Fronius Inverters





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  1. #1
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    Default Fronius Inverters

    I have an Axpert system that is doing its thing pretty well, however as we all know it is a UPS and not too smart. I have recently installed panels. Not very optimally at all, but as I stay in a thatched shack in a complex, hte car port is literally the only place I could put panels and they are not optimally orientated etc.

    That being said, without killing my batteries every night, I can only really use the panels to float charge the batteries which does not really make use of what little power I have.

    After some stonking bills, i would like to at least make full use of the solar i have during the day and as such would like to know if anyone has a view on this.

    https://www.inverter-warehouse.co.za...us-primo-8-2-1

    I know that Fronius welders are considered the dogs do dahs, so I assume that their inverters are also top shelf stuff. But will they do what I want? I want to be able to prioritise power sources as
    1) panels if available - and add from Grid as needed.
    2) Pull from Grid when panels are down (normal night-time).
    3) Pull from panels and Batteries (or just batteries) when grid is down.

    Main question is would this fronius do the job and still take care of charging the batteries etc like the Axpert does. At present the whole installation is done and it should be pretty easy to swap out Axpert for "smarter" inverter. Ideally I like the all-in-one functionality and don't want to have to do inverter and battery management etc all separately as this would need much more installation changes.

    If the fronius won't do the job, what would and still provide a reasonable amount of vooma >5KVA? Also who has good parts and spares backup if things go pearshaped?

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    I have an Axpert system that is doing its thing pretty well, however as we all know it is a UPS and not too smart. I have recently installed panels. Not very optimally at all, but as I stay in a thatched shack in a complex, hte car port is literally the only place I could put panels and they are not optimally orientated etc.

    That being said, without killing my batteries every night, I can only really use the panels to float charge the batteries which does not really make use of what little power I have.

    After some stonking bills, i would like to at least make full use of the solar i have during the day and as such would like to know if anyone has a view on this.

    https://www.inverter-warehouse.co.za...us-primo-8-2-1

    I know that Fronius welders are considered the dogs do dahs, so I assume that their inverters are also top shelf stuff. But will they do what I want? I want to be able to prioritise power sources as
    1) panels if available - and add from Grid as needed.
    2) Pull from Grid when panels are down (normal night-time).
    3) Pull from panels and Batteries (or just batteries) when grid is down.

    Main question is would this fronius do the job and still take care of charging the batteries etc like the Axpert does. At present the whole installation is done and it should be pretty easy to swap out Axpert for "smarter" inverter. Ideally I like the all-in-one functionality and don't want to have to do inverter and battery management etc all separately as this would need much more installation changes.

    If the fronius won't do the job, what would and still provide a reasonable amount of vooma >5KVA? Also who has good parts and spares backup if things go pearshaped?
    I can't comment on Fronius, But I run a 5000/48 Victron Multiplus 2. Also a Victron MPPT and a Blue Nova Batery.

    It does everything your require.

    You are welcome to contact me if you would like to talk more on the topic. I am no expert, but did install everything myself and do understand it and what it is capable of.

    Rudu
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    "i would like to at least make full use of the solar i have during the day and as such would like to know if anyone has a view on this"

    You'd need a hybrid that offers battery charging and grid tie capabilities. The Fronius seems to offer that.
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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by rdp View Post
    I can't comment on Fronius, But I run a 5000/48 Victron Multiplus 2. Also a Victron MPPT and a Blue Nova Batery.

    It does everything your require.

    You are welcome to contact me if you would like to talk more on the topic. I am no expert, but did install everything myself and do understand it and what it is capable of.

    Rudu
    Thanks let me look into this option as well.

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    If the aim is only to reduce utility bills, you first need to calculate if the panels you have will ever pay of the new inverter, and how much will you save with panels not positioned in an ideal way.

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    I will say for a Solis if you want to run the axpert with it. I know someone that is running his setup like this. The Solis is Grid-tie so it feeds the Axpert with grid and solar that then charge the batteries and the house run of the Axpert. If the grid or solar falls away the house will run from the axpert.

    If you planning to go Fronius, then i will consider to upgrade to a Victron inverter to, the Fronius unit and Victron go hand in hand when connecting them together.

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    The combination of a Solis and Axpert works great. From an economy point of view the Solis can pay for itself in 1 year. No setup to be done. Pure plug and play with 5 wires to connect.

    A good video of the 2 from Geen Pro Consulting on YouTube and shared a number of times on the forum as well.

