Huawei/iStore Solar review

Huawei Solar Inverter & Battery Review - Updated February 2024

Huawei solar inverters, batteries and other solar products in Australia are now re-branded as iStore.
If you already have a Huawei inverter and are concerned about compatibility... fear not.
Your Huawei inverter connects to iStore batteries. I've made a video on an installation of exactly this.

iStore is a long established Australian company who until now have been in the solar hot water business.
Under an OEM agreement with Huawei, iStore are now exclusively distributing Huawei residential solar products in Australia.
iStore are a wholesaler, not retailer/installer.
However, they are a lot more than just a typical solar wholesaler.
They are responsible for getting the Huawei products approved by the Clean Energy Council as iStore products.
They provide the Australian manufacturing warranty.
They have developed their own installer setup app (Hi Solar) and end user reporting app (Univers EMS).

Should you add iStore to your solar inverter/battery short list?
Yes. These are some of the very best solar products available, and the range is only getting better in 2024 and on.
Very well designed, feature-rich and extremely reliable. Top end gear at mid-range pricing.
We have been installing Huawei branded inverters almost every day since Jan 2018 and have only had two faults.
They fact that they are labeled iStore now changes nothing really.

iStore inverters.
The process of getting inverters approved by the Clean Energy Council is both slow and expensive.
At time of writing, 20th December 2023, iStore have managed to only get four inverters through the approval process.

5kW and 6kW single and three phase hybrid (battery capable) models.

The model numbers are fairly easy to interpret...
IS-HYB-5000-1PH = iStore-Hybrid-5kW-Single phase.
IS-HYB-6000-1PH = iStore-Hybrid-6kW-Single phase.
IS-HYB-5000-3PH = iStore-Hybrid-5kW-Three phase.
IS-HYB-6000-1PH = iStore-Hybrid-6kW-Three phase.

All of these have 2 x MPPTs, one string of panels per MPPT.
All allow oversizing up to 12.32kW of panels (based on using typical 440W JinKo/Risen/LonGi panels).
STCs (subsidy) are approved by the Clean Energy Regulator for this oversizing, without using panel DC optimisers.
In theory, with iStore optimisers fitted to all panels you could oversize even more...but why?
However that potential of up to 246% oversizing requires the iStore battery to be connected.
Without the battery, then the usual 133% oversizing rule for STCs (subsidy) applies.

It makes sense they went with these models first because they were comfortably the Huawei best sellers.

Coming by mid-2024 (or so they tell me) will be...

IS-HYB-8000-1PH = iStore-Hybrid-8kW-Single phase, with 3 x MPPTs but not available in WA due to local regulations.
IS-HYB-10000-1PH = iStore-Hybrid-10kW-Single phase, with 3 x MPPTs but not available in WA due to local regulations.
IS-HYB-8000-3PH = iStore-Hybrid-8kW-Three phase, with 2 x MPPTS but 2 parallel strings of panels on each MPPT.
IS-HYB-10000-3PH = iStore-Hybrid-10kW-Three phase, with 2 x MPPTS but 2 parallel strings of panels on each MPPT.
IS-HYB-15000-3PH = iStore-Hybrid-15kW-Three phase, with 2 x MPPTS but 2 parallel strings of panels on each MPPT.
IS-HYB-20000-3PH = iStore-Hybrid-20kW-Three phase, but not available in WA due to local regulations.
IS-HYB-25000-3PH = iStore-Hybrid-25kW-Three phase, but not available in WA due to local regulations.

The iStore battery plugs straight into all of the above hybrid inverters...DC Coupled.
The iStore battery has a BMS (Battery Management System) controlling 3 x 5kWh high-voltage batteries.
For most people, 15kWh of storage is ample, but if you need more you can add a second stack to get up to 30kWh
Unlike pretty much every other battery out there now, these iStore batteries are connected in parallel, not series.
They also have a battery optimiser inside each 5kWh module.
Those two features, parallel and optimised means that each battery is a law unto itself.
By being charged and discharged independently of any other batteries in the stack, it maximises longevity.
You can also add new batteries to an older stack without the new battery being dragged down as it would if series connected.

