Are Growatt Inverters Any Good? Here’s An Installer’s Opinion

Growatt Are Growing Up. About Time.

Here’s my review of Growatt inverters: I’ve always thought they were rubbish. Aside from the one in the cover image that has clocked up 11 years and is still plugging away to this day.

Want to know why I have this opinion? Pull up a chair, and I’ll start at the beginning.

Years ago, I was setting out selling and installing solar on my own, getting qualified help where I needed it and otherwise running a one-man minnow of an operation. I never advertised and never had to; people would ring me up because I’d been to their friend’s place or bought a home brew thermostat from their wife’s shop. The customers paid up front for the expensive equipment, and I claimed the STC payment after it was done. Things went well, and I never had a warranty call back despite using what turned out to be less-than-stellar Simax solar panels.

There was this one bloke, though, a roofer and former work colleague. He knocked down and built a brand new house in a nice up-and-coming / trending-to-swank inner suburb, begging that he needed 10kW but couldn’t afford the price. Forty panels was a big system, and I weakened. I told him that instead of the two SMA Sunny Boy TL5000 inverters I had used everywhere, I could get him a couple of Growatt inverters, and they were half the price… which he went for. Bewdy.

So we put a system on, and all went swimmingly. They were pleased with 40kWh of solar energy on the first day, but it only lasted three weeks. Then one of the two Growatt inverters died. Odd, I thought, but not out of the question, you might have an early life failure. Oh well, I went back with another unit, and what came out of the “new” inverter box was a used warranty unit. It turns out they refurbished them.

Three weeks later, I would have to return and diagnose the other inverter as dead. This one had such a significant internal haemorrhage that it took out the main circuit breaker causing the whole house to black out. The customer was -pissed- and so was I. Now we had both of the original units replaced with warranty ones, and I was hoping that whatever the issue was, we had overcome it.

26/7/13. Two 5kW inverters with twenty panels each. She was a big system back when 250w and 1 x 1.6 metres was the standard panel size.

From Growatts to Nowatts

So this model of single input 5kW machine was indeed a lemon, in my experience. The evidence included the faded finish on the heat sink of the subsequent warranty units. When it’s cheap, black anodising quickly bleaches to brown in the sun.

When both the original units failed, I was sus, and when by June and November, both the replacements failed, I rang the wholesaler in disgust. After four failures in 16 months, I could not afford the reputational damage and told them it was their problem now. I would not be replacing the replacements, and I would never buy another Growatt, not least because I never got a dollar for the eight site visits.

 

Even this year, current model inverters are turning up in piles, broken.

What are Growatts like in 2023?

And despite working for various people, I’ve never had to dirty my hands on another Growatt. Everyone else had used a different brand of snot for the budget-conscious customers, so I’ve had nothing much to gauge them on other than the people you meet, like one of my best mates, who’s had a 4.2kW GroWatt on his house humming away ceaselessly for ten years. And other industry operatives I’ve come to respect, ones who aren’t prone to hyperbole, who say they find the modern Growies are pretty solid, hundreds installed, just a handful of failures.

So I began to look into them as I researched a budget battery article. They must be better by now, after so many years? Surely if everyone had suffered the kind of crap I did, they would have gone broke years ago? It certainly seemed they were on the up if they had paid the money to be a major sponsor of All Energy conference… otherwise known as Solar Christmas.

They’re turning over a new leaf by the looks of it, albeit plastic ones.

The thing is, I couldn’t find the warranty details on the Growatt battery. Everyone else in the country had pages of stuff on PDFs that I had to plough through. Cycle life, temperatures, test procedures, internet connectivity exclusions, depth of discharge, megawatt hours throughput. All this detail I wish someone would standardise a test procedure for all so that we could reliably compare products.

Well, GroWatt was having none of it. They just didn’t publish it, and what they did publish was some crap about the warranty being subject to the laws of Shenzen, China. Ummm, not in this country they’re not; we’ve got consumer law up the whazoo.

In an age where companies live and die by social media, to this day, the GroWatt Australia Facebook page hasn’t been updated since 2018. It does feature some terrible reviews with 1-star ratings and an autoresponder that replies to your chat, and nothing happens thereafter.  So I rang the three(?) mobile numbers they list on the website for support, which didn’t answer. The only line that did pick up was the 1800 number and they couldn’t help other than to give me an email address. So I reached out again to ask for some help and, well, I’ll let you judge the tone, but what I was picking up was a distinct lack of interest.

