Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: January 06, 2021
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Are you looking for a cleaner source of energy that will help you reduce your electricity bill? If you are, then you’ll need the best solar inverter for you and your power needs. With the help of an inverter, the energy you get from solar panels converts from DC to usable AC power required for all household appliances.
As you know, there are many options available on the market, so it can be quite tricky to find the right model. In this review, we’ll take a look at what makes these products excellent. Below, we’ll evaluate the most important features of solar inverters, such as the type, wattage, input and output voltage, efficiency, dimensions, and weight. This should give you a clearer picture of what is the best option for you and whether it meets your needs. Are you ready to learn more details about solar inverters? Let’s get started!
As our Editor’s Choice, we have the WZRELB DC to AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter. This is our top pick because of the overall value you’re getting with this solar inverter. It comes at a fantastic price, and its specs are excellent, too.
This solar inverter is an off-grid type, and it can be hooked up to a 12V battery if needed. It has a wattage of 2500 watts at continuous usage with a peak of 5000 watts, with both values being just as good as grid power. Next, it has an input power voltage of 12V DC and an output power voltage of 120V AC. This WZRELB inverter works with an efficiency of between 85 and 90%, and it also comes with dual cooling fans and intelligent temperature control. In terms of dimensions, this solar inverter is of average size and measures out to roughly 18 inches wide, 10 inches tall, and 4 inches deep, and it weighs 13 pounds. On top of that, this solar inverter also comes with a digital LED display and has dual American outlets to provide power to various home appliances.
Unfortunately, this solar inverter can’t run lots of powerful devices at once, so be mindful of that if you are planning to use them.
For those looking for a more cost-effective solar inverter option, the Giandel 600W Pure Sine Wave Inverter is the best bet. Apart from being our Best Value pick, this Giandel solar inverter has multiple great features.
Like our Editor’s Choice, this solar inverter is also an off-grid type that offers continuous 600W and a peak of 1200 watts. It boasts 2 AC outlets to go along with one USB port that you can use to charge your devices. Also, it has an input of 12V DC and converts to 110-120V AC. It produces a maximum efficiency of 90%, which makes sure that you get a lot of energy from the sun. A neat feature of this solar inverter is that it comes with remote control and many different cables and wires you can use. It also has an intelligent cooling fan, so it activates to remove any heat generated by the inverter.
This solar inverter is smaller in size as it measures out to 8.5 inches wide, 6 inches tall, and 3 inches deep. The inverter comes in a very strong and durable aluminum housing that weighs less than 5 pounds. As great as this cost-effective option is, a few of people said that it could shut off on its own before reaching 600 watts.
What we liked:
Excellent value and compact size
Comes with 2 AC outlets and 1 USB port
Comes with remote control
Intelligent cooling fan
What could be better:
Could be more powerful
A few people experienced issues with it shutting off randomly
On the opposite end, we have our Upgrade Pick. This is a good option for shoppers who aren’t deterred by the product’s price and just want a really high-quality solar inverter for their needs. The SMA Sunny Boy 6.0-US 6000W Grid Tie Inverter is a marvelous produces with high power output. Also, this solar inverter is the first grid-tie one on our list.
As for the power output, it offers 5400 watts continuously or 6200 watts at its peak. If a solar inverter’s efficiency is very important for you, this is one of the best models available on the market, with its 97.6% max efficiency at 240V. Next, it has multiple built-in protection devices, and thus, it is naturally bigger and heavier. This solar inverter measures out to 21 inches wide, 29 inches tall, and 8 inches deep, and it is the heaviest one on our list at 57 pounds. Unlike the previous solar inverters, this one relies on convection cooling for a hassle-free experience. Another great feature of this inverter is that it comes with a great 10-year warranty.
While many people don’t have any issues with this solar inverter, the biggest gripe seems to be its extremely high price tag.
If your next solar inverter’s size and weight are a big sticking point, and you want something as compact as possible, look no further than the Enphase IQ7-60-2-US.
