PV String Inverters - A Buyer's Guide

Intermediate

Inside this Article

Fronius Inverter
Fronius Inverter
Chint Power Systems' Inverter
Chint Power Systems' Inverter
Delta Inverter
Delta Inverter
Eltek Inverter
Eltek Inverter
Ingeteam Inverter
Ingeteam Inverter
KACO New Energy Inverter
KACO New Energy Inverter
Power-One Inverter
Power-One Inverter
Schneider Electric Inverter
Schneider Electric Inverter
SMA Inverter
SMA Inverter
SolarEdge Technologies Inverter
SolarEdge Technologies Inverter
Solectria Renewables Inverter
Solectria Renewables Inverter
Fronius Inverter
Chint Power Systems' Inverter
Delta Inverter
Eltek Inverter
Ingeteam Inverter
KACO New Energy Inverter
Power-One Inverter
Schneider Electric Inverter
SMA Inverter
SolarEdge Technologies Inverter
Solectria Renewables Inverter

Since our last string inverters buyer’s guide was published in 2012, a few manufacturers have exited the market (Exeltech and Opti-Solar)—but some new ones have stepped in (Chint Power Systems, Danfoss, Eaton, and Eltek). This year’s guide profiles each inverter manufacturer and summarizes its residential products.

The table includes single-phase, UL-listed batteryless inverters with AC output power ranging from 1.5 to 11.0 kW. They are all Go Solar California-eligible inverters (per SB1 guidelines), and are distributed in the United States.

Chint Power Systems (chintpower.com/na) is headquartered in Shanghai, China, and was established in 2009. The company specializes in utility-interactive PV inverters for all market segments. Products and services include power transmission and distribution equipment; low-voltage electrical products; meters; engineering, procurement, and construction; PV modules (as Astronergy); and automotive parts. Chint Power Systems’ U.S. subsidiary is based in Dallas, Texas.

Chint’s original line of residential inverters (CPS-SCE) are available in 4, 5, 6, and 7 kW models. Its second-generation inverter (CPS-SCA; consisting of 3, 4, 5, and 6 kW models) includes arc-fault protection and dual MPPT inputs. Both inverter lines are transformerless and have a CEC-rated efficiency of 96.5% to 97%.

Danfoss (danfoss.us/solar) was founded in 1933 in Nordborg, Denmark, where its headquarters remain. Danfoss offers solar inverters as part of its larger focus on energy efficiency, but also offers products in refrigeration and heating. Its U.S. inverter facility is located in Loves Park, Illinois.

While Danfoss manufactures large industrial central inverters (1 and 1.5 MW) at its Illinois facility, its residential DLX string (2, 2.9, 3.8, and 4.4 kW) inverters are manufactured in partnership with Eltek and have CEC efficiencies ranging from 96.5% to 97%.

Delta (delta-americas.com) was founded in 1971 and has headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, and in Fremont, California, with sales and manufacturing plants throughout the world. Delta manufactures power supply products for computer, telecommunication, medical, and industrial industries, as well as products for PV applications.

Delta offers the Solivia TR string inverters in the United States. This line includes four units with rated power specifications ranging from 2.5 to 5 kW, and CEC-rated efficiencies ranging from 95% to 95.5%. Delta also manufactures five transformerless (TL) models (3 to 7.6 kW), which include arc-fault protection and have a CEC-rated efficiency of 97.5%. The 5.2, 6.6, and 7.6 kW TL models have dual MPPTs. All Delta inverters have NEMA 4 enclosures.

Eaton Corp. (eaton.com) was established in 1911. Eaton is a global power management company with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and U.S. headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. Eaton’s electrical sector business group includes power distribution and power quality products and services. Besides manufacturing inverters, Eaton supplies DC combiner boxes, DC and AC disconnects, and electric vehicle chargers.

Eaton’s residential inverter line consists of four transformerless models ranging from 4 to 7 kW, with a CEC efficiency of 97%. These inverters have a wide MPPT input voltage window—from 105 to 500 VDC.

Comments (5)

ideas2014's picture

dear Guys and experts
i have question may leads us to debate i hop any one with good understanding & experience in solar power can give me good productive answer ,,
we all know that the new interactive BB grid tie inverter has 2 AC input , one usually used for gird and the second one used for Diesel generator as standbye power supply ...in case no wind or no grid .
here i want suggest new option , which i hop we can share opinions and solutions ...
i want use the main AC input relaying on my solar power which generates 230 AC 10 KW and will use the other AC input for the grid ,,incase my solar power supply fails for any reason i can relay on the grid immediatly
thru this way i will avoid the losses from the power generation source from the solar power cells thru charge controler , charging batteries and then inverter ,,or even using DC from my solar to feed the battery

i think this model can work with outback power and SMA ..i wish to know this wrong , possible or not ,,,better or not

what or how u see guys this suggestion ? am i crazy or stupid ,,,thanx for sharing
thanx

Eric Hoffmann's picture

How is this a "Buyer's Guide"? You list a variety of inverters, you repeat their stated ratings and you say where they are headquartered. There is no information about pros and cons of each unit, any effort to test their stated specifications, or anything else I would expect in a typical "Buyer's Guide."

william von novak_2's picture

The inverters above are not standalone inverters; they cannot generate power without the grid being present. Thus the grid, not the inverter, determines the shape of the output voltage waveform - and the grid is usually close to a sine wave. However, they do follow regulations that say they cannot distort that utility sine wave.

True sine wave off-grid or hybrid inverters are generally easier on motor loads and reduce buzzing and interference.

"Dirty" electricity (i.e. electricity with high harmonic content) is caused by poor loads (peak rectification or inductive loads.) High power factor loads and capacitor banks can ameliorate these problems.

"Magnetic field pollution" - since we all live in a big magnetic field this doesn't seem like much of an issue. Specifically inverters do not cause any more low frequency magnetic fields than, say, overhead power lines do.

lawrence abbott's picture

Are any of the above true sine wave inverters? Is there an advantage for a true sine wave grid tied inverter? What about "dirty electricity" and high tech electronics, or magnetic field "pollution"?

Don Barch's picture

All newer grid-tied inverters generate a true sine wave because they track the grid sine wave.
This issue of true vs "modified" sine wave is pertinent to off-grid inverters that have to generate their own waveform.
There is an advantage to true sine wave, especially for electronics and motor-speed controllers that rely on the waveform to work properly. However, any battery charging like cell phones and laptops does not much care about true sine waveform.

Show or Hide All Comments

Advertisement

X
You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
Loading