PV String Inverters - A Buyer's Guide: Page 2 of 3

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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

Eltek (eltek.com) was established in 1971 and is headquartered in Drammen, Norway, with its U.S. regional office in Plano, Texas. Eltek is an international power electronics supplier to the telecom, rail, power generation and distribution, solar, and electric vehicle industries.

The Eltek THEIA HE-t UL series inverters are transformer-based and range in capacity from 2 to 4.4 kW. The 2 and 2.9 kW models have a CEC-rated efficiency of 96.5%, and the 3.8 and 4.4 kW models are listed at 97% at 240 VAC.

Fronius (fronius-usa.com) was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Pettenbach, Austria. Fronius has three divisions supplying battery-charging systems, welding technology, and solar electronics. Its U.S. subsidiary headquarters is in Portage, Indiana.

The Fronius inverters are transformer-based in three models: the IG Plus V, the IG Plus Advanced, and its newest addition—the Galvo inverter (see “Gear” in HP159). The IG Plus V line has seven options ranging from 3 to 11.4 kW, with CEC-rated efficiencies between 95.5% and 96% at 240 VAC output. The IG Plus Advanced line has the same capacity options and CEC efficiencies as the IG Plus V, but includes arc-fault protection. The Galvo models are smaller-capacity inverters in four options ranging from 1.5 to 3.1 kW and include arc-fault protection.

Ingeteam (ingeteam.com) was founded in 1972, with headquarters in Bilbao, Spain. Ingeteam specializes in electrical equipment and services for industry, marine, railway, and energy markets, with a focus on power components for wind and PV systems. Ingeteam includes a manufacturing facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a sales office in Santa Clara, California. Its U.S. product line includes PV grid-tied inverters and large-scale (100+ kW) battery-based inverter systems.

Ingeteam’s residential inverters include the transformer-based Ingecon Sun Lite 5 U, a 5 kW unit with a 95.5% CEC efficiency, and five transformerless Sun Lite TL U models, which range in capacity from 3.6 to 8.6 kW, and have CEC efficiencies from 96 to 97% at 240 VAC output.

KACO New Energy (kaconewenergy.com) celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Headquartered in Neckarsulm, Germany, it was originally an automotive industry supplier. KACO has been designing and manufacturing power electronics for more than 60 years and provides power supplies for rail and industrial applications, custom fuel cell inverters, and combined heat and power plants. KACO’s U.S. headquarters is in Grass Valley, California, and has a new manufacturing facility in San Antonio, Texas.

Transformer-based residential string inverters from KACO range from 1.5 to 5 kW, with CEC efficiencies of 95% to 95.5%. Its transformerless models are available in 6.4 and 7.6 kW capacities and have a listed CEC efficiency of 96.5%. The “M” models have Tigo Energy’s Maximizer Management Unit pre-installed (see “Gear” in HP154).

Power-One (power-one.com) is headquartered in Camarillo, California, and also has facilities in China, Italy, and Slovakia. In July 2013, the multinational ABB Group, which provides power and automation technologies, acquired Power-One. 

Power-One’s residential PV string inverters include transformer-based UNO 2.0 and 2.5 kW models, which have CEC efficiencies of 95.5% and 96%, respectively. There are five transformerless PVI models ranging from 3.0 to 6.0 kW, all of which offer dual MPPT inputs and 96 to 96.5% CEC efficiency. All of the Power-One string inverters have a NEMA 4X rating.

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.

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