighted in the comparison above, they also offer a better than industry standard warranty period for string inverter technology. SolarEdge inverters are light weight, affordable, and reliable. Their EV Charging inverter line supports grid-tie systems with electric vehicle charging capabilities. SolarEdge's StorEdge hybrid inverter line supports battery backup systems, such as lithium-ion.

Prospective solar system owners should weigh the additional cost of inverter and optimizer pairings based on the projects budget as well as long-term ROI goals. The optimized are useful not only for special circumstances like some of those outlined above, but real world conditions that all system owners will encounter such as cloudy days, cloud shading, snow, debris, and so on.

SolarEdge's monitoring services makes it easy for system owners and installers to closely watch the systems energy performance. Their platform provides users with detailed information regarding the performance of their system on a modular level, and is free of charge. This saves both money and time in maintenance and troubleshooting, as the user can quickly identify and address any energy deficiencies within the array, improving system up time.

SolarEdge has continued to be a trusted solution in the solar industry since their inception in 2006. They have continued to expand their technology, and hold a strong partnership with LG through their LG Chem RESU lithium-ion battery line, proving that the company is adaptable to new energy demands. From single phase to hybrid to large scale commercial projects, SolarEdge offers a reliable and proven solution to get the most of your solar energy system, and are worth looking into for anyone looking to go solar.

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