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    The combination of a Solis and Axpert works great. From an economy point of view the Solis can pay for itself in 1 year. No setup to be done. Pure plug and play with 5 wires to connect.

    A good video of the 2 from Geen Pro Consulting on YouTube and shared a number of times on the forum as well.
    Thanks for this suggestion. I see that this means I loose panels when there is load shedding during the day if I understand this one correctly. Also Solis appears to be made in China and I am very anti China at the moment.

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by faniedup View Post
    If the aim is only to reduce utility bills, you first need to calculate if the panels you have will ever pay of the new inverter, and how much will you save with panels not positioned in an ideal way.
    From a purely mathematical perspective you are right, but much like the master card add, it ignores the satisfaction of denying eskom more revenue than I absolutely have to give them factor, which weighs heavily with me at this point.

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    Thanks for this suggestion. I see that this means I loose panels when there is load shedding during the day if I understand this one correctly. Also Solis appears to be made in China and I am very anti China at the moment.
    Victron is tops. If you have your own business sign up with getoffgrid and het discount. They also sell Fronius.
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  12. #11
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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    I see that this means I loose panels when there is load shedding during the day if I understand this one correctly.
    You are correct.
    To not lose the panels potential, you need a hybrid grid tying inverter.
    Fronius/Victron inverter is also more expensive than a Victron MPPT/inverter combination.

    Note: All grid tied inverters disconnect from panels when Eskom goes off, even the Fronius/Victron combination.
    A Victron hybrid disconnects from Eskom too with one caveat i.e. system will keep on using panels and batteries when disconnected from Eskom, as in 100% off-grid, till Eskom comes back on, if you use a MPPT instead of a grid tied inverter.

    There is a lot to say for panels keep the loads running with the batteries just sitting there idling, ready for evening use.


    Ps. There are other makes that do the same but I don't own one so I cannot comment.
    Pss. If you grid tie, don't overlook the national SANS and NRS SSEG regulations. And do consider getting a CoC and all that for the solar installation.


    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    Also Solis appears to be made in China and I am very anti China at the moment.
    Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater ... cannot do that unless Solis was Proudly SA.
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  13. #12
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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Had a quick look and the Solis units are all 3 Phase when you go to the 5kW range, can you parallel them?

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    Thanks for this suggestion. I see that this means I loose panels when there is load shedding during the day if I understand this one correctly. Also Solis appears to be made in China and I am very anti China at the moment.
    Being anti China I cannot offer any help.

    As far as loosing your solar when there is loadshedding I can just say I "loose" much more power that could be generated due to cloud which is a act of GOD. Both instances I have no control over and just accept it.

    Even in peak solar times of loadshedding I loose far less due to LS than cloud cover. Some days my PV is only 25% of a normal day due to cloud and LS still gives me 70-80% of the maximum provided it is a clear sunny day. It's always interesting to see the nagatives being implified purely because it excists.

    @Faniedup - The Solis mini 4G is avaialable from 0.7kW to 6kW for single phase units and also on the approved list for the city of CT. Just contact a supplier instead of just those popular models seen when you Google.

    Yes you can connect a number of Solis units in parallel without any comms cards between them as each one would measure the grid and output the AC. I have not seen more than 1 unit in parallel but this is AFAIK. The Solis RHI hybrid cannot be connected in parallel.
    Last edited by ekkekan; 2020/09/16 at 06:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    Thanks for this suggestion. I see that this means I loose panels when there is load shedding during the day if I understand this one correctly. Also Solis appears to be made in China and I am very anti China at the moment.
    Your a bit buggered on that China part. To the best of my knowledge ALL or nearly all Inverter are made in China.

    Either -

    Made in China and sold as a Chinese product with a Chinese nametag.
    Made in Chine and sold as a Chinese product with a "English" no name nametag.
    Made in China and sold as a Chinese product with a well know brand Badge.
    Made in China and sold as a "First World" product with a well known brand badge.

    Then for all the above you can replace "Made in China" with "Assembled in China" or "Parts sourced from China"
    Virtually everything you touch of an electronics/technology nature, from your SmartPhone to your Car Parts, to your home appliances and tools, hell even your cloths and household chemicals falls onto one of the classes above. I am hard pressed to think of ANYTHING doesn't.

    That Solis is a very good product. But for that price you can get a proper Hybid that wont lose the PV panels. There are also ways to detect mains fail and keep the Solis alive and help with PV power when the mains fails.
    Cheers

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  16. #15
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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Ja was gonna comment on China but Fluffy did a better job.
    Jakes Louw
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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    It would be interesting to know what % of airbag inflators for the global market are made in China yet we seem to distrust inverters or other less risky devices.