 

I’m Happy To Be Proven Wrong

Scrolling through the happy news of a New South Wales election, I found a hapless punter asking for feedback on the three solar power systems he had listed, in a post to one of the numerous social solar sites I’ve had the misfortune to join. For this particular page, they do have a self-declared safe space for anti-vaxers and GroWatt, while a few other members troll with responses about #nowatt. It’s an eclectic mix, but I contributed my 5 cents in saying that from the decidedly budget lineup, the Sungrow/Jinko option outlined was good, and, in my opinion, the rest was junk.

Then there was the reply. A valiant defender of GroWatt’s good name, and as the banter about defamation and the screenshots rolled out I found myself in conversation with actual company representatives, people who had skin in GroWatt’s game. The best part about this was that one of them clarified that GroWatt pay $150 toward service calls on warranty units and he would look into my case personally. Wow.

The other bloke explained that GroWatt Australia was now migrating to a new local website. (Which would have been handy to know about in January when I was chasing things up) He said it was a shame I didn’t find the details, but he sent me the (nearly) direct link to the battery warranty documents, and then he screenshotted them all for me too. What service!

Customer Service Is So Important

After so many years of telling everyone I could about how bad my experience was with GroWatt, this new level of concern from Growatt in Australia has come as a revelation. The cynic in me says that it’s because SolarQuotes is held in high regard, and it’s important to have your public relations right with those with industry credibility. However, the optimist in me says they have indeed “taken on the advice” and lifted their game.

Time will tell, of course, but knowing that Australians love nothing more than a cheap solar system, it bodes well that one of the biggest players in the budget end of the market is getting their ducks lined up properly. In reality, it’s well overdue, and I still scratch my head as to how lean the operation must be, to potentially expose themselves to considerable consumer grief by not ticking all the boxes.

I’m not going to rush out and put one on my house just yet, but if Growatt can make a decent product and back it with a decent warranty, one that pays for decent service too, then that gets more solar on rooftops and I’ll be pleased.

What’s your experience with old and recent Growatt inverters, batteries and customer service? Let me know in the comments.

About Anthony Bennett

Anthony joined the SolarQuotes team in 2022. He’s a licensed electrician, builder, roofer and solar installer who for 14 years did jobs all over SA - residential, commercial, on-grid and off-grid. A true enthusiast with a skillset the typical solar installer might not have, his blogs are typically deep dives that draw on his decades of experience in the industry to educate and entertain. Read Anthony's full bio.

Comments

  1. Similar Experience here, 200% failure rate on GroWatt inverters of ye olde. Admittedly, again we installed 2, replaced each twice and wiped our hands of the brand.

    Unwilling to try them again now :).

    • Greg pearce says

      Had a 6.6 kW system installed 10 th march 2023 .15 days later growatt inverter blew. Been trying to get it replaced under warranty for 4 weeks now not even an answer email or phone call .wish we had gone with a different supplier and a different inverter company .

      • Have 5kw grow watt inverter fitted 6 march besides downgrading due to heat I’ve seen 31.8 kw production per day with 6.6 kw pannels. I paid $7500

    • I have two hybrid Growatt inverters. Both were purchased by a friend. Both had two warning messages that will never go away. I need help with how to update the firmware and where to find the firmware for this unit. I tried contacting Growatt Australia but they said that the serial number of the unit is not from them.

      • What were your warning messages? I have been getting 2 messages at about 2 minutes past midnight every night. One says Grid-phase-Warning the other says Overtemperature-Warning. The inverter is cool at that time and the load is 500W on a 5KW system. Growatt told me to clean the filters, but this annoying message continues after careful cleaning.

  2. I am also a one-man band now retired after 11 years in the industry. I only ever installed one Growatt inverter at the customer’s request. (price)
    It duly failed after 2 years and was promptly replaced by Growatt. It is still going after a further six years.
    I have also replaced three more Growatt Inverters for other people who bought from the El Cheapo system companies.
    Each Time Growatt service was good to deal with and I got paid my $150.00 promptly. I hope that they can continue to provide a budget Inverter that lasts 10 years. At least they can look after the battlers.

    • Anthony Bennett says

      Hi John,

      I’m glad someone is having a win with them, as you say the battlers deserve better.

    • Bought 2 5kW units in 2023. Both working since them without a problem. One dongle failed at times and was replaced within a new days after I phoned.

