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Axpert VM III

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This Inverter looks awesome, I WANT!

Had a quick glance at the user guide, 5kVA version adds the following;

  • 5000VA / 5000W inverter
  • 4000W 500V MPPT
  • BMS comms for LiFe04
  • 61V max charge voltage for the Royal's Trojans
  • battery EQ function
  • built in bluetooth with android app,
  • detachable LCD control for remote up to 20m
  • and for the battery-phobes.......
  • you can run grid/PV only with NO Batteries

I think @plonkster got a tough job on his hands now:D

Axpert VM III_DS.pdf

Edited by pilotfish

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Hmm I don't care for that so I guess I didn't notice.

I wonder why, perhaps they were having reliability issues with parallel mode or perhaps they are planning on only selling parallel mode if you pay extra.

Either way, would be nice to see what it looks like inside. I have high hopes that they have improved the circuitry.

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1 hour ago, pilotfish said:

I think @plonkster got a tough job on his hands now:D

Well they call it an Axpert, but it is a Hybrid inverter (hence the no-battery option) so it is probably more like the next-Gen Infini. So they have an "InfiniSolar V" which is more like an Axpert, and an Axpert VMIII which is more like an Infini. I clearly have too much of a Western view on marketing :-)

I'd expect it to be priced pretty similarly, to a 5kva infini then, or around 45k. Well, 500V MPPTs are usually not cheap, so maybe that is optimistic, but I don't know. That puts it on par with the 5KVA Quattro, which leaves us in pretty much the same spot we are now, which is that for the same price the competitor bundles an MPPT. In other words, we're more expensive by about the amount of a good MPPT. Can't find any info on warrantee or whether it will come with actual support. So the threat level remains about the same unti further notice :-P

 

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2 hours ago, plonkster said:

Well they call it an Axpert, but it is a Hybrid inverter (hence the no-battery option) so it is probably more like the next-Gen Infini. So they have an "InfiniSolar V" which is more like an Axpert, and an Axpert VMIII which is more like an Infini. I clearly have too much of a Western view on marketing :-)

I'd expect it to be priced pretty similarly, to a 5kva infini then, or around 45k. Well, 500V MPPTs are usually not cheap, so maybe that is optimistic, but I don't know. That puts it on par with the 5KVA Quattro, which leaves us in pretty much the same spot we are now, which is that for the same price the competitor bundles an MPPT. In other words, we're more expensive by about the amount of a good MPPT. Can't find any info on warrantee or whether it will come with actual support. So the threat level remains about the same unti further notice :-P

 

Infini is slightly cheaper than that right?

Anyway that said, the big cost for the infini is the topology being so completely different. As in it is grid tie. Whereas the Axpert series is switched, so I suspect the price will still be significantly less.

Off-grid or switched inverters are pretty much inverters with a relay (I even built one out of a 220v relay I bought online and a normal inverter :) ). Grid-tie is a lot more complex electronically, synchronized wave form, current matching, anti islanding, etc.

It doesn't sound like much but as soon as you start tracking a sine wave to that level of accuracy your ADC sample rate and accuracy needs to be quite a bit better than just a switched device. Else it'll end in tears (and smoke)

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4 minutes ago, plonkster said:

OK, wow, that is cheap. I pretty much used price-check which usually finds the lowest of the low.

That store is also selling VIA Takealot (3rd party seller thing) if your faith level in their store is low and you trust Takealot more.

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7 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

Full Circle are a reliable bunch - quick to sort any problems out.

Yeah I had no qualms ordering from them, more posting it there because some people have doubts, so may as well keep the options available

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This video reviews it. I didn't watch it, I skimmed through it with the sound off hoping for a price. The comments says 75000, which I assume is Pakistani Rupees, which translates to roughly 8k ZAR for a 3kva unit. That's CHEAP! Will probably be a bit more after import and VAT, but it still seems it might come in cheaper than the older infinis. Looks like it has a 12 months warranty.

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On 2018/06/12 at 1:59 PM, pilotfish said:

But no parallel mode:angry:

By the sounds of it, it's a grid tie inverter, which means you can connect more than one to the grid, like you do with Goodwe. But that's just a wild guess. 

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5 hours ago, SilverNodashi said:

By the sounds of it, it's a grid tie inverter,

I don't believe it has any ability to feed back, which is what I call grid-tie - this inverter is what I think should be called hybrid grid-assist.

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28 minutes ago, pilotfish said:

I don't believe it has any ability to feed back, which is what I call grid-tie - this inverter is what I think should be called hybrid grid-assist.

Hybrid inverters are grid-tied, or rather grid-interactive. By definition is has the ability to feed back (getting them to stop is often the trouble). The difference between them and what we normally call grid-tied, is when the power goes down they become backup inverters in the blink of an eye... and that quality makes them hybrid.

