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Axpert Review for TTT


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A review where the PIP/Axpert does not come up trumps. 

In the comments section is is suggested that the harmonics is better under load. I do notice that my 4kW unit is much less noisy once it is under load.Using the BMV I have measured my Axpert at about 48W. 

TTT you can now wipe that smile off your face :D.

 

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My Axpert has performed without fail since July 2015. It not perfect but at the price I am tolerant of many of its idiosyncrasies. TTT once asked me what I did not like about the Axpert. I had about ½ dozen complaints and niggles. For the life of me I cannot find my list on the forum but I compared the Axpert to a long-term girlfriend. She's not perfect but you not looking to replace her. My relationship with the Axpert is much the same.

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8 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

EDIT: Can someone do the same test on a Axpert, just to be fair, a Victron?

I'd love to, but I lack some of that fancy equipment. I can check the current draw using the BMV. I have no reason to expect it to differ from the advertised value, which for the 24V model I have is 18W, and for the 48V model is around double that. I'll check next time it's disconnected.

I have an analog scope. Placing that across the BMV's shunt should be sufficient to show if the no-load input is as spiky as seen here.

I'm not sure if there is a way to measure THD with the equipment I have. AFAIK you need to run a FFT on the signal to get the components, so it's not that simple at all. There are some nice scopes out there that can do this, but I don't have one of those.

Edit: To be honest, I wonder what the point would be? I'm fairly confident that 1) The Victron inverter is going to have a tiny bit of distortion itself, 2) it's still going to kick the ass of the Taiwanese contender, 3) the Axpert owners will say "naaaah, it's good enough" and point out the price tag of the contender. In other words, the blue inverter can only lose in such a comparison, it can never truly win :-)

Still, It would be interesting to see it. I think I might be able to borrow a good digital scope at work... IFF they have an FFT function.

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A question, generally speaking, not aimed at any particular inverter or make.

What happens long term to say LED's lights, TV,s , DSTV, fridge that are running of a inverter that is not well built?

Geysers has no issue. Pumps?

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13 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

What happens long term to say LED's lights, TV,s , DSTV, fridge that are running of a inverter that is not well built?

Judging by the amount of times the inverters kick in for a second or 2 while on the grid, I don't think output from my inverters is a problem. I think the quality of the grid power is a much bigger problem. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Mark said:

I think my old Axpert gives better quality than my Eskom ito voltage fluctuations.  So I'm happier on the inverter than Eskom...

Haha, I was busy typing and I saw you posted something Mark. I thought let me first finish and post, then I will go have a look what you posted - Exactly the same thing.

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Let my put it as neutral as I can, for I am NOT going to get into the Axpert Victron argument for it is not about that at THIS junction. :D

 

We know Eskom can be a problem, and it could have long term effects costing one extra in having to replace things sooner, so yes, anything else is better.

But is it? Lets say I use a very cheap CHINESE inverter and it systematically causes problems down the line, like say a bad Eskom connection does also over time.

That would mean that over time the replacement costs makes that cheap CHINESE inverter more expensive than say a top of the range GERMAN inverter.

No, yes?

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You can probably replace all your electrical appliances in your house twice and still be better off than buying the expensive German inverter. So the power quality may not be that great with no load. I think they mentioned in the video that it is not a problem once you put load on the inverter. Have you ever listened to a drag racing car idle - Rough as hell. Once it picks up speed, it runs smoothly. Maybe the same applies here.

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17 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

But is it? Lets say I use a very cheap CHINESE inverter and it systematically causes problems down the line, like say a bad Eskom connection does also over time.

That would mean that over time the replacement costs makes that cheap CHINESE inverter more expensive than say a top of the range GERMAN inverter.

No, yes?

Yes I agree with you 100%. Fortunately the Axpert is not a cheap Chinese inverter :lol:. It is an attractively priced alternative to the overpriced European inverters available today.:D :D.

The Axpert's harmonics is infinitely superior to my farm gennie.

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Power quality is the least of my problems. How do you prevent lightning from taking out half your appliances during an electric storm? Last night I lost the 5th ADSL router since December.

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8 minutes ago, Don said:

How do you prevent lightning from taking out half your appliances during an e

Easy, you google and see that there are areas where there are a LOT of lightning strikes. Two choices: Invest in protection and pray it is enough or move.

Here is one for exmaple: http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532012000200013 

(CWL)

 

11 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

The Axpert's harmonics is infinitely superior to my farm gennie.

Without a doubt, cannot argue that one ever.

But here is the caveat, how many of the 1,392 registered users on this forum, are using gennies? :P

And then lets take it one step further: How many of us have acceptable decent Eskom power that is not causing issues at all, who are not living in lightning prone areas? 

 

Question therefor stands.

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1 hour ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

What happens long term to say LED's lights, TV,s , DSTV, fridge that are running of a inverter that is not well built?

Anything with an SMPS is not going to care as the first thing they do is turn the 230VAC into DC. Resistive elements isn't going to care either. The things that will care is small electrical motors. Eg, the kind of thing you have in energy efficient pumps and fridges. How much will they care? No idea :-)

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TTT your question intrigues me. So I posed myself the question what electronic devices have failed here on the farm in the last 20 years and why. 

