What Are The UK’s Best Solar Inverters?

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Are you currently looking for ways to maximise your solar panels’ energy generating potential? Then you should look at investing in a solar inverter. While there are a variety of solar panel inverters on the market, it may be difficult to understand what inverter you require, whether it will match your energy demands and if it will fit into your solar panel system.

Solar inverters are available in a variety of sizes with different levels of capacity. In order to optimise your savings, you must choose the right solar inverter that will meet your requirements without overspending. In this article we look at what solar panel inverters are and how they work, the key factors you must take into account before purchasing an inverter, and how much a solar inverter will cost you compared to how much you can save. We have also included our best solar inverter picks, to help you find the best solar inverter for you and your solar energy system.

What Is A Solar Inverter?

A solar inverter works by converting direct current (also known as DC) electricity, which is generated by solar panels, into alternating current (also known as AC) electricity. The latter is the type of electricity that the grid uses, and is the standard electricity flow required to run domestic appliances and electrical circuits. In more complex terms, DC electricity can only maintain a constant voltage in one direction, whilst AC electricity flows in both directions.

Essentially, though, if you want your solar system to produce usable electricity, then the DC power solar panels generate needs to be changed to AC power output for use in your home.

Types Of Solar Inverters

There are a few common types of solar inverters. These are:

  • String inverters: These are the oldest type of inverters, as they utilise technology created decades ago. Each solar panel string can be connected to a single solar inverter and can then convert DC electricity produced by solar panels into AC electricity that can be used by your household appliances.
  • Micro inverters: As solar technology continues to develop, micro solar inverters are starting to grow in popularity, especially in residential solar panel systems. Micro inverters are installed on each individual solar panel, converting DC electricity to AC on the roof itself. This removes the need for a separate inverter. If your roof is impacted by the shade of nearby houses or trees, micro inverters ensure that none-affected solar panels can still work efficiently while others are compromised. However, these benefits will come at an additional cost.
  • Power optimisers: A more cost effective solution to micro inverters are power optimisers. Like micro inverters they are installed on each individual solar panel. But instead of completing the electricity conversion on the roof, power optimisers send the DC electricity to a string inverter to complete the job. By combining power optimisers with a string converter, you are receiving many of the same benefits of micro inverters, with a reduced cost.
  • Hybrid inverters: A hybrid inverter is slightly different from the other solar panel inverters on the list because they actually combine your solar panel inverter with energy storage systems – essentially they’re battery storage and an inverter combined. A hybrid inverter will be more expensive for your solar power systems, and for plenty of people opting for a separate solar battery and inverter makes more sense because of increased efficiency, but if it works for you and your solar PV system, then it’s certainly worth considering.

Can My Solar Panel System Work Without A Solar Inverter?

While your solar panels will be able to function without the presence of solar panel inverters, there are significant drawbacks. Most notably, you will only be able to power loads or appliances that exclusively require DC electricity. This will be a hindrance to most of the population as the vast majority of domestic household appliances use AC electricity.

Additionally, inverters are known for converting the electricity generated by your solar panels into a safe current, meaning that solar inverters also ensure high levels of safety surrounding the use of solar energy.

If you want your solar array to really work for you, then finding the best solar inverter is key.

Your Current Setup

If you are looking into purchasing a solar inverter, then the chances are that you are considering alternative energy sources for the first time. Unless you are purchasing a replacement solar inverter. Taking both scenarios into account, there are a variety of factors that you will need to consider before selecting your solar inverter, as it is quite the investment. These include the following:

Your Solar Inverter Budget

Purchasing a solar inverter is quite a hefty investment, so ensuring that you are getting an adequate return on investment is incredibly important. There are a variety of factors that come into play that will impact your final budget estimations, these are:

  • Availability
  • Size
  • Solar installation location
  • Efficiency levels
  • Installation costs
  • Warranty

 

If you do not have a large amount of experience with solar inverters, then completing the necessary research is essential before making your final purchase.

What Is The Solar Inverter’s Battery Capacity?

The efficiency and endurance of your solar inverter will be dependent on the battery capacity. The capacity of the battery will be defined by the maximum amount of hours that it will be able to power all of the required devices. In order to get the most out of your solar inverter, you will need to consider your energy needs as well as the average time you will require your inverter to be in action.

Does The Solar Inverter Have Safety Certification?

Just like any other electrical device, solar inverters must also be checked to ensure that they are meeting high safety requirements. Before purchasing a solar inverter, ensure that they have been given safety certification by an independent testing laboratory. 

