What is the best inverter, solaredge or micro inverters?

  • #12893 Reply

    Elliott

    I wonder which is the better system for my PV solar installation based in the Midlands – the solar edge optimizer inverter or the enphase micro inverter? Thanks.

  • #12895 Reply

    Norman

    Heres a nice little non technical video about the differences between Micro Inverters e.g.Enpahse) and DC Optimisers (e.g Solar Edge)

    I know there is more to it than that but it made me smile:

    //www.youtube.com/watch?v=q17vH1mNpDQ

  • #12896 Reply

    Mike

    In general as a solution we prefer Solar Edge but both are great products.

    With UK cloud cover being as it is and these products getting very close to standard inverter costs it can be argued that all installations could benefit from one or the other.

  • #12902 Reply

    Mark

    Very good Norman this made me smile even more:

    //www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHyIZQ

  • #12918 Reply

    Nicholas

    The solar edge inverter has the same Electrolytic capacitor in the main Inverter, the one that comes with the 12 year warranty as standard. The same inverter that will eventually fail and take out the whole system compared with losing only one module with Enphase.

    Strangely Solaredge keep harping on about the cost of replacing Enphase inverters from under the modules but fail to point out that the voltage optimiser is in the same position and is made of plastic !

    • #13941 Reply

      John

      I have installed a number of Solaredge systems and i like the fact the central Inverter has no other requirement but to convert the DC power keeping it simple, also the optimiser units are well built and very robust, but most of all the monitoring system is second to none, i can check my customers systems from any location on my iphone even down to each individual panel which is good for me and my customers, number of complaints and problems so far = 0

  • #13175 Reply

    Norman

    Each month I pull actual performance figures from all my SolarEdge and Enphase customers and 25+ kilowatt days were a common feature last summer.

  • #13690 Reply

    Techfor Energy

    The SolarEdge power optimizer is a DC/DC converter which is connected by installers to each PV module or embedded by module manufacturers, replacing the traditional solar junction box. The SolarEdge power
    optimizers increase energy output from PV systems by constantly tracking the maximum power point (MPPT) of each module individually.

    Furthermore, the power optimizers monitor the performance of each module and communicate performance data to the SolarEdge monitoring portal for enhanced, cost-effective module-level maintenance. Each power optimizer is equipped with the unique SafeDC™ feature which automatically shuts down modules’ DC voltage whenever the inverter or grid power is shut down.

    The MPPT per module allows for flexible installation design with multiple orientations, tilts and module types in the same string. When working with SolarEdge Inverters, SolarEdge power optimizers automatically maintain a fixed string voltage, allowing installers even greater flexibility with longer strings and strings of different lengths
    in order to design optimal PV systems. Alternatively, the new independent optimization (IndOP™) technology, allows power optimizers to be installed without the need for additional interface hardware and to operate directly with any inverter. The SolarEdge power optimizers are compatible with c-Si and thin-film modules and have a 25 year warranty.

    http://www.solaredge.com/groups/powerbox-power-optimizer

    • #19676 Reply

      Eric

      I have a ten panel installation with Aurora inverter PVI-2000-UK. Would I be able to fit power optimizers to my panels without changing the inverter. My roof is south facing with no shading.

    • #19677 Reply

      Stuart Lovatt
      Keymaster

      Currently there are three ways of doing this:

      1.A string inverter which sits inside you house, usually in your attic or internal garage, and is about the size of wall mounted juke box
      2. Micro inverters which fit under each panel and do the conversion on your roof.
      3. Power Optimisers which replace the junction box on each panel and as the name suggest optimise the power generated by each panel individually. However there is also still an internal inverter with this system to finish off the conversion.

      All have +’s and -‘s.

      Its about horses for courses and trusting your installer to recommend the best solution given your circumstances.

  • #14304 Reply

    Sarah

    I’ve read an article that rubbishes micro inverters citing that they fail more than installers care to admit and are more difficult to replace than the string inverters because it means accessing the panel itself. Any views on that??

  • #14305 Reply

    Norman

    Hi Sarah

    When I post on here I try and post from experience rather than hearsay.

    We have been installing micro-inverters for three years and have never had a single call back. If we were getting call backs to fail units we would stop installing them.

    Can’t say that for string inverters. We have had four call backs to a Power One inverter in the last two years. One of the reasons we switched over to Samill.

    If an ENPHASE micro inverter fails in the first five years ENPHASE themselves will undertake and cover all costs of replacing.

  • #16835 Reply

    Norman

    Solar panels produce DC (Direct Current) similar to batteries and dynamos.

    The grid runs on AC (Alternating Current).

    Put them together and you have a famous Australian based metal band….

    However, in the renewable world we need to take the DC current your panels produce and invert it to AC so you can use it in your home.

    Currently there are three ways of doing this:

    1.A string inverter which sits inside your house, usually in your attic or internal garage, and is about the size of wall mounted juke box
    2. Micro inverters, which fit under each panel and do the conversion on your roof.
    3. Power Optimisers which replace the junction box on each panel and as the name suggest optimise the power generated by each panel individually. However, there is also still an internal inverter with this system to finish off the conversion.

