If you are confused about choosing the right solar inverter to convert direct current from your solar panels into alternating current (AC) that is more suited for your home appliances, check out our review of some of the best solar inverters you can get on the market today.
How Many Types of Solar Inverters Are There?
Solar inverters are classified differently, but there are four types you should concern yourself about.
String Solar Inverters
String solar inverters are typically installed in rows and connected by strings of solar panel, with each string transferring DC power to the inverter, which converts it into AC power. They are relatively affordable and quite easy to diagnose whenever a problem arises within the system. They can be used for both residential and commercial purposes.
Hybrid Solar Inverters
These are becoming more popular by the day. Hybrid inverters are also called battery ready inverters, and they typically feature a solar and a battery inverter in a single unit. They function in the same fundamental way as string inverters, in that they convert direct current into alternating current that can be utilized for your appliances and devices at home. In addition to this, hybrid solar inverters can also serve to charge and discharging solar battery bank.
Micro Solar Inverters
Micro inverters are small in size and capacity and are designed to be installed directly into solar panels. In contrast to central inverters that convert the whole energy produced by the system, micro solar inverters are attached to individual panels. As such, they are responsible for the conversion of the panel they are attached to.
Off-grid Solar Inverters
Also referred to as stand-alone inverters, off-grid inverters are used in power systems that are entirely isolated from the main power grid. They also perform the same essential function of converting DC into AC. Nevertheless, they cannot send power to the main grid.
They take power from the batteries and convert it into a more usable current type for your home appliances. Compared to grid-tied inverters, they can be more complicated due to the incorporation of too many components. If you are to create a backup power generating system for your home, boat, or RV, this is the most likely inverter type you need.
Grid-tied Solar Inverters
They are like basic versions of off-grid solar inverters, but are designed to connect to the main power grid. This makes it possible to transfer any excess solar electricity produced back into the main grid. In some locations, the owner will receive a feed-in tariff. Because they typically feature two main components, they are easier to wire, compared to off-grid options.
Top 7 Best Solar Inverters from Our Reviews
Samlex PST-300-12 Solar Inverters
Giandel 1200 Watt Power Inverter
Renogy 1000W 12V Off-Grid Solar Inverter
WZRELB 3000W Solar Power Inverter
AIMS Power 6000 Watt Inverter
SUNGOLDPOWER 6000 Watts Power Inverter
iMeshbean 500W Grid Tie MPPT Power Inverter
1. Samlex PST-300-12 Solar Inverters – Overall Best
The Samlex PST-300-12 is our overall best solar inverter. It is a highly efficient off-grid/on-grid solar inverter that converts 12 volts of direct current to 300 watts alternating current power. It is an energy-efficient unit that has a temperature-controlled cooling fan for reduced energy consumption. Also, it features a Universal Protection Circuit that protects the system from the negative consequences of low voltage, over load, short circuit, over voltage, and over temperature. There are two AC outlets for quick connection, and they are both GFCI protected.
As the inverter is FCC compliant and certified to UL standards, you can rest assured that it is a safe unit to use in your off-grid/on-grid solar systems. The commercial-grade design makes it a suitable inverter to use continuously for extended periods and for heavy-duty loads. Interestingly, this particular model is available in several other wattage options: 600, 1500, and 2000 watts. Furthermore, it has a DC input range of 10.5 – 16.5 VDC. It is quite basic in design, but the durability and effectiveness make it into one of the best inverters for solar panels.
Pros + Key Features
- Temperature controlled cooling fan
- LED power indicator
- Commercial grade design
- It has a detachable battery clamp
- Detachable cable with 12V plug adapter
2. Giandel 1200 Watt Power Inverter
The Giandel 1200 Watt Power Inverter is perfect for people who are shopping on a budget but would still like to get a decent inverter. There are several reasons why it has made it onto our list. The unit comes with dual AC outlets and a 2.4 A USB port that makes it more versatile and convenient to use. You can always monitor your battery status with this inverter as it has a battery voltage indicator. Thanks to a remote controller that come with it, you can always control from a distance.
The Giandel 1200 Watt Power Inverter has a sturdy aluminum alloy housing that adequately protects the internal components. As inverters are prone to high heat buildup, it features an integrated cooling fan that reduces heat and prevents shortages. Furthermore, the isolated input/output design conforms to safety standards that protect the system against over voltage, low voltage, short circuit, and more. To further assure you of its durability, there is an 18-month warranty offer.
Pros + Key Features
- It is reasonably priced
- 18-moth warranty
- Battery status indicator
- 2 AC outlets and 1 USP port
- Remote control feature
- Built-in cooling fan
3. Renogy 1000W 12V Off-Grid Solar Inverter
Renogy is a very popular brand when we talk about solar energy solutions, and this 1000W 12V solar inverter is just one of their several solar inverters. As it is optimized for use with a 12 VDC system voltage, it produces superior waveform without any distortion. It is also one of the more protected inverters with overload protection at the direct current input and the alternating output. Through the special LED indicators, you can easily monitor the system. Like most solar inverters you'll get today, it comes with high-speed ventilation fans that keep the inverter running at a low temperature.
It also features a 19 ft wired remote with which you can enjoy more convenient control of the inverter. If you are searching for the best solar inverter for home application, you can do much better than this Renogy Solar Inverter. It is designed to convert clean and quiet energy that can power your household electronics without any interference. It is relatively easy to install, as all you have to do is follow the connection steps as instructed by the manufacturers.
