If you’ve spent any time researching solar systems, you’ve probably heard of SolarEdge. In this SolarEdge review, we’ll take a look at some of their best products across key product categories.
Solaredge review: the best SolarEdge products
SolarEdge is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of solar power inverters and accessories for homes and businesses. They offer a range of PV inverters, power optimizers, smart modules, and batteries.
The brand aims to offer complete solar systems that you can easily manage through their smartphone app, so you can harvest the sun’s renewable energy to run your home, business, or even car, with SolarEdge’s EV charging solar system.
Here are our picks for the best SolarEdge products for your home or commercial solar system.
SolarEdge is a pioneer in single-phase inverters with HD-wave technology. These DC-optimized PV inverters allow you to manage your system energy, battery storage, and other smart energy products.
This single-phase inverter can deliver up to 99% weighted efficiency, helping you process as much solar power as possible and get the maximum energy from your solar system.
These types of inverters also have a lower heat dissipation than many alternative products, helping to optimize performance and reduce the risk of equipment failure or malfunction.
This means you can enjoy steady, reliable power without worrying about your electricity dropping due to the system overheating. You can also be confident that your equipment will last for years, so you won’t have the expense of costly repairs or have to invest in new equipment.
In the unlikely event that something goes wrong with the inverter, you’re covered by SolarEdge’s standard 12-year warranty, which you can choose to extend to 20 or 25 years.
The inverter is rated for maximum AC power output of 6000 watts and input of over 9000 watts, which is suitable for home solar systems with multiple solar panels. It has a powerful DSP processor, which helps to make the inverter small and lightweight, weighing just over 26 pounds, which is great if you want to install it yourself.
Unlike many comparable products, this inverter doesn’t have a display screen. Although you may be worried this makes it less user-friendly, the company says this reduces the risk of faults and increases the product’s life expectancy.
Furthermore, you can set up and control the inverter through SolarEdge’s app, allowing you to manage all settings and track your system from your smartphone or another device.
What we like:
- Highly efficient: With 99% weighted efficiency, you’ll enjoy maximum power output from your solar panels, which is great if you only have a limited amount of roof space.
- Reliable: The inverter has low heat dissipation, so it is less likely to overheat, meaning you’ll enjoy uninterrupted power and won’t need to repair or replace your equipment.
- Easy to install and use: This compact and lightweight inverter is easy to install and simple to manage using SolarEdge’s smartphone app.
- Extendable warranty: The product comes with an impressive 12-year warranty, that you can choose to extend up to 25 years, giving you peace of mind that in the unlikely event you experience any issues, the inverter will be repaired or replaced.
What we don’t like:
- No display screen: Although you can manage your system through the app, some people may miss the ability to control the inverter using a display interface.
Like all SolarEdge optimizers, this product is specifically designed to work with the brand’s power optimizers, making it easy to set up a reliable, efficient solar system at home.
Along with single-phase solar inverters, SolarEdge also offers a range of three-phase inverters, which convert the DC power coming from the solar panels into AC power in a different way. While single-phase inverters connect to the solar panels’ power and export it in a single phase, a three-phase inverter does this across three stages.
Generally, home solar systems use single-phase inverters, as most houses only have a single-phase connection, while larger commercial systems make use of three-phase inverters. This is because commercial facilities are more likely to be set up for three phases of power and can therefor send out greater amounts of uninterrupted power.
This three-phase inverter is rated to 20 KW of power output, making it ideal for commercial and industrial home solar systems. The inverter uses fixed-voltage technology that allows you to create longer DC strings, making the system more straightforward and affordable to install, which is great for anyone on a budget.
These inverters are designed to shut down the system when they detect excessive heat automatically or if they disconnect from the grid. This helps to keep installers and firefighters safe in the event of a fire or electrical fault and promotes everyone’s safety.
The product is designed to work in a wide range of temperatures, from -13F to +140F, so it’s suitable for all kinds of commercial and industrial installations subject to extreme weather.
Like SolarEdge’s single-phase inverters, this product is also covered by a 12-year warranty that is extendable to 20 or 25 years.
What we like:
- Powerful: This inverter is rated for up to 20 KW of power out, so can handle larger commercial and industrial solar systems. This means it’s great for those looking for something more powerful than a home-use inverter.
- Safety features: The inverter will automatically detect very high temperatures and shut down the system, for better safety and security.
- Suitable for extreme temperatures: The inverter can operate in extreme hot and cold conditions, making it suitable for a wide range of facilities and applications.
