Huawei Solar Inverter Review Australia 2018

Maybe we have been doing this too long, but it seems like years since any solar product came along that could remotely be termed a game changer. Enphase were pretty cool before SolarEdge out cooled them, and now in 2018 Huawei have got our juices flowing again. This product is simply exactly what people want.

1. It's a hybrid inverter. In-built battery charging and discharging hardware and software. Fronius costs at least $1700 more for a battery interface as do 90% of other inverters.


Left Fronius. No battery connection there. Right Huawei with + and - connectors for batteries

2. It's $340 cheaper than Fronius Primo.

3. It has a genuine 10 year product warranty + 5 year labour warranty from one of the largest corporations in the World. Huawei are also the World No.1 commercial three phase solar manufacturer, the World No.2 smartphone manufacturer, ahead of Apple, behind Samsung.

4. It's tiny. Half the size on your wall compared to a normal 5kW inverter like Fronius Primo.

5. It's beautiful. Won a prestigious international design award.

6. It has optional DC optimisers ($80 each) that can be connected to all or any of your solar panels. Huawei are unique with their optimiser design. Instead of having an optimiser on every panel (e.g. SolarEdge or Enphase micros) you only fit them to where you need them. This hugely helps us design a very cost and power efficient solar installation. For instance, we can create a 14 panel string, with 10 panels facing North and 4 facing West and put optimisers only on the 4 West facing panels with no power losses. Or we can put optimisers on a couple of panels that get shaded now and again and again, with no loss of power to the rest of the string. (More on that at the bottom of the page).

7. It's very safe and a bit geeky too. If you buy the optional smart safety box ($300) then any panels with optimisers will be instantly de-energised if you choose to flick the switch or AC power is lost. An added benefit of the smart safety box is panel level monitoring so you can see the individual output of any panel that has an optimiser attached.

8. The Huawei NetEco smartphone and web based reporting is excellent. Most people will see everything they need to know in an instant, but delve deeper and there is a huge amount of technical information including panel level monitoring and battery management. Emailed daily reports and alarms are simple and consistent.

9. If you buy and install the Huawei smart meter now, before you get batteries, then it will report your household power consumption in real-time to the NetEco software.This function is particularly useful in showing accurately when you use power, and how you can shift any use to solar production time, so you know how much battery storage you will need when the time comes.

All the models are physically the same size, with all the same features.

Battery interface built in
Dual tracking
WIFI and smartphone/browser reporting built-in
Optional DC optimisers
Optional smart meter

SUN2000L 2kW, 3kW, 4kW, 4.6kW and 5kW.

Click here for Datasheet

WIFI setup instructions for installers and end users

All Huawei FusionHome are currently single phase, but for 3 phase homes, just join the 3kW and 2kW models together for 5kVA or 3+3+3 (9kVA) or 5+5 (10kVA) or even 3 x 5(15kVA) for a larger system if your electricity company allows it (some don't). There is a 5kVA 3 phase model being released around the end of 2018 or early 2019 but for now we use what we've got. Joining two together gives you the additional advantage of having panels on four roof orientations without using DC optimisers, as every inverter is a dual MPPT (tracking) model. The reporting software (NetEco) shows both the combined output of both inverters as well as the individual outputs.

Note. For larger 3 phase non hybrid installations the Huawei Fusion Solar inverters (8kW, 12kW, 17kW, 20kW and 33kW) inverters are available. They are really excellent, World leading in fact, but an entirely different technology to these FusionHome residential inverters.

Hauwei DC optimisers are $80 each installed. You can have as few as one optimiser if you are combatting shade, or optimisers on every panel if you want multiple roof orientations or panel level monitoring. Very flexible and cost effective.

Panel level monitoring and roof panel energy shut down requires the Smart Safety box to sit between the panels and the inverter. It costs $300.

More on Optimisers and how they work further down this page.

Compatible batteries.
The Huawei inverter currently only connects to the LG Chem RESU 7H and 10H high voltage (400V) solar storage batteries. The 10H currently costs $7,500

Support for other high voltage batteries will follow, including, we hear on the grapevine, Huawei's own. Whether that turns out to be a re-badged LG Chem as others have done still remains to be seen.

Huawei comparison to other inverters

Huawei FusionHome (or SUN2000L to give it's official Clean Energy Council approved name)

is a hybrid. Nothing unique about that. Goodwe, Sungrow, Delta, Solax, SolarEdge have inverters in their ranges that are hybrids although the majority of their products are not hybrids. Fronius has a 3 phase hybrid version of their Symo and it's also incredibly expensive.

The advantage of ANY hybrid is that it has battery connectors and software inside. A regular inverter has absolutely no ability to connect to batteries now, or ever in the future. Just look on the underneath of the inverter just like the picture at the top of this page. If there are no +/- battery terminal inputs, then it's not a hybrid.

That doesn't mean you can't connect batteries at all; it means you have to buy an extra box that does the job. These boxes are entirely independent of your inverter, with the batteries connected to them, and have their own smart meter. Some connect directly to the switchboard (AC Coupled) and others are DC coupled and intercept the solar panel power before it reaches the inverter and store it in batteries or send it through to the inverter depending on what power is being used in the house.These boxes are available from companies like SMA and Goodwe, Growatt etc and start at $1,400 plus at least $300 for installation of the box, and then you connect the batteries to them not the inverter. So Hybrids have a minimum $1,700 price advantage over regular inverters if, and only if, at some stage in the future, you connect batteries.

So, whilst it is sort of true when solar sales reps say that the inverter they are selling is 'battery ready', what they really mean is that one way or another you WILL be able to connect up batteries later, but they neglect to mention the huge cost the extra interface will add to the price compared to buying a genuine battery ready hybrid. A 5kVA Huawei hybrid costs $1750 against a Fronius Primo at $2,030. However a standard 5kW inverter from Growatt, Goodwe, Zeversolar etc costs between $1150 and $1250, so the Huawei hybrid is considerably more expensive than them... until you want to connect batteries.

Is Huawei's hybrid better than the hybrids from Goodwe, Sungrow, Delta, Solax?

It's got double the warranty. Adding an extra 5 year warranty to these others is either unavailable or VERY expensive ($500 or more typically)

It's got optional DC power optimisers and panel level reporting... the others don't.

It's far smaller, lighter and much better looking than the others

It costs less than most hybrids and no more than any of the others

The reporting software, as you would expect from a global IT and Telecoms company is easy and detailed, and no sign of the very interesting and often entertaining variations of grammar and spelling that we see in the others. Comparing the company size of Huawei to Goodwe, Sungrow, SolarEdge (Fronius etc etc) is like comparing Woolies entire fresh food section to a single apple.