      • Utter garbage IMO. We call them blowatt or nowatt. Had one of their batteries nearly burn house down. We were not the original installer of the blowatt, but we won the insurance quote to replace with LGChem and SolarEdge. The original installer was smart enough to install with a fire extinguisher and luckily the homeowner is a retiree and was home to use it!

        We have never installed them. Never will.

  3. Piet de Beer says

    I tried to reach out to Growatt Aus by phone and email – no response

  4. I installed Growatt system, as suggest by my installer, in 2020. Biggest mistake, from month one I’ve had issues. I’m up to my 3rd inverter (installed a dual 5kw system) and they in the middle of another replacement . They have incompatible issues with their first generation hybrid inverter and their own batteries. The installer washed their hands (HP Energy) and service is slow from Growatt.

    They rarely know how to troubleshoot or setup their own inverters and they tend to just replace. I would never go with them again.

  5. I have been using growwys for over 8 years and have had a few issues -mainly the terrible process when connecting their wifi dongles to the customers home internet.

    Usually the older models are plugged into a set of your usual level of unsavoury panels such as Ningbos, Tianneng, Solarfun etc. – once you slap some new silicon on the roof the status light typically fires back to solid green and off we go again!

    Personally I find that they fail at the same rate of all the older Chinese gear of yesteryear, but when it does die it’s a much easier transition to a new model, as opposed to someone who’s got a transformer based inverter such as an SMA HF series or the Fronius IG.

    I love my growatts and will continue to offer them as an extremely cost effective repair solution for older systems where monitoring isn’t appreciated.

    • Anthony Bennett says

      Appreciate your feedback Julian.

      They must be better than the JFY, Solar River, CMS & other junk companies that have obviously gone bust. There’s a lot of e-waste created by these crowds before they disappear sadly.

      Have you had any dealings with the service procedure & warranty reimbursement?

  6. Can Nemlioglu says

    I install them in the Netherlands, all in house installations. None of 12 I installed failed up to date after 3 years of operation. I even installed a 3.6kw inverter to a 6.4kw solar system temporarily (there was no 3ph available at the house), it saturates at 3.6kw for hours and still doing fine after 3 months.
    Wifi connection manual is not good indeed, but if you know how to do it easy.

  7. Interesting article.
    I’ve had two growatt batteries fail on me since 2021. But both were promptly replaced with no issues. 2nd has been working since December 2022. Here’s hoping to a solid 10 years!

  8. I’ve had the 5kw min5000tl-x going for 12 months now with no issues. They do seem to be a fairly decent unit these days. 10 year warranty is comforting – but you’d want to go through an installer that will hopefully be around that long if they get the vendor to handle warranty.

  9. Garry Tennant says

    I purchased a Growatt 12 kw SPF 12000 DVM off grid system all was well for six months now the battery side is dead and when the battery is at peak 54 volts it cuts off code 58 appears and the inverter does not work and turns off ..this is the second inverter I had in 8 months it was another brand and it never got off the ground failure after failure so I purchase a Growatt been in contact with the seller and they are replacing the main board only this is not the way a warranty goes they are supposed to fix it not give me the parts and expect me to pay someone else to fix the problem when it should be Growatt who pay the bill

  10. Rene Garcia says

    I’ve been installing Growatt recently in México for the low budget customers. As mentioned before, connecting them to Wifi is a real pain and the monitoring platform could be much better, but no major issues so far.

  11. Am Fanuel from Malawi, a small landlocked central southern African country. I am a solar and electrical engineer. I had a 5kva system with wi-fi double. I installed it and it only operate for two months it blew up. I have been using another type at the same place for more than seven years it never give problems. I just switched to the latest brand (glowatt) but I was disappointed. Right now put back my old one it’s running properly with no problems.

  12. Lawrence Coomber says

    Anthony:

    Intersolar 2010 – the world’s largest solar trade fair ever, kicked off in Munich on 9th June 2010. There were over 75,000 attendees.

    I was one of the attendees: and wearing 2 hats at the exhibition. Hat 1 was as the founder and Chairman of the Australian Clean Energy Contractors and Suppliers Association at the time https://web.archive.org/web/20110413162646/http://www.cleanenergyaustralia.org/ promoting the technical expertise and international capabilities of the rapidly emerging Australian Solar Industry as a whole; and Hat 2 as the lead international consulting engineer for the new startup manufacturer Growatt Inverters Shenzhen.