This extremely small grid-tied solar inverter only measures out to 8.5 inches wide, 7 inches tall, and has a width of only 1.2 inches. It weighs microscopic 2.4 pounds, which is incredibly great for a solar inverter. As you can imagine, with a product this small, the installation is very simple, too. This solar inverter is best optimized for 60-cell modules. Despite being small and light, it packs a bit of a punch as it has an output power of 235-350 watts. Its input power is 48V DC, and its output is anywhere between 208 and 240V AC. You might also be surprised to find out that its efficiency is also extremely high at 97.6%, which means it’s going to convert as much energy as possible.
Despite this being a great small and lightweight option, a few people did remark at how flimsy this solar inverter was.
The AMPINVT Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter FT-12V3000W is an off-grid solar inverter that allows you to preserve more energy because it has five different working modes you can choose from. They are AC Input Priority, Battery Priority Mode, ECO Mode, Generator Mode, and Unattended Mode. Depending on what your current power needs, you can change the setting to one that offers the most efficient performance at the moment.
Speaking of efficiency, this solar inverter comes with 90+% and runs at a fantastic 3000 watts of continuous power and can go up to a peak of 9000 watts if necessary. It has a 12V DC input and 110V AC output, which is standard for most solar inverters. Also, it offers two AC outlets for your appliances. To prevent overheating, it uses an internal fan cooling system.
As great as this solar inverter is, a few people mentioned that it was quite heavy.
If efficiency is what you’re looking for in a solar inverter, it’s hard to find one that is better than the SolarEdge SE3800H HD Wave Grid Tied Inverter. This grid-tie model is always keeping track of panels using optimizers to ensure that they deliver the best performance. For this reason alone, that’s why we call it the most efficient solar inverter.
This solar inverter operates at a 99.2% efficiency rate with an input of 480V DC (maximum), and an output voltage of 208-240V AC. Its power output ranges anywhere between 3300-3800 watts. Also, this SolarEdge solar inverter has great safety features as well to prevent any issues. The unit features a rapid shutdown system that appears to be very helpful in case of a power outage. In terms of its size, it is 18 inches wide, 15 inches tall, with a depth of about 7 inches. It is on the bigger side, and it’s reaffirmed by its weight, which is 25 pounds.
One big disadvantage is that the abovementioned optimizers are not included, so you will have to purchase them separately.
What we liked:
Optimizes the power output of each panel
Incredibly high efficiency
Excellent safety features
What could be better:
Needs optimizers to run which leads to bigger expenses
When you are trying to get the maximum of your solar inverter, it can get quite hot. The proper cooling system, such as seen with the Renogy Pure Sine Wave Inverter, can prevent it to help it achieve optimal performance.
This solar inverter uses high-speed ventilation fans that help to cool the unit down, which is a great feature to have, especially if you plan to use your solar inverter a lot to power the appliances in your house. With this unit, you’ll find the continuous wattage supply to be 2000 watts and the peak at 4000 watts. It operates at 90% efficiency, which is very solid, as well. Next, it comes with 3 separate AC outlets and requires 12V DC to offer 115V AC for each of them. It’s on the smaller side as it only measures out to 18 inches wide, 9 inches tall, and 4 inches deep. Its weight is also fairly light at just under 12 pounds.
Unfortunately, some people said that they had issues with delivery. The solar inverter arrived in a damaged or malfunctioning state, and attempts to get in touch with their customer service team was very slow.
If you’re looking for a beast of a solar inverter and want more power, you might want to consider our most powerful model on this list, The Aims10000 Watt Modified Sine Power Inverter. This solar inverter can provide up to 10,000 watts of power, with 1500 watts to each outlet. Speaking of outlets, this solar inverter comes with 4 of them, which allows you to use multiple appliances at the same time. This off-grid solar inverter has an input of 12V DC and an output voltage of 120V AC, which is standard among the solar inverters.