What we don’t like:
- Not suitable for home use: As most households are not set up for three-phase AC power, this inverter is typically only suitable for commercial use.
As with other items in this SolarEdge review, you can connect the inverter to the brand’s user-friendly app, to analyze your system’s performance, check for errors, and troubleshoot issues. This includes being able to check each panel individually to spot any problems.
Power optimizers, or Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE), are power conversion devices that connect directly to an individual solar panel. These devices are designed to maximize energy flow from your panel to the rest of the system, so you get the most out of your panel.
SolarEdge’s power optimizers are DC/DC converters, meaning that, unlike an inverter or microinverter, they don’t change the type of current. Instead, they track the PV unit’s Maximum Power Point (MPP), tracking performance, and helping you ensure that your panels are producing as much energy as possible.
They deliver an incredible 99.5% peak efficiency and 98.8% weighted efficiency. This means that you’ll be able to use almost all of the energy generated by your solar panels.
You’ll then need to connect the optimizer to a solar inverter in order to convert the current to AC so that it can power your home appliances and devices.
SolarEdge’s optimizers are designed to work with their inverters, allowing you to build a reliable, high-performing, and efficient solar system.
Once you’ve installed a power optimizer on your solar panels, you’ll be able to track the performance of each via the SolarEdge app. If you spot any issues or deterioration in performance of any of your panels, you can swiftly address the problem and get your system back to optimal levels.
You can also use this monitoring system to ensure timely maintenance, which, in turn, will let you extend the life of your panels. This means you won’t need to replace your equipment so often, representing significant savings over the long term.
All of SolarEdge’s power optimizers come with a unique SafeDC feature that reduces DC voltage to safe levels in the case of a power outage or if the inverter shuts down. This helps to avoid the risks of electric shock or fire, keeping you and your family safe.
This P320 power optimizer is rated for 320W of DC input, meaning it can be used with solar panels up to 320 watts, which covers most residential solar panels. However, you’ll need a high-rated product for more powerful solar panels.
It’s designed to maintain a fixed-string voltage, so it is suitable to work with string inverters and central inverters, giving you a high degree of flexibility and setting up the optimal system for you.
What we like:
- Direct monitoring: With a power optimizer on every solar panel, you can use SolarEdge’s monitoring app to check the performance of each unit and troubleshoot issues, allowing you to ensure your system is functioning at peak levels all the time.
- Versatile: Thanks to its fixed string voltage, you can use the optimizer in systems with a central inverter, or string inverters.
- Safe: The inverter has a built-in safety feature to shut down DC power in the event of power disruptions, minimizing the risk of electric shocks or electrical fires.
What we don’t like:
- Not suitable for very powerful solar panels: You can only use this optimizer with panels up to 320W, though this will serve most solar panels used for home use.
This power optimizer is a great option if you have a solar system with either a central inverter or a series of string inverters. You can also consider using microinverters, where the inverter and optimizer are integrated in a single unit attached to each solar panel.
However, SolarEdge doesn’t offer these types of products, so you’ll need to look to brands like Enphase if you want to go in that direction.
SolarEdge’s EV charging single-phase inverter is one of the brand’s stand-out products, being the world’s first two-in-one EV charger and solar inverter. You can plug your electric vehicle directly into the device and charge it using solar power.
This is arguably the most eco-friendly way to run your vehicle, with no reliance on fossil fuels or even biofuels. It also means you won’t have to worry about finding a charging station or relying on grid electricity: you’ll always have power for your vehicle.
Like SolarEdge’s other inverters, the unit comes with 99% conversion efficiency, allowing you to optimize your energy flow and use as much of the sun’s energy as possible to charge your EV. It’s also backed up by the same HD-Wave technology, making it highly reliable.
Not only this, but it charges two and a half times faster than standard EV chargers, so your car will be up and running again in record time, which is great for people who use their EVs frequently with little downtime in between.
With compact dimensions and a weight of less than 25 pounds, the unit is easy to install, and you shouldn’t have any problems finding space for it in your home garage.
The inverter/charger wirelessly connects to SolarEdge’s monitoring app, so you can easily check or control the charging process from anywhere, as long as you have your smartphone with you. This means you can even switch on charging or turn it off when you’re out, so your vehicle will be ready to go when you get home!
The app gives you a complete picture of how long your car needs to charge, how much energy it’s using, as well as grid consumption.
What we like:
- Integrated inverter and charger: As an all-in-one solution, you don’t need to invest in a separate inverter and charger, meaning you’ll save on space and costs.
- Highly efficient: The inverter converts up to 99% of the energy from your solar panels into fuel for your vehicle, meaning you’ll be able to run your car for longer.
