SolarEdge inverters  

SolarEdge have given rivals Enphase a battering on the World stage over the last few years and with Huawei now here (Australia first) and hitting the rest of the World through 2018, with a near identical product to SolarEdge, the future for Enphase, already a bit wobbly, may be very difficult. However, this review is all about SolarEdge not Enphase.

The first thing about SolarEdge is that the product line up can appear very confusing, so let's try and keep things simple with 3 rules.

Rule 1

Every solar panel MUST have a DC optimiser (cost $80 each) fitted. You cannot selectively deploy optimisers with SolarEdge. So a typical 24 panel system will have $1920 worth of optimisers. If you don't know what these do, read this

Rule 2
If you want an emergency circuit to partly power your home from batteries during a mains power failure, then you MUST buy the StorEdge model. The HD-Wave does NOT have backup. (This may change in the future but as of March 2018, this is the case)

Rule 3
If you want batteries then StorEdge is the only model with the battery interface built in.

HD-Wave requires a SESTI battery interface ($1690)

In other words StorEdge is a hybrid inverter, HD-Wave is not, but can be made to be.

StorEdge comes as a single phase 5kW ($2565) or 6kW single phase ($2880)

HD-Wave comes as a single phase in these sizes...

2.5kW ($1470)

3kW ($1520)
3.5kW ($1670)

4kW ($1740)

4.6kW ($1860)
6kW ($1890)

There is also a 3 phase 5kW ($2100), 7kW ($2220) and 8kW ($2410) range which is neither an HD-Wave or StorEdge, and as it neither supports batteries (at all) or has backup, it's a bit pointless. Most people get one or two single phase HD-Wave inverters instead.

The other bits and pieces

WIFI ($90 extra per inverter)

Smart energy meter inc CT clamp ($350) for batteries

SESTI battery interface for HD-Wave ($1690)
P370 optimisers (60 or 72 cell panels up to 370W) $80

SolarEdge HD-Wave also has other toys for charging your electric vehicle or remotely connect to your home to switch surplus solar power over to your pool pump or A/C unit. Another time for these...

Putting it all together...

Option 1

Let's say you want a 5kW system with 22 x 300W panels, you want battery storage and a backup circuit and you want to see all your data on your smartphone via a WIFI connection.

StorEdge 5kVA $2565
22 x Optimisers $1760
WIFI module $90
Smart meter and clamp $350

Total $4,765

Option 2
Same sized system, but you don't care about the backup circuit and you'll worry about batteries later, but you do want WIFI.

5kW HD-Wave $1860
22 x Optimisers $1760

WIFI $90

Total $3710

(Later, for batteries, SESTI + meter = $2040)

Should you buy SolarEdge?

If you like really nice things and don't care about price, then yes, absolutely. It's wonderful.

It's a country mile better than all the rather tired looking Fronius products.

If you are more price sensitive, then you'll get a much better deal with Huawei FusionHome which has the battery interface built in, just buy their $150 smart meter, and its power optimisers are entirely optional. Put them on just the shaded panels only and they will do the same job as SolarEdge. Read our Huawei review here