Having a solar PV system for your home is great, but wouldn’t it be even better if you could actually monitor the performance and other relevant data about your solar system? Fortunately, practically all modern solar inverters come with monitoring capabilities through the convenience of a Wi-Fi connection, but what exactly are Wi-Fi solar inverters?
Wi-Fi solar inverters are inverters that can connect to the internet through a Wi-Fi network. Through this network and a smart device, you can monitor the performance and energy data of your solar system through an app or website in real-time.
We’ll cover everything you need to know about Wi-Fi solar inverters, like getting real-time information on your solar system and establishing a Wi-Fi connection between your network and solar inverter.
Continue reading to learn all about Wi-Fi enabled solar inverters.
Table of Contents
What is Solar Inverter Wi-Fi Monitoring?
Solar inverter Wi-Fi monitoring refers to using a solar inverter connected to the internet to monitor the state of your solar system from anywhere. The solar inverter is connected to your home Wi-Fi and feeds information about your solar panels to an app you can check anywhere in real-time.
This kind of monitoring system gives you an overview of how the solar panels are performing or if any problems are detected. Among the data you can check are how much energy the solar panels produce and how much money is being saved. Most modern models produced by leading solar inverter brands are compatible with Wi-Fi monitoring capabilities.
The data shown by Wi-Fi capable solar inverters is essentially 100% accurate, as the data is determined by measuring the current that runs through the cables. Most modern wifi-capable solar inverters will show a live feed of the data as energy is produced and charts showing the daily, monthly, and even annual figures. Although data is usually updated in real-time, some inverters allow for an hourly update.
Why Does a Solar Inverter Need Wi-Fi?
A solar inverter needs Wi-Fi capability to get up-to-date information about your solar system anywhere you are, at any time. This can help you chart the effectiveness of your solar system using an easy-to-use app that’s constantly updated.
Wi-Fi capability doesn’t significantly change what a solar inverter is and what it does. The benefit of Wi-Fi inverters is the detailed information you can get to monitor your solar PV system’s performance.
Before solar inverters came with Wi-Fi capability more commonly, you would have to manually check the screen of your inverter in order to determine the amount of power produced and check for error codes or fault lights that would indicate issues that had to be fixed.
Now, you can do that from anywhere, which is very convenient, especially if you are away from home and need to keep an eye on your system.
Can All Solar Inverters Be Connected to Wi-Fi?
No. Although most modern solar inverters are Wifi capable, older or cheaper solar inverters tend to not come with the feature. Solar inverters must be built with Wi-Fi capabilities, and older models must be replaced if you require Wi-Fi connectivity.
If you’re shopping around for solar inverters from reputable brands and suppliers, chances are all their solar inverters can be connected to Wi-Fi or are very clearly marked otherwise if not.
During the solar inverter installation process, your solar installer can tell you whether your model is compatible with Wi-Fi.
Types of Wi-Fi Solar Inverter Monitoring
When it comes to Wi-Fi monitoring for solar inverters, there’s more to it than just having an inverter that connects to your phone. There are different types of Wi-Fi monitoring that your solar inverter can have, and it’s important to know the difference before you have one installed.
PV Production Monitoring
PV Production Monitoring comes built into new solar PV systems without any additional cost. They usually take the form of an on-screen display or through built-in Wi-Fi.
The latter is more common nowadays and is arguably the simplest way of checking your solar PV system’s performance and data, and also gives you insight as to when the best time to use appliances is for free by using solar energy.
PV Production & Energy Consumption Monitoring
This is similar to the usual built-in PV Production Monitoring that comes with solar inverters but is a little more advanced and requires extra hardware to run, usually a small device that sits in your meter box to better measure the flow of electricity.
These types of solar inverters not only show you how much energy you’re producing but how much energy your household or establishment is consuming as well. Like the NET meter, which energy companies use to calculate your utility bills, a device is placed inside the meter box and will measure incoming and outgoing electricity.
Third-Party Production & Monitoring
This type applies to older solar inverter units that do not provide built-in monitoring solutions. A third-party energy meter will monitor at roughly the same accuracy, albeit with extra hardware and a need for additional accessories to monitor production and consumption separately.
Solar inverters requiring third-party production monitoring must be done by a professional solar installer or licensed electrician. Third-party production monitoring is free to run once installed, unlike some Wi-Fi capable solar inverters.
How to Connect a Solar Inverter to Wi-Fi
The process of connecting your solar inverter to the Wi-Fi network requires downloading the proprietary app, detecting and connecting it to your home internet. However, the exact steps will vary between different inverter brands.
However, the setup and connection process should still be relatively similar for other brands. We will explore the steps for some of the popular solar inverter brands in Australia below.