    The ACECSA shared a booth with Growatt Inverters, who had yet to manufacture their first run of Inverter PCBs, and their representative alongside me was Felix, one of the 4 founding Growatt Engineers.

    Growatt attracted huge interest at Intersolar 2010, much to the chagrin of SMA and Fronius, and as history tells us, Growatt went on to eclipse both SMA and Fronius as the best-selling global inverter at various stages between 2011 and 2022.

    Soon after Intersolar, I led a group of 10 Australian CEC Licenced Installer/Contractors to China for a 10 day Renewable Energy Technologies Tour de Force throughout China accompanied by the Australian Consul General. It was a first of its kind for the fledgling Australian Solar PV Industry and a huge success that allowed Australian Installer/Contractors to talk directly with the heavy hitters of the Chinese Wind, Solar, Hydro and PV Manufacturing Industries.

    It is fair to say that this initial tour and all of the side partnerships made surrounding it, laid a strong platform for direct supply lines between Installer / Contractors to the best of the Chinese RE manufacturers of the day. https://aquilapower.solutions/other

    https://web.archive.org/web/20110413162646/http://www.cleanenergyaustralia.org/

    Growatt occupied an important place in the Australian Renewable Energy development history commencing in 2010 and presumably intend to continue as a reliable and trustworthy supply partner.

    I have not experienced those issues that Anthony mentioned in his post.

    The longest operating Growatt Inverter I still know of from my own installs is in Anderson Rd, Tuross Heads NSW installed in Dec. 2010.

    I moved my attention from On-Grid Systems to Off Grid [Solar & Hydro] Pico Solutions in 2015 and designed /manufactured my own company brand of Off Grid Inverters.

    I can suggest for those people who need some high level support if they encounter roadblocks with their local Growatt Supplier; to send an email direct to the Growatt founder and owner Felix and explain your grievance to him direct. He will act on your message.

    Lawrence Coomber

  13. I had great service out of my 4.2kW Growatt Inverter which was installed in Mar 2012 and replaced in April 2023, as I wanted to replace my old 190W solar panels with less roof space of and could not get them done without replacing the whole system so sold 2nd hand. So I found the Growatt inverter to be good price and exceeded my expectations. Hopefullt my replacement Sungrow inverter provides the same level of reliability.

  14. Interesting read. I had a growatt 2k inverter installed with my solar system in 2012. Hasn’t missed a beat. System has been extended to 2.3kW and still no issues. Maybe an exception but thought I would add to discussion.

  15. Carl Francis says

    I had a Growatt hybrid 5KW system with two 6.8 kWh batteries installed in March 2022. Have had no problems apart from when system was first installed. The meter technician when swapping the meter connected the inverters power monitoring to the load instead off to load plus the output from the inverter. This resulted in the inverter cycling the battery from maximum discharge until battery discharged to 15 % and then charging at maximum rate to 100%, before repeating the cycle. It took several visits before installer diagnosed and fixed the fault. The next problem was another metering problem. Instead of being metered on net import and net export of power the meter was set to measure gross load power and gross power generated by the invertor. It took several months and several site visits by metering technician to get this fixed. Both these faults were not due to the invertor or battery.

  16. Glenne Drover says

    Thank you for the article.
    My 1.5kW sharp inverter failed after about 6 or 7 years and was replaced by a growwatt unit about 4 or 5 years ago.
    I read the meter each year in May to make sure it has produced 2,000kWh and that is all good so far.
    Touch wood…

  17. I have 2 X 5KW Growatt inverters, son has 1, nephew has 1, brother has 1 X 7.5 KW, all installed late 2019. No problems

  18. John Vaughan says

    We have had a Growatt 5kw inverter now for almost 3 years and it has performed flawlessly.

    Our only issue was trying to get an app (ChargeHQ) that regulates charge into our EV to talk to the inverter to harness the excess solar power for storage in the car. I emailed Growatt Aus twice and got no reply, which was very frustrating. Thankfully now the API has been opened and the app can talk to the inverter and all is working nicely.

  19. Alan Mainwaring says

    When an inverter fails it would be nice to find out what component or components did fail and of course why so that you cam improve the product. There seems to be a deskilling of many technicians to just repair by replacement, This is not a good thing,it seems the consumer is becomming the companies testing department.
    By the way I have failures with fronius inverters as well.

  20. Had my system installed mid May 2020 (so over 3 years now) haven’t had a problem with my GroWatt inverter.

    I didn’t really have a choice as it was part of the builders promo but for under 2k for a 6.6kw system with inverter with zero problems I couldn’t have asked for better.

