Embarking on a fresh individual style which is no longer characteristic of a cloned SMA, Goodwe has evolved to flex some individual identity finally. Question marks though often always surround entry-level products from Chinese manufacturers, and make no mistake, the Goodwe brand competes at the relatively affordable end of the spectrum. However, could the Goodwe DNS series finally be the more economical solar inverter to get excited about?

.Make and model:  Goodwe DNS.

Variants: 3 / 3.6 / 4.2 / 5 / 6 kW.

  New design, Respectable performance.

  Limited features, Guarantee.

CONTENTS - The information you need, fast!

The only way had to be up for Goodwe in their most popular residential inverter classification. With a redesigned 3-6kW inverter model, Goodwe is now acquiring an identity which no-longer rides off the success of alternative industry influencers. As the industry edges towards a new solar inverter and energy storage control evolution, has Goodwe done enough to earn the trust of an industry with too many vulnerabilities?

Six common traits exist between modern solar inverter technologies. As such, comparing the Goodwe DNS Series against the industries best specifications in design, features, performance, guarantee, software and affordability outlines a better perspective of the Goodwe DNS Series place within a competitive market.

Design.

The new release white gloss exterior is a breath of fresh air for those seeking a more aesthetically pleasing design from their solar inverter. With no battery input terminal, the Goodwe DNS Series is battery compatible through either AC or DC coupling. Fanless design ensures low noise cooling via natural convection. Able to be mounted both indoors and outdoors the Goodwe DNS Series holds an IP65 weather rating. As with any inverter, areas exposed to direct sunlight should be avoided. 

With no individual award related explicitly to the Goodwe DNS series, the Goodwe brand as a whole is slowly acquiring praise from certain industry guilds. General build is one notch below inspiring as a very standard inverter design compared to alternatives available.

Goodwe DNS Inverter

Goodwe

DNS Design; SUPERIOR
  • AC and DC Coupled battery compatibility with selected battery
    technologies.
  • New Release.
  • Fanless.
  • Reputable national design award.
  • TÜV Reihnland certified.
  • Standard.
  • IP 65.

Features.

Featuring the now expected dual maximum power point tracker (MPPT) DC input, the Goodwe DNS Series can make the most of 2 alternative roof aspects without detriment to the other. The most debatable feature though as we head into a new era of solar inverter technologies is the LCD interface. As the most significant failure point in many inverters, manufacturers on the forefront are now adopting a modern multi-function LED interface with local app connectivity (no internet required) for instant inverter readings and fewer points of failure. To assist with ease of communication the Goodwe DNS series possess a WiFi communication module for wireless communication and an RS485 port for fixed line communication.

Less than desirable there is no inbuilt DC isolator, no optional manufacturer module-level optimisation capabilities and no manufacturer supplied module-level rapid shutdown capabilities. Features possessed by alternative makes which reduce the versatility of the Goodwe DNS Series in specific scenarios. With the release of the new Goodwe Smart Meter, there is, however, manufacturer supplied expanded monitoring capabilities. Consumption monitoring is almost a necessity with any system and the key to energy saving success.

Goodwe DNS Inverter

Goodwe

DNS Features; VERY GOOD
  • 2+ MPPTS.
  • LCD graphic interface.
  • WiFi & Ethernet inbuilt.
  • No manufacturer supplied module-level optimisation options.
  • No manufacturer supplied module-level rapid shutdown options.
  • Manufacturer supplied expanded monitoring options.
  • MPPT only shadow management.
  • Installer remote access support is rated at - operational parameter
    adjustments.

Performance.

Surprisingly, the Goodwe DNS series performs very well in comparison to the industry’s best specifications. A respectable 97% European efficiency is further complemented by a wide operating temperature window of -25°C to +60°C. Complimenting the intended mounting location weight is a minimal 13kg. Those sensitive to noise it must be noted there is an acute operating noise of less than 25 dB(A) which is less than most.

