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  1. #1
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    Default Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    We are in the process of buying a house, with the intention of having power generation and backup.
    Understanding that storage is the biggest portion of the cost, and having gone down the lead acid road already, I'm looking around at different lithium battery options.

    I am not a brand snob, (no offence to anyone who prefers premium brands), but if I can get the same performance out of a brand like Fivestar, etc, then I am quite content.

    I previously had a 24v Fivestar lithium battery in our old apartment, but now faced with the prospect of spending north of R30k on a battery, I would just like to know from the more learned and experienced.
    Fivestar 10KwH currently available in the R30k range, which seems to be the best value in terms of R per KwH. Is this a wise choice, or should I look to the more prominent brands, in the typical 5KwH segment, but at a higher R per KwH?
    I also recall some positive review on Fivestar inverters (Uys and Fluffy come to mind), if I'm not mistaken?

    In terms of inverters, I'm looking also at brands like Fivestar, LuxPower, etc.

    Panels will be whatever offers the best R per Kwp, based on availability when I pull the trigger.

    Any wisdom and insight will be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by stof-lappie View Post
    Any wisdom and insight will be appreciated.
    Just one ... my take.

    On the one hand:
    I would install the cheapest safest system taking 100% cognisance of the fact that when things go wrong, I'm totally on my own.
    Anything other than that a huge bonus.

    Vs

    Pay the premium for a brand that one knows has been around for longer than their warranties given.

    In other words, it boils down to one's level of acceptable risk taking.

    Case point:
    10 year warranties, the products not even on the market for 10 years, the company selling/importing/supporting not even around for 10 years ... ok.

    Very small % of companies last 10 years.



    More and more people are wondering ... so, what happens if my supplier/installer closes shop?

    Another question one must ponder on: Why does it cost so much to get XYZ certification?
    We don't have SABS standards anymore.

    Solar systems, batteries, are not small change ...

    And no, you don't get the same performance.
    Many toppies out there who swore on brands initially have done a 180 later.

    All about your wallet, level of tolerance, how DIY you want to get if you need to.

    Other than that, NOTHING wrong with cheaper brands, as long as they are safe, not really cheap crap.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    If Fivestar worked for you before and offers good value now, why not stick with it?
    Last edited by Floris; 2024/02/12 at 12:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Going DIY your guarantee goes out the window anyway.
    Cheers

    NAGOF

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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Going DIY your guarantee goes out the window anyway.
    General good advice for all. Including insurance.

    For the DIY crowd, depends on the manufacturer, and on who can have it insured.

    But that is a totally dedicated topic for the few.
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Not so much in solar, but in technology in general when you mix and match and have issues you'll end up with the suppliers all pointing fingers at everyone else and stay in the lurch. Whatever brands you pick make sure the connected products (inverters, MPPT, panels and batteries) are all supported by the other component suppliers. If your Fivestar batteries don't perform, how will you convince them it's not the inverter supplier's fault, and vice versa.
    Last edited by Gungets Tuft; 2024/02/12 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Calamitous spelling and formatting
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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    To clarify, I won't be DIYing.
    I do have a family friend who is licensed and certified, and will only charge me for the labour and BOS, allowing me to purchase the big ticket items myself, if I want to, provided they aren't absolute nonsense, no name brands.

    I mention Fivestar, having owned previously, as stated. However that small system was sold with the house so ownership was for about a year and a half, with not a single problem. But I'm now looking at spending a considerable amount more that I had previously done.

    There are other brands like LBSA which seem to also be a good value proposition.
    In my case, my budget is finite, and can only go so far, so I'm at the crossroads of "bigger, budget brand", or "smaller, premium brand".

    Thanks for the insights thus far. As always, wisdom is greatly appreciated.

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by stof-lappie View Post
    There are other brands like LBSA which seem to also be a good value proposition.
    In my case, my budget is finite, and can only go so far, so I'm at the crossroads of "bigger, budget brand", or "smaller, premium brand".
    In that case ... What costs the most, biggest PITA?
    1) Batteries.
    2) Panels + their mounting, having to add later, or not + combiner box.
    3) DB work/fixes.

    Inverter, contrary to popular belief, is the easiest one to replace, if the above is done with care, foresight, that one can chop and change it when it breaks/upgraded.
    Last edited by the_terrible_triplett; 2024/02/12 at 01:41 PM.
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    Not so much in solar, but in technology in general when you mix and match and have issues you'll end up with the suppliers all pointing fingers at everyone else and stay in the lurch. Whatever brands you pick make sure the connected products (inverters, MPPT, panels and batteries) are all supported by the other component suppliers. If your Fivestar batteries don't perform, how will you convince them it's not the inverter supplier's fault, and vice versa.
    Mmmm - Very very few systems have the same name brand Inverter and Batteries.

    Although they may exist, I for instance, have never seen a Victron system with Victron batteries, nor a Hubble battery with a Hubble inverter, etc, etc.

    As you say "not so much in solar".

    It's a bit like the good old days of component Hi-Fi systems. You got the brigade that insisted if you bought Pioneer, the speakers and the amplifier and the turntable must all be Pioneer, forgetting that there is no way one manufacturer could make the best of all three. So the enthusiast would choose the best components from different specialist manufacturers, but it was always his responsibility to make sure that they are compatible.
    Cheers

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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Try and stick with brands that are sold and supported by Solar Systems suppliers and not fly by night internet grey import and/or drop shipment companies. If the supplier sells Inverters and Batteries and knives and teapots and torches and dishcloths .......... think carefully.

    I helped family in Port Shepstone last week. Remotely, over WhatApp. Inverter arrived Dead on Arrival - faulty LCD screen. Now he is waiting for internet supplier to collect. Then they will ship to importer. If faulty they will replace. But he has to pay courier fees upfront, and they will refund if the Inverter is found to be faulty and not a problem caused by him.

    So if you are not going premium - Dyness - Kodak - RCT - MECER - Growatt - etc, etc. from reputable suppliers.
    Cheers

    NAGOF

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Try and stick with brands that are sold and supported by Solar Systems suppliers and not fly by night internet grey import and/or drop shipment companies. If the supplier sells Inverters and Batteries and knives and teapots and torches and dishcloths .......... think carefully.

    I helped family in Port Shepstone last week. Remotely, over WhatApp. Inverter arrived Dead on Arrival - faulty LCD screen. Now he is waiting for internet supplier to collect. Then they will ship to importer. If faulty they will replace. But he has to pay courier fees upfront, and they will refund if the Inverter is found to be faulty and not a problem caused by him.

    So if you are not going premium - Dyness - Kodak - RCT - MECER - Growatt - etc, etc. from reputable suppliers.
    Thanks Oom Fluffy.
    If memory serves me correctly, it was a post you did many moons ago about a Fivestar inverter from Electroman, as being a fantastic deal at the time, that first got me to look at the Fivestar brand.
    I never had a day's problem with the smaller battery I subsequently bought, but as stated already, smaller value, and for a shorter time.

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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by stof-lappie View Post
    To clarify, I won't be DIYing.
    I do have a family friend who is licensed and certified, and will only charge me for the labour and BOS, allowing me to purchase the big ticket items myself, if I want to, provided they aren't absolute nonsense, no name brands.
    I would say get recommendation from this certified friend, he will be best qualified with all his experience to help you decide. I guess if something is not performing or fails then you will be contacting him first to come help & fix?
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  23. #13
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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamakazi View Post
    I would say get recommendation from this certified friend, he will be best qualified with all his experience to help you decide. I guess if something is not performing or fails then you will be contacting him first to come help & fix?
    Thanks, I have done so.
    To his credit, he has worked on many different brands, sometimes installing, and sometimes fixing problematic systems installed by non-existent fly-by-nighters, so he has seen failures on premium brands, and he has seen "bullet-proof fong-kong's" (his terminology), so has allowed me some freedom within reason, where cost-saving is possible.
    If I go through him, I will pay his cost price, but through his suppliers, so limited to particular brands.
    I am very fortunate to have his assistance, so will not take advantage, or risk ruining our decades-long friendship either.

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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Mmmm - Very very few systems have the same name brand Inverter and Batteries.

    Although they may exist, I for instance, have never seen a Victron system with Victron batteries, nor a Hubble battery with a Hubble inverter, etc, etc.

    As you say "not so much in solar".

    It's a bit like the good old days of component Hi-Fi systems. You got the brigade that insisted if you bought Pioneer, the speakers and the amplifier and the turntable must all be Pioneer, forgetting that there is no way one manufacturer could make the best of all three. So the enthusiast would choose the best components from different specialist manufacturers, but it was always his responsibility to make sure that they are compatible.
    Yeah, aware of that. But Victron have a number of batteries they support, including Victron, SolarMD, Pylontech, Hubble, Discover, BYD, Bluenova. Sunsynch approve FreedomWon, Pylon, Revov, Dyness (a lot more) etc.

    Install any of those with a non-approved battery and you're going to have the inverter guys ignoring your support calls for interoperability calls, and quite likely the battery guys telling you the inverter is faulty.
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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    Install any of those with a non-approved battery and you're going to have the inverter guys ignoring your support calls for interoperability calls, and quite likely the battery guys telling you the inverter is faulty.
    Yes and no.

    The No part:
    Victron will try and help, give things to check. Part of the process of eliminating their side/users/installer configuration mistakes.

    Next level after that ... ones attitude is very NB, willingness to follow instructions, the knowledge to do so ... and they may help irrespective of the battery, based on the immense data they can remotely access, when asked.

    99% of the time it will point to the cause, the batt if it is the case.

    No rocket science involved when dealing with dealers/support whom have "seen it all", literally.

    The Yes part:
    BUT ... you cannot just "fall into the house and demand support". Not their problem if you don't have an approved battery, trying to make it as "their problem to solve".

    Just thought I share.
    Political Correctness
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    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    My VERY limited experience with Fivestar - in laws had a 24V inverter and battery combo installed in Langebaan.

    Long story short, stay away. Unit fell over in October last year, they still don't have it back, and the loan unit is even worse. Partly to blame is the contractor. Some of their friends fivestar units also fell over, and no one is owning up / really fixing the issue
    Last edited by Hendel1986; 2024/02/12 at 07:00 PM.
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  29. #17
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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    Yeah, aware of that. But Victron have a number of batteries they support, including Victron, SolarMD, Pylontech, Hubble, Discover, BYD, Bluenova. Sunsynch approve FreedomWon, Pylon, Revov, Dyness (a lot more) etc.

    Install any of those with a non-approved battery and you're going to have the inverter guys ignoring your support calls for interoperability calls, and quite likely the battery guys telling you the inverter is faulty.
    I think it is a given that seeing as he is considering FiveStar that Victron is not on his shopping list.
    Cheers

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  31. #18
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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by stof-lappie View Post
    Thanks Oom Fluffy.
    If memory serves me correctly, it was a post you did many moons ago about a Fivestar inverter from Electroman, as being a fantastic deal at the time, that first got me to look at the Fivestar brand.
    I never had a day's problem with the smaller battery I subsequently bought, but as stated already, smaller value, and for a shorter time.
    My previous posts were not aimed directly at FiveStar nor Electroman.

    It was a general comment.

    If your installer friend can help you and you can use his preferred brands and supplier - go for it.
    Cheers

    NAGOF

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    Freedom of speech is useless unless you allow people you don’t like to say things you don’t like………

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

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  33. #19
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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    If your installer friend can help you and you can use his preferred brands and supplier - go for it.
    But then your installer friend needs to understand that he's going to have to support your system!

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    Default Re: Fivestar vs "Flagship brands" vs ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Mackay View Post
    But then your installer friend needs to understand that he's going to have to support your system!
    Let me tell you - I have helped many people, with advise - dealer prices and no mark up - friends and family and even forum members.

    And EVERY time it has come back and bitten me in the ass.

    Thats why I don't do it any more.
    Cheers

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    Freedom of speech is useless unless you allow people you don’t like to say things you don’t like………

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

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