VA Rating Range

The VA rating relates to volts x amps which is the electrical formula that creates watts. The rating itself relates to the solar inverter’s output capabilities. When looking into solar inverters, you should compare the VA rating to your power requirements. The higher the power consumption of your household, the higher you will need the VA rating to be.

Brand Considerations

When it comes to solar inverters, there is more to selecting the right brand for you than simply opting for who appears to be most popular. Solaredge inverters may be some of the better known inverters on the solar inverter market but that doesn’t mean they’re right for all solar energy systems.

Instead, you should look into which brand is going to allow you to reap the most benefits from the installation of your solar inverter. In particular, you should look into each inverter’s efficiency levels, benefits, and features, so that you get what you desire out of the purchase.

Additionally, you will want to research each brand’s reputation in order to ensure that you will be receiving a high quality and reliable product. Do not forget to read reviews and check social media to see what previous customers have to say about each brand.

Environmental Benefits

Purchasing a solar inverter is an important and essential addition to any solar panel system in order to become as energy efficient as possible. The environmental benefits of solar energy as a whole is very well documented, however the five most talked about benefits of solar energy are:

  • Solar energy uses less water: Compared to traditional, and less environmentally friendly means of producing energy, solar energy production uses significantly less water as it does not require any.
  • Minimises your carbon footprint: As the fight against climate change rages on, everyone is looking for ways that they can minimise their impact on the environment. Solar energy is considered one of the cleanest sources of electricity, and is an alternative method of generating electricity that everyone can get involved in.
  • Leads to the reduction in air pollution: Like other green methods of generating electricity, solar energy generation will not lead to the production of harmful emissions compared to the likes of burning fossil fuels. Increased levels of air pollution has been scientifically linked to respiratory diseases, cancer, anxiety, headaches, and even heart attacks.
  • Allows the planet to not be as reliant on fossil fuels: As we mentioned above, the burning of fossil fuels is very dangerous to public health as well as the environment. By continuing the growth of solar energy production, the world is decreasing its reliance on fossil fuels.
  • The slowing down of climate change: Finally, as the world becomes less reliant on fossil fuels with the increased movement towards sustainable energy sources, we can help fight climate change or at least slow down the process. Extreme weather conditions including flooding, storms, cyclones, droughts and extreme periods of heat, are all direct consequences of climate change.

Solar Inverter Power Considerations

The power output capabilities of solar inverters are one of the most important factors that you will need to take into account before making your final purchase. The three main power aspects that you need to look into are the following:

Efficiency Levels

The efficiency of your solar inverter refers to the percentage of DC electricity that has been successfully converted into usable AC electricity. Ideally, you will target a high percent of efficiency because the higher the percentage the more electricity you will be able to produce.

Peak Power

The term peak power refers to the optimal power a solar inverter is able to supply for a specific duration of time. This can span a period of only seconds or minutes. Peak power is important to note because a variety of household appliances require higher levels of power as they are starting up, compared to what they need during normal running circumstances.

Typical Power

Whereas the typical power rating relates to the usual amount of power that the inverter supplies after the start up process, also known as the typical power supply. 

Check The Advertised Warranty

Another factor you will need to take into consideration before purchasing a solar inverter is how long the warranty is. The typical lifespan of a solar inverter is between 10 to 12 years. Due to this lengthy period you will want a warranty that covers a vast majority of this time period to protect you if anything were to go wrong. Especially considering the fact that your solar inverter is exposed to the elements, malfunctions and defects are a possibility after such a long time period. Make sure to check the length of the warranty and what the warranty covers.

Related to the warranty attached to your solar inverter, you will also want to check the customer support available from the brand you opt to purchase from. Brand reputation is a key indicator here, but you will also want to check for customer service reviews.

How Much Will A Solar Inverter Cost?

As we previously mentioned, there are three main types of solar inverters: string inverters, micro inverters, and hybrid inverters. Each inverter comes with its own purpose, benefits, and drawbacks, but how much do they cost? Below, we have included the average cost of each type of solar inverter as well as their typical lifespans. We have omitted hybrid inverters because they’re a combination of battery storage and inverter.

 

Type of inverterPredicted lifespanAverage cost
String inverter10 to 15 years£500 to £1500
Micro inverter25 years£20 to £100 each
Power optimiser10 to 15 years£40 each

 

How Much Money Can I Save With A Solar Inverter?