- Fast charging: The charging station charges your EV faster than most EV chargers, meaning less time waiting around, so you can get going!
What we don’t like:
- Fixed unit: You need to install the unit in a fixed spot, so you can only charge your car when you’re at home. However, until mobile solar EV chargers become available, this is probably the best solution for charging your EV on solar.
This product can also act as a regular solar inverter. So, even if you don’t own an EV but are planning to in the future, you could opt for this inverter/charger to meet your current energy needs and be ready for your future electric vehicle.
SolarEdge buying guide
Buying inverters, optimizers, and other solar system accessories can be confusing, especially if you’re new to the world of solar power. In the following section, we’ll take a look at the advantages of SolarEdge products, as well as what you should look for when buying their products.
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the brand.
What is SolarEdge?
SolarEdge Technologies is the third-largest manufacturer of inverters globally, behind electronic giants Huawei and Sungrow. The Israel-based company is also long-established in the industry, having offered smart energy products since 2006.
Their products use a different functionality compared to many of their competitors. While other companies use microinverters (small combined inverters and optimizers on each solar panel), SolarEdge separates these functions into two different units.
Instead, you have a power optimizer on each panel, which connects to a single central inverter or a series of string inverters.
Benefits and drawbacks of using separate inverters and optimizers
|Essentially they do the same job as microinverters by maximizing power output and efficiently converting it to AC current.||Slightly less efficient at converting energy than micro inverter-based systems.|
|Systems have lower overall equipment costs.||More DC wiring involved, meaning increased risks of fire or electrical malfunction.|
|Monitoring of individual solar panels is possible.|
Having said that, SolarEdge has addressed these issues to at least some extent, which is why it is worth considering their products.
Why you should consider SolarEdge products
Although systems with separate inverters and optimizers typically are less efficient than using microinverters, SolarEdge has closed this gap somewhat with their high-quality products. SolarEdge inverters and optimizers offer around 99% conversion efficiency, meaning you’ll lose only a minimal amount of energy when running the current through each component.
Equally, these setups can involve high risks of fire or electrical problems because they run DC wiring between the panel and the optimizer. However, SolarEdge’s products come with built-in safety features that will shut down your system as soon as they detect any anomalies, increasing safety.
Overall, SolarEdge’s systems offer a safer, more efficient inverter and optimizer solution for a more affordable price tag than investing in microinverters.
SolarEdge monitoring platform
When you buy any SolarEdge product, you’ll get access to their monitoring platform, which is another huge benefit. The platform allows you to update system settings as well as monitor PV performance, all done wirelessly from a user-friendly smartphone app.
The app also lets you identify faults at the module, string, and system levels, so you can immediately detect and resolve any issues. This allows you to avoid safety risks or equipment damage and ensure that your system is running at optimal levels at all times.
What to keep in mind when buying SolarEdge inverters and optimizers
So you’ve decided that SolarEdge is right for you, but how do you choose between their wide range of products? Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying the brand’s inverters and optimizers.
What are your energy requirements?
As with buying any solar equipment, starting with your energy requirements is important. If you already have solar panels installed, you’ll need to consider the DC output of each panel before buying a corresponding optimizer and the overall DC input/AC output of the entire system to determine the capacity of the inverter you’ll need.
On the other hand, if you’re setting up your system from scratch, you should start by calculating your energy needs. You can then use this to decide how many panels you need and the capacity of the optimizers and inverter you’ll require.
Is your system for home or commercial use?
Home and commercial solar systems have quite different functionalities, and so need different equipment, especially when it comes to inverters.
Generally speaking, home systems are set up for single-phase AC power, and so require a single-phase inverter. On the other hand, larger and more powerful commercial and industrial setups should run on a three-phase inverter.
What system functionality do you want?
Finally, it’s important to consider your desired system functionality. SolarEdge’s products are designed to have a power optimizer on each solar panel, which then connects to a separate central inverter or string inverter.
This is a more affordable, but slightly less efficient alternative to installing microinverters on each panel. For more on the pros and cons between these different types of functionalities, take a look at our comparison of SolarEdge vs Enphase.
Final thoughts on SolarEdge
SolarEdge provides a range of high-quality, reliable, and efficient inverters and optimizers that allow you to get the most out of your solar system for a modest investment. They also offer the world’s first EV charger that lets you convert your solar power to AC current and charge your vehicle all with the same device.
Although slightly less efficient than microinverter systems, SolarEdge’s products come with a number of features and benefits to maximize the efficiency and safety of your system.