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Goodwe ES: PV panels and batteries


Niel

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Hi
We have a Goodwe ES 4.6kW hybrid inverter which has been (and is still) working perfectly for 3 years.    I’m looking to make some changes to the set-up but have a few questions.  I don’t work in the industry myself but am very curious how these things work, so please assume a very basic level of understanding.  Of course I’ll get a professional to make any changes.

  1. Currently we have two 1.8kW panel arrays, one facing north east and one north west, linked in parallel and feeding PV1 on the inverter.  I want to increase the one array to 2.4 kW while maintaining the size of the other array (in short, I only have space to add panels to the one, not the other).  Now I understand this is likely to create complications with the overall voltage.  Would it possible to connect one array to PV1 and the other to PV2 and would there be any problems if the one array produces a different voltage to the other?
  2. I had lead acid batteries installed initially in the hope that more sophisticated batteries would become cheaper.  The batteries are only for short term back-up in the event of power outages.  We are not looking to go off grid (yet).  The lead acids are now kaput and I need to consider replacing them.  I’d appreciate it if other Goodwe users can share their battery set-ups and experience.  

Thanks in advance.


Niel
 

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Hi Niel,

nice to see you here. i am in the process of emmigrating so cannot assist,as i have released my team to green pastures however, you will need to split the strings to each MPPT input on the inverter - just had a look at your photo's of the install. Have another dc disconnect  installed to the 2nd input.

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Chris, when you say plug 'n play, is it as simple as getting the battery and plugging it in?  Or is an installer required?

And a more general question, with Mike emigrating, can anyone recommend an installer in Cape Town for these adjustments to our system?

 

 

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On 2018/09/10 at 5:59 PM, Chris Hobson said:

Goodwes pair very nicely with my favourite batteries - Pylontechs (Plug 'n Play).

Chris, out of interest, how does the Multigrid / Multiplus II with a controller compare to a Goodwe, seeing as both are grid tied so are limited to the main breaker?

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22 minutes ago, Niel said:

... can anyone recommend an installer in Cape Town for these adjustments to our system?

I am currently "training" sparkies on how to "price" installations ... if you can wait a few, I will be able to recommend one or two.

Best is if they supply all, or at least the inverter and stuff, for more and more are saying if they did not supply, they walk away ... stupid, yes, but I see why.

Have "The Engineer" already to sign off the grid tied connection. PM me for his details.

Here is the list for the country: https://www.pvgreencard.co.za/reg/installers/inst-directory.php

Edited by Guest
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2 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Chris, out of interest, how does the Multigrid / Multiplus II with a controller compare to a Goodwe, seeing as both are grid tied so are limited to the main breaker?

The Multigrid/Multiplus II as you know is highly configurable and you can have dozens of different permutations via ESS software. Goodwe has essentially 4 different modes and you can set energy export limits and what DOD you want to have and it is as easy as clicking on your desired mode on the Cell App. Data logging can be a bind but with a 5 year warranty and essentially plug and play functionality the Goodwe should appeal to lots of users. Everything is Wifi no cables no nothing.

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10 hours ago, Niel said:

can anyone recommend an installer in Cape Town for these adjustments to our system?

If you still have a few days, one of the Local Power Forums Installer/Member's details will be available on our own Installers Map for your area. 

We hope to soon have installers listed in all areas. 

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7 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Jip, I agree. And price wise?

Goodwe  ES (4.6kW backup 4.6kW grid tie) R26 995

Goodwe EM (2.3 kW backup 5000kW gridtie) R 23 795

Victron Multiplus 48/5000 R26 995

The difference is the Goodwe has a dual MPPT rated at  6.5kW. The closest Victron has is the flagship Smartsolar 250/100 for R12 995. Plus it would be nice to have ESS software and propriety cabling to do the settings so lets add R5k.

Goodwe is Plug and Play Victron is not.

 

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12 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

I am currently "training" sparkies on how to "price" installations ... if you can wait a few, I will be able to recommend one or two.

Best is if they supply all, or at least the inverter and stuff, for more and more are saying if they did not supply, they walk away ... stupid, yes, but I see why.

Have "The Engineer" already to sign off the grid tied connection. PM me for his details.

Here is the list for the country: https://www.pvgreencard.co.za/reg/installers/inst-directory.php

Thanks TTT.  For now I literally just want to add 2 panels to the array and split the cabling to the two PV ports on the inverter.  It should be quick and easy money but I understand the guys want to focus on the big jobs.

Thanks for the list.

 

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1 hour ago, Chris Hobson said:

Victron Multiplus 48/5000 R26 995

No, you are cheating. :-)

Multigrid II as there is the little matter of the DB board breaker seeing it is grid tied. I recon they are about +-R16k.
Found this: Victron Multigrid 48 3000 35-50 2400W Inverter charger for R15 189.40 - fits in the 60amp DB breaker limit.
MPPT 150/35 about wot, +-R4k?
Pi and VenusGX software wot R1k for the Pi, software is free.
Carlo DB connector +-R1k
= +-R 21 189.00 quick price

And then you have ESS.

Setup, yes, much more configurable than anything out there, but the forum can help if we get more users.