In addition to the optimisers and parallel design, iStore have 8 temperature sensors and a fire extinguishing bag inside each module.
LFP cells are the norm in solar batteries (except Tesla Powerwall??) and they are considered ultra safe.
Very low risk of thermal run-away compared to other Lithium Ion chemistries.
However, having the extra security of the sensors and fire bag is going reassure many people.
Most other solar batteries are series-connected, no fire extinguishing capability, no optimisers.
So if your iStore battery price is more than some others, don't be surprised.

The iStore battery is CEC approved...
IS-BATT-5000-S0 = iStore-Battery-5kWh-not sure what S0 means.
IS-BATT-10000-S0 = iStore-Battery-10kWh-not sure what S0 means.
IS-BATT-15000-S0 = iStore-Battery-15kWh-not sure what S0 means.

iStore backup box.
Whether you have a battery installed or not, you can buy the optional iStore backup box.
This box sends solar (and battery power if you have one) to your designated outlets and lighting circuits during a blackout.
The single phase box is limited to 5kW, and the three phase box to 3.3kW on a single phase.
I completely understand why they have done it that way for a small (5/6kW) three phase inverter.
If it were a genuine three phase backup box the power would be split evenly across three phases.
So with a 5kW inverter that would mean max 1.66kW per phase and that won't power much of anything.

There's a new, larger three phase box in the pipeline to work with the larger 3 phase inverters on the way in 2024.
I hope they don't delay the box because I can't see anyone with a 10-15kW three phase inverter being happy with 3.3kW backup on a single phase.
Mind you, these things are always easy enough to retro-fit so unless blackouts are common, it may be alright for a while without a box at all.

iStore DC optimisers
These black boxes attach to the back of any solar panels that are rated at 600W or less.
They cost about $100 each including the small amount of time it takes to fix and configure them.
You don't need to use them. Entirely optional.
It's not like Solaredge who need one on every panel otherwise the inverter won't start.
If you want to sprinkle an iStore optimiser here and there to combat some shading, you can.
If you want to extend a string of panels onto a different roof orientation, you can.
If you want near zero volts flowing through your roof by de-energising the panels when someone is working up there, you can.
All optimisers report their status, power production, current, voltage etc, for free, in the reporting app.

I have a string of nine panels on my roof at home, all fitted with optimisers, albeit branded, Huawei.
Some of those nine panels are shaded at different times by my Evap aircon, three panels face Southish whereas six face Northish.
They work incredibly well boosting production well beyond what they could possibly achieve without optimisers.

iStore smart EV Charger.
Coming soon.
7kW (single phase) to 22kW (3 phase).
All the usual 'smart' features about minimising drawing power from the grid.

Win a free EV
Buy an iStore hybrid inverter, smart meter and at least 10kWh of iStore battery and you go into a draw.
Once 1,000 names are in the draw, or October 19th 2024 comes around, which ever is first, a winner is chosen.
A new $38,000 BYD Dolphin EV in your choice from available colours might be yours.
To qualify you have to pay for your new solar, register your details, submit to their advertising for at least until the draw is held, and if you win... Have your pictures taken with iStore staff, and be displayed for all to see with your prize for a while.

Istore transition....
As the next few weeks and months progress I will update this page with pictures of our iStore installations.
For now though, what follows is what was on this page up until today, all about Huawei.
Huawei are still in Australia. They remain to service the 10 year warranties on Huawei products.
They are also staying to sell their large commercial and industrial products (over 40kW).
iStore don't have access to those larger and very profitable,apparently, inverters.

Here follows the Huawei web page I've written over the years since Jan 2018....

The image above shows the inputs for the Huawei L1 inverter. Note the BAT+ and BAT- which is where the Huawei battery
plugs into.

Two faulty inverters replaced under warranty with new ones from Huawei since January 2018. As service manager here at Solar4Ever, the most important inverter feature to me is reliability.
After five and a half years installing Huawei inverters every day, with just two faults to date, they certainly tick that box.
The inverter and battery have a 10 year 'new for old' replacement warranty, their optimisers a 25 year warranty.

The other thing I like about Huawei is that they have created a complete turnkey package.
Inverters, battery, blackout backup box, optimisers, smart EV charger. All made by Huawei.
All under a single reporting platform.

Networking up to 3 inverters together (e.g. 2 x 5kW, or 3 x 5kW) for larger three phase installations is popular.
Often they also have Huawei batteries.

