6 Best Solar Grid Tie Inverters (Solar Inverter) 2021 Reviews

Putting in place a residential solar power system that is connected to the local electricity grid can save you and your family a lot of money, especially if you choose the proper solar grid-tie inverter for your situation.

These handy pieces of hardware assist in converting the energy generated by your solar panels into usable alternating current power. After that, the reversed electricity can be utilized to power your home, with any surplus being put back into the main power system for a little more income.

There are a variety of various grid-tie inverters available that can accommodate a variety of different solar arrays and installations. Hybrid inverters are the most effective models now available on the market. While keeping connected to the grid, you may maximize your energy production and charge batteries by gathering and storing excess electricity for later use.

Best Overall: Outback Power Skybox Grid-Tie Hybrid Inverter

  • Watts: 5,000W
  • Peak Efficiency: 97%
  • The High Points: Allows for backup power storage.
  • The Not-So: One of the most expensive options on the list.

Outback Power is one of the most well-known names in the solar energy industry, and the company is well-known for producing top-of-the-line goods. They have made their Skybox hybrid inverter a standout in their catalog due of its ease of use, high-quality construction, and capacity to function as a backup energy source.

Most solar grid-tie inverters do not have the capability of storing energy, however the Skybox may do so for personal consumption, emergency backup, or transmission to the public grid at a predetermined time. This is especially beneficial for people who reside in places where utility bills include time-of-use charges or where there are regular outages. You can also connect a backup generator to your system for more security.

What Do Reviewers Say?

As a brand-new product recently released in 2018, the Outback Skybox does not currently have any customer reviews online. However, based on expert opinions, the Skybox is a cutting-edge machine that’s easy to install and maintain. Based on Outback’s reputation for excellence in solar products, it can be assumed that this product is no different than the rest.

Features & Considerations

The Outback Skybox packs a lot into one sleek unit, eliminating the need for external charge controllers and communication boxes.

It’s very easy to install because the inverter, remote control, load center and PV inputs are packaged in a single primary console. This means there’s no need for complicated wiring, interconnection between units or mounting multiple boxes.

One of the key selling points for the Skybox is its hybrid configuration. While most grid-tie inverters only feed power to a household or public grid on a continuous basis, the Skybox can store power for later use. It works with any regular 48V battery bank and has an input for a backup generator as well.

The system is compliant with California and Hawaii’s solar grid requirements. It employs a NEMA 3R enclosure, which protects the delicate electronics from rain, snow and ice formation. While it can withstand inclement outdoor weather, it’s always recommended that inverters be installed in covered and protected areas.

With a 5-year warranty, Outback offers protection for buyers. They also have upgrade-able software and customer support to set your mind at ease. Should you require it, they offer an extended 10-year warranty upon request.

See Price on Amazon

Runner Up: SolarEdge HD-Wave Grid-Tied Inverter

  • Watts: 5,000W
  • Peak Efficiency: 99.2%
  • The High Points: Incredibly efficient, lightweight and reliable.
  • The Not-So: Doesn’t include remote control.

With industry-leading technology, the SolarEdge HD-Wave Grid-Tied Inverter naturally rises to the top of the pack. Its incredible 99.2% peak efficiency rating means that you’ll be saving money and time by maximizing your power production.

With a low price and host great features, the SolarEdge inverter is a no-brainer for mid-sized residential solar arrays.

This top-tier model is lightweight and reliable and can be easily installed with very little maintenance. It offers built-in module-level monitoring, pure sine wave power and a great 12-year warranty period. Overall, the SolarEdge inverter packs a lot into a small package and offers great value for money.

What Do Reviewers Say?

With the SolarEdge HD-Wave inverter, prominent industry professionals have expressed their admiration. To be more specific, the Intersolar Award was given to the model in 2016. Solar experts and novices alike will appreciate how easy it is to use.

The inverter’s long-term durability has also been praised by its critics. The inverter of one of the reviewers reports that it has weathered rain and extremely high temperatures with little to no harm. In any case, it’s always a good idea to exercise caution when working with sensitive electronics and to keep them away from needless contact with hazardous environments.

Characteristics and Points to Ponder

The most impressive characteristic of the SolarEdge HD-Wave inverter is its efficiency rating, which is a world record. The majority of standard grid-tie inverters achieve peak efficiency in the range of 90-97 percent. The SolarEdge inverter, with its exceptional 99.2 percent efficiency, helps you get the most out of your solar panels.