Goodwe DNS Inverter

Goodwe

DNS Performance; ELITE
  • 97.5% European efficiency.
  • Temperature range of -40°C (-40°F).
  • Temperature range of +60°C (140°F).
  • Temperature derating of 45°C (113°F).
  • Weighs 25 kg (55.1lbs).
  • Noise emission of 25 dB (A).

Guarantee.

The most underwhelming feature of the Goodwe DNS Series inverter is easily the warranty. 5-year parts and 5-year labour warranty goes fast when buying a solar energy system built for long-term results and environmental sustainability. The upside is that including an additional 5-year parts only warranty (total 10-yr parts coverage) is relatively inexpensive although not included in the base product offering. 

The least desirable aspect of the Goodwe DNS series guarantee is that there is no manufacturer trained installer network. Essentially, any installer can install the product without full knowledge of the Goodwe DNS Series solar inverters specific installation requirements to ensure secure warranty and extended life. When not installed to manufacturer specifications the warranty is void.

Goodwe DNS Inverter

Goodwe

DNS Guarantee; AVERAGE
  • 5-year parts warranty.
  • 5-year service warranty.
  • No authorised installer network.

Software.

Goodwe DNS Inverter

Goodwe

DNS Software; GOOD
  • SEMS Monitoring Portal.
  • iOS & Android app.
  • Alerts & fault diagnosis.

OVERALL.

The Goodwe DNS Series is not the best single-phase residential inverter in the world. What it does offer though is excellent value from a hugely evolving brand if installed correctly. With an abundance of future-proof compatible battery inverter options, the Goodwe brand potentially has one of the most rapidly growing inverter technology ranges available. The negative to this is more often than not a lack of refinement in the final product. The new Goodwe DNS series is a respectable variant of an entry-level, single-phase, 3 – 6kW inverter range ideal for those wanting to enjoy the benefits of solar but reserved regarding cost.

Tip: Upgrade the product warranty to 10-years purchased as an add-on at the time of sale. Worth the small additional extra cost.

Goodwe

DNS Overall; VERY GOOD
  • Design 4.0
  • Features 3.5
  • Performance 4.2
  • Guarantee 2.3
  • Software 3.0
Outstanding
[ 4.8 - 5 ] The pinnacle of certified specification.
Elite
[ 4.3 - 4.7 ] A rare calibre of technology produced by the industry elite.
Superior
[ 3.8 - 4.2 ] Specifications which are exceedingly superior to that of the industry average.
Very Good
[ 3.3 - 3.7 ] Advanced technology against the industry average.
Good
[ 2.8 - 3.2 ] Better than the industry average is that of which strives a portion better.
Average
[ 2.3 - 2.7 ] A score within this bracket is considered the industry average specification.
Ordinary
[ 1.8 - 2.2 ] Considered below the industry mainstream average.
Poor
[ 1.3 - 1.7 ] There's better, there's also worse.
Inferior
[ 0.8 - 1.2 ] Far below the modern industry average.
Awful
[ 0.3 - 0.7 ] Possesses specifications which are absent or unverified by a certified testing institute.
Avoid
[ 0 - 0.2 ] Unlikely for technology manufactured in the modern era.
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Insight.

How was the score for the Goodwe DNS solar inverter calculated? By using the Solar Review Inverter Assessment Criteria V2.4 >

How does the entire current range of Goodwe solar inverters compare against each other? Discover now >

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, How can batteries be connected to an existing GW5000D-NS inverter ? i.e. what other equipment that is needed ?

  2. The GW-DNS series is directly compatible with and partnered with Tigo panel level monitoring/fast shutdown/power optimisers – simply because GoodWe don’t make the power optimisers themselves is no detriment.