They work together as a single unit for charging batteries and reporting, but often give more flexibility than one large inverter can.
2 x MPPTs per inverter for multiple roof orientations, 30kWh of battery per inverter, and of course some redundancy if things do go wrong.

Huawei's pricing puts them squarely in the middle.
Significantly less than Fronius, substantially more than Growatt.
I think that makes them very competitive for the quality and features you get.

I've been highly impressed with how Huawei inverters perform so well in our hot Perth summers.
For example the 5kW L1 has a maximum efficiency of 98.4% under ideal test conditions.
When it hit 43 degrees on Boxing Day 2021, my L1 efficiency dropped to 98.2%.
By comparison the Huawei's closest rivals, the 5kW Fronius and Sungrow models have maximum efficiencies of 97.6% and 97.9%
and those numbers will drop a bit in the heat too.

Huawei allow you to significantly oversize their inverters, when the Huawei battery is DC coupled to it.
There is no set number and it very much depends on the solar panels connected to it, but generally speaking 200% is always possible
and sometimes more. We've put 12kW of panels on a 5kW inverter for instance, all subsidised with STCs.

If that's all you needed to know then great, otherwise, read on to get all the details.

Current Huawei inverter models and battery compatibility







3kW, 4kW, 5kW, 6kW

Huawei Luna



5kW, 6kW

Huawei Luna



5kW, 6kW




8kW, 10kW, 15kW, 20kW


Previous Huawei inverters and battery compatibility
The original 'L' single phase inverters work with LG Chem batteries. Huawei didn't have their own battery back then.
However, Huawei are now giving a free new 'L1' inverter to any 'L' customer when they buy a 10kWh Huawei battery.

The original 5kW and 6kW 'M0' inverters are compatible with the Huawei battery but not the backup box.

DC Coupling and AC Coupling a battery.
Just because Huawei have their own DC Coupled battery doesn't mean you have to use it.
We've got a couple of clients who installed a Huawei and then AC Coupled a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery instead.
It's the best of both Worlds. Take your pick when the time comes for you to get a battery.
The same applies to the inverters above that don't support the Huawei battery.
You can still AC Couple a Powerwall, Sonnen and any other AC Coupled inverter/batteries.

The Huawei Luna battery.
Each 5kWh battery is connected in parallel, not series, with the others.
Each battery has a Huawei battery optimiser inside.
Those two features make the Huawei battery unique. It means each 5kWh battery works independently of the others.
Each battery can be charged or discharged independently giving each one a much longer life expectancy.
New batteries can be added to old ones without being dragged down to the performance level of the older batteries.

The cells inside each battery are Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry, widely considered as the safest type.
For additional safety, each battery has 8 temperature sensors and a 'fire bag' inside.
If it gets too hot, the bag automatically deploys to extinguish any fire.
You might be thinking the above features would be pretty sensible and therefore commonplace.
I can assure you that they are not. Most batteries are series connected and have no fire extinguishing features at all.

Each Huawei hybrid inverter can connect up to 2 x 15kWh stacks of Huawei batteries.
The largest one we've installed so far was 2 x 10kWh stacks on a 5kW L1 inverter.
The smallest we've installed was a single 5kWh battery.
The most popular size is 10kWh, followed by 15kWh.
I think that is appropriate for most family homes needs overnight for most of the year.

Huawei battery prices are, like their inverters, mid-range.
With consideration to the above mentioned unique features, that makes them very competitive indeed.
There has been a very significant increase in sales of batteries in Perth since Synergy released their Midday Saver tariff.
For people with high day time power use, the combination of solar, this tariff and a battery, makes battery economics very attractive.
Return on battery investment in less than 5 years. Think about the next few years. Your next new car will be an EV most likely.

The battery charge/discharge information is provided alongside all the solar data with Huawei's Fusionsolar app.
The picture below shows a customers battery charging (green) and discharging (purple) over a 24 hour period.

5kWh and 10kWh Solar4Ever Huawei Luna battery installations shown below.

Huawei blackout box
Single phase model (B0) delivers up to 5kW to essential loads during a grid outage (blackout)
Three phase model (B1) delivers up to 3.3kW to essential loads on a single phase, during a blackout.

Pictured Huawei 5kW M1 three phase inverter with backup box below. Right: Inside the backup box.

A battery is NOT required to provide blackout protection.
Solar power can be delivered directly from the inverter and backup box to essential loads during a blackout.
However, it IS recommended that a battery is used for a more reliable blackout protection supply than solar panels only.

