The best solar inverters on the market are capable of inverting a high % of the direct current (DC) they produce into alternating current (AC) that we use in our homes. Without a solar inverter your solar panels would produce useless energy, so having one is of vital importance. But what makes any one solar inverter better than another? And which of the many solar inverters on the UK market is actually the best?
Typically the best solar inverter is the one that suits your home and circumstances most. Below we’ll provide a round up of the best solar inverters in the UK based on the different circumstances they suit best.
Our expert guide at Effective Home will help you find the perfect solar inverter for you and your solar panel system today.
What Do Solar Inverters Offer?
Without a solar inverter your solar panels are worthless to you. Solar inverters are responsible for changing the direct current solar panels produce (solar energy) into usable energy for your home. In UK homes, our electrical devices run on alternating current, so we need solar inverters to change solar panels’ DC energy to AC so that it can be used in the home.
Types Of Solar Inverters
There are 4 main types of solar inverter available for solar systems, and each one is slightly different. It’s important that you know the differences before we start discussing the best solar inverters in the UK.
|If you’re familiar with solar panel systems then you’ll probably picture string inverters when you think of them. That’s because these were the first inverters available on the market. They’re called string inverters because they link every panel in the system together, like a string, and then each solar panel’s DC current is sent to a single inverter at the end of that string.
|Micro inverters improve on string inverters in many ways, because rather than linking all solar panels in a system together (meaning if ever there is an issue with a single panel, all of the energy output is affected) micro inverters are attached to individual panels and invert the energy they create at source, before sending it to your house’s switch board or solar battery for later use.
|Strictly speaking power optimisers alone aren’t inverters, but they’re designed to work with string inverters to maximise the amount of power that’s converted. They attach to each individual solar panel and increase its DC energy output, so there’s more energy to be inverted by the string inverter at the end of the string.
|Hybrid inverters actually combine two mainstays of the solar panel system – your solar inverter and solar battery storage. They’re generally cheaper than buying the two separately, but they are also slightly less efficient as a result. Still, if you’re looking for both solar inverters and solar batteries, then a hybrid inverter could be the perfect answer and help reduce the amount of wiring and hardware you need.
Which inverter you decide is right for you is both a personal choice, and about what works best for your circumstances and solar panel system. Below we’ll cover some of our top picks based on how they perform against specific criteria.
Our Top Five Picks Of The Best Solar Inverters
|Roofs With Shading
Best Solar Inverter For Customer Service: Fronius
If you’re new to the world of solar technology then the chances are you’re going to need a great deal of support. Of course, if you opt for one of our solar packages then you’ll get that in spades, but what about specific tech support for your solar inverter?
When things go wrong with a solar system, the first place to look is your inverter, and 9 times out of 10 you’ll have identified the problem part on your first go. That means you need a customer service focussed company on hand to help. And that’s where Fronius comes in.
Starting out in 1945, Fronius has a long history with solar technology, making them an incredibly knowledgeable company. This is taken to another level with their incredibly popular Gen24 series, featuring the Gen24 and Gen24 Plus.
Notable Features & Key Specs Of The Fronius Gen24 Series
|Gen24/Gen24 Plus 3.0
|Gen24/Gen24 Plus 3.6
|Gen24/Gen24 Plus 4.0
|10 (when registered)
|10 (when registered)
|10 (when registered)
|Power Output (VA)
The first thing to note about this range of inverters is that their 97.6% efficiency rating across the entire range is seriously impressive. That means when inverting DC to AC, only 2.4% of the solar energy generated as DC is actually lost during the inverting process. The more of the energy you keep from your solar panels, the more efficient your system is and the more money you’ll save by switching to solar in the first place.
Next we have the warranty. 10 years is a strong warranty for a solar inverter which is generally only expected to last 10-15 years depending on the model and how well cared for it is in your solar system. To benefit from this you will need to register your product with Fronius directly, otherwise you’ll only get to enjoy a 5 year warranty, so it’s certainly worth looking into.
The dimensions are fairly common, but it’s always worth checking when looking at solar inverters to ensure you’ll have the space for them.
And finally, the power output shows the maximum amount of power your solar inverter can put out at any one time. The larger the number, the more power it can handle, and the quicker you’ll have energy in your home powering your electrical appliances. If you live in a large home with a larger solar panel system, then you’ll need a larger, more powerful solar inverter. The smaller your system, the less power it needs to handle, so it’s usually not worth spending extra money on.
- Impressive Feature Worth Highlighting: The Gen24 series from Fronius comes with an impressive integrated cooling system designed to bring down the inverter’s heat, extend its life cycle, and protect it from common overheating problems and error codes.
Best Solar Inverter For Roofs With Shading: SolarEdge
Not every home is perfect for solar panels. In an ideal world your solar panels would be in wall to wall sunshine 24/7, sit at the perfect pitch, face the sun all day long, and be completely unbothered by shade. But the chances of that happening are slim. At Effective Home we know the real world doesn’t work like that, so what can you do?