By adding a solar inverter into your solar panel system, you are simply optimising your system and broadening how the electricity generated can be used. Rather, it is the solar panels themselves that will save you money on your electricity bills. However there is no fixed sum that you could save as there are many variable factors that can influence the final number. The three main impacts are:

  • The size of your solar panel system.
  • The amount of electricity your household uses.
  • And whether you are at home during the time period that your solar energy is being generated.

 

The final factor is particularly impactful because if you are at home using the solar electricity while it is being generated, you will save more money. So, if you can, try to complete domestic tasks like laundry, vacuuming, and cooking during that time period.

While there is no set sum that you could save by installing solar panels, the Money Saving Expert website has reported that a typical household in the UK can save between £155 and £400 every year on their energy bills. These numbers relate to households with a 3.5 kilowatt-peak system in place.

ESE Solar’s Top Picks

Now that you understand the main factors that impact your choice of solar inverter, we have created a list of our top five picks. Starting off with our best overall solar inverters, our ESE Solar top picks, from SolaX Power and LuxPower.

SolaX Power A1-HYB-G2

solax power solar inverter

The main selling feature of SolaX Power’s A1-HYB-G2 system is its smart load management and home appliance control. If you are hoping to be independent from the national grid, this is the solar inverter for you as it has the ability to power your entire household. Additionally, the load management system allows you to categorise your energy loads into critical, daily, and additional categories so you can prioritise and monitor where your electricity is used. Users can optimise their electricity savings with this feature.

Features of the SolaX Power A1-HYB-G2

  • Paired with the SolaX Cloud app, you gain the ability to remotely turn off loads.
  • Allows up to 200% oversizing.
  • You can also add an optional revenue grade metering.
  • Includes an integrated arc fault protection and rapid shutdown transmitter.

 

ESE Solar supplies a range of other SolarX Power products including the A1-AC-G2, T-BAT-HV-5.0, the A1-BI-200-G2, and much more besides! Contact us today if you’re interested in SolaX inverters.

 

A1-HYB-3.8-G2A1-HYB-5.0-G2A1-HYB-6.0-G2A1-HYB-7.6-G2
Nominal input voltage360 V DC360 V DC360 V DC360 V DC
Nominal output voltage240 V AC240 V AC240 V AC240 V AC
Peak power3816 W5016 W6000 W7600 W
Efficiency98%98%98%98%
Dimensions (WxHxD)850x455x148mm850x455x148mm850x455x148mm850x455x148mm
Warranty12 years12 years12 years12 years

LuxPower Solar Inverters

luxpower solar inverter

When it comes to the manufacturing of solar inverters, one of the most reliable names in the business is LuxPower. Established in 2017, the company has gained a reputation for supplying some of the most reliable and advanced solar energy technologies within the industry. As a consumer, if you opt for an established and trusted brand when purchasing products, then you will want to look no further than LuxPower.

During their six years in the industry, LuxPower has launched a variety of solar inverters, including:

  • LXP ACS 3600
  • LUX POWER SQUIRREL POD
  • LXP3600 HYBRID
  • LXP5000 HYBRID (Parallel)
  • LXP6000 HYBRID (Parallel)
  • LXP7000 HYBRID (Parallel)
  • LXP12000 HYBRID (Parallel)

 

While all LuxPower solar inverters feature a high quality standard, below we have included a specific run down of the LXP3600 HYBRID solar inverter. If you’re interested in other LuxPower solar inverters, then work with us today.

 

LXP3600 HYBRID
Max DC input power7000 W
Nominal AC output power3600 W
Max AC output power3600 VA
Efficiency97.9%
Dimensions (WxHxD)451×469(551)/184mm
Warranty12 years manufacturing standard, increases to 20 years

 

This series also has additional models including the 3K, 4K, 4.6K/5K, and 6K.

Best For Space: Huawei Sun2000-2/3/4/5KTL-L1

If you are looking for a compact solar inverter that is lightweight, then look no further than the Huawei Sun2000 series. While they are a relatively new company in the solar energy business, Huawei is certainly carving a place for itself in the industry.

This particular series of solar inverters has a primary focus on optimising safety. The Sun2000 models feature advanced arc fault detection as well as rapid shutdown if the inverter suffers any damage or fault. However, it is limited by its WLAN or Dongle capabilities. 

