An Expert Review of Sungrow Inverters
SolarKobo Score: 4.5/5
Sungrow Power Supply Co Ltd is a Chinese manufacturing company. Sungrow operations includes photovoltaics, biomass, wind, geothermal, thermosolar, tidal/wave energy and supplier of industrial equipment. Headquartered in Hefei, China, it was founded on November 28, 1997 by University of Hefei's Professor Cao Renxian with the aim of improving the electricity supply in rural western China.
Valued at $1.5B and a worldwide market share of 15%, Sungrow has grown to become the world's second largest inverter manufacturer next only to Huawei. With presence in up to 150 countries, Sungrow is also the world’s largest inverter factory, with a global annual production capacity of 145 GW, with about 25 GW of that, outside China.
Sungrow is reputed to be an R&D leader in the solar industry with more than 1,600 patents by 2019. It has extensive offerings of inverter solutions and energy storage systems for utility-scale, commercial & industrial, and residential applications, as well as internationally recognized floating PV plant solutions, NEV driving solutions, EV charging solutions and renewable hydrogen production systems. Besides its prominent position in the solar industry, Sungrow is also a specialist in power conversion technologies, energy route switching, energy conversion for electric vehicles, and renewable energy generators and inverters.
Sungrow is also notable for its active participation in social welfare activities, including poverty alleviation, donations to schools, earthquake relief, whilst also seeking to enhance the sustainability of public welfare practices.
Range of Inverters
Sungrow offers solar inverters designed for residential, commercial and utility-scale grid-tie systems, as well as both small and large scale energy storage systems.
SG Series/ SG Premium Series
Inverters in this range are for residential installations. The modern SG inverter is lightweight and transformerless. It comes with a wide MPPT voltage range and incorporates Wi-Fi communications. Like most modern string inverters, they do not incorporate cooling fans or fins but are cooled via passive cooling through a large rear heatsink.
Effective the end of May 2020, the SG Series inverters available in three varieties, the S, D and TL series were supercedded by the SG Premium series and can be found in the market. The SG Premium series incorporate a dual MPPT, parallel strings option & no display, in-built DC isolator and Quick Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (QAFCI).
The new CX Series inverters are manufactured with three-phase, commercial and utility-scale installations in mind. They are available in a range of sizes including 33kW, 40kW, 50kW, plus the extra-large 110kW model. They incorporate some of the most sophisticated features of any inverter in the market including
An in-built DC isolator
An active cooling system
A PID recovery function
Solar-panel oversizing by up to 150%
An in-built IV-curve scan
IP66 with C5 anti-corrosion
Installation angle from 90° to 170°
These are newer 3-phase hybrid inverters. The wide variety of single-phase hybrid inverter options are single-phase. 3-phase hybrid inverters have been very limited. Sungrow's inverters in this series only features the 5kW, 6kW, 8kW and 10kW models. Sungrow is expected to offer inverters in this series in 5.0kW, 6.0kW, 8.0kW and 10kW power ratings.
These inverters feature a wide battery voltage (150V to 600V) and extra high charge/discharge ratings up to 10,6kW. They also contain dual MPPTs with a very wide operating voltage range from 200V to 950V plus solar panel oversizing up to 150%, a requirement often needed for charging a battery and powering loads during poor weather.
Sungrow has released the SH-RS single-phase series, which is compatible with high voltage LFP battery systems and comes in sizes ranging from 3.0kW to 6.0kW. The series features modern design, instant backup power, high efficiency, and a wide operating temperature range of -25 to 60°C. This follows the release of the SH-RT 3-phase hybrid series.
The SH-RS hybrid inverter boasts advanced diagnostic tools, such as an IV curve scan that detects faults or degradation in solar panels, and a built-in smart PID recovery function that reduces or eliminates degradation caused by PID. These tools, typically only found on large utility-scale inverters, make the SH-RS one of the most advanced and sophisticated residential inverters in the world.
Users of Sungrow inverters can remotely monitor the performance of their inverter. Sungrow inverters come equipped with standard WiFi monitoring via an included dongle and use the updated, cloud-based iSolarCloud portal for monitoring. The new app is user-friendly and efficient.
Previously, Sungrow covered their inverters with a standard 5-year warranty and an optional 10-year warranty on some models. In April 2020, Sungrow announced it would now cover some of its inverter models purchased from 1st April 2020 with a 10-year warranty. This is way ahead of the industry standard of about 2-years.
Like most Chinese brands where manufacturing costs are relatively lower, Sungrow offers some of the most advanced and sophisticated inverters in the world at cost-effective prices and supported by a next-generation 10-year warranty. Sungrow is often compared, favourably, with Fronius, the European brand that is widely regarded as the world's best.
Solarkobo would recommend Sungrow to its customers in a heartbeat especially in situations when price is not a major consideration. In comparison with the Indian brands and other Chinese brands that are even more cheaper though less advanced, it is not yet widely available but we expect Sungrow to saturate the Nigerian market soon. In solar-heavy country like Australia, it is highly regarded. Solarkobo helps homeowners and businesses in Lagos and elsewhere in Nigeria design solar and inverter systems that meets their power needs and fits their budgets.