    I own the GW-DNS5000 from the generation before, it is virtually identical bar styling. Years of back-tracking has not found the LCD display to be a letdown in reliability, in fact an LCD screen is a plus – you have full control over functionality and monitoring on the unit itself as well as monitoring on the app. I have not found any especial instances of the LCD screen being a weak point in Goodwe inverters online nor has mine been problematic (3-4 years now). I spent quite a lot of time researching componentry and GoodWe kept popping up as a high-quality brand with a proven track-record in the industry: affordability without compromise in performance or build, and was my eventual choice (I have academic training in renewable energy and threw myself into the project).

    To be frank, with Goodwe’s shadow optimisation (minimisation of shading of panels via MPPT) only matched by SMA and Fronius, high efficiency, good build quality and flawless performance this is the inverter to beat when it comes to price vs performance with few compromises.

    At a third less pricewise even when purchasing additional warranty (inexpensive) unless one has 3-4 roof aspects (the minority of installations), it is sheer snobbery to pay more for no extra advantage in a string inverter.

    Mine is paired with BYD modules (panels) and is the best-performing year-in, year out local system on pvoutput.org.

    Highly recommended, a solidly engineered unit with high efficiency and reliability. As the review notes, GoodWe has slowly gained repute with industry bodies as a manufacturer of high quality innovative products – their hybrid inverters and DC coupling unit (DC coupling is far more efficient) are class leading.

    Save your hard-earned money and be reassured this unit will serve you for years and years to come – the point of renewable technology is clean energy inexpensively and the Goodwe DNS series incorporates all the technologies that have made other “GoodWe Photon” magazine stunners.

    A standout from a company dedicated to excellence.

    Installers report it is very easy to install, probably one of the easiest: very few inverters have inbuilt DC isolators as most building codes (as on my state) require external DC isolators making an internal DC isolator additional cost, weight and size.

    It’s truly not worth lavishing money on solar inverters and modules (panels) sold as “premium” (these are not cars, no-one will be admiring your equipment as such – at heart you are generating electricity!) the performance gained is truly minimal when you choose wisely (such as this inverter coupled with inexpensive yet well-rated panels. The payback time can be years more with no advantages. Certainly there are inverter brands to be wary of but GoodWe is not one of them.

    In some complicated installations (a fairly high degree of shading and/or 3-4 differing roof aspects) one might want specialised rather more costly solutions to achieve decent outputs.

    Please make sure your installer is very good (unfortunately there are a lot of cowboys) – there are some very good installers who seem indelibly wedded to the highest-priced equipment and associated snobbery (there is a lot of this for not good reason)…most will work with you on inverter and panel choice even though they might “prefer” brands costing $800 more, there’s no reason beyond perception.

    It’s the simple truth, “premium” solar equipment is largely marketing and I repeat will not bring you greater reliability nor power outputs.

    Certainly GoodWe inverters are as reliable as Austrian-made Fronius inverters, slightly more efficient without the cost disadvantage (Fronius inverters also look like a streamlined vacuum cleaner, odd to the eye). SMA no longer manufactures their DNS-equivalents in Germany (teardowns indicate far less adherence to build quality yet yoy still pay for the German-made price-tag).

    GoodWe truly have carved a name for themselves amongst industry groups due to proven quality, cost-effectiveness and reliability since 2012. As far as I know, the DNS series is the only non-European string inverter with Shadow optmisation, as mentioned their hybrid (battery and inverter) and DC coupler are market leaders.

    You can’t go wrong buying a GoodWe DNS inverter – I would recommend one in most standard installation situations. You are just adding payback time and many hundreds of dollars buying Fronius. Enphase microinverters and Solaredge inverters with their essentially required as part of the Solaredge “package” power optimisers are only worthwhile in difficult installations where challenges demand you eke out every watt in quite suboptimal situations.

    Fronius if you have 3-4 different roof areas where you plan or are forced to install panels due to roof design.

    In the vast majority of cases I’d buy Goodwe and smile – the difference between “premium” inverters and panels versus quality standard is so minimal that it’s little more than marketing than any on the ground performance and reliability.

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