On top of supplying lots of power, it does so at an excellent efficiency of 90-95%. It boasts LED indicator lights, so it’s easier to read and see what’s going on with your inverter. Also, it comes with different safety features, including a high/low voltage protection to ensure it is safe to use at all times. It has a medium-sized construction as it measures out to 21 inches wide, 8 inches tall, and has a depth of 6 inches. Finally, it weighs 21 pounds.
One of the biggest complaints with this solar inverter is that it can overheat quite quickly since it offers so much power.
What we liked:
Fantastic power output
Comes with 4 AC outlets
Comes with high/low voltage protection
What could be better:
Tends to overheat quickly
Things to Сonsider
Now that you have seen the top-rated solar inverters on the market today, it’s now time to learn a bit more about the individual components that help make these power-saving devices fantastic options. In this buying guide section, we’ll speak more about all of the important parts of solar inverters and what you should look for. If you still have questions after reading this part, we’ll answer a few of the most frequently asked ones below. Finally, we’ll give you our top three solar inverter picks in our verdict.
Advantages of solar inverters
The biggest advantage of solar inverters is that they provide an efficient and clean way to turn direct current (DC) power from the solar panels to alternating current (AC) power. The converted energy is then usable in homes and is able to power the appliances and lights throughout the house, barn, or RV.
Another benefit of solar inverters is that they are quite powerful to allow you use multiple appliances at the same time. On top of that, they attract people’s attention because they don’t cost much.
Since you’re relying on solar energy, which is free, you can expect your electricity bills to go down significantly.
What also surprises many people is how easy it is for solar inverters to be installed. Apart from the easy installation, it is also very easy to maintain as well. These devices are quiet and efficient, so you will be able to get the most of your panels.
How to pick the best solar inverter?
Solar inverters don’t come in a one-size-fits-all approach. When choosing the best solar inverter, it often will come down to your specific needs and how much power you require to power your house or barn. You might want to focus on one specific feature or several of them. Nonetheless, there are lots of different individual aspects to consider. They include the product’s type, power output, input/output voltage, efficiency, cooling system, outlets, noise level, dimensions, weight, and lastly, the price. These features are the most important ones to pay attention to when picking the best solar inverter, and we’ll explore each below.
While both grid-tie and off-grid solar inverters are excellent ways to get clean energy, there is one very notable difference between them. With a grid-tie solar inverter, they are generally much easier to install and hook up the wires. This is because there are only two primary parts, the solar panels and the inverter itself, that’s it. The power from the solar panels (DC) are converted to AC through the inverter.
On the other hand, off-grid inverters are a bit more complex to install, and that’s because they have additional parts in the process. The inclusion of a battery can often make the entire process a bit harder. This battery requires a charge controller, so this might take you a while to connect everything.
When dealing with the power output and the input/output voltage (below), it’s really important to refer to the manual datasheet before installing anything as it will provide you with the proper information. Referring to this sheet will allow you to choose the right inverter for the number of solar panels you have.
You have to be mindful that not all inverters are suitable for powerful appliances. You must check the wattage of the unit and how much power it can offer for each outlet.
The input and output voltage figures represent the level of power going in and out. The input figure is usually is presented as its maximum power input, and this figure represents the maximum amount of power (current) that the inverter can withstand. Therefore, if your solar panels are producing more power than the maximum input figure can withstand, then the current will be disrupted.
The output power figure represents the voltage your solar inverter can provide. If you’re using your solar inverter for your house, an output power figure of 110-120 AC is a standard.
The efficiency is also another notable parameter you’ll want to pay close attention to. In an optimal environment, the efficiency figure refers to the amount of energy converted. Most inverters will sit anywhere in the range of 90-95%, which is almost ideal. As you can see with the solar inverters on our list, all of them are able to touch 90% efficiency with the highest number coming from the SolarEdge SE3800H HD Wave Grid Tied Inverter at a whopping 99.2%.