This video shows backup with and without a battery.

Huawei DC Optimisers
Huawei 600W DC optimisers are compatible with all Huawei inverters, hybrid or not, single or three phase.
The optimisers are typically used for spreading strings of panels over multiple roof orientations.
e.g. North facing string with 8 panels could have another 4 optimised panels installed on East roof.
Huawei inverters can work with no optimisers, fully optimised, or selective deployment only where needed.
Huawei Fusionsolar reporting shows individual output of any optimised panel with no additional cost/equipment required.
Huawei DC 600W optimiser datasheet.

Huawei Consumption meters
DDSU-666H single phase meter. 2 switchboard poles wide. 1 x CT clamp included.
DTSU-666H three phase meter. 4 switchboard poles wide. 3 x CT clamps included.
Huawei consumption meter(s) datasheet.

Consumption meters (video explanation), also known as 'smart meters' provide:-
1. Additional information in Fusionsolar reporting...self-consumption of solar, exports to grid, imports from grid.
2. Household load information so that the inverter knows when to release battery power to the house.
Huawei consumption meters operate 24x7 drawing a very small amount of power from the grid at night.

Huawei Dongles
Optional for single phase L1 and M2 three phase 'solar only' inverters.
Included as standard with 5kW and 6kW three phase M1 hybrids.
The dongle provides the following features:
1. WIFI and Ethernet (hard wired) options for data transmission to the home internet modem/router.
2. Cascaded inverter communications, where 2 or 3 inverters are connected together to work as one larger unit.

Note: Huawei L1 single phase inverters do not need a dongle for WIFI as an antenna is included.
The dongle would only be used if WIFI was unreliable/unavailable and a hard wired Ethernet connection needed.

The second available dongle is for a 4G Sim card.
This is where Ethernet/WIFI is not possible so data is transmitted over the mobile phone network instead.

Huawei Fusionsolar reporting
Android/iOS smartphone reporting app.
Web Browser. See Demo site here.

Huawei Fusionsolar reporting explained (video)

Huawei FusionCharge EV Charger

Huawei's EV charger is due by March 2023.
It can be set to automatically adjust the charge rate to only use available solar power.
(Needs Huawei inverter and consumption meter installed for that feature).
It has a Type 2 socket.
1.4kW to 7kW charge rate on single phase, 1.4kW to 22kW on three phase.
Can automatically switch from 3 phase to 1 phase charging.
Preliminary FusionCharge datasheet (sorry about poor quality image)

Huawei support
Available 24x7
Telephone 1800 046639
Technical support email

Oversizing Huawei inverters.
Most people know that if you have a 5kW inverter you can connect up to 6.66kW of panels to it.
That's really more a rule about getting Government subsidies (STCs) than any technical reason.
So, normally 133.33% over sizing is the limit no matter what size or brand of inverter you have in Australia.
You can ignore that limit if you have the Huawei battery connected to the Huawei hybrid inverters.

This image shows 20kW of panels that are running from 2 x Huawei 5kW M1 inverters with a Huawei Luna battery.

Their data sheet shows 'recommended' maximum of 150% oversizing, but in fact you can go much further than that.
This link pulls up the Huawei document that explains why you can go to 200% or more oversizing.

What that document says is that as long as you keep within the combined string voltage of the panels to no more than 600V d.c.
you can connect as panel panels as you like. Australian standard "AS4777.2 2020" is the reason for that voltage limit.

Depending on the specific panel electrical characteristics that can mean 12kW of panels running on a 5kW inverter although more usually it's around 10kW.

Why have 10kW of panels running from a 5kW inverter?
The inverter can simultaneously pull 5kW from the panels to charge the battery and 5kW to convert to AC for the house or export.
Once the battery is fully charged the extra panels will keep the 5kW AC rate going for much longer in the day than 6.6kW would.
Yes, the Government subsidy (STCs) are paid on the extra panels...done it many many times, never once knocked back.

Pictured: PV output of 5kW Huawei L1 oversized with 10kW of panels and a large Huawei battery.
The 5kW Huawei inverter is pulling down almost 9kW, 5kW for the house, 4kW for the battery, until the battery is full at 12.30pm.