As a bonus, the SolarEdge HD-Wave is compact and lightweight, allowing for a simple one-person installation. SolarEdge was able to minimize the overall size of the unit by employing a proprietary power conversion method that eliminates the need for magnetics and hefty cooling elements, among other things. Because it is only 25 pounds in weight, it allows homeowners to install it in a variety of locations.

A revenue grade meter, which may be added as an option, makes it simple to connect SolarEdge to the local electricity grid. It is also equipped with an automatic rapid shut-down feature that complies with NEC standards. In addition, if you require it, you can add further remote monitoring features to your system.

See the Amazon price for more information.

Best Microinverter: Enphase IQ7+

  • Watts: 290W
  • Peak Efficiency: 97.6%
  • The High Points: Allows for future expansion and individual monitoring of solar panels.
  • The Not-So: Can only accommodate one solar panel at a time.

The Enphase IQ7+ inverter, which is one of the “smartest” inverters on our list, truly lives up to its moniker. The compact microinverter is powered by a single solar panel and is capable of meticulously tracking and recording data. It can be used in conjunction with a number of other Enphase products to build the perfect home solar system.

While the Enphase’s single-use architecture makes it more expensive than alternative inverters that can handle larger arrays, it provides a number of advantages that cannot be found in a string or hybrid inverter, such as increased efficiency. Consider the following scenario: if one solar panel in your array fails due to inclement weather, the other panels and their energy production will not be impacted.

Other advantages include the flexibility to begin with a small investment and gradually increase it over time. Utilizing an Enphase microinverter is an excellent choice if you are currently using a solar array with only a few panels and plan to increase at some point in the future.

What Do Reviewers Say?

In general, the Enphase microinverters that the reviewers have received have been extremely satisfactory.. They understand that if one panel fails, the others are not adversely affected.. This ensures that the quality of the power supply is maintained regardless of the circumstances or circumstances.

Enphase’s analytics platform, according to other reviewers, provides extremely detailed data. The homeowner who maintains his or her own solar array will appreciate this. However, one drawback is that Enphase does not provide much direct customer service, so purchasers will have to go through the vendor if they require assistance in this area.

Features & Considerations

Because they only serve a single solar panel at a time, microinverters are unique in that they do not service multiple solar panel kits simultaneously. This is particularly advantageous for people who have only a few solar panels now but who may want to extend their array in the future. It’s also useful for individuals who want to arrange their panels in “subarrays” that are in different locations.

The Enphase IQ7+ is an intelligent device that can communicate with other smart Enphase products in a smooth manner. The Enphase IQ Envoy, the Enphase IQ Battery, and the Enphase Enlighten monitoring and analysis software are all part of their branded product line.

The unit is small and lightweight, and it is simple to install. For added protection, it is provided with a double-insulated shell that only requires two wires to be connected together.

This unit complies with a number of regulations, including CA Rule 21, the National Electrical Code, and is UL certified. The system can also allow enhanced grid support and remote upgrades to fulfill the needs of a changing or updated grid infrastructure.

Each Enphase IQ7+ inverter can be used in conjunction with a solar panel that produces no more than 300 watts. More powerful solar panels are not supported by this product. It’s crucial to remember that, due to the lower wattage of a multi-panel configuration, the cost is significantly more than the cost of a string inverter.

See the Amazon price for more information.

Best “Stackable” Inverter: Eco-worthy Auto Switch MPPT Solar Grid Tie Inverter

  • Watts: 1,000W
  • Peak Efficiency: 90%
  • The High Points: You can “stack” multiple inverters for a large solar array.
  • The Not-So: The inverter cannot connect with a battery bank.

The Eco-worthy Auto Switch Inverter is a great deal when it comes to a budget-friendly solution. Stacking inverters allows buyers to increase their solar arrays in the future by adding more inverters to their existing arrays. A standalone inverter can only handle 1,000W of power, which is just adequate for tiny houses with a couple of solar panels to be comfortable.

There is a standard set of features and choices included with the vehicle. Remember that it will only function with a 24V DC power source, since anything lower than that would not charge the item properly. Despite the fact that it is not the best model on the market, it is functional and very uncomplicated in appearance.

What Do Reviewers Say?

