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    Only the cheapest balcony power plant is good

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    Only the cheapest balcony power plant is good

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    Stiftung Warentest tests eight balcony power plants. Only one system, which is also the cheapest, performs well. Four test candidates are good power generators, but work with a problematic inverter. Three mini solar systems fail.

    The demand for balcony power plants is high in Germany. In 2022, almost 100,000 systems were registered, and by the end of August 2023 there were already 300,000. And the trend is likely to continue to rise steeply due to further regulatory simplifications and cheaper prices. In principle, installing a mini solar system is also a good idea; under favorable conditions, the investment can pay for itself after just five years, writes Stiftung Warentest, which tested eight balcony power plants.

    However, only one of the systems received a good quality rating. An inverter that electromagnetically interferes with other devices and radio connections is often problematic. In three test candidates, the component was only rated as sufficient, while three balcony power plants failed due to defective inverters. The Hoymiles HM-800 used by them was taken off the market by the Federal Network Agency for review.

    Some plants are not particularly stable and their solar panels can break under hail, storms or snow loads. Other power plants generate significantly less electricity or even no electricity at all if their modules are partially shaded or covered with leaves or bird droppings.

    Test winner a discontinued model

    The test winner is the EPP solar balcony power plant 830 Wwhich achieved a quality rating of 2.2. Stiftung Warentest only rated its power generation as satisfactory due to problems in shade, but its stability and safety are good. And the inverter, like its handling, was at least satisfactory. You can currently buy the power station online for just under 400 euros, but according to the manufacturer it is a discontinued model.

    The second-placed Absaar balcony power station 600W/800W Premium has largely similar individual ratings. However, due to handling only being rated as adequate, it only received a satisfactory overall rating of 2.6. Online retailers are currently offering it for around 600 euros.

    Good generators with bad inverters

    Good power generation is provided by the Electricity Made Easy Balcony Power Station Complete Set 810Wwhich achieved third place with a quality rating of 3.3. Its safety is very good, its stability is good, and its handling is satisfactory. However, the inverter only received an adequate rating. Stiftung Warentest gives the average online price as 630 euros, but the mini solar system is now hard to find.

    The best power generator (2.3) among the test candidates is the PV and SO 840W balcony power station with HM-800which costs around 520 euros. Not only does it have a defective inverter, its stability was also rated poorly, and its handling was rated only adequate. Even very good safety could not save the system from failing.

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