SolarEdge Solar inverter and battery review- Updated April 2022


SolarEdge are not a normal solar inverter.

Each solar panel needs to have a suitably rated SolarEdge optimiser installed on the back of it.

These optimisers buck and boost (lower and raise) the voltage of the panel they are connected with to extract as much energy as possible, all under the control of the central inverter that then converts the panel power to AC for use in the house.

In our experience, if you have an unshaded roof, this fully optimised solution increases annual production by about 5% when compared to a good quality string inverter without optimisers.

A typical 5kW inverter plus 6.6kW of panels in Perth produces 11,000 kWh a year so 5% extra is an extra 550kWh a year.
If all of that 550kWh were self-consumed in the house it would be worth about $165, or if all of it were exported as surplus, about $20 a year.
Either way, considering the optimisers add about $1500 to the cost, it's hard to justify them on increased output alone.

The other features that help cost-justify SolarEdge optimisers are:
Reducing losses from shaded panels
Allowing panels to be installed ANYWHERE on the entire roof area.
Seeing the output of each individual panel in the reporting software.

The SolarEdge 2022 product line-up
For homes with single phase supply there is the 'Energy Hub' and the 'Genesis'.
There are 5kW, 6kW, 8.25kW and 10kW models for both Energy Hub and Genesis.
What's the difference?
The Genesis is 30% cheaper than the Energy Hub because they have stripped out most of the features.
You can then buy those features back as you want them (e.g. WIFI, panel level monitoring, battery etc).
It's MUCH cheaper to just get the fully featured Energy Hub from the outset.

The SolarEdge three phase 'hybrid' inverter is available in 5kW, 7kW, 8.25kW and 10kW models, BUT...
The SolarEdge battery and backup box are not compatible with this inverter yet.
They are 'working on it' and expect to have completed testing 'by the end of 2022'
Which means to me, expect it about June 2023.

The '10kWh Energy Bank' battery by SolarEdge.
It's available now for the single phase Energy Hub, and after a paid for upgrade for 'Genesis' but NOT yet for the three phase models.

Please note that at time of writing, April 2022, not a single SolarEdge battery has been available for us in WA, so I can't offer any insights into quality, setup, etc.
The specs say that it has 10kWh usable storage and up to 3 batteries can be joined together to give a very respectable 30kWh total storage.

There's an extra box of contactors, relays etc if you want backup supply from the battery/panels during a grid outage.
The price for each battery is $12,650 installed on the wall or $13,350 on a floor stand.

I have to say that compared to Huawei and Sungrow who make excellent batteries for their inverters, the SolarEdge price is VERY high.

Perhaps things will come down when stock actually arrives.

Reporting
One of the many things SolarEdge have always done well is reporting. It is still excellent.

Would I recommend SolarEdge?
If you are unconcerned by a few thousand dollars extra cost, and more interested in features, then yes. It's superbly well featured.
I wouldn't say it has the greatest reputation for reliability, but a generous 12 year warranty on the inverter and 25 years for the optimisers is compensation for the odd fault here and there.



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