The Difference In Price Between A Standard Solar Inverter, SolarEdge & Enphase
One of the main issues people face when going solar is working out how much to pay, so in true Solaray fashion, let’s lay it all out to help you get some firm price points for the various solar systems.
First of all, here is the price of an Enphase System in Sydney with two top panels compared to SolarEdge:
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Like with most industries, when it comes to solar power there is a huge range in quality, features and then of course price, even for the same-sized system. It’s a bit like a TV, in that a 55-inch screen can be super cheap, or really expensive, depending on which TV you choose.
The 4 main price points for solar power are:
- Cheap Solar
- A standard string inverter (older technology)
Cheap solar has plagued the industry for years, and we aren’t going to get into all of the problems with it here, but if you aren’t aware of the issues that come with cheap solar systems you can read about it here.
We don’t compare our prices to Cheap Solar because it’s just not the same thing, but to help give you an understanding of what price point these systems are at, here are a few ads from Google:
We understand it can get a bit confusing because these ads use words like premium and tier one, but at the end of the day the price gives it away, as well as the brands that are used.
With cheap solar out of the way, let’s have a look at the price of a good quality ‘standard system’ vs an Enphase system.
Standard String Inverter Price vs Enphase Price
By standard, we are talking about a string inverter from a reputable European manufacturer such as SMA or Fronius.
These brands have been producing good quality inverters for the Australian market and despite the limitations of a string inverter from a technical standpoint, the product itself gets the job done and costs less to install.
Because an Enphase system requires 1 microinverter per panel, it is fair to say that the larger the system, the larger the premium required to go with an Enphase system.
Here are 3 ballpark figures to help you compare an Enphase system to a standard system:
6.6kW Solar System:
An Enphase system will cost about $2000 more than a good quality string inverter system
8kW Solar System:
An Enphase system will cost about $2500 more than a good quality string inverter system
10kW Solar System:
An Enphase system will cost about $3000 more than a good quality string inverter system
It is important to keep in mind that the larger the system, the bigger the potential savings on your power bill, so although it costs more for a larger Enphase system, most of our customers still choose Enphase.
For example, if a 10kW system can save you up to about $4000 a year on your power bills, then the premium for an Enphase system will pay for itself in less than 1 year. This makes it a very attractive option considering the benefits that come with an Enphase system, including the longevity of an Enphase microinverter vs a string inverter. Enphase microinverters are designed to last as long as the panels, whereas a string inverter has a life of about 5 to 12 years depending on the brand.
Better inverters such as the ones from Fronius and SMA typically last longer than 10 years, but then when they break it will cost around $3000 or so to replace it. This in itself is normally enough to justify going with an Enphase system.
Enphase Price vs SolarEdge Price
Enphase and SolarEdge systems are fairly similar in terms of their position in the market, however, in terms of their price, there are two key differences:
- With a SolarEdge system, a DC optimiser is much cheaper than an Enphase Microinverter, and so the larger the system, the cheaper it becomes for SolarEdge vs Enphase
- A SolarEdge system requires an inverter to be installed near the meter board, and so the base price of the system is higher than an Enphase system.
Because of the way the systems are designed, it is fair to say that the larger the system, the cheaper a SolarEdge system is compared to Enphase, however, there isn’t a huge difference in price for residential systems:
6.6kW Solar System: An Enphase system will cost about $1500 more than a SolarEdge system
10kW Solar System: An Enphase system will cost about $2000 more than a SolarEdge system
13kW Solar System: An Enphase system will cost about $3000 more than a SolarEdge system
In terms of longevity, the SolarEdge inverter is designed to last longer than a string inverter, however, it will probably still need to be replaced once during the lifetime of the panels. With an Enphase microinverter, it is fair to say that it is cheaper to replace a broken microinverter, however, if multiple microinverters fail over the span of some years, that would be an inconvenience to have to continually replace them.
For more information about the comparisons between an Enphase and a SolarEdge system, check out our article here: An Enphase System Compared To A SolarEdge System.