The Eco-worthy Auto Switch MPPT Solar Grid-Tie Inverter has received generally positive feedback from customers. The unit has a high degree of dependability and performs well with dynamic systems. As long as buyers ensured that their inverters had a minimum DC input, their inverters performed as expected.

Some reviewers, on the other hand, experienced a variety of difficulties when attempting to install their equipment. Among the issues were issues such as the controller not receiving power, the net metering being inaccurate at low current, and the limiter not functioning properly, among others. As a result, a number of consumers decided to return their purchases and purchase new models.

Features & Considerations

One of the most notable features of the Eco-worthy auto switch inverter is that it may be used independently with a grid-tie system, or it can be configured as a huge solar array with numerous units working at the same time. This is an excellent option for folks who have small setups but who may like to update or grow in the future.

With a maximum output of 1,000W, the inverter can manage the power generated by between two and four mid-sized solar panels. The technology will feed excess electricity back into the local utility grid if you generate too much in a single day. With an AC output range of 90V-140V, it is a 110-volt device.

Protective features include over current, over temperature, reverse polarity, and other conditions that could occur. It is also more efficient than other types of MPPT models because it is an MPPT model. The fact that its peak efficiency rating is much lower than other top-tier models should not be overlooked.

Amazon has a good deal on this item.

Best for Large Residential Solar Arrays: SMA Sunny Boy 7.7-US Inverter

  • Watts: 7,7000W
  • Peak Efficiency: 97.5%
  • The High Points: Offers direct access via smartphone.
  • The Not-So: Is quite heavy and large compared to other similar models.

It is an iteration of the SMA Sunny Boy line, which is a collection of multi-generational models that continue to shine in the solar market. The Sunny Boy 7.7-US inverter is an iteration of the Sunny Boy line.

Those that have large household solar arrays that produce 7500W or more of power can benefit greatly from the 7.7-US model. This is the equivalent of 15 or more medium-sized solar panels strung together in a single string.

This much electricity can easily supply the needs of a family while also producing surplus energy that can be fed back into the system. The Sunny Boy also comes with a slew of other top-tier features that are available at a competitive price. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better mid-range solar grid-tie inverter than this one, which has so much packed into one little package.

What Do Reviewers Say?

Reviewers appreciate the overall quality of SMA products, including the Sunny Boy 7.7-US inverter. They especially like the data logging and presentation, which is comprehensive. The system works well and has saved users money by reducing their reliance on the grid.

However, some issues have occurred due to overheating and other mishaps. Some reviewers also found the connectivity to be faulty. By and large, these issues aren’t too concerning for users.

Features & Considerations

If you compare it to other Sunny Boy inverter models, the Sunny Boy 7.7-US is an excellent pick. It has a larger voltage input window, three MPPT inputs, and a more reliable power supply than previous models. Aside from that, it is the only inverter on the market that can be controlled directly from a smartphone, which helps to reduce installation and maintenance time.

The Sunny Boy 7.7 is equipped with a safe power supply capable of delivering up to 2,000W. There are many independent MPPT inputs that can handle a variety of various panel stringing configurations. In addition, the SMA OptiTracTM Global Peak technology prevents shade loss from occurring.

The Sunny Boy 7.7, like other SMA products, complies with the criteria of the NEC. It also includes improved AFCI technology, which helps to prevent safety and operational problems. If you do discover a problem, though, the manufacturer provides a standard 10-year guarantee.

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For Those on a Budget: iMeshbean 300W Microinverter

  • Watts: 3000W
  • Peak Efficiency: 90%
  • The High Points: A great price for a mid-range model.
  • The Not-So: The actual peak efficiency is arguably lower than its specified rating.

The iMeshbean 300W microinverter is a low-cost alternative that does the job well. It works well with single-panel setups, and it may also be used in conjunction with other units when there are more than one panel in a system. The entire cost of building a multi-panel array is still less expensive than the cost of purchasing a high-wattage grid-tie inverter at the current market price.

While some purchasers have expressed dissatisfaction with the peak efficiency, the overall opinion of iMeshbean has been overwhelmingly favorable. As a low-cost inverter, the iMeshbean provides a straightforward and straightforward method of dumping excess power back into the local power grid.

What Do Reviewers Say?

Overall, reviewers are happy with the simplicity of the iMeshbean microinverter. It allows for easy feeding into the grid. They also work best when connected to a single solar panel.

