Each datasheet contains the specifications and technical data of the corresponding product.
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Inverter datasheets (the most important part of your system)
Let’s compare 3 popular hybrid inverters in the UK.
Max. DC input: 5500 W
Start-up Voltage: 80 W
Min. Input Voltage: 65 V
Max. Input Voltage: 600 V
Min. MPPT Voltage: 65 V
Max. MPPT Voltage: 530 V
Max. efficiency: 97.6%
Max. Input Current: 36 A
Max DC input: 7000 W
Start-up Voltage: 120 V
Min. Input Voltage: 90 V
Max. Input Voltage: 600 V
Min. MPPT Voltage: 90V
Max. MPPT Voltage: 520 V
Max. efficiency: 97.5%
Max. Input Current: 34.4
Max. DC input: 7000 W
Start-up Voltage: 140 V
Min. Input Voltage: 100 V
Max. Input Voltage: 550 V
Min. MPPT Voltage: 120 V
Max. MPPT Voltage: 500 V
Max. efficiency: 97.9%
Max. Input Current: 26.2 A
One of the most important factors for a solar inverter is having the lowest input voltage and lowest min start-up voltage to make sure your solar panels can deliver as much of the power generated as possible throughout the day/year. Especially in the UK where we have low light conditions in winter, mornings and evenings.
You need to ensure the inverter can handle peak production. Not being able to handle the maximum output of the array can mean that your system shuts off during times of peak production.
Lastly, maximum efficiency is taken into account if there is a significant difference.
Using the above methodology we can determine which inverter is most favourable for a given installation.
1. Fronius Primo GEN24 Plus 3.6k
One of the best premium hybrid inverters in the UK for installations up to 5.5 kW. Made in Austria by Fronius. High quality.
Best for: Very low start-up and min voltages ensures your system will still output energy even in very low light conditions.
Disadvantage: Not suitable for installations larger than 5500 W.
2.Solis Hybrid 5G 3.6k
A great hybrid inverter for ‘oversizing’ the solar array Vs the inverter. Made by NASDAQ listed ‘Ginlong Solis’. The founder went to Bristol University so this author may be biased!.
Best for: Larger domestic installations over 5500 W. Very good technical support. LCD screen displaying energy flow. Made by the NASDAQ listed Ginlong Solis. Time charging mode included.
Disadvantage: Slightly higher minimum voltages than the Fronius.
3. LUX Power Hybrid 3.6k
Claims to be capable of handling peak production of 7000W same as the Solis inverter.
I could not identify the manufacturer or company behind the LUX inverter brand.
Best for: Low-cost installations.
Disadvantage: Could not identify the company behind the brand or find out who manufactures the inverters.
STC is the set of criteria that a solar panel is tested at. Since voltage and current change based on temperature and intensity of light, among other criteria, all solar panels are tested to the same standard test conditions. This includes the cells’ temperature of 25℃ (77℉),light intensity of 1000 watts per square meter, which is basically the sun at noon, and the atmospheric density of 1.5, or the sun’s angle directly perpendicular to the solar panel at 500 feet above sea level.
The Vmpp is the voltage when the power output is the greatest. It is the actual voltage you want to see when it is connected to the MPPT solar equipment (inverter) under standard test conditions.
The Impp is the current (amps) when the power output is the greatest. It is the actual amperage you want to see when it is connected to the MPPT solar equipment (inverter) under standard test conditions.
Short Circuit Current is how many amps (i.e. current) the solar panels are producing when not connected to a load but when the plus and minus of the panels’ wires are directly connected to each other. If you just measure with an ammeter across the plus and minus leads, you will read Isc. This is the highest current the solar panels will produce under standard test conditions.
When determining how many amps a connected device can handle, like an inverter, the Isc is used.
Open circuit voltage is how many volts the solar panel outputs with no load on it. If you just measure with a voltmeter across the plus and minus leads, you will read Voc. Since the solar panel isn’t connected to anything, there is no load on it, and it is producing no current.
This is a very important number, as it is the maximum voltage that the solar panel can produce under standard test conditions, so this is the number to use when determining how many solar panels you can wire in series going into your inverter