Where I work we call them (the batteryless just-feed-into-the-grid types) PV-inverters. Less confusion that way.

Edited by plonkster

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On 2018/06/15 at 5:14 PM, plonkster said:

Hybrid inverters are grid-tied, or rather grid-interactive. By definition is has the ability to feed back (getting them to stop is often the trouble). The difference between them and what we normally call grid-tied, is when the power goes down they become backup inverters in the blink of an eye... and that quality makes them hybrid.

If that is the case hybrid is a misnomer in my mind. (more like marketing wank)

Grid-tied requires an accurate ADC, firstly because you must match the grid wave form exactly and secondly you must keep the voltage in excess of grid voltage in order to actually supply power.

Whereas a simple UPS/inverter design can get away without any synchronization or if you want to save money a fairly cheap zero crossing detector and 8 bit ADC for minimal wave form tracking (Chips like ATTiny combined with a opto coupler can provide this for less than R15 total cost).

Additionally because it switches outputs you don't need to worry about various very dangerous situations that can happen on the grid that requires fairly complex software.

There isn't really an in-between for these two topologies in my mind (hence the word hybrid being like WTF does that mean?)

I mean is it grid-tied with the ability to operate off-grid. Or is it off-grid with some hacky grid-tie that may explode the first time something weird happens. Who knows.

It sounds minor but I've written software to capture and analyze power waveforms and respond on them. My cheapo solution is running at 9k SPS (so maximum frequency response of 4kHz) and it required quite a bit of coding on my part. And my day job is programming. I still don't know if I trust it to analyze a wave form to the extent I would expect of a grid-tie solution

Edited by Gnome

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8 minutes ago, Gnome said:

If that is the case hybrid is a misnomer in my mind. (more like marketing wank)

In my experience things happened rather the other way around. You're right that it has to do with marketing, but it has to do with the fact that sellers of the Voltronic products started to call them "Hybrid" because they were both an inverter and a solar charger. As you pointed out earlier though: That inverter is switched. I think (I don't know for sure) that it might sync frequencies so that at changeover time there is less of a step/vector shift, but for all practical purposes the waveforms are not synced other than perhaps zero-crossings.

To make matters worse, you also get Diesel+Battery Hybrids.

For a while there were also so-called bi-directional inverter/chargers, which has the same problem: Is it bi-directional in the sense that it can put energy into the battery as well as take it out, or is it bi-directional in the sense of also being able to put energy into the grid?

Because Victron, Fronius and SMA all use the term Hybrid to mean "grid tied with batteries", I really think we can settle that matter once and for all. Victron also uses the term "Grid-parallel" for their inverters, in fact that is what ESS (and the former hub4) is about, grid-parallel storage. You really should see it to appreciate it, it literally acts like a battery in parallel with the grid, seamlessly taking up the slack if the load increases with no switching. The backfeed relay -- Victron terminology -- is closed the entire time.

This Axpert inverter, which I think is closer to what we understand as being an Infini, is such an unswitched hybrid.

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2 minutes ago, plonkster said:

This Axpert inverter, which I think is closer to what we understand as being an Infini, is such an unswitched hybrid.

That sentence had me reading it twice, but I think we saying the same thing Axpert (at least the ones I've seen thus far) are far from grid-tied and would probably explode spectacularly if you tried anything of the sort.

Infini is completely different from it. I see your point about the Victron being grid-tied. I assumed it was switching back and forth (with the relay).

Axpert is a 100% runtime sine wave UPS without the usual auto-transformer essentially. Compared to other UPS brands like APC it kicks them in the behind (except maybe for switching times but I see they release a model with 0ms switch time called Axpert King or some such).

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Just now, Gnome said:

Infini is completely different from it

And hence my comment about being entirely too Western-centric in how I think about marketing. Infini is your high end brand (like Lexus to Toyota, Infiniti to Nissan), the one that can do more cool stuff and tie with the grid and all that. Axpert is your low-end brand. Don't mix the two. The VM III is branded an Axpert, but by the spec sheet it's an Infini. It's probably a new "Infini-solar Super" if I had to guess. Even that inverter was in my opinion a marketing disaster, being a "lesser" infini, but branded "Super". Should have called it the Axpert Super... that would have worked better :-)

2 minutes ago, Gnome said:

I assumed it was switching back and forth (with the relay).

It can do both, depending on how you configure it. Mine started out as purely switched (circa 2013), and only later did I move to an ESS setup.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Gnome said:

Axpert (at least the ones I've seen thus far) are far from grid-tied

That is why I have previously tried to get a common naming format going on the forum;

  • If it can feed back into the grid;
    • Grid-Tie
  • If it can use grid for charging and pass through but not feed back;
    • Grid-Connected or Grid-Assisted (I like #2)
  • If it can operate with or without batteries;
    • Hybrid
  • Type of ECC;
    • MPPT
    • PWM

I am sure that there are other main categories which could be added to the above, but the above list would put an end to a lot of confusion. This new Axpert VM III should be called a Grid Assist (not grid-tied) Hybrid (can function with/without batteries) MPPT Inverter/charger.

