‘High brand recognition’ meets modern features in new GE inverter


This Thursday, pv magazine Australia is hosting a webinar during which the new GE rooftop PV inverter will be unveiled. The 5 kWp inverter includes all of the features that are expected of a modern inverter, says Glen Morris, and then adds a little bit more.

“I’ve been assessing the installation experience of the product, so I installed it and played with it and I have to say it looks really nice,” said Morris, describing its color as “metallic gold. And it’s so small, for five kilowatts, nine kilos is just insane.”

Morris is a Australian solar industry stalwart, having designed and installed on and offered solar and storage systems since since 1991, both on and off-grid. He is a member of the Australian Standards committee responsible for developing the solar and battery safety and installation standards for over ten years and currently runs the Smart Energy Lab – which has become an online endeavour during the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the GE rooftop inverters to roll of production lines arrived at the Smart Energy Lab towards the end of August. Morris installed and has begun testing the system. He notes that it has all the features that are expected of a “modern inverter” in 2020 – including dual MPPT, and a compliant DC isolator. Additionally, it provides notification of the system owner if the inverter is responding to a demand from the network operator (DNSP) to curtail production or export.

“The future has arrived,” says Morris, “now that South Australia has quite a restricted grid and is mandating the ability to shut down inverters with remote communications. But how does the customer know that it’s not a fault, but that it has received the demand?” The GE inverter includes on its color display an icon alerting the householder to such curtailment – if it is to occur. “So you’d know you’ve been shut down due to high grid volts and excess [solar] generation.”

Along with this feature, Morris describes the grid connection process for the GE inverter as relatively straightforward. He said he was pleasantly surprised to discover that it did not require an app to manage connection, with instead the process conducted through the integrated control panel.

But it’s perhaps the significant brand value that sets apart the GE inverter, according to the industry veteran. He says that the iconic GE cursive script will help set the inverter apart in a crowded landscape. “It is kind of like having Ford written on something,” says Morris. “It’s a brand you’ve known and your parents have known, so it feels like something solid. So you certainly wouldn’t expect them to disappear next week.”

GE itself is no stranger to supplying power electronics to the solar industry. It reports having supplied some 7.5 GW of solar PV inverters to the large scale market segment globally.

Join the free pv magazine Australia webinar on Thursday, September 3 at 4pm AEST to hear Glen Morris set out his experience with the product, along with the Smart Energy Council’s John Grimes and Thomas Buccalleto from GE.

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