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Growatt 5000ES vs Luxpower vs Axpert?


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Hey all,

 

So looking at some of the cheaper inverters, is the Growatt 5000ES still based off an Axpert inverter like the Mecer inverters?

 

It seems as if the Axpert inverters are a bit cheaper than the Growatt inverters and the specs of the Growatt seem a bit better in terms of the charging current, the PV power and voltage it can handle etc.

 

I am toying with the idea of getting one of these cheaper inverters with some batteries for now and then later on consider adding some panels and eventually move over to a better inverter like a Sunsynk - my small trolley inverter is not cutting it anymore with the longer hours of loadshedding and me wanting to run more during loadshedding.

 

Looking for some feedback on the Growatt inverts compared to the Axpert and other cheaper inverters out there and which may be the better between the cheaper inverters.

Edited by PsyCLown
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  • PsyCLown changed the title to Growatt 5000ES vs Axpert (Mecer)?
3 minutes ago, PsyCLown said:

Hey all,

 

So looking at some of the cheaper inverters, is the Growatt 5000ES still based off an Axpert inverter like the Mecer inverters?

 

It seems as if the Axpert inverters are a bit cheaper than the Growatt inverters and the specs of the Growatt seem a bit better in terms of the charging current, the PV power and voltage it can handle etc.

 

I am toying with the idea of getting one of these cheaper inverters with some batteries for now and then later on consider adding some panels and eventually move over to a better inverter like a Sunsynk - my small trolley inverter is not cutting it anymore with the longer hours of loadshedding and me wanting to run more during loadshedding.

 

Looking for some feedback on the Growatt inverts compared to the Axpert and other cheaper inverters out there and which may be the better between the cheaper inverters.

What about looking at the Luxpower with better specs? 

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57 minutes ago, PsyCLown said:

Looking for some feedback on the Growatt inverts compared to the Axpert and other cheaper inverters out there and which may be the better between the cheaper inverters.

I can't compare with the other models, but as a Growatt Inverter user, I am satisfied for what it does at the price. Also GC Solar has been most helpful in support when I needed it. So from that perspective, you won't go wrong with a reasonably priced product. And I surmise that it's pretty much the same for the Axpert type equivalents.

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14 minutes ago, zsde said:

Cost wise it is about the same as the Sunsynk 8kW, or not?

Yes but for the extra 6kw of panels and 1 extra MPPT. But a lot cheaper than 2x5kW Sunsynk. 😜 just to  decide between 4 inverters. 

Some of us never have enough panels. 

Edited by Scorp007
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1 hour ago, Scorp007 said:

Let's add some spices. Luxpower 10kW full hybrid that can take 16kw of panels and has 3xMPPTs. 

I see the Luxpower 5KW is very similar to the Growatt, but it has 2x MPPT and the charge current on AC is a little lower (60A vs 80A). Although what is the limit on the 2x MPPT of the Luxpower vs the 1x MPPT of the Growatt?

Luxpower still has the 6KW PV limit, which is fine for a 5KW inverter.

I do not want to spend more than R15k on an inverter for now.

 

Are these Luxpower & Growatt inverters rebranded Axpert inverters or do they differ? What is the local support like for these inverters?

Edited by PsyCLown
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15 minutes ago, PsyCLown said:

I see the Luxpower 5KW is very similar to the Growatt, but it has 2x MMPT and the charge current on AC is a little lower (60A vs 80A). Although what is the limit on the 2x MPPT of the Luxpower vs the 1x MPPT of the Growatt?

Luxpower still has the 6KW PV limit, which is fine for a 5KW inverter.

I do not want to spend more than R15k on an inverter for now.

 

Are these Luxpower & Growatt inverters rebranded Axpert inverters or do they differ? What is the local support like for these inverters?

They are based on the same architecture however the Growatts use better rated equipment such as higher rated mosfets which commonly pop on the axpert inverters.

We have 2 x Sacolars which are made by Growatt and they are effectively Growatt SPF5000ES inverters. Havent had a single problem in the last year we've been using them. They talk with the batteries as well.

We get support through TheSunPays and theyve been decent.

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Good to hear, I am thinking this might end up as Growatt vs Luxpower then for me. Main difference seems to be the MPPT and then not sure on firmware and what bugs either tend to have?