However, many complaints have been lodged regarding the advertised peak efficiency rating. Currently, it’s listed as 90%. However, buyers argue that the actual efficiency is 80%. This can be an inconvenience for some who rely on heavy power production.

Features & Considerations

Because the iMeshbean is a microinverter, you’ll need to purchase one unit for every solar panel you have. Based on its budget price, the overall cost for a comprehensive setup of four or more panels is not prohibitively expensive and is far less expensive than that of its competitors.

However, you get what you pay for in this case. The iMeshbean inverter is only 300W in power and has a peak efficiency of 90 percent, making it a low-cost option.

One significant advantage of the iMeshbean is that it generates pure sine wave electricity, which is a more “cleaner” kind of energy as compared to modified sine wave choices, which are available. Using this method is preferable for sensitive devices because it can be directly connected to the local power grid.

As a reminder, before operating the inverter, you must ensure that the power grid voltage is within its operating range (90-140V).

Protective features include over-current, over-temperature, reverse polarity, and anti-islanding features built into the inverter. Moreover, it makes use of MPPT technology, which consumes less than 0.5W when in standby mode. In the case of 12-24V solar panels, the iMeshbean is an excellent value for money option.

See the Amazon price for more information.

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The Complete Solar Grid-Tie Inverters Buyer’s Guide

What to Look for in a Solar Grid-Tie Inverter

Choosing the right solar grid-tie inverter is an important decision. When connecting to the public utility grid, you’ll need to guarantee that your chosen unit is up to spec.

Besides the variety of essential safety and operational features you can’t skimp on, there are some options you can choose between based on your designated use.

What are your specs?

Each manufacturer will offer a “data sheet” for their units. This will provide important information about the capacity of the inverter. You’ll need to pay close attention to these details in order to choose the correct inverter for your solar array and utility grid.

  • Output Voltage: This indicates the utility voltages the inverter can connect to. For residential use, an output of 240VAC is generally sufficient. However, larger commercial systems will need 208-600VAC.
  • Rated Output Power: This will fluctuate depending on the output voltage. Some inverters can be configured for different output voltages and each rating will be different. The rating will be in either watts (W) or kilowatts (kW).
  • Maximum Input Current: This dictates the maximum amount of current the inverter can handle. If the solar array produces more than the maximum, the current will be lost.
  • Maximum Output Current: This is important because it determines the rating of protection devices, such as breakers and fuses.

Where do you live?

Based on your location, you’ll need to adhere to specific requirements before accessing the local utility power grid. These standards are set in accordance with safety and operational guidelines. You can find out more on your local government’s website or through your power provider.

If you’re having trouble figuring out what requirements your unit requires, you can always contact a local solar supply provider and have them come to your home and assess the situation. They can assist you with the installation of safe solar panels and the connection of your inverter to the grid.

Aside from the actual rules, the location of your unit will also influence the type of weather that it will be subjected to. The NEMA 3R/4X criteria are met by some inverters, which are waterproof to a certain extent. Some, on the other hand, do not provide any protection against rain, dust, corrosion, ice formation, or other potential dangers.

If you live in a region that is prone to severe rain or snow, you should consider installing your inverter in a sheltered location such as a garage or porch. Consider purchasing a model that has received NEMA certification, as this ensures that your equipment will not malfunction as a result of water leaks or dust accumulation.

Do you want the option to store power?

If you want to capture energy and store it for later use, a hybrid inverter is the ideal option. These are more expensive since they make use of modern technology to work as both an on-grid and an off-grid system.

They enable you to store surplus energy in solar battery banks, which you can then use to power equipment at night or to feed back into the grid at a later period.

Will you be expanding your solar array in the future?

If you have a small solar system and are looking to expand in the future, then you should go for a microinverter. These inverters control a single solar panel at a time so they may be more expensive overall than a larger inverter that can handle an entire array.

However, they do allow you more control over your panels so you can expand slowly, one panel at a time.

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Selection Criteria: How We Ranked the Best Solar Panel Kits

Based on our specified criteria, we’ve narrowed down our list to the 6 best solar grid-tie inverters. Our rankings specifically focus on the watts and peak efficiency. We also took the overall quality of the unit into consideration.

Watts

The watts (W) of an inverter relate to the amount of power that the equipment can manage when connected to a solar-powered system. The number of watts produced by your solar array must be closely matched by your inverter, to put it bluntly. The inverter will not be able to invert it if this is not the case, resulting in energy loss.