Huawei and shaded solar panels.
Huawei have 'MPPT Multi-Point Scanning', same as SMA's 'ShadeFix' and Fronius 'Dynamic Peak Manager' that can if turned on,
periodically rescan the MPPTs finding the maximum possible voltage, and help reduce the impact of panel shade on the string as a whole.
This is a useful feature for those who have shade issues but it has to be implemented with some care.
Every time the inverter (doesn't matter whether it Fronius, Huawei, SMA, Goodwe etc) performs such a rescan it reduces the output of the panels
for a short time.

I leave this feature turned off if there's no shade, rescan every 5-10 minutes if shading is transitory moving across the panels quickly,
and every 25-30 minutes if the shade is present on a panel or panels for an hour or more.

Huawei have their own brand of optimisers, but some people say you shouldn't need to use optimisers to combat shade.
True, sometimes you don't; you can use the inverter feature described above, but in my experience, optimisers are a good solution too.
It just depends on how and when the shade happens as to what solution is implemented, but at least Huawei have all the tools available.

Huawei Warranties
All Huawei inverters have a full 10 year parts and labour, new for old replacement warranty.
Unlike most other manufacturers, they do not provide 'refurbished' units for warranty replacement.
(Note, since Jan 2018 to now (Nov 2022) we have had just one Huawei inverter and no battery failures).
Huawei Luna batteries have a 10 year parts and labour, new for old replacement warranty.
LFP Batteries are projected to degrade by 2% a year, so after 10 years 80% efficiency.
Huawei warranty the battery will be at least 60% efficient after 10 years.

Huawei DC Optimiser pricing
We don't really sell too many of these 600W boxes that attach to the back of solar panels.
The inverter's own algorithms mostly sort out shading issues in the same way that other quality inverters do.
If we are installing them during the main solar install then we do them for $80, but if it's a retro-fit then it's more like $110.
We have used them for shade. In fact my own house has nine Huawei optimisers because my roof has some really bad shade issues.
They work exceptionally well, and I can see they work exceptionally well in the reporting software.
Do they pay for themselves with extra power production. Absolutely on my roof, but if you have limited shading, maybe not.

The main use of them is to extend strings as explained above. You might only have space on your North roof for 8 panels but you want 12.
Fit optimisers to 4 panels and install them on another roof orientation and now you have a 12 panel string.
The North panels will produce like North panels should, and the optimised panels will produce how they should based on which way they are pointing.
The point being that if they are on West for example, they won't bring down the output of the North panels.
Without optimisers, splitting a string like that would result in the output for all being the same as the worst performing panel.

About Huawei
Huawei, is pronounced Wah Way, best known for mobile phones and WIFI routers are the 48th largest company on the Fortune 500 list.

They are also the largest solar inverter manufacturer in the World.

Huawei are reportedly owned by their employees, hmmm maybe, but definitely World No.1 solar inverter manufacturer for the past 6 years.
Most people know the brand because they are World No.2 behind Samsung in smart phones.
Huawei were the first to develop and release a 5G chip and had big hopes of installing the 5G networks in Australia.
Unfortunately a little thing called politics got in the way of that.

Huawei support is 24x7. Details above and available to customers and installers alike for free.
I've found them, on the whole, to be very good indeed.
Telephone 1800 719 871

Do Solar4Ever recommend Huawei?
They are ultra reliable, integrated inverter/battery/backup/optimiser/EV charger product range at a 'mid-range' price.
They require a fair bit of expertise to setup correctly (don't believe 'plug and play'), but that's our job, not yours.
So yes, we recommend them.

We also recommend Fronius and Sungrow.

Fronius because of their track record for quality, reliability and support, European manufacturing and depth of features and accessories.
Sungrow because of their excellent battery. It may not have the features of Huawei's battery, but it is still really good and very small.

A final note about 'AC Coupling' a battery.
We have several customers who bought Huawei inverters and then AC Coupled a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery.
Just because you CAN DC Couple a Huawei battery to the Huawei inverter doesn't mean you HAVE to.
You can choose, perhaps later when the time comes, which way you prefer to go. AC or DC.
If that's Greek to you, then watch this video.

Huawei products explained (video)

Brochures and User guides

(08) 6102 2527

or email

This review was written by Andrew MacKeith, Solar4Ever service manager since 2011.
Solar4Ever is located in Morley (Perth), WA 6062