    All have +’s and -‘s.

    It’s about horses for courses and trusting your installer to recommend the best solution given your circumstances.

    That’s why is always good to research your installer. Ask them about each and to give your contact details so you can speak to folks that have them.

  • #17044 Reply

    Norman

    Regarding Solar Edge or Enphase inverters, both are great products when used on the right occasions.

    We installed Solar Edge for about two years, then switched over to Enphase.

    I’d say from an installation and support standpoint our experience is much better with Enphase.

    Our reason for switching over from Solar Edge was because of after sales and installation help and support issues and not to do with the quality of the product. Solar Edge were fairly new to the UK back then and probably will have sorted those issues by now.

    In terms of co st expect to pay about £340/£400 more for Ephase than Solar Edge.

  • #17087 Reply

    Leigh Douglas

    Hi can anyone answer me a question How much roughly should this cost for 14 PV panel system using connecting SolarEdge power optimisers to PV panels any feed back would be greatfully received

  • #17088 Reply

    Stuart

    Hi Leigh

    Around 6-7 K, but depends on the size of the company and how many sales/canvass people they employ. This is answered here on this page in depth here:

    https://www.heatmyhome.co.uk/solar-panels/topic/recent-quote

  • #17089 Reply

    Leigh Douglas

    Thanks Stuaet I will check it out

  • #17090 Reply

    Leigh Douglas

    Hi Stuart have just looked at the link and it seems my quote is way over everyone else’s think I will have to phone them tomorrow do you know anything about SolarTherm Uk part of Silvercrest Energy Ltd ????

  • #17091 Reply

    Stuart

    Never heard of them, but their are nearly 2000 registered companies of varying ethics.

    Thats why offer quotes from tried, tested and trusted installers here: https://www.heatmyhome.co.uk/solar-panels-installations-quotes.php

    Never be rushed into committing. Research the companies as well as the quotations. Ask for contact details for the their nearest five customers to you.

    Then give them a ring and ask:

    1. How did the installation go.
    2. How has the system performed since installation. Has is done what the company and you expected.

    Once you have the answers to these questions your decision may be a bit easier.

  • #17092 Reply

    Leigh Douglas

    Hi Stuart have input my details on the link above and hopefully someone will come back to me ASAP thanks you

  • #17245 Reply

    Norman Scottish Installer

    Speaking from experience I know that if I go to see a potential client and they are from a technical, electronics, electrical or engineering background then nine times out of ten they pay the extra for the micro inverters.

    For them its a combination of the stand alone aspect of each panel, the much reduce electronics in the micros, the lack of a DC cable in the house., the longer working life and of course the real time monitoring of each individual panel. IF you are from a technical background you will love the level of information you get.

  • #17374 Reply

    Norman Scottish Installer

    We have installed both Enphase and initially Solar Edge. Both are great products and under certain circumstances will make your system more productive. Both also have double the working life of a standard string, individual panel monitoring and other extras.

    I monitor all my Enphase and Solar Edge sytems each month and while its not an exact scien ce both sets seems to be producing around the same level month.

    In my top ten producing systems 55% are Enphase 45% Solar Edge. However that can be down to roof suitability as much as the product.

    What we prefer with Enphase is the whole conversion is done on roof so no need for an internal inverter.

  • #17883 Reply

    Dave Hoggett

    My limited experience of Solaredge power optimisers is an average failure rate of 1 per year out of an installation of 16. The monitoring tools enable easy fault finding. A single fault might otherwise go un-noticed. The optimisers have a 25 year warranty but it doesn’t include installation costs. Probably worth buying a stock to defend against future obsolescence.

  • #18029 Reply

    john Gordon

    hi Dave, my soleredge system has the same failure rate about 1 a year, if there is a 25 year warranty shouldn’t they be replaced FOC. When mine fail i have a problem finding an installer to fit the replacement, as mine no longer trades, and i am unable to find someone in south wales or near enough to justify the cost. solar edge themselves have also this year refrained from responding to my online call=logs,and emails. does anybody out there know of a local installer who can help?

  • #18501 Reply

    ralnavman

    John, oh dear, that’s a bit worrying, I’ve had someone here today representing a large South Wales based company trying to sell me an upgrade to my existing pv of a Solaredge inverter and optimisers saying that it was all covered by something like a 20 year all costs covered warranty!! This is not correct then by the sound of it? I got the impression that Solaredge were an impeccable company

  • #18757 Reply

    Geoff

    Hi ralnavman, did you go ahead with the upgrade?
    I’ve been contacted by what I think must be the same company and they similarly are suggesting that any problems with the inverter or optimisers would be covered over the next 20 years.
    Has anyone had any other experience with getting some of this ‘warranted’ equipment replaced? Do you have to go out and find (and pay for?) someone else to do the actual equipment change if/when something fails?

  • #18790 Reply

    David Field

    I have enjoyed reading the comments of the different optimisers. Nobody seems to comment on the increases they have noticed in annual kw’s.
    I average around 3700 kw’s pa. what increase could I expect?