A solar array of 880 watts would be created by using four 220 watt solar panels. In order to ensure efficiency, you’ll need to invest in an inverter with a power rating of 900-1000W. Using a high-wattage inverter in conjunction with a series of high-wattage solar panels can help you to maximize your energy production.

Peak Efficiency

The peak efficiency will determine the maximum efficiency the inverter can achieve when working in ideal environments. For an inverter to meet its rated power, it must have an input that exceeds its output if its efficiency rating is below 100%.

Most inverters are in the range of 90-96% efficiency. Overall, the higher the percentage, the better the inverter.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How does a solar inverter work?

Solar inverters, in their most basic form, convert the direct current (DC) energy produced by solar panels into alternating current (AC). An inverter is required for household energy systems since most appliances run on alternating current (AC). The energy generated by a solar array would be useless if it were not converted by an inverter into useful electricity.

Solar inverters are available in a range of configurations. Because they inject electricity into the local power system, grid-tie inverters are a one-of-a-kind technology. In order to accomplish this, they must precisely match the voltage and phase of the grid’s system…. The computer in the system is capable of sensing the waveform of the grid and producing a voltage in response.

The specs of the inverter that a homeowner chooses should be compared to the specifications of the utility system before purchasing, in order to avoid damage or money waste. In order to determine which inverters are allowed for your local grid system, you can consult regional policies and regulations on the subject.

What are the different types of solar inverters?

There a few different types of solar inverters. They vary significantly in price and function and can offer flexibility to those with renewable energy setups.

  • Off-grid: An off-grid inverter doesn’t connect to the public grid and instead operates as a self-contained system for home power. It converts DC power running from the solar panels to AC electricity that you can use to power appliances. Be aware that this type of inverter is NOT for grid-ties.
  • Micro: A microinverter is only paired with a single solar panel. This means that each individual panel will have its own inverter. This is a great option for those looking to expand their systems later or monitor each panel individually. The downside is that you’ll need to purchase multiple units to service a full solar array.
  • Hybrid: A hybrid inverter is a great new addition to modern solar technology. It combines solar inversion with batteries, allowing you to store excess power. This all-in-one model is great for those who want the flexibility to connect and disconnect from the grid as they please.
  • String: A string solar inverter links several solar panels together into a series. They are generally the least expensive option out there. While they are great in the right conditions, a single panel can shut down your whole system if it fails or is shaded. They should only be used in full, direct sunlight that’s unobstructed to prevent unintentional failure.

What is net metering?

Power inverters that connect to a public utility grid allow electricity generated by a home-based power system to be sent into the main power distribution network. Because local electricity companies will pay for this injection of electricity, residents will be able to make a contribution to the overall power supply of the neighborhood. With net metering, an electrical company can keep track of how much power is being transferred to the grid from a single system.

With a grid-tied system, you have the flexibility to go from a solar-powered system to the electrical grid with ease. Even if your solar panels aren’t producing electricity throughout the night, you can draw electricity from the local grid to keep your electricity supply constant.

In the event that you have contributed more than you have consumed, the energy company will pay the difference between the two figures recorded on your property’s meter. The feed-in tariff is the term used to describe this process.

Suppose you produced 600kW but only consumed 400kW over the course of a month. In that case, you would have delivered an excess of 200kW to the grid. You will get a fine from the electric company, and your meter will be “turned back.” Different jurisdictions will have different amounts and policies.

How can I connect to the public grid system?

Understanding the criteria before acquiring equipment and connecting to the grid is essential before taking the next step. It is important to contact your electricity provider and inquire about the precise standards that apply to them. Your state utilities commission or state energy office can assist you if they are unable to meet your grid-connection request.

While specific criteria vary widely from region to region, some states adhere to national guidelines developed for equipment manufacturers, such as the IEE, UL, and NEC standards, while others follow state-specific norms. You may look up these criteria online to see if your inverter complies with the requirements.

In addition, you’ll need to sign an interconnection agreement with the electricity provider. Some general requirements include the requirement for liability insurance as well as the payment of fees for inspections or other services.

The contract will specify the rate at which you will be compensated for supplying electricity to the grid. According to national law, this amount must be equal to the amount it costs the power supplier to generate the electricity themselves.

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