I have seen Growatt can become a problem to parallel as there seems to be 3 different "revisions" and they are not labelled well by Growatt and it seem there is still an issue with the fans running on high when it may not be necessary with the Growatt inverters.

 

I have changed the title for a better clarity and to hopefully better help anyone browsing the forum in future.

 

These are the specs I can find for the Luxpower:

Quote

Build-in BMS(Battery management System) -BMS Compatible with, BYD, Dyness, Pylon, Revov, Shoto and UZ Energy.

General:
Model: SNA 5000 WPV
Warranty: 2years.
Battery voltage: 48VDC.

Output:
Rated power: 5000W/5000VA.
Parallel capacity: YES.
Normal output voltage: 230/240, Split phase 220/110 Vac *.
Normal output frequency: 50/60Hz.
Surge power: 10000VA.
Switch time: 10ms.
Waveform: Pure sine wave
Battery Type: Lithium/Lead-Acid.
Normal Voltage: 51.2V/48V.
Max. Charge Voltage: 59V.

Solar:
Max. Recommended PV Power: 3200W/3200W.
MPPT Tracker: 2.
Max. PV Open Circuit Voltage: 480Vdc.
MPPT Voltage Range: 100-385Vdc.
Max. Solar Charge Current: 100A.
Max. Solar Input Current: 13A/13A.
Max. MPPT Efficiency: >98%.
Parallel MPPT Charger: YES.

Grid:
Normal Voltage: 230Vac.
AC Voltage Range: 110-280Vac.
Max. Charge Current: 60A.
Frequency Range: 50/60Hz(Auto Sensing).

General:
Dimensions(W/H/D): 330x504x135mm.
Weight14Kg.
Protection DegreeIP20.
Relative Humidity5%~95% Relative Humidity(Non-condensing).
Operating Temperature0°C~50°C.
Storage Temperature-15°C~60°C.
Interface.

Display: LCD+LED.
Lithium Battery Communication: CAN/RS485.
RS485/Dry Connector: YES/YES.
Wifi/GPRS: YES/YES.
Warranty: 2 years.

 

These are the specs I can find for the Growatt, I cannot seem to find what the max solar input current is for the Growatt though - does anyone know?

Quote

5KVA Growatt Inverter

Functions

  • Integrated MPPT charger controller.
  • Equalization charging function.
  • Max PV input up to 450vDC.
  • Choose grid or solar input priority.
  • WIFI/GPRS remote monitoring.
  • Parallel up to 6 inverters.
  • PV & Grid Power combine if PV energy is insufficient for load.
  • Flexible schedule for charging and discharging the batteries.
  • Warranty: 2 years

General Specifications

  • Module: SPF 5000 ES.
  • Battery voltage: 48vDC.
  • Battery type: Lithium/Lead-acid.

Inverter Output [AC]

  • Rated Power: 5000W.
  • AC Voltage Regulation (Battery): 230VAC 5%.
  • Surge Power: 10000VA for 5 sec.
  • Efficiency (Peak): 93%.
  • Waveform: Pure sine wave.
  • Transfer Time: 10ms - 20ms.

Solar Charger

  • Maximum PV Array Power: 6000W.
  • MPPT Range @ Operating Voltage: 120VDC - 430VDC.
  • Maximum PV Array Open Circuit Voltage: 450vDC.
  • Maximum Solar Charge Current: 100 A.

AC Charger

  • AC Charge Current: 80A.
  • AC Input Voltage: 230 VAC.
  • Selectable Voltage Range: 230 VAC.
  • Frequency Range : 50 Hz/60 Hz (Auto sensing).

 

Slight difference in AC/Grid charging & slight difference in the PV array voltage.

Edited by PsyCLown
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  • PsyCLown changed the title to Growatt 5000ES vs Luxpower vs Axpert?
23 minutes ago, PsyCLown said:

I have seen Growatt can become a problem to parallel as there seems to be 3 different "revisions" and they are not labelled well by Growatt and it seem there is still an issue with the fans running on high when it may not be necessary with the Growatt inverters.

That is one of the big gripes I have about their product naming and no indication what version it is.
If you buy more than one at the same time then they should be of the same batch and you shouldn't have issues. If it is an original version like mine, I cannot buy another new one without first taking mine in and having the hardware changed to be able to run on the latest version's firmware.

