Are Growatt inverters any good?
Growatt New Energy Technology have been manufacturing solar inverters since 2010 and have been distributing in Australia for nearly their whole history. They are a mid-sized manufacturer by Chinese standards, which is still gigantic compared to mid-sized manufacturers in Australia.
Growatt manufacture cost effective inverters with their main selling point being price. From our experience, the reliability and real-world efficiency has been pretty poor.
When GI Energy first started trading in 2011, the Growatt brand was new in Australia and seen by many as the leading brand of Chinese inverters for all round quality vs. performance. We installed quite a few of them back then and to be honest, we had a lot of issues. The failure rate was really high when compared to the other European inverters we were installing at the same time.
The whole industry was very young back then, and even as a solar retailer and installer we were learning very fast! Our head installer actually installed a Growatt 5000MTL at his own house with a 5kW solar array. Remember that back then a 5kW solar array cost between $15,000 – $20,000, so choosing the right value product was extremely important. Long story short, there were quite a few issues and he ended up replacing it with an Aurora inverter, which were eventually rebranded as ABB and now go by the name of FIMER.
Safe to say we moved away from the Growatt range quite quickly and we do not install them these days.
Please note this is not an anti Growatt rant – there are pros and cons of all inverters and Growatt is no different. We always try and be as open and honest when writing reviews so being open about the history we have had with Growatt is only fair if we are going to stick to our ethical guns. We base the information in our articles from our own experience and we have been trading since early 2011.
So, should you buy a Growatt inverter for your home or business?
It really depends what you are looking for. Realistically, the only real reason someone chooses Growatt over inverters like Sungrow, FIMER, SMA or Fronius is due to price. If there is a salesperson telling you differently, then I would strongly suggest fact checking everything they have told you.
And if you are shopping purely on price, and you are aware you are buying an inferior product and happy to take the risk then there is really nothing wrong with that.
To get into specifics, let’s look at the range:
Growatt have you very well covered here with single phase inverters from 3kW up to 8kW and three phase starting at 10KW and going all the way up to 80kW. They also have hybrid inverters available from 3kW up to 10kW, and also make a lithium battery to go with the hybrid inverters. I haven’t seen any distributors actually selling these batteries in Australia but I am sure they are coming. They claim efficiency ratings of between 97% – 98% across the range of inverters, which on paper is very good. As of the 1st December 2020, depending where you purchase the inverters from, you can usually also get a 10-year warranty with the smaller range of Growatt inverters. You will need to register for the extension online to activate the full 10-years and Growatt will cover $150 of charges for replacing faulty inverters if needed.
On paper then, Growatt inverters look OK – they have a good range, a decent warranty, high efficiency claims, and they are one of the cheapest inverters (if not the cheapest) you can buy.
However, we all know there is a big difference between what a datasheet says and what happens in the real-world conditions we have here in Australia. Having a 10-year warranty is great but having to claim on warranties is a hassle and there is always downtime which results is financial losses from your solar not working while waiting for a replacement.
Image below from left to right shows: Sungrow, Fronius, FIMER and SMA.
If you are looking for a really good quality inverter that is still cost effective, then our advice would be to use Sungrow. In recent times Sungrow have improved their warranties, tech support and product range in Australia and the failure rate we have experienced is extremely minimal. They are more expensive than Growatt but the extra dollars spent will return itself with improved efficiency and better reliability.
We see Growatt as a very cheap inverter, but a very high-risk inverter and for that reason we do not install them.
Here are some other helpful links: