Buyer's Guide 2024

Best Solar Inverters for Homes

EnergyPal offers the best solar inverters for homes by value, price, wattage & warranty. Our 2024 Buyer’s Guide reviews Enphase, SolarEdge, Fronius, SMA, and Huawei.

It's easy to focus on watts, efficiency, or price, but what's also important is making sure you consider features like warranty, lifespan and system monitoring to help determine what set-up is right for you. This guide provides an overview of solar inverters as of 2024, helping homeowners make informed decisions in the evolving landscape of solar technology.

Best Solar Inverters for Homes

Enphase Inverters
  • Efficiency up to 96.5%
  • 25 year warranty
  • Designed in USA, assembled internationally in Mexico and India
  • Enlighten app is free for system owners. Requires additional hardware to monitor consumption
SolarEdge Inverters
  • Efficiency up to 99%
  • 12 year Warranty on Inverters, warranty extension available. 25 year warranty on Optimizers
  • Manufactured in Hungary and China
  • Addition of Optional WiFi enabled inverters can provide panel level monitoring. SolarEdge monitoring system generally reviewed as one of the best available
Generac Inverters
  • Efficiency up to 97.5%
  • 10 year warranty
  • Free system monitoring included via PWRview Web Portal and Mobile App
  • Manufactured in the USA
SunPower Inverters
  • Efficiency up to 97%
  • 25 year warranty
  • Manufactured in USA, Mexico, Philippines
  • System monitering available via the mySunPower app
Huawei Inverters
  • Efficiency up to 98.6%
  • Warranty 5-10 years depending on model
  • Designed and Manufactured in China
  • FusionSolar app available through direct connection to WiFi network

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When embracing the sustainable and cost-saving journey of solar energy, homeowners face several pivotal decisions. Selecting the right type of solar inverter is one of them. This choice isn't a matter of brand preference but it hinges on various site-specific factors. The architecture of your home, including roof angle and potential shading from nearby trees or structures, can significantly impact which inverter will perform best. Understanding the nuances of each inverter type is essential for maximizing your solar panel system's efficiency and longevity.

Inverter Options for Home Solar Systems


Microinverters represent a more modern approach to solar energy conversion. Each solar panel is equipped with its own microinverter, optimizing the power output of each panel independently.


  • Optimal Efficiency: Each panel operates independently, maximizing output.
  • Highly Resilient: Shading or malfunction in one panel doesn’t affect others.
  • Advanced Monitoring: Detailed, panel-level monitoring and control.
  • Longer Lifespan: They generally last at least 25 years.
  • Detailed Performance Data: Offers granular data on the performance of each panel.


  • Costliest Option:Typically the most expensive inverter type. Performance typically offsets price with inverters.
  • Complex Installation: Requires more intricate wiring and setup.
  • Potential Maintenance Challenges: More components can mean more points of potential failure.

String Inverters

String inverters, also known as central inverters, are the traditional choice in solar energy systems. They connect and convert energy for multiple solar panels, typically managing an entire solar array or group of panels.


  • Cost-Effective: Generally the most affordable option.
  • Easier Maintenance: Repairs and maintenance for string inverters are relatively straightforward.
  • Simplicity: Easier to install and maintain due to fewer components.
  • Reliability: Established technology with a proven track record.


  • Less Efficient in Shaded Areas: Performance can significantly drop in shaded conditions.
  • Single Point of Failure: If the inverter fails, the entire system goes offline.
  • Limited Monitoring: Offers less detailed monitoring of individual panel performance.
  • Shorter Lifespan: Typically, they last about five to 10 years.
  • Performance Monitoring Limitations: Monitoring is aggregated for the entire array, making it difficult to assess individual panel performance.

String Inverters with DC Power Optimizers

This setup enhances the traditional string inverter system by integrating power optimizers with each panel. Functionality: Power optimizers condition the DC power from each panel and send it to the central inverter, where it is converted into AC power for home use.


  • Increased Efficiency: Optimizers enhance performance, particularly in partially shaded environments.
  • Panel-level Monitoring: Enables detailed tracking and management of each solar panel.
  • Flexible Design: More adaptable to complex roof layouts.
  • System Monitoring: Offers advanced monitoring capabilities at the panel level, which aids in identifying and troubleshooting issues.
  • Lifespan: The lifespan of the system can be extended compared to traditional string inverters, as the power optimizers help mitigate some of the efficiency losses and stresses on the inverter.