    Fluffy could you perhaps shed some light on your view of keeping the Solis panels usefull even during LS apart from switching the panels from the Solis to say another back up inverter.

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    It would be interesting to know what % of airbag inflators for the global market are made in China yet we seem to distrust inverters or other less risky devices.

    Fluffy could you perhaps shed some light on your view of keeping the Solis panels usefull even during LS apart from switching the panels from the Solis to say another back up inverter.

    I'm working on it. .

    OK - using a simple mains activated switch over contactor.

    Op's Normal -
    Grid Tie inverter generates power from PV and Syncs to mains. We now feed this to the Axpert that is charging batteries and supplying load via bypass function. All good. Maximum use of PV, batteries charged, Load can be as much as Mains AND PV Grid Tie together can supply. (the old mix and share boogy man)

    Mains Fails (LS etc) -
    Contactor drops out. Grid Tie's mains side is rerouted to output of Axpert. Axpert sees power fail at its input and switches the load from bypass to its output. Load is now running from the Batteries via the Axpert -- BUT -- The Grid tie is connected to the Axperts output via the Contactor, so the Grid Tie sees the Axperts 220v AC output as mains. The Grid Tie syncs to the Axpert and thinks the mains is OK and generates power, the same as it would if there was mains. (which there is, its just coming from the Axpert and not EKSDOM)

    --------------------------

    Serious Disclaimer - DONT TRY THIS AT HOME.

    There are little issues like timing that need to be tested and possibly resolved. If you just suck it and see it could be fine or disastrous, depending on the exact choice of equipment, mode settings and the direction of the wind..
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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by the_terrible_triplett View Post
    Note: All grid tied inverters disconnect from panels when Eskom goes off, even the Fronius/Victron combination.
    A Victron hybrid disconnects from Eskom too with one caveat i.e. system will keep on using panels and batteries when disconnected from Eskom, as in 100% off-grid, till Eskom comes back on, if you use a MPPT instead of a grid tied inverter.
    I believe this is not true for a Multiplus with a frequency shift capable grid tied inverter (eg Fronius or Solis) connected on its output side (AC-Coupled). The only caveat is that you can't have a larger grid tied inverter than the multi and you need a large enough battery bank that can sink the excess current when a load disconnects.

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    I'm working on it. .

    OK - using a simple mains activated switch over contactor.

    The Grid tie is connected to the Axperts output via the Contactor, so the Grid Tie sees the Axperts 220v AC output as mains. The Grid Tie syncs to the Axpert and thinks the mains is OK and generates power, the same as it would if there was mains. (which there is, its just coming from the Axpert and not EKSDOM)
    Thanks a lot. This is what I have been thinking one could do but the main stumbling block is as you said. Need someone to sponsor the inverters just in case......

    There are such systems using a Fronius and the video indicates how the freq of the grid tied is altered when using the back-up inverter's output as the grid. As you indicated this power should never be able to reach the grid and perhaps one could also use a transfer switch to ensure the grid connection is isolated. Although the contactor would be ideal to switch back without having to switch the transfer switch if it was a manual switch.

    The portion that I was worried about was if there is no load on the installation and the grid tied generates based on panels connected where will this power go? If the grid used during LS was a genny 2-3 times the max of the grid tied it should not be a problem Me thinks.

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    Default Re: Fronius Inverters

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    Thanks a lot. This is what I have been thinking one could do but the main stumbling block is as you said. Need someone to sponsor the inverters just in case......

    There are such systems using a Fronius and the video indicates how the freq of the grid tied is altered when using the back-up inverter's output as the grid. As you indicated this power should never be able to reach the grid and perhaps one could also use a transfer switch to ensure the grid connection is isolated. Although the contactor would be ideal to switch back without having to switch the transfer switch if it was a manual switch.

    The portion that I was worried about was if there is no load on the installation and the grid tied generates based on panels connected where will this power go? If the grid used during LS was a genny 2-3 times the max of the grid tied it should not be a problem Me thinks.
    Pretty much my thinking. The grid tied would be set to not back feed, but that is never perfect. I was thinking about a sacrificial load like a 100W lamp or heating element that is always connected to keep the control loop happy.

    It doesn’t absolutely have to be a waste. Maybe the sacrificial load could be a battery charger. mmmmmmmm
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2020/09/16 at 11:55 PM.
    Cheers

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