Bigger isn’t always better:
A Guide to Choosing the Right Solar Inverter for Your Home

As the popularity of residential solar power has grown over the years, so has the size of our solar power inverters. Where the standard solar system once had a 2kW or a 3kW solar inverter, we are now seeing 8kW or 10kW inverters being installed on residential homes. After all, the larger the solar system, the more money you will make selling back to the grid, right? While that logic makes sense in theory, many states have begun imposing restrictions on the amount of solar power you are allowed to export to the grid.  

These restrictions can limit the usefulness of an oversized solar system. Investing in battery storage is a great way to combat solar export restrictions because it allows you to store your excess generated power for later use rather than losing it when you meet your solar export limit. If battery storage is something that appeals to you now or in the future, it is important to size your PV system so that battery storage can be an option for you.

In order to protect their infrastructure, most modern energy networks have imposed limitations on what you can install on a single phase. In most cases, you cannot have more than 10kW of generating capacity on a single-phase, meaning while you can install a 10kW inverter, you are restricted from adding any other generating capacity to that phase.  

If battery storage is something you may be interested in adding to your solar system, it is important to note that some networks count battery inverter capacity towards your total allowable generating capacity. This means that if you already have a 10kW solar system, you would be unable to add battery storage due to the battery inverter pushing your home over the allowable 10kW. 

What does this mean for your home?

If you’re considering solar power or solar power and battery storage, the first step is understanding the system size restrictions imposed by your network. As a general rule, a 5kW or 6kW solar system is a safe bet for a residential home as it is both affordable and meets most of Australia’s network requirements. Choosing a solar system of this size also allows for the addition of a battery while keeping your home within the 10kW inverter restriction set in place in many regions across Australia.  

If storage does not interest you and you have no plans to add it to your home in the future, choosing an 8kW or 10kW inverter may suit you provided your energy requirements are high or you live in an area without grid export limitations.  

If you know you want to include battery storage with your solar system upfront, another alternative is to opt for a hybrid system. Hybrid systems combine both your solar inverter and your battery in one unit, meaning that the inverter capacity for that system is inclusive of both your solar and your battery inverter.  

No matter what you choose, understanding the limitations imposed by your network is an important step to correctly sizing your solar system. Bigger may not always be better when it comes to residential solar power but in some cases, an oversized solar system may be exactly what your home requires.

Redback Technologies proudly manufactures a range of Australia designed, tested, and supported solar systems, battery storage systems and hybrid systems. Get in touch with us today or speak to your local Redback installer to find out which system is best suited to your home.