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Grid Tie Inverter Pricing & Reviews

Few things are as much a source of confusion for DIYers as whether a small-scale DIY system merits a Grid Tie Inverter. The interest in Grid Tie Inverters appropriate for the small-scale DIY market has resulted in a proliferation of products, many of which simply don't pass muster.

If what you've been looking for is a summary of some of best options available on the market, then check out our reviews and pricing on inverters for the small-scale DIY wind market.

UL-approved GTIs

Power-One Aurora Wind 3000W $1,622.92
SMA Windyboy 2000W No results.
Outback GTFX 2500W $1659
GINLONG GCI-2K 2000W $1,500

Other GTIs (not UL approved)

Using a GTI that has not been UL-approved has the possibility of creating problems with your utility and endangering electrical workers. The benefit with these non UL-approved GTIs is that you can get power even with relatively small turbines, which isn't true for most of the higher wattage, UL-approved GTIs which we mention above. Many of those are designed to be used on wind turbines that produce high voltages.

250 Watt SWEA Grid Tie Inverter

250 Watt SWEA Grid Tie Inverter $199

Our resident expert Murray (Forum Member: Murray2paddles) used four of these together with a Windtura 750 and says the following (he notes that he now uses Sun GTI’s):

Pros

  • Running well even during high winds
  • No downtime due to over-voltage
  • Excellent after-sales customer service; no language barrier

Cons

  • No MPPT; must tune chips to match turbine's capacity
  • Not an “out of the box” GTI. Requires tweaking.

Power Jack 1200 Watt Grid Tie Inverter

1200 watt grid tie Power Jack $249

Our resident GTI expert Murray (Forum Member: Murray2paddles) has used one of these with a Windtura 500 and says the following:

Pros

  • Good customer service
  • With add-ons it became a decent unit

Murray tells us that after the unit initially fried, Power Jack replaced it immediately. However, a word of caution on international sales. Even though a replacement was offered, you will have to send back the damaged unit and this is not cheap.

SWEA provided Murray with one of their dump loads and an AP box that would control the voltage input. He tells us that since then, the Power Jack has worked well and is handling all the wind (even very large storms) without a furling system.

Cons

The recommendations are not to use a turbine rated higher than 600 watts. Murray notes that the first time he hooked it up to our WindTura 500 Complete Wind Turbine system, he melted it in under 2 minutes!

He replaced the Windtura 500 with a Windblue and then a Presto to try out. Things have since ran well, but he adds that not much power is produced by these units.

Murray also tried to use a battery bank to buffer the volts, but this GTI did not like that. On its own, the Power Jack was not operating or matching Murray's turbines.

Sun G 500 (10-30V) Grid Tie Inverter

Sun G 500 (10-30V) $188.29

Our resident expert Larry (Forum member: leamywind1) uses one of these with three wind turbines (2 pole mounted and 1 roof mounted). Larry uses a WindBlue with a 5-blade WindyNation rotor, a Windmax 500 Watt and a Windmax 1 kWatt. He uses the Sun G 500 (10-30V) watt and the SWEA grid tie inverters, and he generously makes several videos available on his website, at www.leamyelectricinc.com.

Overall, Larry recommends the Sun G 500 for wind turbines.

Pros

  • Disconnects at 30v for overvoltage protection
  • Has a dump load built-in, although you must add a dump load resistor
  • Using a 24v wind turbine really works well with these grid tie inverters
  • 10-30 Watts produced in about 8-10 MPH winds for low wind production

Sun G 1000 Watt Grid Tie Inverter

Sun G 1000 grid tie inverter $359.88

Larry (Forum Member: leamywind1) has tried the 1000 Watt wind-rated Sun G with his 1 kWatt Windmax. He reports good results, although notes there are some drawbacks. We hope he shares more soon!