If you read the description you should have a basic understanding of the capabilities without having to delve into the manual.

 

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3 hours ago, pilotfish said:

That is why I have previously tried to get a common naming format going on the forum;

The fight is real. At least within Victron circles:

1. We talk of Solar Chargers rather than MPPTs (the company also has other kinds of chargers).

2. We talk of PV-inverters rather than Grid Tied Inverters.

3 hours ago, pilotfish said:

Grid-Connected or Grid-Assisted (I like #2)

I prefer grid-interactive. All PV-inverters are grid-interactive. Not all Grid-interactive inverters are PV-inverters (eg SMA SunnyIsland). Also, not all of them can operate without batteries. The Infini can, the Multi and the Quattro cannot.

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On 2018/06/12 at 12:50 PM, pilotfish said:

This Inverter looks awesome, I WANT!

Had a quick glance at the user guide, 5kVA version adds the following;

  • 5000VA / 5000W inverter
  • 4000W 500V MPPT
  • BMS comms for LiFe04
  • 61V max charge voltage for the Royal's
  • battery EQ function
  • built in bluetooth with android app,
  • detachable LCD control for remote up to 20m
  • and for the battery-phobes.......
  • you can run grid/PV only with NO Batteries

I think @plonkster got a tough job on his hands now:D

Axpert VM III_DS.pdf

Guys I have a bad news.( and also good news)

 

I contacted MPPSolar who sell  the models as retail . the BMS part will not be ready till next year. and the initial release will be only with OEM  orders ( where battery and inverter is sold as bundle)

But in General 

PIS - 5048GK - (Voltonics Axpert VM III) 5KW/48VDC, 80A MPPT, max 500V PV open circuit with all the above features except BMS

PIP- 3048 MK - ( voltronics King) - Zero changeover time  ( PV input 145 V - ONLY 3KW model ) others features same ( no BMS yet)

 

If I look at the graphic of the display I guess they are using their knowledge of online inverters and applying to the inverter to achieve zero transfer time - essentialy using DC rectifier and then inverter as two-stage process. it is not the ongrid   inverter ( maybe grid interactive is a better term             ?) 

Maybe that's why  only 3KW model is available as they may not be able to handle the components and heat losses in the same chassis of 5KW

Should be shortly available on Aliexpress on their official store  - https://www.aliexpress.com/store/629424

https://www.mppsolar.com/v3/pip-gk-series/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIP- MK.JPG

Edited by ghatikar

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19 hours ago, ghatikar said:

... knowledge of online inverters ...

Since 2008, I could not figure why the solar industry did not just buy into the UPS industry, and used their tried and tested tech for solar systems.

All they needed to do, the UPS people, was allow bigger chargers on their online UPS'es, for some are wot, 10kva.

And here Voltronic goes and does it.

EDIT: I assume batteries are kept charged via solar or utilities, as a online runs off batteries 24/7/365. This makes them not very efficient ito power losses (bleh) BUT the equipment is 100% protected on the output side. FWIW, I can hot-swap the battery pack of my online UPS, when it is operational, it immediately goes into bypass mode. Only then does it feed Eskom 'as is' to the equipment.

Grudgingly have to give respect for Voltronic's for doing this.

Edited by Guest

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Hi Seant if you are looking for the 5kva 5ooo watt with the 4000 watt mppt .Bought one from inverter warehouse in Jburg 2 months ago . Mercerpc also stock them including the 2 and 3 mppt units

 

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22 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

All they needed to do, the UPS people, was allow bigger chargers on their online UPS'es, for some are wot, 10kva. 

And here Voltronic goes and does it. 

Well, Voltronic is primarily a UPS-builder... so it isn't really a big surprise is it?

I suspect the main reason on both sides is legacy: Where you come from. Inverters started off-grid, and only later when energy prices rose did they become grid tied and did the two markets really meet. Also, a double-conversion online UPS is terribly inefficient. The best SMPS charger does around 97%, and inverters (good ones!) are typically high 80s to low 90s at the common type loads we use, so let's say 90%. 0.97*0.9 = 87%.

There is also something I realised that really should be said about hybrid inverters, and that is that the (less than) 20ms transfer time really doesn't apply. A Multi running grid-parallel has the transfer switch closed. When the power fails, all it has to do is open the transfer switch (to disconnect the grid side), the output is already connected to the inverter and there is no transfer time at all. So another reason why manufacturers might not be going the online-UPS route... is because they are way past it already.

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