It’s an electronic world, and ever more devices are portable. To keep them charged you could use a power bank, but they can struggle at times and ultimately go flat. An inverter converts the 12V from your car’s battery into regular mains power, so you can use items such as a laptop, battery charger or coolbox.
In a workshop, it could be used for power tools like drills, or to provide lighting where there’s no mains power supply. Capacities and prices vary greatly, so you should choose to meet your needs. Lighting will require less capacity, while power tools need a higher rating. So which is the one to bring mains power to your car?
Plug in and stay connected at all times
We tried each inverter with various electrical devices including smartphones (both Android and Apple), Campingaz coolbox, 19.5V Dell laptop and Bosch 14.4V cordless drill battery charger. In addition, we measured the voltage and fan noise when poweringa 60W light bulb.
We also looked at practicalities like sockets and lead length, plus we took into account the best prices we could find online.
The Ring RINVU300 continues to provide the best blend of performance, features and price, while the slightly flawed 700W Silverline offers enough value to end up in second place, and the RINVU500takes the third spot.
The title for the most popular grid-tie solar inverter has never been closer as many of the top manufacturers release advanced new models with intelligent online monitoring and smart home energy management features.
Home energy storage systems or hybrid systems is also growing, but it is early days for batteries and the majority of solar installations still require a dedicated solar inverter.
About Our Trusted Experts
The solar inverter is the most sophisticated part of any grid-tie solar system and unfortunately it's also the part most likely to have issues. This is not surprising considering inverters are usually located outside in harsh weather conditions including rain, humidity and extreme heat, all while generating thousands of watts of power for up to 10 hours a day.
How we tested them
This is why it's important to use a quality inverter and mount it in a sheltered location if possible. Due to extreme variations in humidity and temperature, it is likely that many inverters mounted outdoors will experience a fault at some point during their lifetime. However, the life of a solar inverter can be significantly increased by locating it inside a garage, under a carport and out of direct sunlight. Solar panels can also develop problems over time which can result in poor performance, but unlike a faulty inverter this will generally not result in complete system shutdown.
What to Look for In a Power Inverter
With this in mind, it is worth while paying the additional cost for a reputable manufacturer (one which has been in good business standing for more than 5 years and with extended warranties if available.). Fronius and SMA have ranked on top of the list for many years due to the low failure rates and great service, as we are able to get it locally in Singapore. Fronius available with 10 year warranties, while SMA offer 5 year manufacturers warranty as standard.
Best Multi Function:Renogy 2000W Pure Sine Wave Battery Converter
It is similar with Huawei and Growatt. Many of the lesser-known 'value' brands will only repair a faulty unit if it is shipped to them (at the owner costs) and returned, which often takes weeks and sometimes months. This will have a much greater financial impact due to system downtime. String Solar Inverter. This review is focused on 'string' solar inverters which use a string of solar panels linked together in series. String inverters are the most common type of inverter used in Singapre, Malaysia, Europe & Asia, and growing in popularity in the US where micro inverters are very popular.
Hybrid Solar Inverter. The new generation hybrid or battery ready inverters combine a solar and battery inverter together in one simple unit.
- These inverters are becoming more competitive against solar inverters as hybrid inverter technology advances and batteries become cheaper and more appealing.
- Off-grid Solar Inverter.
- Off-grid or stand-alone power systems require powerful battery inverters with inbuilt chargers which can be setup as either AC or DC coupled systems.
- Modern, flexible off-grid inverter/chargers, also known as multi-mode inverters, can be used to create advanced hybrid grid-connected systems.
- For smaller scale off-grid systems, we usually are using solar charge controllers to operate solar system.
The Most Popular Commercial Inverters (3 Phase)
Micro inverters, also known as micros are very small solar inverters attached directly to individual solar panels. Since each micro inverter and panel operate independently, they are a great option for complex roof layouts and locations with shading issues. Despite the slightly higher cost, micros are very popular only in North America and the many advantages they offer over string inverters. The following criteria was used to determine the best solar string inverters available on the market, together with continuous feedback from solar installers and industry specialists.
Number of outlets
Note, this comparison is focused on the common grid-tie solar 'string' inverters (single phase), although the larger commercial 3-phase inverters from the same manufacturers are equally well regarded. Quality & Reliability. Service & Support. There is a considerable price difference between the hundreds of different solar inverters available. For example, a low-end 5kW inverter can start from as low as S$1,500, while a premium quality 5kW inverter with 10 year warranty may cost $1950 or higher.
However, considering the higher failure rates of many low-end/cheap inverters and difficulty claiming warranties, we recommended you invest in a higher quality unit. As a common saying in the solar industry goes 'the cheapest product will cost you more in the long run'. Fronius - Primo. Huawei - SUN2000L. SolarEdge - SE and HD wave. Huawei - SUN2000. Growatt - MAC & MAX. SMA - Sunny Tripower & Core 1. Fronius - Symo & Eco. SolarEdge - SE 3-phase. We independently research, test, review, and recommend the bestproducts—learn more about our process.
Inverter Rating Criteria
If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. The best power inverters should have high wattage, plenty of outlets, and resistance to overloads, short circuits, and high temperatures to keep your devices safe. A good power inverter can take DC power and turn it into power for AC devices (typical for most consumer electronics). The better quality inverters will have pure sine wave, giving them higher quality power that works with more sensitive electronic devices. Modified sine wave should work fine too, but for peace of mind, a pure sine wave inverter may be a better option.
Warranty and Service
Our top pick for the category is the KRIEGER 1100 watt inverter (view on Amazon). It's one of the world's smallest inverters and it's powerful enough to handle most small alliances and electronics. The casing is heavy duty, there's an LCD display, and it can manage TVs, gaming consoles, and microwaves with its 2200 watts of peak power. Read on for the best power inverters to buy. in this article. What to Look for In a Power Inverter. What we likeSturdy and reliableLCD display is a handy addition3 year parts and labor. Sturdy and reliable. LCD display is a handy addition. 3 year parts and labor. Billed as the world's smallest 1100W power inverter, the Krieger is more than powerful enough to handle small appliances and electronics. Packed away in a heavy-duty aluminum casing that's durable enough to last for years, the Krieger provides all of its relevant info on an LCD display, including output wattage, input voltage and battery level.
Solar Inverter Types
It's ideal for keeping power tools charged up or powering televisions, gaming consoles or small appliances such as a microwave (it features 2200 watts of peak power). Plugging any of those appliances into the KRIEGER is easy, thanks to the two standard AC 12V outlets on either of the dual USB charging ports that push out 2.1A, making it equally suitable for charging smartphones or tablets.
It's backed by KRIEGER's three-year warranty. Wattage: 1100W | Ports: AC (2), USB (2) | Wave Type: Modified Sine Wave. What we likeFast chargingFan to prevent overheatingExcellent value. Fan to prevent overheating. Excellent value. What we don't likeProduces lower voltage than indicated. Produces lower voltage than indicated. BESTEK is one of the most highly regarded and well-known names in the power inverter space and their 300W product is a standout choice for buyers looking at compact choices (it's about the length of a smartphone).