  • Higher Cost: More expensive than basic string inverters.
  • More Components: Increased complexity in installation and potential maintenance.
  • Maintenance Requirements: The maintenance needs are somewhat higher than for traditional string inverters due to the addition of power optimizers.
EnergyPal Letter Logo - WhiteMicroinvertersString InvertersString Inverters with DC Power Optimizers
Optimal EfficiencyEach panel operates at maximum efficiency, mitigating the impact of shading or panel degradation on the overall system.Efficiency is dependent on the lowest-performing panel in the string, which can be a drawback in shaded or unevenly performing setups.Combines the efficiency of microinverters for individual panels with the cost-effectiveness of string inverters.
ResilienceIndividual panel operation means one panel's issue does not affect the rest.A single malfunctioning panel can reduce the performance of the entire string.Individual optimizers ensure that one panel’s issue does not significantly impact the overall system performance.
MonitoringOffers detailed insights into the performance of each panel, allowing for precise troubleshooting and maintenance.Provides a general overview of the array’s performance, not panel-specific.Detailed, panel-level monitoring similar to microinverters, allowing for effective system management.
CostHigh initial cost due to the need for a microinverter for each panel.More budget-friendly as it requires fewer components.Costlier than basic string inverters due to the addition of power optimizers, but generally less expensive than microinverters.
Installation SimplicityMore complex installation due to individual microinverters for each panel.Simpler and quicker to install due to a single or fewer central inverters.Installation complexity is increased due to the combination of power optimizers and a central inverter.
ReliabilityGenerally reliable but may face issues due to the number of components.Proven reliability over years of use, with fewer points of potential failure.Enhanced reliability through the optimization of each panel, reducing the overall system’s vulnerability.
FlexibilityHighly flexible, can be easily expanded.Less flexible in terms of system expansion or dealing with different orientations.Provides design flexibility, adaptable to various roof layouts and orientations.
CostMost expensive option due to individual inverters for each panel, but can save in the long run with better performance.Least expensive inverter option, that typically yields lower efficiency.Moderately expensive, balancing the cost between string and microinverters.
Installation ComplexityRequires complex wiring and setup for each panel.Easier to install with less wiring and fewer components.More complex installation due to the integration of power optimizers with each panel.
Maintenance ChallengesHigh maintenance complexity due to numerous components.Maintenance is generally simpler and more cost-effective.Increased maintenance complexity compared to basic string inverters, but typically less than microinverters.
Efficiency in Shaded AreasNot applicable as each panel operates independently.Performance can drop significantly in shaded conditions.Optimizers improve performance in shaded areas, making it more efficient than basic string inverters.
Single Point of FailureNo single point of failure as each panel has its own inverter.If the inverter fails, the entire system goes offline.The central inverter remains a single point of failure, but the impact is mitigated by power optimizers.
LifespanTypically last 25 years or more, aligning with the lifespan of solar panels.Generally have a shorter lifespan of around 10-15 years.Expected to last longer than string inverters but shorter than microinverters, approximately 15-20 years.
Performance DataProvides detailed performance data for each panel, aiding in effective maintenance.Offers less detailed data, usually for the entire array rather than individual panels.Detailed performance data for each panel, similar to microinverters, aids in maintenance and optimization.
MaintenanceIndividual inverters may require maintenance, which can be complex due to their locations on the roof.Centralized maintenance is usually simpler and more cost-effective.Maintenance is more complex than string inverters but simplified by the central inverter’s accessibility.

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FAQs on Home Solar Inverters

What factors should I consider when choosing a solar inverter?

Consider your roof's layout, shading conditions, budget, and whether you value detailed monitoring and individual panel efficiency.

How long do solar inverters last?

Most solar inverters have a lifespan of 10-15 years, shorter than solar panels which can last 25-30 years. This means you may need to replace the inverter during the lifetime of your solar panel system.

Can I upgrade my inverter in the future?

Yes, it's possible to upgrade or replace an inverter. However, ensure compatibility with your existing solar panel system.

Do solar inverters work during a power outage?

Typically, grid-tied inverters shut down during outages for safety reasons. However, some inverters with battery storage or specific grid-independent features can provide power during an outage.

Is there a significant performance difference between inverter types?

Performance can vary based on installation specifics. Microinverters and power optimizers offer better performance in shaded conditions or complex roof layouts, whereas string inverters might be more efficient in straightforward, unshaded installations.

What maintenance do solar inverters require?

Solar inverters typically require minimal maintenance, such as keeping them clean and ensuring proper ventilation. It's also important to monitor their performance through the system's monitoring interface.

Does the inverter affect my solar system’s warranty?

Inverter choice can impact warranty terms, as some manufacturers offer different warranty lengths and conditions. Always check the warranty specifics when selecting an inverter.

Can I install a solar inverter myself?

While it’s technically possible, solar inverter installation generally requires professional expertise due to electrical safety, building codes, and optimal performance considerations.

How to Select the Best Solar Inverter for Your Home

As you can see, choosing the right solar inverter is important. As you explore quotes, keep in mind these options provided by your solar panel provider, consider these essential factors to ensure you select the best solar inverter for your needs.

Brand Reputation and Quality: Begin by researching the most reputable solar inverter manufacturers. Look for brands known for high-quality products and robust warranty coverage. Online reviews and consumer feedback can provide insights into the reliability of solar inverter brands, helping you avoid those with a history of component quality issues, warranty replacement problems, or manufacturing defects.

Cost Considerations: Understand that the number and type of inverters significantly impact the overall cost of your solar setup. Microinverters generally command a higher price, which could mean savings due to higher performance than cheaper string inverters. When budgeting, factor in the total number of inverters needed to meet your solar energy requirements.

Customer Support and Warranty: The details of the warranty replacement process and the level of customer support provided. It's crucial to know whether you'll be liaising directly with the inverter manufacturer or through your solar provider for warranty claims. Ensure you have clear information about their policies and access to necessary contact details.

Monitoring Capabilities: Opt for solar inverters that offer comprehensive monitoring features. The ability to track the performance of your solar panels through a dedicated app is essential. Verify that your chosen inverter supports Wi-Fi connectivity and is equipped with a communication device for transmitting panel data effectively.

System Compatibility: It's important to select an inverter that is compatible with your solar panel system's design. Your solar installer should provide a range of inverter options that are tailored to work seamlessly with your setup. Be aware that some solar providers might offer proprietary inverter solutions designed specifically for their systems.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision on the best solar inverter that aligns with your home's solar energy requirements, budget, and desired features .

By understanding the distinct features, advantages, and limitations of string inverters, string inverters with power optimizers, and microinverters, homeowners can make an informed decision tailored to their specific needs. Remember, the best choice depends on individual circumstances such as roof layout, shading, budget, and desired monitoring capabilities. With the right inverter, your journey into solar energy will not only be environmentally friendly but also efficient and rewarding.

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