Best solar inverters 2023 review: SolarEdge, Enphase, and more

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Three types of solar inverters

If you want to maximize your solar energy system's production, finding the best solar inverter is as important as the solar panels you choose. For an "uncomplicated" roof – one facing south with no gables, chimneys, or other obstructions that can cast a shadow – the best solar inverter for you may be a standard string (aka central) inverter. But, more than half of new residential solar installations use module-level power electronics (MLPEs) – such as power optimizers and microinverters – to maximize electricity production on more complicated, less ideal rooftops.

In the world of MLPEs, you might be trying to decide between two big names, SolarEdge vs. Enphase, and with good reason: about 95% of quotes on EnergySage included either SolarEdge or Enphase in 2022! That said, there are many other great inverter options to consider. The question of the best solar inverter depends on performance, warranties, cost, and personal preference.

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Key takeaways

  • Three main types of inverters are string inverters, optimized string inverters, and microinverters.

  • The best inverter for you will depend on performance, warranty, cost, and your unique setup.

  • Some of the best available inverters come from Enphase, SolarEdge, SMA, and Tigo.

  • Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to receive custom quotes from local solar installers. 

When it comes to inverters, there are three broad categories: string (aka central) inverters, optimized string inverters, and microinverters. Here's a breakdown of how they compare:

String inverters

String inverters provide centralized power conversion and collective monitoring for all solar panels connected to that string. The power output is typically not optimized at the panel level, though some integrated software technologies can improve performance. If you want to increase your system's size, you might need to add a string inverter. Overall, the maximum output power or the "size" of the inverter is typically close to the size of your solar energy system. String inverters are very efficient and might be suitable if you have an uncomplicated roof with lots of sun!

Optimized string inverters

Optimized string inverters also provide centralized power conversion and offer monitoring at the string level. However, because this technology pairs with panel-level power optimizers, they also offer panel-level monitoring and optimization. If you want to increase the size of your system with optimized string inverters, you may need to add another string inverter, making the add-on more complicated. The maximum output power of the inverter should be close to the size of your solar energy system. 


Microinverters provide power conversion and monitoring at the solar panel level. In a solar energy system with microinverters, the output power of each solar panel is converted independently. If you think you might want to increase the size of your system in the future, microinverters are a great option. You'll want the maximum output power of your microinverters to be close to the wattage of the solar panels in your system. 

When choosing which inverters to install in your solar energy system, there are many factors to consider. Ultimately, your decision will likely depend on your unique situation (like the setup of your roof). If you're between a few different options, it's good to understand how they stack up against each other. 

Output power

The output power of your inverter provides a sense of its size. For micro inverters, you'll want the maximum output power to be about the size of your solar panels (typically 300+ Watts) to avoid clipping, which occurs when your solar panels produce more power than your inverters can handle at a given time. 

On the other hand, if you have a system with a string inverter, you'll want your inverter's maximum output power to be close to the size of your solar panel system (typically about 5-10 kilowatts, kW). If you have multiple string inverters in your system, you'll need to ensure each inverter's output power roughly matches the total wattage of its string of solar panels. 


The efficiency of your solar inverter, expressed as a percentage, indicates how well it converts the direct current (DC) electricity generated by your solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is the type of electricity you need to power home appliances. When your inverter converts electricity from DC to AC, it loses some thermal energy. The higher the losses, the lower the efficiency. The higher your inverter's efficiency, the better (most are 96-99% efficient). 

Voltage performance

Multiple voltage indicators are essential to an inverter's overall performance. The minimum and maximum voltages, expressed in DC, provide a voltage level range at which your system can input solar energy from your panels to your inverter – the wider the range, the better your inverter can perform in more extreme conditions. You can calculate your inverter's voltage performance using the following calculation:

(maximum voltage – minimum voltage) / maximum voltage

If you have an optimized string inverter system, include the voltage range associated with the power optimizer. Generally, your voltage performance will range between 0.4 and 0.8, with higher numbers indicating better performance.

Nominal voltage is another metric you might see for your inverter. It's pretty standardized for all home solar energy systems and represents the voltage level at which your inverter connects to your home's electric system (expressed in AC). Most inverters for home solar systems will connect at either 208 or 240 VAC.


If you're noticing any unusual issues with your solar panel system, chances are it's the inverter. While solar panel systems are highly reliable, inverters are the most likely component to fail. So, you want to ensure that your inverter has a comprehensive warranty if anything goes wrong. 

MLPEs like microinverters or power optimizers often come with a 25-year warranty, like the solar panels they live behind. On the other hand, most string inverters come with a warranty of around ten years. It's also important to consider other warranty factors like labor coverage and company bankability (i.e., how likely they will be around to uphold your warranty). Learn more about inverter warranties.


