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LAST UPDATED: January 24th, 2023

Sungrow is the second largest inverter manufacturer in the world providing reliable inverter products that work for residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar projects. Sungrow has a different origin story in comparison to most inverter manufacturers. The company was founded in 1997 by Cao Renxian, a professor with the desire to bolster renewable energy usage in rural western China. Most inverter manufacturers come from organizations that started out as established power and electronics manufacturers. However, Sungrow was founded as a solar equipment and technology development enterprise. 

That original desire by Professor Renxian to help those in rural western China have better access to renewable energy alternatives transformed into a global conglomerate. Today, Sungrow is one of the most successful inverter producers in the world. In addition to manufacturing inverters, Sungrow also offers manufacturing and development solutions within the wind energy, energy storage, and PV power system industries. 

The Sungrow specialty, more specifically, lies in power conversion technologies, energy route switching, energy conversion for EV’s, and even renewable energy generators. In addition to its for-profit efforts, Sungrow also participates in a number of charitable works. The company is involved in poverty alleviation donating money to educational efforts, disaster relief, and public welfare practices. 

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The Good

  • Residential Inverter Products
  • ISolar Cloud
  • Affordability
  • Advanced Diagnostic Tools

Residential Inverter Products

There are various residential inverter products manufactured by Sungrow. Depending on sizing, capacity, and efficiency needs, Sungrow likely has developed an inverter product that will work for individual property owners. There are three different inverter “series” available through Sungrow. These include:

  • S series – Single MPPT with LCD display
  • D series – Dual MPPT with LCD display*
  • TL-D series – Dual MPPT - parallel strings option & no display*

Within each series will be varying products with a range of performance metrics. Not all manufacturers offer this many inverter solutions, especially to residential property owners looking for clean renewable energy sources. 

ISolar Cloud

Monitoring services are commonly available through inverter installation today. However, not all monitoring platforms are built the same or provide the same functions. The monitoring platform available through Sungrow is called iSolarCloud. This platform includes tremendous improvements compared to the Sungrow monitoring efforts of the past.

The iSolarCloud platform is a Wi-fi connected solution that is a new, modern, and cloud-based monitoring platform. There are also mobile apps available to monitor energy metrics as well. The iSolarCloud platform is easy to set up, displays performance metrics, and allows for complete energy management. Not all monitoring services are easily navigated, but the Sungrow iSolarCloud service is. 

Affordability

Due to manufacturing logistics, Sungrow is able to mass produce its inverters for significantly less than its competitors. As a result, Sungrow inverters are more affordable than other comparable inverters available for residential sale.

Inverter prices commonly start in the $1,200 range, whereas Sungrow inverters start around $950. It should be noted that there is not a technological drop off even though Sungrow is cheaper than its competition. 

Advanced Diagnostic Tools

The Sungrow inverters incorporate some technologically advanced features like notable diagnostic tools. The advanced diagnostic tools found in Sungrow inverters include the ability to conduct an IV curve scan. These scans will determine if the installed solar panels are faulty in any way or are experiencing advanced degradation issues. 

Additionally, Sungrow inverters include a built-in smart PID recovery feature. This function is designed to reduce or eliminate entirely the problems associated with degradation. This is advanced technology, particularly for residential inverters that other manufacturers cannot replicate. 

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The Bad

  • Austrailia Focused
  • Client Targets

Austrailia Focused

Despite having a global presence in the renewable energy industry, finding qualified installers that partner with Sungrow is not evenly distributed. For example, Sungrow products are commonly installed on Australian residential roofs, but it is far more difficult to find a supporting installer within the United States.

Homeowners in the U.S. may have more difficulty finding an installer that works with Sungrow and compatible solar equipment which is why alternative inverter manufacturers should be considered during the purchasing and design process. 

Client Targets

Like all manufacturing operations, there are designated target clients following product development. While Sungrow offers products for a number of varying energy clients, there is a heavy focus on providing solutions for large-scale solar projects - namely commercial and utility solar projects. 

Other solar manufacturers place a heavier emphasis on residential solar product development offering continuous advancement and product improvements for this targeted client base. That is not necessarily the case for Sungrow.

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The Bottom Line

Sungrow provides dependable and tested solar inverter products for a wide range of solar projects. For residential clients specifically, there are a number of inverter products for clients to choose from including both string and hybrid system inverters.

All of the Sungrow inverter products can be monitored using the ISolar Cloud platform. It is one of the more comprehensive monitoring systems in the industry. Due to manufacturing practices, Sungrow inverters are more affordable in comparison to its competitors products with starting prices lower than the industry average.

Lastly, Sungrow inverters also include advanced diagnostic tools that include IV curve scan capabilities that help determine if solar panels are experiencing issues or increased degradation. 

Despite being one of the largest inverter manufacturers in the world, there are discrepancies in sales and installation rates on a global scale. For U.S.-based homeowners interested in having a solar system installed, it can be more difficult to utilize Sungrow inverters in comparison to solar clients in other parts of the world.

Not as many solar installers in the United States partner with Sungrow. Many of the Sungrow efforts are targeted to larger scale solar projects, so residential clients do not have as many options as those with big-time solar installation efforts. 

Prospective residential solar clients looking for an affordable and reliable inverter to accompany other aspects of the solar photovoltaic system will likely benefit from the inverter products manufactured by Sungrow. However, homeowners looking to find a qualified installer may want to keep an open mind regarding what inverter products are installed. 

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