Pros + Key Features
- High-speed fans for temperature control
- No humming sounds
- It is user friendly
- Special LED indicators
4. WZRELB 3000W Solar Power Inverter
The WZRELB 3000W Solar Power Inverter is another reasonably priced inverter that will efficiently supply power to your home appliances and fixtures. In its minimal frame, it packs a whopping 3000 Watts of power. Primarily, it converts 12V DC power to 120V AC power through the premium sine wave inverter. It converts more than enough power to run some essential household equipment. Also, it features an LED display that relays essential data. Your appliances are also protected from high electrical waves that can cause, as it has a high copper inductance.
For added security, it features earth connection for both the PCB board and the output. We also like the numerous protective features, ranging from the short circuit protection to the reverse connection protection, and many more. Heat buildup combated with two automatic cooling fans, and it is interesting to note that these fans run quietly. For an inverter this powerful, it weighs just about 9.5 pounds. There are several other wattages of this particular model available, so you get to choose based on your energy needs.
Pros + Key Features
- Dual AC outlets
- Strong aluminum frame
- Built-in soft starter
- LED displays
5. AIMS Power 6000 Watt Inverter
If you need an inverter with a relatively higher wattage, the AIMS Power 6000 Watt Inverter is one of the products to consider. The unit has a sturdy marine-grade construction that makes it one of the most durable units out there. Like the other products we reviewed, it features multiple AC and USB outlets for added convenience and ease of use. It would also interest you to know that it has a battery charger built into it.
It is only normal that it comes at a higher price than most other inverters on our list. Nonetheless, we guarantee you that it is worth every penny you spend on it. As you would expect, it comes with dependable protective schemes. The power produced is highly similar to the power that comes from the main grid, and it is entirely safe for your home appliances. At the flip of the simple dip switch, you can customize the system to pull from the batteries first or pull from the main power line with the battery as back up.
Pros + Key Features
- Optional remote available
- 1 year warranty
- Ideal for some heavy-duty application
- It has a durable build
6. SUNGOLDPOWER 6000 Watts Power Inverter
This is another 6000 Watt solar inverter that can handle relatively heavy-duty tasks. It does come with several interesting features. The first thing we love about this unit is that it is a versatile device, as it can be used as an inverter and a DC battery charger. It features a wireless remote on/off control that has a 33 ft connection cable. Better still, the max charging current can be adjusted via a liner switch. The multipurpose design takes nothing away from its performance as an inverter.
Furthermore, it feautures an LCD display on which you can monitor input voltage and output wattage. The system can be customized to start a generator as soon as the battery voltage gets low, thanks to the auto-gen start feature. Necessary protection is incorporated to keep the inverting going for as long as possible. Extended life for batteries, thanks to the battery temperature sensor. You can overlook the fact that it is a combination device. It is still one of the best solar power inverters available.
Pros + Key Features
- Auto gen start
- Over temperature protection
- Adjustable charging current
- It can also be sued as a battery charger
- Remote control
7. iMeshbean 500W Grid Tie MPPT Power Inverter
This iMeshbean 500W Inverter is one of the best micro inverter for solar panels. It has a unique and superior circuit design that ensures it performs way beyond its small size. All the electronic components are premium choices, and they make for improved efficiency. If what you need is an on-grid inverter, it is one of the best options you have. The only downside is the relatively low wattage. As it is exclusively an on-grid system, it cannot be connected to batteries or household appliances.
For a relatively small unit, it has a highly durable aluminum housing. It is reasonably resistant to heat, rust, and corrosion. The system incorporates the MPPT technology that makes for up to 99% efficiency. The configuration and installation are straightforward, but we advise that a qualified professional oversee that. If you don't mind the small size, the iMeshbean 500W Grid Tie MPPT Power Inverter is one of the best solar grid tie inverters available.
Pros + Key Features
- Unique and superior circuit design
- Aluminum alloy frame
- It is relatively easy to install
- MPPT technology
Choosing a Solar Inverter – Things to Consider
If you hope to get a functional solar inverter, you should have some criteria to reference when comparing different models. Here are some things to consider before you choose a solar inverter.
One of the things to establish in the planning stages of any solar power system is the wattage of inverter required, in addition to the wattage of the panels. These factors are all influenced by the energy need of the user. Establishing your wattage need will make your search easier, as you will get lesser recommendations than when you are not informed about the wattage you need.
These days, manufacturers cannot be trusted when it comes to the efficiency rating they attach to their products. Nonetheless, it is always close to the true peak efficiency. No solar inverter can be 100% efficient. The nearer the rating is to a hundred, the more efficient the inverter. We recommend that you ignore any inverter with a peak efficiency of less than 90%.
Durability is also quite essential. It will inevitably affect the inverter's lifespan. This is why it is essential to ensure that strong materials are used and the overall build quality of any device. As solar inverters are prone to some electricity hazards, you should also check for protection against overloading, over heat, short circuit, and more.
Ease of Installation
If it comes down to you to install and configure the inverter personally, you should go for a model that has a straightforward installation. We don't recommend DIY installation if you are not experienced in solar system solutions. Nevertheless, some inverters are quite easy to install, even for people with minimal knowledge of electrical connections.
Current coming directly from solar panels and batteries is always in direct current form and has to be converted to alternating current for electrical appliance sand devices. For your off-grid and on-grid solar power system, these are some of the best solar inverters you can use with your panels and batteries. These inverters are powerful enough to convert power for major household appliances, boats, and even RVs. We hope you found this best portable solar inverters review helpful.