    Obviously this was heavily subsidised by the builder as I was later told.by the builder when requesting an upgrade (normally around 4.5k for the same system) but yeah as I said no problems thus far.

  21. Raimundo says

    Your warranties void; 45ºC, 53Hz, 253V, 2.5º, 1.5KVA, 1.25. The temperatures and electrical quantities indicated in the installation manual are not an operating range. This is hidden within the installation manual. This is dangerous and unacceptable. If you buy an expensive lithium solar battery get ready, because it gets worse. Void warranties, while your dealer and solar industries appear to be on the hook for the warranty process. The law of the universe is strict. Nature is not immutable. Here is a list of capital temperatures when they were at high temperatures. The highest temperature officially recorded in Brazil was 44.8 °C in Nova Maringá, Mato Grosso, on November 4 and 5, 2020, surpassing the also official record of Bom Jesus, Piauí, on November 21, 2005, of 44, 7 °C, November 5, 2005. What might happen next? You can have an expensive lithium battery installed in November anywhere in Brazil, then be hit with a heat wave that will cause you to lose your warranty and battery before 5 years. Lithium iron phosphate is the most stable lithium battery chemistry, but that alone is not enough to make it safe. If not part of a well-designed system, any lithium battery is dangerous and all are capable of catching fire, fanning flames, expelling toxic gases and, if tightly confined as battery cells usually are, exploding. I’m happy to be disapproved. In an age where solar companies and industries live and die by social media, even today, inverter specifications are not updated. Flipping through all the inverter specifications the DELTA option is good, and in my opinion the rest is total rubbish. Don’t forget to read this page and watch the video if you are concerned about your inverter, batteries and pass it along if you think someone needs to know. Hope this helps!

  22. 90% of the time, growatt inverters work and you will be happy.. but if they fail you are without any recourse whatsoever. They have zero customer support, zero warranty. Not worth the hassle

  23. Hello im about to get a 9.13kw system which includes a 8.5kw growatt phase 1 inverter installed with 22 jasolar 415watt panels im a little skeptical at the price and after reading these comments even more confused as mine seems so much dearer to what others have had including my family and friends please help am i making the right choice as all this stuff is so overwhelming for me total cost is 28480 and then less the stc allowance of 4520 so out of pocket 23960 including upgrading and moving my meter box

    • Anthony Bennett says

      STOP Leisa,

      Back up, turn; and run.

      If you were getting a 15kWh battery included for that price I’d say it wasn’t too bad, but for a standard grid connect solar job, that price is ridiculous.

      You’re being charged $2.62/watt installed where we normally advise that $1/watt is good value from a sustainable business. 50c/watt is too cheap to be a decent install, and it’s these rubbish installers who gravitate toward the cheap end of the inverter market, like Sunways, SAJ & Growatt.

      Moving switchboards can be expensive (it’s very hard to judge without detailed context) but I wouldn’t expect it’s a 10 or 15 grand exercise.

      Please let us know who’s quoting this for you.

      Cheers

  24. Taher Sylla says

    I’m confused by what is happening in Australia.

    What was the cause of the faulty inverter and what was the model ?

    I’ve been installing the SPF 5000 ES inverter for 3 years and had no problem at all, the only problem was loud fan noise and it was resolved by an update ( you can find the updates on amosplanet )

    In my country, sometimes the grid damages the inverter, and the repair center says it is a faulty inverter not a problem from the grid.

    And why don’t we know what is the common thing with the faulty inverters ?

    I’m not defending Growatt, but I’ve been working on them and they are working quite good for now!

    I don’t know about the customer service in australia, but I’ve been in contact with their engineers in countries like “Jordan” and “Lebanon” and they replied fast and helped me in a lot of things !

    I did have the problem of not knowing any info about their batteries, but their engineers did give me all the info I wanted when I asked them.
    Not telling why the inverter was faulty and how and they solved the problem by replacing the product only and not knowing why the product failed doesn’t help at all, sometimes customers do stupid things and damage their inverters and they don’t admit it so they can claim the warranty ( and that’s a huge reason on why I connect all the inverters I install to Wi-Fi )

    Growatt now is a leading company in the industry, and I think they are going to improve their after-sales service and they won’t risk their reputation.
    Companies like SOFAR also had a lot of problems in the Australian market and now they are back with some good inverters, and competing with Growatt.

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