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Opinion on the follow equipment


bushman10
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You can't go wrong with a Victron Quatro (if you can afford it, in fact, buy it now while it's still R17 to the Euro!). I'm not familiar with the rest though... just (one of!) the local Victron fanboys here :-)

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As I understand it the Victron has a challenge in dealing with multiple solar arrays of different sizes and Schneider does not. Although I have a total of 40 panels they will be in different clusters at different distances due to multiple pitches on my roof. There is one cluster of 6 then another cluster of 16 then a cluster of 10 then another cluster of 8. Apparently it is called "Multi Point Power Tracking".

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TTT, I don't necessarily agree. If you are primarily going to use your power directly during the day, and the Victron is there purely for backup (of some circuits, not all), then using a GTI is the better option.

If on the other hand you intend to store more of the energy and use it at night, then go with a pure Victron setup. One has to remember though that the Victron (at least in Cape Town and maybe some other places) is not an approved grid-connected inverter, so even if you go the whole way and install a hub-1 system, I don't think this is the way to go here.

Yes, you can synchronise multiple Victron MPPT controllers, but the Victron controllers aren't cheap, so it adds costs. Many GTIs have more than one MPPT (I know some Sunnyboys have two), so that is a clear advantage here. The fact that the Victron integrates so easily with other equipment through the use of GFPR (grid frequency dependent power reduction) means it can integrate with many GTIs from other manufacturers.

 

There is even an assistant you can use to feed the Victron with a variable voltage (up to 5 volt) on one of the analog inputs, and use that to adjust your charging current. This means that with a bit of simple circuitry you can prioritise solar power, so that the Victron never charges the battery with more power than is available from your GTI.

 

Also do a bit of math on those batteries. Multiply the Ah capacity times the voltage (to get a Wh figure) and multiply that with the number of cycles to 50% DoD (for a lifetime kwh figure). Divide the cost of the battery through that. If it isn't at least 10% cheaper than buying from the grid, then a system like this where the Victron is purely a backup, and the GTI is for cost savings, is probably better.

Another thing I wonder about these days: I know Victron also made a GTI at some point, but I rarely see them advertised or used these days. It seems Victron made friends with Fronius for this bit... :-)

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I was unaware of that device, but I see what it does is allow you to change your configuration between hub-2 and hub-3, to use the Victron lingo.

Hub-2 has the PV power coming on on the output of the Multiplus/Quatro. Some of it goes into the house, some of it into the batteries, and the rest goes backwards through the Multiplus/Quatro to the grid.

Hub-3 has the PV power coming in before the Multiplus/Quatro. I'm not sure what the advantage is of doing it this way, and consequently I don't understand why you'd reconfigure to hub-3 when the grid is on... why not just run hub-2 all the time? There probably is a reason, and I'll have to go study that material :-)

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