Whilst most people are familiar with Fronius and SMA (Sunny Boy) brands and the high quality product they produce, Growatt seems to suffer a type of stigma mainly due to the “Made In China” syndrome. We want to debunk that myth.
This article is an independent review based on our experience with Growatt products in Australia since 2010. If you’re installing a new system or have a broken inverter which needs replacing, Growatt is an affordable alternative to the more expensive SMA and Fronius brands. Growatt New Energy Technology Co.,Ltd was established in 2010 and is based in Shenzhen Hong Kong. At the time of writing this blog, Growatt currently have worldwide representation including an office in Melbourne and another office and warehouse in Sydney. This is very comforting not only for customers, but for a business like ours who relies on positive support from the manufacturer after the sale.
Back in 2010, I was employed by a solar company who began using Growatt along with SMA. Unfortunately, many early technology Growatt inverters failed and most with the same error codes ie: “error 117” or “error 102” or “No AC Connection” and also “PV Isolation Low”. While these were the most common failures, there were also other failure types and error codes. The “PV Isolation Low” error occurred either by a solar string having a DC leakage or, the inverter failing on one string which happened often.
My understanding is that Growatt has changed the technology of their range of inverters to suit Australian conditions and regulations and the new technology seems to be far more reliable. We’ve been installing the new Growatt inverters for a few years now and we’re yet to experience one failure. This track record is better than the old technology and hopefully the reliability will continue. Though based on the old technology inverters, Growatt in Australia were a bit slow with warranty claims and replacements but they do respond and replacements for broken inverters under warranty do turn up eventually. This response time is based on the old technology inverters only – not the new technology. We’ve had no failures to date of the new technology inverters. I’d like to think that any issues with the new technology are addressed more quickly so we can update this blog accordingly in their favour.
The warranty support and replacement time is important for customers to know, especially when considering the purchase of a Growatt inverter for a replacement. After all, our mission statement is to re-connect customers to the grid quickly so you’re saving money again. If the replacement period is still weeks or months from Growatt Australia, we’re going to have to highlight this fact to customers. Replacements need to be supplied in days, not weeks or months which has occurred in the past. All Growatt inverters come with a standard 5 year warranty however you can also extend the FULL warranty to 10 years for a few hundred dollars more. The warranty extension cost is dependant on the Kw size of the inverter you wish to cover. Given that Growatt seem to be in Australia for the long run, this may be money well spent to protect your investment.
Though Fronius remains our preferred replacement brand at this time due to their better standard 5+5 years warranty and because they’re repaired on site if something goes wrong meaning fast turnaround and quick re-connection to the grid and if suitable to panels and customers can afford them, we’ll continue to offer Growatt as a cheaper alternative given they have maintained their presence in Australia to support their product. This in our professional view, wins Growatt a lot of brownie points! The same cannot be said for many other inverter manufacturers such as Sunny Roo, Sharp and Clenergy just to name three.
I have to say (Growatt if you’re reading this and I know you will) it would be a great service to your customers and our business if you were to offer training on how to repair your product on site as Fronius does. This would be even more of an incentive for us to promote your product. At the time of writing this blog, Growatt does not offer this service. We’re happy to meet with you to move forward on this if you’re willing to come to the table.
In summery, it seems Growatt are here for the long term in Australia and we’re happy to keep offering their product as a replacement option. With a possible on site repair option down the track?
I hope this information has helped in your decision making for a replacement inverter.