Anytime you deal with power, you’re naturally going to come across the heat. Because inverters are working hard to supply power to the house, there will be some excess heat. There are generally two ways in which an inverter can be cooled.
The first is through an internal fan, and it is known as forced heat dissipation. These fans generate airflow within the inverter and slowly helps to cool it down.
On the other hand, inverters can also be cooled through convection. Convection cooling is a natural heat dissipation method that you can often find in these devices.
Generally, solar inverters are quiet devices, although not completely silent. They will produce a low buzzing or humming sound when working, but it is not loud or distracting at all. It’s best to keep the inverter away from busy spaces in the house if you find the noise level to be distracting for you. However, if you hear your inverter making louder sounds than the normal humming, you might want to inspect it as there could be issues with it, or it could use maintenance.
The weight of a particular model depends on how much power it offers. While you can definitely find options that are extremely light, such as the Enphase IQ7-60-2-US, which only weighs 2.4 pounds, most of the solar inverters are going to weigh much more than that. One should expect a solar inverter to weigh closer to the SolarEdge SE3800H HD Wave Grid Tied Inverter, which is 25 pounds. This is a good benchmark since you’ll find ones below it or above it.
What else can be important?
Not every solar inverter comes with extra features that can include wires or cables, but for the most part, these solar inverters will simply give you what you need to get started. If you need longer cables, you’ll most likely have to get that on your own, especially if you have a more spacious house. Some solar inverters can come with remote controls as well, which makes them a bit easier to control since you don’t have to come to program it. For solar inverters that require a battery like the Renogy Pure Sine Wave Inverter, also comes with its own battery wire.
The thing about the cost of solar inverters is that you can find one for almost any price under the sun, as we’ll illustrate. In general, solar inverters aren’t very cheap, so you will have to keep that in mind. But, since they can lower your bills, they are still a worthy investment. The most affordable solar inverter on our list is our Best Value pick, the Giandel 600W Pure Sine Wave Inverter, which goes for roughly $120. You can compare that with our Upgrade Pick, the SMA Sunny Boy 6.0-US 6000W Grid Tie Inverter, which you can find for $1400. Our Editor’s Choice, the WZRELB DC to AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter, is available for $300.
When it comes to installing and setting up your solar inverter, just know that setting up a grid-tied model is much easier than an off-grid one. To connect a grid-tied solar inverter, all you have to do is to hook it up to your solar panels using the necessary wiring. Installing an off-grid solar inverter is more complex because it incorporates a battery where the energy is stored and a charge controller. While it’s not overly complicated to wire the inverter, battery, and solar panels, it will take substantially more time to do so.
The best solar inverters should last between 10 and 20 years, but it can be less or more than these numbers as well. The lifespan of your solar inverter will depend on the conditions and humidity it is exposed to and how often it is in use. If you need more power from it, it might mean that it will be replaced sooner. A good way to ensure a longer lifespan for your solar inverter is by purchasing a high-quality one with a good reputation and warranty.
Maintaining your solar inverter is incredibly important to make sure it lasts longer. Whenever issues arise with your solar inverter, it’s best to refer to the manual that comes with it to troubleshoot your problems there. Keeping your solar inverter in the right spot is also important too. Avoid exposure to sunlight and rain as it can severely damage your unit. Another tip is by maintaining your solar inverter by going on a proper maintenance plan. A good rule of thumb is to have your solar inverter serviced or checked every 6 months to ensure proper working conditions.
Now, it’s time to take a look at our winners. Our favorite model is still the WZRELB DC to AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter. We love this solar inverter because of its fantastic overall quality and reasonable price. Also, We’re big fans of its continuous and peak power output, as well as its intelligent temperature control.
Next up is the Giandel 600W Pure Sine Wave Inverter. This is an excellent option for those cost-conscious buyers out there. Its small dimensions and low weight, as well as its remote control, are incredibly appealing.