Off-grid solar equipment available in Australia

Off-grid solar equipment available in Australia

All-in-one off-grid capable inverters where solar panels and batteries are connected to a single unit:

  1. Deye: Available in 5 to 10 kW single-phase and up to 25 kW three-phase. This inverter is gaining popularity for its convenience in installation, offering a 10-year warranty, allowing oversized solar panel arrays by 50%, and easy paralleling. Features include separate AC inputs for generator and grid, an IP65 rating, and the ability to handle 100% surge for 10 seconds. Some models support 48V battery systems and high-voltage batteries up to 600V.
  2. Sungrow: Available in 5, 6, and 10 kW, with the 10 kW model having 4 MPPTs for flexible solar panel connections. It allows a 100% oversized PV array and is easy to install with high-voltage battery compatibility. One disadvantage is that the inverter does not support parallel operation in off-grid mode. It is IP65 rated.
  3. Sigenergy: Probably the most advanced system capable of operating off-grid. It is IP65 rated and very easy to install, with battery and inverter components that click together like Lego. It can be paralleled in numerous systems. An interesting advantage for off-grid use is that in a paralleled system, if any inverter fails, it will not stop producing power but will exclude the failed unit. It is likely the first system using AI in operation control.
  4. Victron: Only some models have an all-in-one option and cannot be paralleled. They use a 48V battery system.
  5. Growatt: A very simple and affordable inverter with only a 2-year warranty. The 5 kW model can be paralleled, and installation is indoor with an IP20 rating.
  6. Steca: An affordable option available in 5 kW with a 48V battery connection. A limitation is that only 3 panel strings are allowed, so 4 strings must be wired in parallel to achieve 5 kW.

It appears that Growatt, Steca, and MPP inverters share similarities internally. Steca is manufactured by Voltronics in China, and it seems that Growatt, MPP, and some other brands are just rebranded Voltronics inverters.

Traditional off-grid inverters that only manage batteries and require additional solar chargers or grid inverters to connect panels:

  1. Selectronic: An Australian-made inverter that is very popular among older generation installers. Installation is complex as the system requires third-party equipment to connect solar panels. A common setup is a Selectronic inverter AC-coupled with a Fronius grid inverter. Although reliable, it is expensive and offers the same 10-year warranty as others. It is an indoor unit and is heavy. One feature is its surge capacity, allowing surge power to be held for 30 to 10 minutes depending on power, compared to other systems that only allow 5-10 second surges.
  2. Victron: Offers an amazing range of products, including solar charge controllers, inverters, inverter chargers, and many other gadgets. It is great for DIY enthusiasts, but the equipment is generally flexible yet complex to install. It comes with a 5-year warranty.
  3. Latronics: Produces only small battery inverters, and it is unclear who really uses them.
  4. SMA: Typically requires two inverters: the SMA Sunny Island battery inverter and the Sunny Boy grid inverter, forming an AC-coupled system. Reliable but expensive, and not easy to install with complex settings. However, it still maintains a fair market share.
  5. Schneider Electric: Offers IP20 rated systems with charge controllers and battery inverters. Not very popular among installers, but the equipment is reliable, extremely expensive, heavy, and it is unclear why it is so costly.
  6. Outback Power: Was very popular for off-grid inverters in the past and offers charge controllers of the same brand. However, it does not seem to be keeping pace with current technology.

In our opinion, the best system would be Sigenergy. We live in a century where smartphones are a part of our lives and are very advanced devices. Sigenergy offers something equivalent to the first smartphone on the solar energy market. Check out the Sigenergy website to understand why we like this product. However, we will install any brand to follow customer wishes.

Batteries for Off-Grid Solar Systems

We are focusing on lithium type technology only, as other types are not really used in off-grid applications too often.

  1. Australian-made solar batteries – We’ll be brief here: the main components of a solar battery are lithium cells and boards with electronics. None of these major components are produced in Australia. Australian companies usually only assemble the battery here.

Let’s look at the batteries which we would say are the real deal, where the company is fully integrated and produces both the battery cells and electronics:

  1. Pylontech – Has become number one in the world for domestic battery systems. They produce 48V batteries and high-voltage batteries, provide a 10-year warranty, and have a good price point. The life expectancy of the batteries is 15 years. They show the best results in tests conducted by the Australian Lithium Battery Test Center.
  2. BYD – A large manufacturer of batteries for solar and cars, with completely integrated technology. They are reliable and covered by a 10-year warranty. We do not have real experience with BYD batteries, and our knowledge is limited.
  3. Sigenergy – Basically, the inverter and battery are one system and can only be used together, stuck together like Lego cubes. The actual battery is around 38V, but it uses a DC-DC converter on each battery to adjust the voltage, and each battery block is 300 to 600V, adjusted by a computer. Absolutely amazing technology allows each battery in a stack to be used individually depending on the battery’s charge state or health state.
  4. Growatt battery – Very often rebranded and sold as Jinco battery. Growatt offers an affordable solution, but the battery only allows for 5kW power, basically not really designed for larger off-grid applications.
  5. Sungrow – High-voltage battery, easy to install and commission, works really well with Sungrow inverters. The system is IP65 rated and comes in 3.5kWh blocks.”
  6. Alfa ESS – One of the major battery and inverter manufacturers. Their solutions are all-in-one, with the battery and inverter combined, and can be used in both on-grid and off-grid systems. Popular in Australia, their systems are relatively affordable compared to others.

Solar panels for off grid solar

Solar panels are universal; it doesn’t matter if the system is grid-connected or off-grid. To put it simply, any solar panels available in Australia are of decent quality and come with warranties ranging from 12 to 25 years. We suggest simply choosing the best-priced option at the moment. A common brand we use is Jinko, with their 475W panels offering a good price point and a 25-year warranty. All other brands are good as well

In conclusion, there are not many product varieties available in Australia when it comes to off-grid solar system components. The most notable brands today are Sigenergy, Deye, Victron, and Selectronic, Pylontech, BYD, Alfaess, Australian battery PowerPlus and GenZ