Features of the Huawei Sun2000-2/3/4/5KTL-L1:

  • Has two times the power battery capabilities.
  • Promotes up to 30% more energy generation compared to solar panel systems without the optimiser.
  • Increased safety features with AI-powered active arcing protection.

 

Sun2000-2KTL-L1Sun2000-3KTL-L1Sun2000-4-L1Sun2000-5KTL-L1
Max input voltage600 V600 V600 V600 V
Rated output power2,000 W3,000 W4,000 W5,000 W
Max apparent power2,200 VA3,000 VA4,000 VA5,000 VA
Efficiency98.2%98.3%98.4%98.4%
Dimensions (WxHxD)365x365x156mm365x365x156mm365x365x156mm365x365x156mm
Warranty10 years10 years10 years10 years

Best For Customer Support And Service: Fronius Primo Gen24/Gen24 Plus

Fronius Inverter

Fronius has a long history of manufacturing solar technology, having been established in 1945. The brand has a highly respected reputation for excellent customer service and support, making them one of the most ideal manufacturers for customers branching out into solar energy generation for the first time.

The Gen24 series offers increased reliability through its integrated backup power function, ensuring that your home doesn’t unexpectedly lose power. In addition, this particular Fronius series heavily promotes independence and flexibility, while it allows you to move away from using the national grid.

Features of the Fronius Primo Gen24/Gen24 Plus:

  • Includes an integrated backup power function.
  • Allows the owner to integrate components from other suppliers.
  • Integrated active cooling system extends the solar inverter’s life cycle.
  • Offers increased independence from the national grid with its photovoltaic system.

 

Primo Gen24/Gen 24 Plus 3.0Primo Gen24/Gen 24 Plus 3.6Primo Gen24/Gen 24 Plus 4.0
Nominal input voltage400 V400 V400 V
Max output power3,000 VA3,680 VA4,000 VA
AC rated power3,000 W3,680 W4,000 W
Efficiency97.6%97.6%97.6%
Dimensions (WxHxD)530x474x165mm530x474x165mm530x474x165mm
Warranty5 years plus 5 years upon registration5 years plus 5 years upon registration5 years plus 5 years upon registration

Best For Price: GoodWe DNS-G3 Series

The GoodWe brand has a well established reputation for manufacturing cost-effective solar inverters. So, if you are looking for a good quality solar inverter that isn’t going to break the bank, then look no further than the DNS-G3 Series.

This particular series of solar inverters from GoodWe is well-known for its compact, lightweight, and quiet design features, whilst also providing a reliable service. If you require a solar inverter to be optimised in terms of safety (perhaps you live in an environment with extreme weather conditions) then the DNS-G3 has optional additional safety features that will ease your mind. 

Features of the GoodWe DNS-G3 Series:

  • 24/7 load consumption monitoring.
  • Fanless cooling minimises noise disturbance. 
  • Optional additional safety features to boost reliability levels.
  • 150% DC input oversizing and 110% AC output overloading.

 

GW3000-DNS-30GW3600-DNS-30GW4200-DNS-30GW5000-DNS-30GW6000-DNS-30
Nominal input voltage360 V360 V360 V360 V360 V
Nominal output voltage220/230/240 V220/230/240 V220/230/240 V220/230/240 V220/230/240 V
Max AC Active Power3300 W3960 W4620 W5500 W6600 W
Efficiency97.9%97.9%97.9%97.9%97.9%
Dimensions (WxHxD)350x410x143mm350x410x143mm350x410x143mm350x410x143mm350x410x143mm
Warranty5 years5 years5 years5 years5 years

Best Solar Inverters Conclusion

Discovering which solar inverter is perfect for you requires a lot of research and understanding of the various factors that can impact the final decision. What is most important to note is that there is no singular best solar inverter, it just depends on your specific requirements.

The key factors you need to consider before purchasing a solar inverter are: your budget, what type of solar inverter you want, how much electricity does your household use, what level of power does your solar inverter need to handle, and whether there are any space constraints. In the table below, we have summarised our top picks when it comes to solar inverters:

 

Best Overall (ESE’s Top Picks):SolaX Power A1-HYB-G2

LuxPower solar inverters

Best For Small Spaces:Huawei Sun2000-2/3/4/5KTL-L1
Best For Customer Service And Support:Fronius Primo Gen24/Gen24 Plus
Best For Price:GoodWe DNS-G3 Series

 

If you are still unsure as to which solar inverter you should purchase, then why not get in touch with ESE Solar today and we can help you make the right selection.

 

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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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