Thankfully, there are solar inverter manufacturers out there that recognise these barriers to purchasing solar PV panels too. SolarEdge have created a solar inverter with such great efficiency that it’s capable of producing an impressive amount of energy even when solar panels are in shade or less than ideal conditions.
SolarEdge may have only been founded in 2006, but in that time they’ve created a name for themselves as the leading solar inverter manufacturer for efficiency, creating some of the most impressive on the market today. If you’re looking for the best solar inverter in the UK for solar panels that experience shading throughout the day, then the SolarEdge Home Wave inverter is the perfect choice.
Notable Features & Key Specs Of The SolarEdge Home Wave Inverter
|SolarEdge Home Wave Inverter
|3.8 kW to 11 kW
|Peak Efficiency Rating
|12 years (with an option to extend to 20-25 for a cost)
|Yes via a user-friendly app
We’ll get on to the efficiency rating in a moment, but another aspect that really excites our solar experts at Effective is the range of sizes available. Many solar inverter manufacturers opt to cater for smaller or larger systems, and rarely will such a spread be available. That means the Home Wave is available for more people, so even more solar customers can benefit from a solar inverter that’s capable of inverting a high amount of DC to AC energy, even in the shade.
And how is this SolarEdge inverter able to optimise energy so effectively in the shade? Well, by having a peak efficiency rating of 99.2%. That means that in ideal conditions only 0.8% of solar energy is wasted whilst inverting it to usable alternating current in your home. Of course, being in shade isn’t peak conditions, but because it has such a high baseline for efficiency, being in shade doesn’t affect the inverter as much as others would be affected in the same conditions, so you can get the most out of this inverter even without ideal solar panel placement.
The warranty available with this inverter is also impressive, 12 years as standard is great for an inverter because some of the less well-made ones will already have reached the end of their life at this stage. It’s also worth considering paying for the warranty extension given that most solar panels last for 20-25 years, meaning your entire system would have a similar lifespan. This high warranty also reflects SolarEdge’s confidence in its products.
And finally, this inverter comes with remote monitoring via a user-friendly app that has plenty of high scoring reviews. The app lets you monitor your system in depth, and provides all the information you need to see how efficient your system is. It’s also a great way to spot issues with your inverter early, because you can compare its performance over different time periods to see if it has changed, giving you the opportunity to fix issues quicker.
- Impressive Feature Worth Highlighting: The SolarEdge Home Wave Inverter is just one part of a growing complete ‘get off the grid’ system from SolarEdge which includes interconnectivity options with solar batteries, power optimisers, and EV chargers in its range, creating a one-stop shop for all things renewable energy.
Best Solar Inverter For Value: Solis
For the vast majority of households cost is always going to be a consideration when switching to solar energy. You want affordable products that perform well to help ease the switch – especially during the UK’s cost of living and energy crises that are leaving more households with less money.
Thankfully, you can still make significant savings by switching to solar panels for your home’s power, if you know which products are offering the best value for money. As a solar inverter manufacturer, you can’t get much better value than Solis, who pride themselves on offering solar inverters with a broad range of sizes for an affordable price.
Solis began in 2005, and is a solar company based in China specialising in high tech solutions for lower prices, and it has to be said that the company doesn’t scrimp in key areas like efficiency to bring cost down. There’s a reason they’re the world’s 3rd largest solar inverter manufacturer after all. Perhaps their most impressive inverter to date is their latest hybrid inverter offering: S6-EH1P(3-6)K-L-PRO (available in 3kW, 3.6kW, 5kw, and 6kW models).
Notable Features & Key Specs Of The S6-EH1P(3-6)K-L-PRO
|-40 – +60℃
|-40 – +60℃
Although not as impressive as others on the list, for a budget option a max efficiency rating of 96.9% is really impressive. If your panels are in an optimal position in relatively good conditions then you’ll still power your home with ease with an inverter like this.
We haven’t discussed operating temperatures as of yet, but this is a key factor you should keep an eye out for, especially with hybrid inverters because the solar battery element can be temperamental in certain weather conditions. Thankfully, the UK won’t see such extreme temperatures as -40 – +60℃, but it’s good to know that this hybrid inverter is fully covered in the UK climate.
As you can see from the table, this Solis inverter comes in a variety of sizes, so we’ve shown the smallest and largest to give you an idea of the difference you can expect. The 3K system has a max power of 4.8 kW from an inverter perspective, and the 6K system 9.6 kW. You’ll want to pay attention to the max power of any inverter you purchase to ensure it’s capable of handling the energy your panels produce throughout the day.
With any hybrid inverter you’ll need to consider the battery size too. If the battery isn’t enough to realistically act as a backup power supply in the event of an issue then you might need to consider buying them separately to better suit your system. With that said, a 3kW and 6kW battery respectively is perfect for a range of solar panel system sizes, which means there will be an affordable option for Solis for most homes with solar panels.
- Impressive Feature Worth Highlighting: This hybrid inverter comes with customisable settings meaning you can control things like the battery’s charge and discharge times to coincide with when your solar panels will be producing energy vs not, and when you need the energy the most. This puts you in control of how and when the energy in your home is used, so you can optimise it for even more savings. A value solar inverter that saves you even more money whilst operating – what’s not to like?
