GE Solar inverter review - Updated February 2023

General Electric or GE, and Huawei, are probably the only two solar inverter brand names that most people have heard of.
GE are currently 48th on the 'Fortune 500' list of companies, and Huawei are 44th.
(Walmart, followed by Amazon and Apple are currently 1, 2 and 3 on this big company list).

GE entered the solar inverter market very late, in 2020, with a trial in Australia first, that appears to have expanded to the US now.

Rather surprisingly, GE don't make or design any of these inverters.
They partnered with Chinese company, Goodwe, and re-brand the Goodwe inverters as GE.

The GE warranty document starts off with...
the Manufacturer of GE branded solar inverters
(hereinafter referred to as the Manufacturer ) warrants that, subject to the exclusions and limitations set out below,
the GE branded solar inverter selling in Australia market shall be in good working order during the period of
1. 10 years Manufacturers warranty for single phase on grid inverters including: GEP3.6 1 10 , GEP4.2 1 10,
GEP5.0 1 10, GEP5.0 1 C 10 , GEP8.5 1 10 GEP10 1 10 and hybrid inverters including: GEH5.0 1U 10,
GEH8.6 1U 10, GEH10 1U 10.

So let's be very clear here. You are dealing with Chinese Goodwe, not American/Global, GE, if anything goes wrong.

Goodwe are a good inverter brand.
Feature rich, good reporting, long time experience, especially in battery inverters (hybrid DC coupled and AC coupled)


Single phase 'solar only' GE inverters.
The single phase 'solar only' inverter models GE have chosen from the Goodwe range will appeal to people on the East Coast of Australia.
8.5kW and 10kW single phase inverters with 3 x MPPTs and a very reasonable price.

'MPPT' means 'Roof orientation'...e.g. North running on MPPT1, West on MPPT 2, East on MPPT3.

A word of caution though. The datasheet for the 5kW 3 x MPPT inverter shows a startup voltage of 80V.
As most solar panels operate at 30-33V, then you might think that you can operate one or more MPPTs from only 3 panels.
However they have another voltage on the datasheet called 'Min.Feed in Voltage'
To be honest, I didn't know what that meant, so I contacted Goodwe support and they told me that is the voltage required per MPPT
in order for DC power from the panels to be converted to AC power as used in the house.
Obviously that needs to happen, so 4 panels minimum, and frankly that is so close to the wire, I'd say five panels per MPPT.

In WA we aren't permitted to install anything larger than 5kW on single phase.

Three phase
GE have now got 5kW, 8kW, 10kW and 15kW 3 phase inverters all available for use in WA on residential.
They are all 2 x MPPT inverters but with the exception of the 5kW they allow parallel strings on both MPPTs.
The input current limit per MPPT is 30A which is plenty for 2 parallel strings, even 3 at a stretch.

There are no 3 phase hybrids though. Goodwe seem to have kept them for themselves for now.

GE single phase 'Hybrid' inverters
'Hybrid' means it can DC Couple a battery. 'DC Couple' means 'the battery plugs straight into the inverter'.

Again, the larger 6kW, 8.6kW and 10kW GE models will appeal to East Coasters, not us.

The GE 8.6kW and 10kW single phase have 4 MPPTS which means 4 roof orientations as long as you can get at least 4 panels on an MPPT.

So with no three phase hybrid models, and nothing over 5kW single phase allowed, what do GE have for us in WA?
The answer is an interesting, somewhat uniquely featured, single phase hybrid inverter, Model GEH5.0-1U-10.

Lining this inverter up against Goodwe's own single phase hybrids, and other brands, I find two interesting additional features in the GE model.
Firstly it has a built-in AC back-up changeover switch.
This will take a few lines of text to explain.
If not interested skip to >>>>

Goodwe (and therefore GE) and Sungrow inverters have a function called 'back-up' built-in.
If a battery is connected then if the grid fails, the inverter can send battery power to some lighting and power circuits.
If the sun is shining then the battery can be topped up with panel power.
But what happens if the inverter develops a fault?
Those lighting and power circuits are now running 24x7 through a dead inverter = No lights or power until inverter fixed/replaced.

It is therefore common practice to install a 'Change-over switch' in the switchboard so that if the inverter fails, flick the switch to bypass the inverter.
A 25A changeover switch costs about $40 and maybe $150 to install. A wise investment.

So, finally getting to the point, the GE hybrid has this change-over switch built into the inverter (external).
The installer creates the backup circuits in the switchboard as normal (that's easily the biggest cost of 'back-up').
Manually flick the switch on your failed inverter, and the inverter uses AC power from it's normal AC connection to the switchboard for the back-up circuits.

It's a good, but not infallible solution.
What if the inverter failed because of an internal AC component fault for instance?
Anyway, it's a solution none the less, and saves install time, switchboard space, and money, compared to a normal AC Changeover switch.

The other feature the GE 5kW hybrid has is 3 MPPTs. Three roof orientations.
Without a battery it needs 6-7 panels minimum (200V) to generate sufficient voltage for each MPPT.
Solar designers not connecting batteries need to know that because 200V MPPT start voltage is very high...90V is normal.
However, with a battery, the GE MPPT voltage requirement drops down to 80V or 3-4 panels per MPPT.

The GE 5kW hybrid is ~$700 more expensive than the 5kW Goodwe EH single phase hybrid.
The change-over switch and 3 x MPPTS will certainly be worth that cost difference to some people.
Again though, watch out for the high voltage requirements without a battery.

The datasheet says that the inverter supports BYD, LG and Goodwe batteries.
No problem there. All good.

One feature that you can find on these hybrid inverters is 'no-battery backup'.
If the grid goes out, and the sun is shining, the panels can power an RCD protected outlet without the need for a battery.

Other inverters have this feature. Fronius GEN24 models, Huawei with their backup box does multiple circuits etc...

This feature has its limitations of course. No sun, no backup.
Passing clouds may drop solar production below loads..tripped circuit breaker.

Goodwe/GE battery support.

GE have partnered with Goodwe to supply some of the Goodwe range of inverters in Australia.
Goodwe will provide support and warranty.
Some of the Goodwe models that GE have adopted offer useful features.
The GE brand name is exceptionally strong and will help make this partnership work.
GE inverters are now stocked by two Perth wholesalers, so stock is readily available if you want one.

(08) 6102 2527

or email

This review was written by Andrew MacKeith, Solar4Ever service manager since 2011.