  1. Submersible pump - spline wore out machined the stub from the motor into a hexagon and adapted the coupling and got a couple more years use out of it eventually the hexagon coupling also wore out.
  2. Drill - gears worn out.
  3. Lorenz solar submersible's motor -burnt out (still under guarantee (not powered by the gennie)
  4. Washing machine - missus overloaded it.
  5. Dishwasher - motor (under guarantee) maybe due to power.
  6. Printer - maybe due to power.
  7. Fridge - maybe due to power replaced compressor twice now have a energy efficient  fridge
  8. Freezer - maybe due to power replaced compressor once and when it failed 2 years ago got a energy efficient freezer
  9. Toaster - resistive load so going to ascribe it to old age.
  10.  Pressure pump - Mechanical seals -too expensive to repair.
  11. about ½ dozen irons - resistive loads so going to put it down to manufacture.
  12. 4 or 5 computers (mostly hard drives) One I remember the power supply going.

So looking at the list (which is not exhaustive but what I can remember) it could be fridge and freezers. If I look at the number of defunct fridge freezers behind the local repair shop then I would say that they are prone to failure no matter what the power supply gennie or Eskom. An inverter even an Axpert may be an improvement.

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1 hour ago, Chris Hobson said:

An inverter even ... may be an improvement.

Now if we can somehow get this down pat, that running, and I quote Plonk, "the things that will care is small electrical motors. eg, the kind of thing you have in energy efficient efficient pumps and fridges", I will feel so much better for truth be told, in the back of my mind I have had this question now for years and no-one can really answer me with confidence.

Energy efficient fridges are rather expensive, and having to replace them sooner rather than later is just not something I want to worry about. 

EDIT: For mine is running off grid so it is all inverter.

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4 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Let my put it as neutral as I can, for I am NOT going to get into the Axpert Victron argument for it is not about that at THIS junction. :D

 

We know Eskom can be a problem, and it could have long term effects costing one extra in having to replace things sooner, so yes, anything else is better.

But is it? Lets say I use a very cheap CHINESE inverter and it systematically causes problems down the line, like say a bad Eskom connection does also over time.

That would mean that over time the replacement costs makes that cheap CHINESE inverter more expensive than say a top of the range GERMAN inverter.

No, yes?

Yes, you are absolutely right! But then you replace the bad chinese inverter with an Axpert and it's still a cheaper fix than the heavy weight germanian one. Oh, and put a cheap surge arrestor in to help protect the Axpert as well. 

Side note: I always wonder why people install surge arrestors together with the Victron inverters? Perhaps that don't really trust them?

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2 hours ago, Chris Hobson said:

TTT your question intrigues me. So I posed myself the question what electronic devices have failed here on the farm in the last 20 years and why. 

  1. Submersible pump - spline wore out machined the stub from the motor into a hexagon and adapted the coupling and got a couple more years use out of it eventually the hexagon coupling also wore out.
  2. Drill - gears worn out.
  3. Lorenz solar submersible's motor -burnt out (still under guarantee (not powered by the gennie)
  4. Washing machine - missus overloaded it.
  5. Dishwasher - motor (under guarantee) maybe due to power.
  6. Printer - maybe due to power.
  7. Fridge - maybe due to power replaced compressor twice now have a energy efficient  fridge
  8. Freezer - maybe due to power replaced compressor once and when it failed 2 years ago got a energy efficient freezer
  9. Toaster - resistive load so going to ascribe it to old age.
  10.  Pressure pump - Mechanical seals -too expensive to repair.
  11. about ½ dozen irons - resistive loads so going to put it down to manufacture.
  12. 4 or 5 computers (mostly hard drives) One I remember the power supply going.

So looking at the list (which is not exhaustive but what I can remember) it could be fridge and freezers. If I look at the number of defunct fridge freezers behind the local repair shop then I would say that they are prone to failure no matter what the power supply gennie or Eskom. An inverter even an Axpert may be an improvement.

So here's my list of items, replaced, since running on an Axpert. 

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9. time

 

;)

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23 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

How many of us have acceptable decent Eskom power

I think the trouble most people have with poor grid power is low or high voltage trouble, and MAYBE high frequency (seen people in Knysna with 53Hz during the days of load-shedding), but for the most part you're swinging around way more iron on a grid connection. Every transformer from you all the way down to the high voltage transmission line has a natural heavy swinging action to it which (bar bad connections and noisy equipment) will almost always be cleaner (in terms of harmonic distortion) than anything that comes out of an inverter. Any inverter.

So I think it is a bit of a misnomer to talk of bad grid power and THD in the same sentence. Bad grid power is something else... at least for most people (exceptions always exist).

I'm still trying to figure out why HD would be a bad thing for most people. Why do inverter-makers chase THD? Do they even? I suspect the reason would be much the same as for the perennial sine-wave vs msw inverters, because things run a little hotter than they do otherwise. How much? Probably so little that it does not exceed any design margin at all.

Or that is my guess :-)

From an engineering perspective I suspect the question would be: how much THD is acceptable, and does this inverter fall within the bounds. No real point in spending too much money to get it down when you don't have to. On the other hand, if it is easy to fix and you don't (to save a few bucks).... there is such a thing as pride in your product too!

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