Choosing the right Inverter for your solar

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Inverter Solutions

There is an industry-wide discussion that never ends, are panels or inverters more important to have a long-lasting solar system.

The answer is simple. They are equally important because if only one of these components fails, your system will stop producing electricity.

For this reason, SolarWide is proud to provide internationally recognised, premium inverter solutions at the most competitive prices. These are our offers:

Sungrow Inverters

Sungrow uses cutting edge technology to harvest and store abundant energy to provide clean power for all. Solarwide has been using this cost-focused brand in the past 5 years with good results

Sungrow, which was established in China in 1997, is the largest manufacturer of inverters by kW in the world. Sungrow over the past 24 years has become known for its innovative and high-quality products, which has allowed the company to grow.

The company has been in Australia since 2012. The Sungrow local head office offers extensive support including technical support and sales support. SolarWide has installed Sungrow since 2015 and has seen incredibly reliable results.

Their innovative technology is based on extensive product testing. Today in the world Sungrow has a 15% market share and is now operating in 150 countries around the world. They are also well known in wind production and commercial energy storage systems.

View our Sungrow range

SMA Inverters

SMA is a global leader in the manufacturing of string inverters. They have been in Australia for close to 20 years and have the largest market share of installed inverters in Australia with over 800,000 units in Australian homes.

SolarWide has trusted and installed German SMA inverters since beginning operations in 2011 with most of our originally installed units still operating well.

In recognition of our quality focus, SolarWide has been appointed as an SMA Power-Up Partner. This partnership gives us an extended Product Warranty on your SMA inverter.

SMA is a market leader in premium solar and battery inverter solutions for residential and commercial installations. Today, SMA is committed to driving clean, renewable energy across the Sunshine Coast for a sustainable future for generations to come.

View our SMA range

Fronius Inverters

The Fronius inverters are manufactured in Austria and have been sold in Australia since 2011. Fronius is a leader in developing solutions to generate, store, and distribute solar energy intelligently, efficiently and economically.

Over the past 5 years, Fronius has seen significant growth in the local market share especially since they increase their warranty from initially 5 years to 5 + 5 years.

Fronius was established in Austria in 1945, over 75 years ago. The company grew from a family-owned regional specialist electronics repair shop into a player on the global renewable energy stage.

Fronius is well known for its extensive research and development for new and innovative solutions in the industrial industry, where they also have a lead in the welding industry.

View our Fronius range
tigo optimisers

Tigo Optimisers

SolarWide uses  the Tigo Optimiser Solution when it comes to solar systems to be installed on roofs with shade or multiple orientations for increased energy output

Tigo Optimisers get the maximum energy output from the panel array and minimise the losses from shading, module mismatch, degradation, and other install issues.

The Tigo optimisers get attached to the underside of the panel and they not only increase solar production but also prevent bypass diodes from burning out.

Tigo optimisers are superior optimisers to other solutions, because of the simplicity of the design. They perform better in heavy shade, can be selectively deployed on only the panels facing shade and are only required to work during shaded times.

Tigo was founded in 2007 have their head office in the US and are using Australian patented technology in their product.  They operate on all 7 continents and have a very low failure rate, in all install conditions. They also offer rapid system shutdown to increase system safety and to meet installation code requirements.

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Inverter Solutions

FAQs

How do inverters work?

Inverters are critical components of any solar energy system and are frequently referred to as the project’s “brains.”

The basic function of an inverter is to “modify” direct current (DC) output from the solar panels into alternating current (AC) which can be used in the premises. Because alternating current (AC) is the benchmark used by all commercial equipment, many people consider inverters to be the “gateway” between the solar system and the grid and home consumption.

Inverter technologies have developed over the past 20 years significantly to the point where, in addition to transforming DC to AC, they now offer a variety of other functionality and services to ensure that the inverter operates at full capacities, such as detailed system monitoring, advanced utility controls, software, and systems engineering. Inverters also now can send SMS or emails giving warnings and fault info, should the system not perform as expected.

For commercial solar installations, inverter manufacturers offer post-installation services critical to sustaining energy generation and ensuring the ongoing high-level performance of the installation.