Connecting Your GoodWe Solar Inverter to Wi-Fi
The steps to connect a GoodWe solar inverter to Wi-Fi are:
- Download and install the SEMS portal app, and ensure that your solar inverter or Ez Logger Pro (WiFi Version), as well as your modem are turned on.
- Launch the app and select ‘WiFi Configuration’ at the login page. Alternatively, you can select the WiFi icon at the homepage.
- After you have checked that the solar inverter is turned on, click ‘Next’.
- Choose ‘Go Into WLAN Setting Interface’
- Connect your device to the WiFi network and select ‘Solar-Wifi*’ using the password 12345678. (The * pertains to the last eight digits of the inverter’s serial number)
- Select ‘Next’
- Enter the name of the WiFi network, fill in the password, then select ‘Set’. If you would prefer to set a specific IP address for your inverter, make sure to switch off your DHCP and input the IP address prior to this step.
- Confirm the connection then select ‘Ok’.
Connecting Your Huawei Solar Inverter to Wi-Fi
The steps to connect a Huawei solar inverter to Wi-Fi are:
- To initiate the process, download the FusionSolar app from either the Google Play or Apple App stores. For every succeeding step, you will require your solar inverter and a WiFi capable device with the FusionHome app installed.
- Log into your inverter through the FusionSolar app. Then proceed to the ‘Me’ tab below, and select ‘Commissioning’. You should then be able to login as ‘USER’ using the default password; 00000a.
- Once logged in, select the three dots (…) from the top right corner, and select settings, router connecting settings, and then select your WiFi network. Fill in your password and connect.
- Check and confirm the status of your connection.
Connecting Your SunGrow Solar Inverter to Wi-Fi
The steps to connect a SunGrow solar inverter to Wi-Fi are:
- Login to the Sungrow app using your credentials. If you do not have an existing account yet, select ‘Register’ to create one.
- Choose the ‘+’ icon shown at the top right corner.
- You will be given the choice of two plant types, choose ‘Residential’.
- Next, you will be asked to specify what type of solar inverter you have. Choose the one that matches your system.
- Choose WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network)
- A screen will appear displaying the solar inverter’s network name. Open your device’s WiFi settings and connect to your inverter. The name will be ‘SG’ followed by the serial number located at the side of your inverter’s WiFi dongle.
- Go back to the app, there should be a message displayed over the screen indicating that the connection was successful. Click ‘Next’.
- Select your household’s WiFi network, then login as you normally would on any other device and select ‘Confirm’.
- You might have to refresh the list by selecting the spinning orange arrows. But the app should be displaying that the inverter is connected.
Can I Connect a Solar Inverter to Wi-Fi Myself?
Although it’s possible to connect your solar inverter to Wi-Fi yourself, you should not need to. When your solar specialist installs your solar inverter, they will usually connect it to the Wi-Fi themselves to save you the trouble.
If you’re not experienced with solar PV systems, it’s best to leave connections and installations to the professionals. Our in-house team at JFK Electrical Solar & Air are Mandurah’s leading solar PV experts. Our passion for designing, supplying, and installing quality customised solutions that cater to specific, individual needs will ensure that your solar inverter, regardless of model and manufacturer, will be installed professionally.
Does a Solar Inverter Need Wi-Fi?
No. Before the widespread adoption of Wi-Fi, older solar inverters did not have Wi-Fi capability. Some inverters can monitor through a Bluetooth connection, USB connection, or touch screen. However, some manufacturers will require an internet connection (through Wi-Fi) to validate the product warranty.
The inclusion of Wi-Fi capability in solar inverters has made monitoring your solar system easier, but it was by no means impossible. Systems with older solar inverters can still be monitored, you’ll just need to do it manually instead of having updates come through on your phone.
Does Wi-Fi Consume More Inverter Battery?
Yes. As with every other smart device out there, establishing a Wi-Fi connection will consume more of the inverter’s battery life. Solar inverter models with a cabled internet connection will drain less battery, however, the amount will be fairly insignificant.
This article is published in good faith and for general informational purposes only. JFK Electrical does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness and reliability of this information. Always seek personalised advice on solar energy to ensure any recommendations suit your property and scenario.
John Lyons, the owner of JFK Electrical Solar & Air, started his career in the electrical industry in 1997. With years of experience gained in the industry across multiple continents, he relocated to Australia and decided to specialise in solar and air conditioning. After deciding he wanted to be closer to his family, John began his own local electrical business in Mandurah, using his extensive knowledge and training in the industry. At JFK, John’s number one goal is to provide tailored solutions to his customers. And thanks to his experience and commitment to his customers, JFK Electrical is now one of the most trusted local businesses in Mandurah for solar and electrical services.