    • #18791 Reply

      Stuart

      Hi David

      Don’t bother with voltage optimisation. No real saving to be made if solar PV is going to be installed.

      Voltage optimisers are different from micro inverters just in case you were confusing the two. Micro inverters are preferred because they give individual data for each panel rather than the system has a whole.

  • #18793 Reply

    Shawn

    Hey, I’m a new Solar customer, but I chose SolarEdge for the more simple design, cost, and proven reliability. And I can vouch that I get data on the production of each and every panel. Not only that, but out of the 24 panels that I installed, I’m showing production when the first two panels come online in the morning. Measuring output today, and today was a hazy, hot day (which decreases production) at solar maximum I was at 83% efficiency. And on a clear day I would expect to produce more.

  • #19004 Reply

    BRIAN GREENHORN

    We had men at door saying they were from Everest Windows.
    Quoting that the company had been around for years and was now into solar energy.
    They offered to fit a “booster” in my attic, check the whole system plus give me a parts and labour 10 year guarantee. Their data showed panels going from 48% up to 97% efficiency. Cost….£3000. I left the room and phoned Everest who confirmed it was correct. I paid £1500 via credit card with balance due once booster was installed.A guy from REI Ltd {supposedly} arrived 10 days later spent 10 minutes in loft. I did not see any bits going in or bits coming out. This was nearly 3 months ago and my efficiency hasn’t changed.I was called one hour after he left for balance but I didn’t pay as I had no paperwork. The guy that signed us up said he had picked up wrong pad and wrote on that saying we would get correct paperwork. His pad was for windows and doors.
    I managed to get a few names/emails/addresses whilst not paying balance. On further checking, these people had registered Everest Windows and Doors with similar Logo just 2 months previously. I raised a section 75 claim against my credit card.They want me to get a solar panel engineer to check my system to find out what the guy fitted. I have emailed a few but none have replied. So, does anyone have details of a Company in Fife area that may give me an honest written answer?
    Bit long I know but thanks for reading.
    Brian

    • #19006 Reply

      Stuart

      Hi

      First of all, Everest are notorious for massively overpricing all their product lines.

      Secondly, I’m not sure what you mean by ‘a booster’. If you mean ‘voltage optimisers’ then I have written an article about these here:

      Upgrading my existing PV solar panels to Solar Edge inverters and voltage optimisers

      Thirdly, if you haven’t seen the ‘boost’ in output they promised, then the term ‘not fit for purpose’ springs to mind.

    • #19055 Reply

      Stuart

      Unfortunately, there are many within the dark side of our beloved industry that offer ‘Free Health Checks or solar MOTs’ for the purpose of up-selling products at eye-watering prices.

      MCS are working closely with Trading Standards to end these practices. We encourage anyone who has been approached by such a company to contact Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice helpline (Tel: 03454 040506) or MCS (Tel: 020 7090 1082 / Email: mcshelpdesk@gemserv.com).

  • #19645 Reply

    Irene

    Just been contacted by company from Wales saying they are in the area and providing free health checks. I have a 14 panel system installed in 2011. It is a stringed system. They say they install solar edge inverters which would improve the current inverter which is a Fronius IG and they install monitoring system based on each separate panel working independently. Is this worth a look?

  • #20368 Reply

    Clare

    Hello ! I have Enecsys micro inverters on my 20 panel solar system (they are now just over 5 years old) . It appears two inverters have failed. As Enecsys is in liquidation, are there any other inverters that can be incorporated into my existing system as replacements or do I need the whole system replaced. Certain Port Talbot company is trying to sell me Solar Edge optimisers as an alternative at the princely sum of £3K-£4K but the output I lose from the failed inverters means that gives me a 13 year payback !!!
    Any advice would be gratefully received.

    • #20369 Reply

      Stuart Lovatt
      Keymaster

      Hello Clare

      SolarEdge systems are brilliant and are considered the Mercedes of the solar industry, but the price you have been quoted is very high. Get a few more quotes quotes.

    • #20371 Reply

      Clare

      Thanks Stuart – do you have rough idea what it should cost including installation on a roof in Devon – that would help as I talk to installers ?

    • #20372 Reply

      Stuart Lovatt
      Keymaster

      Sorry Clare, I cannot talk about pricing as retro-fitting has so many variables. Needless to say, any decent installer will be able to confidently give you a breakdown of the costs involved and data on expected performance.

      Additionally, make sure installers are certified by RECC and then you can be confident in their pricing structure.

  • #20412 Reply

    Mindelo

    I have 4 LG 300 watts panels connected to Enphase inverters.
    The max power produced is 1050 watts and not 1200 watts as it should be.
    As I understand the Enphase inverter does not allow more than 1 amp outlet.
    Is it possible to install 2 microinverters to one Solar panel?

    • #20414 Reply

      Stuart

      Hi Mindelo

      Your lack of Max Power could be down to other aspects such as orientation to South.

      I have never heard of anyone installing 2 to 1 panel.

      Hope this helps.






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