Overall, inverters have a much greater purpose than just inverting the electrical currents of a solar energy system. To drive more PV penetration, high-quality inverter manufacturers such as SMA, Fronius and Sungrow must continue to innovate and reduce costs while maintaining key attributes for a solar energy system. At SolarWide we only use the best of class inverters. Why not come past the SolarWide showroom in Warana on the sunshine coast and check them out.

What is the best installation position for an inverter?

Choosing the right location for the inverter is a critical step in a solar system installation process. Today’s quality solar systems are expected to last more than twenty years, and therefore the inverter position is critical.

Although many inverter warranties are not void if installed in direct sunlight, the best practice is to install them in an area that provides the cleanest, coolest environment possible. Inverters are electronic devices that heat up due to the power conversion.

They perform much better by not derating on hot days, and their elements last longer in the shade.

When we choose the install position we also pick a location that allows easy access for future maintenance. The most ideal spot is a garage that stays reasonably cool in summer. The 2nd best spot is a southern wall if close to the switchboard. East is a possibility too, but in some homes, West or North are the only options. In such cases, it is advisable to install a shade structure above the inverter to provide some protection from direct sunlight, especially in high summer during the middle of the day.

Overall, the most important aspect is that the inverter is located in a shaded area. To reduce voltage drops, the installer should also try to place the inverter as close to the metre board as possible. SolarWide provides free site inspections and advice on inverter positions. Contact us today.

How long do inverters last?

Quality Inverters in residential installations expect to have a lifespan of more than ten years. On average, the inverter should be replaced once during the lifetime of solar panels. An inverter’s life expectancy is affected by its surroundings. A high temperature installs position, for example on a western or Northern wall can have a negative impact on the inverters overall lifetime. It is recommended to install the inverter in a relatively cool and well-ventilated location, if possible.

Furthermore, depending on the type, make, or model, the lifespan of many budget solar inverters can be much shorter than that of quality solar panels themselves. The reason is that solar inverters have more electrical components than solar panels, which are required to convert DC energy from solar panels to AC energy. These components are more heat-sensitive than any other component of the PV system, making them more prone to equipment failure. At SolarWide we make sure our inverter installation location is appropriate for the equipment to ensure long-life performance. Talk to us today.

What are the biggest reasons inverters fail?

There are 3 to 4 major reasons that inverters may fail. The electro-mechanical wear on capacitors is the first cause of inverter failure. Capacitors are used by inverters to provide a smooth power output at varying current levels. However, electrolytic capacitors have a limited lifespan and age faster than dry components. This is a particular weakness in cheaper budget inverters, which have failed in as little as 2 years.

The second most common reason for failure is using inverters beyond their operating limits, whether by choice or due to oversight or lack of knowledge. Using any component at a higher rating than its operating limit will reduce its lifespan and lead to failure. Please avoid this issue, by making sure your installation company conducts a proper system design so the inverter is running properly.  Relay failure within the inverter is also a common reason for failure.

Overcurrent and overvoltage are the next two issues that can cause inverter failure. If the current or voltage exceeds what the inverter is rated for, it can damage the device’s components, most commonly the inverter bridge.

This damage is frequently caused by the excess heat generated by the voltage or current spike. Overcurrent can be avoided with fuses or circuit breakers, but overvoltage can be difficult to avoid.

Voltage spikes are sometimes caused by humans, but they can also be caused by lightning or solar flares, which are difficult to avoid. Therefore, as long as you are looking out and aware of these issues with inverters, your inverter should be stable and proceed to convert your energy for many years. Find out more – talk to us today.

Why do people install solar power?

Solar power is great for cutting emissions and therefore a great contribution to combating climate change but the key driver for people considering solar are the financial benefits that solar can bring and the compelling returns. On the Sunshine coast a high-quality solar system can have a return of investment period as low as 4 years, and with the right support and maintenance can last decades, creating a financial benefit for many, many years.

SolarWide, Sunshine Coast leading solar company, is highly accredited by many industry-leading brands and agencies.