As for fan noise, mine is in the garage and it doesn't bother me, but in idle it's quiet enough, the fans ramp up as soon as there is load, i.e. it doesn't wait on temp to increase. Advantage is that the temp actually stays in the 30 - 35C under full load. But it's noisy when working hard.
My neighbour has 2 Luxpowers in parallel and they are just as noisy under load. So from that perspective they are very similar.
The big advantage of the Luxpower is the dual MPPT. Although the combined max PV is 6000W for both Luxpower and Growatt, having the second MPPT allows more flexibility in terms of strings facing different directions, i.e. one can maximise solar yield with easterly and westerly facing panels

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3 minutes ago, zsde said:

That is one of the big gripes I have about their product naming and no indication what version it is.
If you buy more than one at the same time then they should be of the same batch and you shouldn't have issues. If it is an original version like mine, I cannot buy another new one without first taking mine in and having the hardware changed to be able to run on the latest version's firmware.

As for fan noise, mine is in the garage and it doesn't bother me, but in idle it's quiet enough, the fans ramp up as soon as there is load, i.e. it doesn't wait on temp to increase. Advantage is that the temp actually stays in the 30 - 35C under full load. But it's noisy when working hard.
My neighbour has 2 Luxpowers in parallel and they are just as noisy under load. So from that perspective they are very similar.
The big advantage of the Luxpower is the dual MPPT. Although the combined max PV is 6000W for both Luxpower and Growatt, having the second MPPT allows more flexibility in terms of strings facing different directions, i.e. one can maximise solar yield with easterly and westerly facing panels

Yeah the Luxpowers ARE quite noisy - you can change the fan speed curve on them but they are not ideal for installation near where humans would regularly sit

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So for me, the inverter would also be in the garage but the door which leads from the garage into the house is close to the kitchen and lounge... At least there is a door between these areas though.

 

I also have a flat concrete roof, so can point my solar panels in any direction I wish, so not sure if the dual MPPT's will benefit me in this regard. More flexibility though.

I have heard that the Growatt also is a bit iffy in terms of using PV to charge the batteries vs grid to charge the batteries and then running the load on grid vs PV and it does not always switch from the grid to PV when the sun is out and panels are producing enough to handle the load?

Not sure if this has been resolved and if the Luxpower suffers from the same issues?

 

If they perform the same, then really it comes down to price or whether you require the 2x MPPT flexibility offered by the Luxpower.

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29 minutes ago, PsyCLown said:

I have heard that the Growatt also is a bit iffy in terms of using PV to charge the batteries vs grid to charge the batteries

That I cannot test or comment on as my installation is off grid. But you do have the Program settings that allow you to prioritise.
I am very satisfied with how mine handles it. My load gets satisfied first from solar and the excess is used for charge. 

@Antonio de Sa may be able to comment as his is grid tied as far as I know.

Edited by zsde
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20 minutes ago, zsde said:

That I cannot test or comment on as my installation is off grid. But you do have the Program settings that allow you to prioritise.
I am very satisfied with how mine handles it. My load gets satisfied first from solar and the excess is used for charge. 

@Antonio de Sa may be able to comment as his is grid tied as far as I know.

 

41 minutes ago, PsyCLown said:

So for me, the inverter would also be in the garage but the door which leads from the garage into the house is close to the kitchen and lounge... At least there is a door between these areas though.

 

I also have a flat concrete roof, so can point my solar panels in any direction I wish, so not sure if the dual MPPT's will benefit me in this regard. More flexibility though.

I have heard that the Growatt also is a bit iffy in terms of using PV to charge the batteries vs grid to charge the batteries and then running the load on grid vs PV and it does not always switch from the grid to PV when the sun is out and panels are producing enough to handle the load?

Not sure if this has been resolved and if the Luxpower suffers from the same issues?

 

If they perform the same, then really it comes down to price or whether you require the 2x MPPT flexibility offered by the Luxpower.

Luxpower doesn't seem to have this issue - there is a setting to get the load to be mainly powered from the grid and then PV charges the battery.

image.thumb.png.69afd51062680f0f3c0ee6a763beea41.png

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23 minutes ago, Scorp007 said:

It seems I was wrong about the power per MPPT. 6400W is the total for both.