Victron prices have come down substantially, and we can ask @Energy for even better prices.

My point is, if you start looking at Goodwe and grid tied, do not overlook Victron because of Forum perception of it being expensive.

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9 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

And price wise?

I've done the math a few times over the last few months/weeks, and mostly the Victron stuff comes in cheaper than the others if you ignore the lack of built-in MPPTs, and around 10%-20% more expensive if you do include them. Then you still need the Venus-GX and a few cables. Honesty is king, right?

You are definitely going to spend more on a Victron system (I estimate maybe 25%), but you will also get more for your money. Way more flexibility and relays you can connect to stuff and assistants you can mess with and starting your generator and running your own control loops and modbus, mqtt and and and... if that is what you like, then the Goodwe will frustrate you by the second week. It's definitely more consumer oriented :-)

Oh! And remote monitoring, and remote configuration...

Edited by plonkster
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1 minute ago, plonkster said:

... if you ignore the lack of built-in MPPTs, and around 10%-20% more expensive if you do include them.

You are right, and you are too focused on market prices. And it is not a lack (negative), it is a positive, more options open for the user.

Let me remind some: With a lot of effort I have gotten a Engineer to sign of at wot, 3/4 less than the asking prices, after I was told no, it is not possible.
Then I focused on the costs of solar CoC's, and that has dropped too.
On top of that I have also consistently bought new and secondhand (with warranties still in place for years) Victron parts at below asking prices. ;)

And with the new PowerForum Store ... with better buying power, using members to import them later, together we can make it all happen. 

And to be 100% fair ito costs / prices, what is left out each time, is the cost of battery bank replacements between inverter makes.

ESS is the game changer, the way to make one's battery bank last longer, utilized better, with DATA.

That is unmatched in the industry today.

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41 minutes ago, Niel said:

For now I literally just want to add 2 panels to the array and split the cabling to the two PV ports on the inverter.  It should be quick and easy money but I understand the guys want to focus on the big jobs.

Where are you based? Asking because I have come across installers who will do smaller jobs with a smile.

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No, you are cheating. :-)

No I am not. Goodwe goes to 5kW so and compare apples to apples. Victron's 5k version is Multiplus. I did not even quote the Quattro. So if the 60Amp breaker is the deciding factor then we need to look at different models.

So if we look at your Multigrid and compare to something out of the Goodwe stable. The smallest in the range is the GW 3048 EM (3kW) with single 3.9 kW MPPT for R21 875 VAT incl. (For the price difference I would go with one of its bigger brothers).

The Multi in @ R15.2k. The MPPT 150/35 roughly 2kW PV (under gunned in my opinion) so we looking at two to compare apples with apples or a 150/70 (± R9k about the same as 2x 150/35s). Add the extras  We are R25-26k. The is not much in it.

True you can run Venus on a Pi so these prices are DIY. If I come down to CT to do an install for a Victron versus a Goodwe  you going to pay extra for the Victron setup just because the time involved. People under estimate the time involved getting a Victron to work smoothly. I doubt you could set it up with out a bit of help. I get help from our local Plonkster- so I must admit I do Victron stuff by remote control.

 

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4 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

GW 3048 EM (3kW) with single 3.9 kW MPPT for R21 875 VAT incl.

 

4 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

The Multi in @ R15.2k. The MPPT 150/35 roughly 2kW PV (under gunned in my opinion) so we looking at two to compare apples with apples or a 150/70 (± R9k about the same as 2x 150/35s). Add the extras  We are R25-26k.

Your numbers look the same as mine. 26/22 ~= 18%.

Target markets are important to take into account as well. The "SSEG market" (if I can call it that) is relatively small compared to the others (telecoms, data centers, farms, boats, yachts, camper vans, etc). The Goodwe targets a very specific market (it will be rubbish at all those others I mentioned), and if you are in the SSEG market, the others will look like poor contenders.

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24 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

People under estimate the time involved getting a Victron to work smoothly.

True. This forum can change that, as it did for Axpert users, with Noobie instructions. Once Victron is set, you have tuned it to your own needs, know what to look for if you need to tune anything, it is "los uit" from then on. And users can be assisted remotely via Teamviewer if they get stuck, for a fee.

The R22k versus R26k with ESS, sorry, those few rands pale in comparison to the cost of a early replacement of a battery bank, or more savings by using the batteries more efficiently before they expire due to old age, you can do that because of real data you get every minute, hosted free for you, and tune the system as needed.

My point I'm driving here, I can be so vocal as I make not one cent out of this, is that Axpert was the flavour for years, now they are becoming a potential liability or inconvenience if off-grid.

Now Goodwe steps in (which I have no problem with) yet everyone is overlooking the Victron range and the power it has, for a meager R4k, by consistently conveniently forgetting ESS ...

@plonkster ... that R4k can go lower, you know they can. Victron prices can drop by another +-18% with ease, with help via this forum, if we do it ourselves.

I will bet my left n..t that Powerforum store can get Victron equipment at prices that gives a even bigger edge to compete with everything out there, helping more people to enjoy the ESS functionality.