Best Solar Inverter For Compatibility: LuxPower
For homeowners that are new to solar energy, or for those who know less about it and need a replacement inverter, choosing a solar inverter that’s known for its compatibility is a great idea. Looking out for solar inverters that are more compatible with solar panels not made by the same manufacturer is good practice, because the chances are you’ll purchase a compatible inverter.
One of the best solar inverter manufacturers for this is LuxPower. To be clear, we aren’t saying that all LuxPower inverters will work with all solar panels. You should ALWAYS do your research to ensure that your inverter is compatible with your solar panels. Never simply rely on a review.
With that said, one of the more compatible solar inverters on the market is the LuxPower Hybrid Inverter LPX 5K ACS. It’s compatible with a huge range of top solar panels and solar batteries and is considered a real all-rounder in the solar inverter world. Check to see if it’s compatible with your system before considering purchasing.
Notable Features & Key Specs Of The LuxPower LPX 5K ACS Inverter
|LuxPower LPX 5K ACS
|Input Voltage / Output Voltage
|140 v (DC) / 180-270 v (AC)
The peak power of your solar inverter refers to the maximum amount of power it can deal with for a short amount of time. The continuous power supply is different, and refers to the amount of power the inverter can sustain constantly without overworking the system. Knowing your peak power is important because it tells you the maximum amount your inverter can deal with at any one time, so if your solar panels are reaching peak performance, you need to know the inverter can keep up. 5000 W is impressive.
We’ve talked about warranty a lot because it is always an important factor to consider when purchasing solar inverters. The longer you’re covered the more confident you can be in your inverter’s ability to support your system. 10 years is a good warranty, especially for an inverter as compatible with different systems as this inverter is.
Your input and output voltage describes how much power your inverter can handle coming in, and how much your inverter can handle going out typically throughout the course of the day. You’ll need to make sure that it can handle your system. Most solar panels are rated at between 10-12 volts, so having an input voltage of 140v means that this inverter can handle between 11 and 14 solar panels at once. This will be more than sufficient for the vast majority of residential systems. The output shows how much the inverter can provide to your home at once – a range of 180-270 volts is, again, sufficient for most homes.
An efficiency rating of 97.5% is also pretty impressive making this solar inverter a great choice for the majority of households, and further proving why LuxPower has developed a reputation for making solar inverters that are suitable to most.
- Impressive Feature Worth Highlighting: This LuxPower inverter is a great example of smart technology, with intelligent working modes that can respond to different conditions and circumstances to better optimise how it works. It’s capable of regulating self-consumption and can respond to battery store levels to focus on utility first to power the most important things in your home.
Best Solar Inverter For Safety Features: Huawei
Plenty of people new to solar are nervous about system safety. After all, so many of us have been told to never mix electricity and water, so leaving so much electrical equipment exposed to the elements on the roof can be jarring for many. However, this isn’t a safety concern, but there are other safety concerns to do with faulty products which could, in theory, catch fire.
If you’re worried about your solar inverter’s safety, then you should consider Huawei’s solar inverter offerings. Huawei are known for being excellent providers of a range of technologies from mobile phones to TVs, but they’re also now branching out into solar technology.
Their Huawei SUN2000L-5KTL-L1 inverter is particularly well known for its safety features, so much so, that it’s considered an industry leader in that regard.
Notable Features & Key Specs Of The Huawei SUN2000L-5KTL-L1
|Yes, allowing you to add more batteries
The first two specs are important to note here. This inverter’s dimensions and weight show just how compact and lightweight they are, something that’s becoming increasingly important for homeowners who are looking for sleek and modern solar panel systems that aren’t unsightly or add too much bulk to their roofs.
With an efficiency rating of 97.5% the Huawei SUN2000L-5KTL-L1 inverter is capable of standing up with the majority of the solar inverters covered today, making them well worth considering if efficiency is important to you.
It’s also worth noting that this inverter allows for extra add-ons, including adding more batteries to the system to allow you to store even more solar energy for later use. This is perfect for those who would like a back up power supply, who are looking into going fully off-grid, or who use a lot of energy in their home.
- Impressive Feature Worth Highlighting: Of course, we couldn’t talk about Huawei’s safety features without actually detailing what they are. This inverter boasts an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI), which essentially means it’s capable of detecting an arc fault and then automatically shutting down your inverter in 0.5 seconds to prevent fire and further damage to solar panels if a problem occurs.
Best Solar Inverters In The UK Summary
There are a range of key specs and features you should look out for when shopping for a new solar inverter – but which is most important comes down to what’s most important to you. Use our guide to help you understand the key benefits of some of the best solar inverters in the UK and then research further afield too, to help you find the perfect fit.
If you think you may have come across the perfect solar inverter in today’s post, then here’s a quick summary to remind you of the criteria our 5 picks cover best:
- Best for customer service: Fronius
- Best for roofs with shading: SolarEdge
- Best for value: Solis
- Best for compatibility: LuxPower
- Best for safety features: Huawei