And that is the absolute limit.
My neighbour had a single Luxpower on his initial installation. He has 12 X 550W panels and they were split 6 each in series on each MPPT.
He is not technically minded, so for him it was (still is) an installation and he uses it and it should work and if it doesn't he calls the Installer after trying me first. 
So he called me one day and said his Inverter is not working. I checked and all seemed OK but it had shut down the Solar side, i.e. the MPPTs were showing zero charge or usage from PV.
It was midday so I had a funny suspicion it may have exceeded the total. Pulled the fuse on the one MPPT and his Inverter started solar charge again and that MPPT was then around 3100W.
He then decided to get a second Inverter in parallel and each string now feeds one MPPT on each Inverter.
From what I have seen he gets about 3000 to 3200W on his strings on a good day. From his experience I would tend to see 3000W per MPPT (6000W total) as the max target, maybe 3100/6200W.  
This is just for info.  

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1 hour ago, zsde said:

That I cannot test or comment on as my installation is off grid. But you do have the Program settings that allow you to prioritise.
I am very satisfied with how mine handles it. My load gets satisfied first from solar and the excess is used for charge. 

@Antonio de Sa may be able to comment as his is grid tied as far as I know.

I set my system to run according with to the weather conditions of the day, for example today bright sunny day. My settings are at the moment SBU, and we have load shedding since 10:00 o'clock, as you can see from my dashboard, I was heating up my 3 KW geyser and there was enough PV to run the house and charge the battery at the same time. The growatt allows you to blend PV with grid or battery. So, one always has the options of running on SUB or SBU depending on the weather condition.

 

image.thumb.png.44c11b1ddaee72fb34b0a1911782da82.png

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While dissecting these inverters. It would appear the heart of the Luxpower is like a Growatt and Axpert. There are just so many enhancements. One that stands out is a CT less export function which they call hybrid.. You can for instance choose a 10-100% of PV to export and the rest you use for load or charging the battery. This can come in handy if one day one can sell to the power provider at a reasonable rate. 

The 2 x MPPTs is also great. 

The control area is also quite similar. 

Battery less might also appeal to some systems. 

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1 hour ago, Scorp007 said:

It seems I was wrong about the power per MPPT. 6400W is the total for both. Thanks @zsde

What is nice is the low 100V(+10/-10) starting voltage. 

IMG_20230418_133523.jpg

 

Any idea what the starting voltage of the Growatt is? I am going to assume it is the same if not similar as I see the voltage range is also from 120V.

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18 minutes ago, PsyCLown said:

Any idea what the starting voltage of the Growatt is?

The MPPT voltage range is 120Vdc - 430Vdc
Start-up is 150Vdc + or - 10Vdc

This is as per my data on the 5000ES-Pro, but I can't see it being much different on the the other 5000ES models.

here are the snapshots of this morning of when the solar charge began and the second snip is the MPPT voltage for the same time period. It correlates with around 150V

image.thumb.png.0bb799b5742b6501ea0298bc9fd45c12.png

image.png.ef8dca1cb568f7638f49f389408d251b.png

 

Edited by zsde
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What I did find is that once the MPPT starts up and the voltage doesn't drop again to around 100Vdc, then it will still provide some PV power, so it doesn't just shutdown the PV input. 
Around 06:14 is a good example of this

 

Edited by zsde
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Hmm, so really much of a muchness between the Luxpower & Growatt.

Interesting how the Growatt states 120V - 430V as the range but startup is 150v. lol Basically 1 or 2 extra panels to start up compared to the Luxpower.

 

@zsde The Pro version of the Growatt 5000ES - I see it has MC4 connectors and AC coupling - what exactly does the AC coupling offer compared to the standard Growatt 5000ES? Is it just to be able to feedback into the grid?

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Forget the -Pro models. They were a limited bespoke model for GC Solar. Seems ultimately they decided to discontinue it. Maybe they got a better discount by ordering a larger batch and have it labeled as -Pro at the time. The -Pro had a higher PV W input than the non pro at the time. The models after that are all 6000W now as far as I could establish. 
There have been quite a few changes since. The AC couplings that were used on the original 5000ES and the -Pro have since been dropped, as have the MC4  and battery terminal connectors that all stuck out at the bottom.
The latest models are all bolt/screw connectors behind the lower panel.
And as far as I know, none of the 5000ES version have grid feedback provisioning.

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