From what I have noticed the last few years, software is starting to drive the solar industry, and there Victron has a huge advantage in my opinion, ask Plonkster, you need a supplier that listens to their customers, who cares about new ideas and will implement them if enough people wants it, for FREE.

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And lets be honest. You can have a 10kva system, but why? 99.9% of us are in cities.

Grid tied has limits to which one must adhere to, it actually brings the cost of a system down, thereby increases the savings.

And with software like ESS, you can have batteries, yet all the power that is available is utilized on the spot instead of wasted to charging batteries, if you do it right with data.

For most of the electricity bills are because of loads under 1kw right. So set ESS system to discharge between 12am till 6am (those must be on loads) - and if that feature is not yet available - the seed is planted. ;)

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11 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

early replacement of a battery bank

I think you'll be okay with a Goodwe in that regard :-)

Agree with you that at the kinds of money we're discussing 4k isn't much, especially if you consider what it buys.

Agree with the general idea that it takes a bit more work to set it up nicely. It also takes more work to tune an aftermarket ECU in a car (eg Haltech). Also, it depends on what you are used to. I helped a friend to replace a BMV recently. We plugged it in, I went tap tap tap tap... 5 minutes later it's going. His response: That would have taken me an hour. Yes, it likely would have, because it wants to know Peukert factor and charge/discharge efficiencies and all sorts of things others don't care about.

Again, car analogy time, I do something similar when I buy cars. You make a call on which of the options you want. Personally I can live without climate control (but not without AC), I can live without park distance control (but not without electrically adjustable rear-view mirrors), I can live with a middle-of-the-pack model (but not the cheap 1.3liter entry-level model), and if I have any say in the matter I prefer alloy wheels (because plastic covers look horrible... and Toyota has cheaped out on those items so much since 2009 that it is essentially non-negotiable now).

One thing is for sure though: The "it costs three times as much!" ship has sailed for good :-)

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12 minutes ago, plonkster said:

I think you'll be okay with a Goodwe in that regard

Yes, I agree. Goodwe's are good! But not the point.

Does Goodwe have similar to Victron's ESS software?
What does it cost to install it, the full picture, all the parts needed, or is it just the inverter cost for it all, bar installer fees?
What does it cost to harvest Goodwe data? Also free or do you need more parts and a annual subscription?

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8 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Yes, I agree. Goodwe's are good! But not the point.

Does Goodwe have similar to Victron's ESS software?
What does it cost to install it, the full picture, all the parts needed, or is it just the inverter cost for it all, bar installer fees?
What does it cost to harvest Goodwe data? Also free or do you need more parts and a annual subscription?

I'm happy with the data I get from my Goodwe internet portal.  I'm not sure what one might need but for my purposes, it's fine.  And it's free.  

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51 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Does Goodwe have similar to Victron's ESS software?

It's a hybrid inverter, I believe it does something similar. Without the need for external control equipment/software, but of course not as flexible.

For example their equivalent of scheduled charging. It's rather limited, but it is built-in. It cannot distinguish (for example) between weekdays and weekends. In some applications, this could be a complete deal breaker.

52 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

What does it cost to install it, the full picture, all the parts needed, or is it just the inverter cost for it all, bar installer fees?

I think the argument is that it should be cheaper to install since less time is required to configure it. I suspect it will be pretty similar though. A good installer knows his equipment and doesn't take days to get it right. What takes time is when someone who normally installs brand X needs to install brand Y... but that is hardly the fault of brand Y.

44 minutes ago, Niel said:

I'm happy with the data I get from my Goodwe internet portal.  I'm not sure what one might need but for my purposes, it's fine.  And it's free.  

That answers your final question I believe :-)

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1 hour ago, plonkster said:

... but that is hardly the fault of brand Y.

Ditto. Took you a few minutes to configure. Once I see it operational, know where NOT to go, I'll be on my merry way.

1 hour ago, plonkster said:

That answers your final question I believe :-)

Jip, it does.

I have NO problem with Goodwe's, been watching them for years. I just like Victron more, and for me, Goodwe is more expensive - yes they are if you know how to shop. :P

Multigrid installed with CoC and Engineer < R20k. 2 x 150/35 is not R9k ... just saying.

Just think that it is not fair to ignore what is right under ones eyes, by installers and "others", staring blindly at prices, forgetting to mention the ESS value that Victron adds. :D

 

Just spoke to a Sparkie who came for a visit. Did not know this before, but they are installing a LOT of Victron's in Cape Town and surrounds. From small to factories to Estates.
Infini's too, but quite a bit less. They have had some infini failures, but touch wood, not one Victron to date.

He also said the 2 breaker system is the solution for the Axperts.

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5 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

He also said the 2 breaker system is the solution for the Axperts.

I have been thinking of the Axpert conundrum. I would just disconnect the AC and have an automated changeover (Something like TTTs or simpler like Coulombs). When would you want to use AC charging? When the weather is shitty. The Axpert has to go over to grid anyway. By being completely offgrid  all that you would do is wait till the weather improves. You would be on grid for marginally more time but the extra is going to run into hundreds of rands rather than thousands of rands.

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