GE Solar inverter review


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.

Re-branding worries me. I have to be honest about that.

No real skin in the game.

The GE warranty document starts off with...
JIANGSU GOODWE POWER SUPPLY TECHNOLOGY Co., Ltd,
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 Manufacturer’s 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 decent enough brand.
I'd rank Fronius, Huawei, SolarEdge, Enphase, and even Sungrow higher for quality and service but there's no doubt, Goodwe have made their name with 'features', and by extension, so do GE.

Single phase 'solar only' GE inverters.
The starting point with GE is the 5kW single phase model. GE5.0-1.10
It's offers absolutely nothing that you can't get for $600 less from Growatt and Goodwe's own 5kW model, and is priced slightly higher than Huawei awesome hybrid (battery capable) inverter.
So on this one, I gesticulate, 'thumbs down'.
Remember reader, I am treating this as a Goodwe inverter.
The GE brand badge carries no added value to me, because the warranty is through Goodwe.

There is an 3x MPPT variant of the 5kW inverter, which again, is just the Goodwe MS model in new clothes.
It's cheaper to buy the Goodwe MS, so why GE?

For those people out of WA (where we are), the 8.5kW and 10kW single phase GE models might be of more interest.
We can't install them here.

3 x MPPTs on both of them and a reasonable price.

GE Hybrid inverters
If you are in an area where a 10kW single phase inverter is allowed, then this is where the Goodwe and GE deal seems to play out.
GE have got the 'bigger stuff' over 6kW, with 8.6kW and 10kW hybrids.
Goodwe have retained exclusivity with 3 phase hybrids, which just tells me how much more Goodwe understand the Australian market.
These GE 8.6kW and 10kW single phase have 4 MPPTS which means 4 roof orientations in theory but not always in practice.
There are a lot of unusual input and MPPT voltage restrictions with the inverters that restrict some panel layouts.

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

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 the backup circuits without the need for a battery.

Treat this feature with solar wisdom and inside knowledge of your household loads.
It isn't going to be much use if it's tipping down with rain, or after sunset.

This isn't a very flattering inverter review. I'm sorry but it seems to me that GE aren't really doing anything other than leveraging their brand name.

Goodwe and GE DO have great products, and for a small section of the Australian market, especially outside the rules and regs of Western Australia, they may well have ideal products.

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