SolarEdge Inverter Review

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Jack Ayre

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SolarEdge In Brief

SolarEdge are one of the world’s premium solar power companies, with a range of “cutting edge” products, including inverters, optimisers and battery systems. This does mean that their range comes with a price up-tick compared to other brands. From a budget standpoint, the user needs to look carefully at their costs and efficiency requirements when considering SolarEdge components as part of their PV installation. The flexibility of design is a benefit so complex arrays and different facings can be optimally integrated into a SolarEdge system.

SolarEdge software can pinpoint failures and send automated alerts to ESE Solar so downtime can be kept to a minimum.

SolarEdge is considered one of the global leaders in smart energy technology. The company utilises world-class engineering capabilities together with a focus on innovation to bring to market new technologies developed for the industry. The company has won numerous awards for its products, cementing its visibility as one of the most dynamic players in a fast-moving industry.

SolarEdge inverters come with a basic 12 year warranty, which the customer can opt to extended to 20 or 25 years, depending on the model.

 

SolarEdge Company Overview

SolarEdge is an Israeli company that develops and sells solar power components including solar inverters, energy generation monitoring software, battery energy storage products, and other green power products and services to residential, commercial and industrial customers. 

Founded in 2006, the company also has offices in Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States. The company was the first to successfully sell power optimisers, a device that offers solar panel-level maximum power point tracking (MPPT), before feeding the electricity generated into a central inverter. This ensures that the output from the array is maximised.

Revenue: US$1.96 billion (2021). Employees worldwide: 5,285. According to the company, more than 3.7 million SolarEdge inverters and over 89.6 million power optimisers have been shipped worldwide since 2010.

 

SolarEdge Inverter Specifications

SolarEdge provides two ranges of inverter for residential customers: SolarEdge Home Hub Inverters, and Home Wave Inverters. Each has its potential for use in a household solar power and battery system. Because of its flexibility these systems can be upgraded instead of needing replacement if more panels, batteries or EV charging are added.

 

SolarEdge Home Hub Inverter

Three Phase

SE5K-RWB48 / SE8K-RWB48 / SE10K-RWB48

Peak Inverter Efficiency: 98%.

12 Year Warranty.

The device acts as a home energy manager for solar panel energy generation, battery storage, backup applications, and smart energy devices.

The setup offers a simple installation with a single inverter for managing PV production, battery storage, and operation during power outage for complete backup applications. The backup system requires some additional hardware and a firmware version upgrade.

The system can produce more energy using a DC-coupled solution architecture that sends solar-generated electricity directly to the battery without AC conversion losses.

Installers or users can quickly and easily commission the inverter directly from a smartphone using the SolarEdge SetApp.

For enhanced safety the inverter is designed to eliminate high voltage during installation, maintenance or firefighting 

The unit enables module-level monitoring and full visibility of battery status, PV production, and self-consumption data.

 

SolarEdge Home Hub Inverter

Single Phase

SE3000H / SE3680H / SE4000H / SE5000H / SE6000H

Peak Inverter Efficiency 99.2%.

12-25 Year Warranty.

Single phase inverter for storage and backup applications. This is one of the best home energy managers for PV production, battery storage, backup operation during a power outage, and smart energy devices. Note that the backup system requires some additional hardware and a firmware version upgrade.

It has a record-breaking 99% weighted efficiency with up to 200% DC over-sizing. The unit itself is small, lightweight, and easy to install, so can be used in smaller dwellings where space is at a premium. 

The inverter has advanced safety features with integrated arc fault protection. It enables module-level monitoring and full visibility of battery status, PV production, and self-consumption data

This unit offers a scalable solution that supports future upgrading through easy connection to a growing ecosystem of products developed by SolarEdge.

 

SolarEdge Home Wave Inverters

Three Phase

SE3K – SE10K

Peak Inverter Efficiency: 98%

12-25 Year Warranty

This inverter combines award-winning technology to manage PV production, on-grid battery storage, and a range of smart energy devices.

It is specifically designed to work with power optimisers. The no-fan design means a low noise level which is beneficial in residential environments. The unit offers superior efficiency of 98% .

Battery-ready – one inverter for both PV and battery-storage, depending on the battery type and firmware needed. It is the smallest, lightest in its class, and easy to install. 

Built-in module-level monitoring.

Quick and easy inverter commissioning directly from a smartphone using the SolarEdge SetApp.

Internet connection through Ethernet or Wireless (Wi-Fi, ZigBee Gateway, Cellular).

IP65 certified, so the unit can be used for either outdoor and indoor installation, though here at ESE Solar we recommend installing electrical devices in protected locations (that is indoors, or under the eaves) for maximum lifespan.

It uses a fixed voltage inverter for longer strings and offers Smart Energy Management control.

 

Solar Edge Inverter Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Most advanced, extras-heavy inverter
  • Great monitoring system
  • Good aesthetics
  • Panel-by-panel optimisation
  • Decent Warranty

 

Cons:

  • Increased cost of system
  • More complex 
  • Lower reliability

 

SolarEdge Inverter FAQs

Q: Why choose SolarEdge over other competing brands?

A: SolarEdge make a great play of their advanced technology, which delivers greater system efficiency, primarily by using optimisers, but also other innovative engineering developments. The benefit is increased power output from the same solar panels. The disadvantage is increased initial cost, complexity and some users feel, reduced reliability.

Q: How capable is the software and is it easy to install?

A: SolarEdge provides a very comprehensive system monitoring package, which is easy to install from their App.

Q: What length of warranty do SolarEdge offer?

A: Between 12 and 20- 25 years, depending on the product. The basic warranty is 12 years, then it is extendable for a payment.

 

SolarEdge Inverter Summary

SolarEdge Inverters are the top brand, with higher efficiencies than competitors’ offerings. Advanced engineering and software make this product line a really powerful solar power system component. This comes at a price, however, and the increased complexity of the inverters also means that they are more prone to reliability issues.

So while these units are considered the “Rolls-Royce” of solar power, the negatives associated with their use in an array should not be discounted. That said, if you want to squeeze every ounce of power out of your solar panel modules, then SolarEdge is the way to go.

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Born in North West England, Jack kicked off his career in the insurance arena, dealing with claims for three years. Always up for a challenge, Jack leapt out of his comfort zone and embarked upon 5 years of excitement with the military.

Working for the Ministry of Defence, Jack specialised in counter-terrorism which took him to places such as Dubai, Oman, Iraq, Norway and Bahrain. During this period he worked with various Governments implementing strategic operations to prevent terrorism.

After travelling around various countries Jack increasingly came across various forms of solar from large solar farms to domestic solar panels. From here Jack took a keen interest in all things solar and started reading about the technological capabilities with a view to entering the industry after his career in the Ministry of Defence.

Once home after 5 fruitful years, Jack had 3 months leave in which he immersed himself in a solar crash course and got applying for jobs within the solar sector. He came across ESE Solar, a long-established forward-thinking company whose head office was only a stone’s throw away from him. He picked up the phone to see if there were any vacancies and within a week had a successful interview and obtained a full-time job, starting in the technical team.

Within the first few months, Jack onboarded in various online courses during work and social hours to speed up his knowledge of all things solar. Due to his strong work ethic and thirst for knowledge Jack was promoted to Head of Technical at ESE Solar. He currently leads the team and oversees the product development of new technologies within the company alongside assisting where necessary on their maintenance department.

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