Typically, string inverters are more affordable than microinverters – and they're even cheaper if you don't include power optimizers. This is because you'll only need one (or a couple) of inverters per solar energy system instead of one for each solar panel, cutting down on material and labor costs. 

Want to learn about the best inverters on the market? Here are some of the top companies to explore: 

Type Of Inverter
Output Power
Voltage Performance
EnphaseMicroinverter0.24 - 0.366 kW97 - 97.5% 0.12 - 0.5725 years
SolarEdgeOptimized string inverter3.0 - 11.4 kW97.5 - 99%0.23 - 0.8012 years*
SMAString inverter3.0 - 11.4 kW96.8 - 98.5%0.79 - 0.8310 years*
TigoOptimized string inverter7.6 - 11.4 kW98.4 - 98.5%0.9212.8 years
Schneider ElectricSemi-optimized hybrid string inverter7.68 kW98%0.9110 years

*Extended warranty available at additional cost


Best for: warranty duration

Enphase is headquartered in California and manufactures the most popular microinverter product in the United States (and the most popular inverter on EnergySage). Systems with microinverters generally cost more, so you should expect a higher price tag if you choose Enphase inverters. Enphase also offers a storage product that can be used with its microinverters: the IQ Battery.

Enphase microinverters

Enphase's microinverters come with the longest base warranty at 25 years. Learn more about Enphase's inverter warranty.


Best for: efficiency

SolarEdge Technologies is headquartered in Israel and manufactures the leading power optimizer product globally. They also manufacture hybrid inverters like their Energy Bank, which is compatible with energy storage solutions. 

SolarEdge inverters

The SolarEdge HD Wave inverter series is the most efficient inverter on our list at 99% efficiency. Their power optimizers come with a 25-year warranty, and their string inverters have a 12-year base warranty (but can be extended at a cost). Learn more about SolarEdge's inverter warranty.


Best for: cost

SMA America is a string inverter manufacturer headquartered in Germany and a subsidiary of SMA Solar Technology. The company was founded in 1981 and is widely considered a manufacturer of high-quality inverter products. SMA has long held a strong position in the US commercial solar sector, though historically, the pricing of their residential products stood in the way of gaining ground in residential solar. However, SMA's newer products and pricing are very competitive: many shoppers on EnergySage receive lower-cost quotes with SMA inverters than other options when paired with similar solar panels.

SMA inverter

SMA's string inverters come with a standard string inverter warranty of 10 years, which can be extended at additional cost. Learn more about SMA's inverter warranty.


Best for: voltage performance

Tigo Energy manufactures inverters, power optimizers, and rapid-shutdown devices in the United States. They may not be a household name like SolarEdge, but their optimized EI inverters have the best voltage performance of any of the companies on our list due to their high maximum and low minimum voltages. Tigo's hybrid inverters pair well with their EI Battery storage solution

Tigo inverter

Tigo offers one of the longest base warranties for string inverters at 12.8 years (and a standard 25-year warranty for their power optimizers). Learn more about Tigo’s inverter warranty

Schneider Inverter

Best for: Whole home integration under one app. 

Founded in 1836, Schneider is one of (if not the) oldest companies now making solar inverters–but it only entered the solar industry in the last few years, so it’s still relatively new to manufacturing solar inverter technology. The Schneider Inverter is a semi-optimized hybrid string inverter. It works with all major solar panels and the Boost, Schneider’s battery product. Unlike SolarEdge, which offers panel-level optimization and monitoring, the Schneider Inverter can optimize and monitor four strings of solar panels. If you have a simple roof with little-to-no shading, it could be a great option.

Schneider Inverter

The biggest highlight of the Schneider Inverter is its integration with other Schneider Home products, including a smart electrical panel, a battery, a home EV charger, and smart light switches and outlets. You can control and monitor all of these products with one app, allowing for seamless integration and minimal phone app congestion.

How do solar inverters work?

Solar inverters convert the DC electricity generated by your solar panels into AC electricity, which powers the appliances in your home. 

What size inverter do I need?

There isn't one size fits all when it comes to solar inverters – instead, you'll need to match the size of your inverter to the size of your system or solar panel. For string inverters, you'll want the size (or output power) to be about the total size of your solar energy system. For microinverters, you'll want each one to roughly match the size of the solar panel it connects to.

Which inverter is best for solar?

There isn't one inverter that's best for all solar shoppers. Your inverter will depend on your unique setup and its performance, warranty, and cost. Here are some of the best inverter companies: Enphase, SolarEdge, SMA, and Tigo.

The best way to determine which inverter option fits your needs is to review actual quotes from qualified local installers in your area. Registering your property for free on the EnergySage Marketplace allows you to review multiple customized to your home and evaluate the costs and benefits of different inverter options! If you have any questions about your quotes or the equipment, schedule a call with one of our Energy Advisors, who can help guide you through your decision.

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