How long will SMA Inverters stay top dog in solar?

Solar Edge, Samil Power and SMA inverters

If, like me, you get turned on by Solar Inverters, then here are three companies doing very cool stuff that I think you should look out for in 2012:

SMA Inverters

The great granddaddy of the solar inverter, that has been making top quality, german made, bulletproof inverters almost as long as the sun has been shining on this planet (OK – maybe I’m getting carried away now!). But their most recent inverter has just been tested by industry bible “Photon International Magazine” and boasts maximum conversion efficiency of a staggering 99.2%.  At this rate of progress, we’ll be seeing SMA inverters with 102% efficiency in 2016! Now that really would be impressive 🙂

Solar Edge

This Israeli based manufacturer makes solar inverters that optimise the power of each solar panel individually, allowing you to squeeze 10-25% more power from your solar panel array. Watch out for a future blog post where I go into a lot more detail about Solar Edge Inverters and their power optimisers.

Samil Power

This Chinese inverter manufacturer seems to take a lot of – ahem – let’s call it “inspiration” from SMA. They are churning out well designed, very efficient, and increasingly reliable inverters at damn good prices. Watch out for a future blog post where I go into a lot more detail about Samil Power Inverters.

What are your Inverter companies to watch for? Let rip in the comments…

About Finn Peacock

I'm a Chartered Electrical Engineer, Solar and Energy Efficiency nut, dad, and founder of SolarQuotes.com.au. My last "real job" was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division.

Comments

  1. Alex Varehov says

    Hi Finn, ask a technical question, two string of 8 panel, paralleled in roof top isolator and come down use one string input on a Samil power Inverter. will the efficiency change if I use two string and two input on the inverter? I can’t see there are any difference beside little volt drop. can you please commend with your experience.
    Thanks you

  2. Ted Reevs says

    Hi Finn,three strings of 7 ,paralled in roof top isolator and come down use 1 string input on the samil inverter.Will efficiency change and what problems may occur. Using a 4.4 tl solar river inverter.

    Thankyou Ted.

    • Hi Ted,

      If all 3 strings of solar panels are the same tilt and orientation, all unshaded, and the DC voltage out of the 3 strings are within the inverter’s spec then you shouldn’t have any problems.

      Cheers,

      Finn

  3. Hello I have a solar edge SE6000 inverter and not happy with the inverter at first it was going into night mode in the middle of the day took 5 months and solar edge got them to change a chip board seem fine for a month. And peak performance I am getting 23% loss. The company who installed the system has been fighting with the co mpany to get answers they keep giving us the run around
    Not impressed I DO NOT recomend solar edge inverter
    Emil

  4. Hi, where do i find this blog of ‘more detail about solar edge inverters and their power optimisers’ <Solar Edge – This Israeli based manufacturer makes solar inverters that optimise the power of each solar panel individually, allowing you to squeeze 10-25% more power from your solar panel array. Watch out for a future blog post where I go into a lot more detail about Solar Edge Inverters and their power optimisers.

    • I haven’t written it yet – but my experience of power optimizers is that you will get about 10% more power. 25% is probably a bit of a stretch. Has anyone got any real world data that shows 25% more power over 12 months with power optimizers?

  5. Noor Abdul Rahman says

    Hi Finn I like to know which inverter better Effekta or Ever Solar After reading regarting Chinese inverter is better then german
    Thank You

  6. Hi Finn, Can you tell me if placing a stack of 24 solar panels on ones roof & the inverter inside the garage is possible to create potential health problems, a bit like if we built a house under high tension power lines. I admit there is a great difference in the power output, but the solar system is also a lot closer to our bodies. Thanks in advance.

  7. Thanks Finn I appreciate you comments & blog.
    Regarding the SolarRiver 5200TL Transformerless Inverter, would you say it has a substantial level of less filtering and EMR/RFI reduction equipment than a SMA or a Aurora / Delta Inverter.
    If so, could one perhaps place a sort of RF Insulation blanket between the back of the Inverter unit & the side of the house where it would be fixed to, next to the Power Board.
    Thanking you again

  8. Hi Finn, just one more question, if I wanted to push up the output of my Solar system to put power back into the grid, is it likely to be an overkill if I got 4 extra panels which brings the panals capability up to
    6 KW. I have been told that there is generally a 20% reduction / loss in converting the DC to AC.
    Cheers Mike

    • That is a question for a CEC accredited designer who will look at the electrical characteristics of your panels and inverters. Generally it is OK to oversize your panels to inverter by 15% – but it is an engineered system – all mods must be signed by a qualified designer.

  9. Hi, where do i find this blog of ‘more detail about solar edge inverters and their power optimisers and how to contact

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