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daniemare
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Hi all

As I educate myself of the world of solar and backup power, I am trying to understand the different inverter brands. 

Functionally I have settled on the Victron Multiplus II. For 3 basic reasons

1 - I understand the AC1 out (UPS/Backup Load) and AC2 out concept. Logically it just make sense to me how solar plus grid powers both when available and solar and battery powers UPS only when grid is not. 

2 - On Cape Town’s list

3 - Wealth of knowledge from various community forums and ESS system that looks very logical and well supported. 
 

Now my question, what other Inverters (plus model) does exactly, or almost exactly, the same as the Multi? And what are the key differences when considering point 1 above. 
 

Thanks guys

Danie

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12 minutes ago, daniemare said:

Now my question, what other Inverters (plus model) does exactly, or almost exactly, the same as the Multi? And what are the key differences when considering point 1 above. 

1. Several Goodwe models. They also have AC-in, out, transfer switch, also feeds grid, I believe it also has the grid meter option. Doesn't NPE bond when islanding, and the manual lists some loads it is not suitable for during backup. In the "transformerless" discussion on this forum, we postulate that this is inherently due to the HF design.

2. Voltronic Infinisolar. But it appears these have been dropped from the CoCT list because they don't comply with the 2017 version of NR097-2-1.

3. I see one hybrid Sungrow inverter on the list too, but I don't know anything about it.

So it seems the only other option is Goodwe. Come on though... *waves hand in Jedi-esque motion*... come over to the blue side... you will be happy here... 🙂

 

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4 hours ago, plonkster said:

1. Several Goodwe models. They also have AC-in, out, transfer switch, also feeds grid, I believe it also has the grid meter option. Doesn't NPE bond when islanding, and the manual lists some loads it is not suitable for during backup. In the "transformerless" discussion on this forum, we postulate that this is inherently due to the HF design.

I saw the Goodwe, and the Imeon, but I do not understand how the non-UPS load connects to the Inverter (like the AC2 Out of the Multi).  So even though I read that (for example) a 3kW inverter supports 3kW when the grid is off, it can do up to (for example) 6kW when the grid is available tby means off pass through, I struggle to understand how this works if there is not 2 outputs?

4 hours ago, plonkster said:

So it seems the only other option is Goodwe. Come on though... *waves hand in Jedi-esque motion*... come over to the blue side... you will be happy here... 🙂

I will probably, just want to make sure I do not miss a trick buying the same thing for maybe 30-50% cheaper. 😉 

 

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4 minutes ago, Pietpower said:

If both loads are low you need the EZmeter to stop the power flowing into the grid if required.

Thanks Piet.  Which specific Goodwe inverter model will that be.

And how is Anti-Islanding then achieved if the solar panels can feed the grid side if my backup/side is not utilising everything? Will the EZMeter do that? Can you share a link to that.

Thanks

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1 hour ago, Pietpower said:

In my world inverters can be divided into three groups: Grid tied, off-grid and hybrid.

Grid tied joins pv power with grid power to feed a load.

Off grid use pv power and battery power to feed a backup load and switch over to grid when the pv and battery is not enough.

Doesn't a hybrid also blend power?  (i.o.w if you have 2Kw load, and your PV panels only give 1Kw, it will blend the other 1Kw from the grid to give you 2Kw output)

Where as the other off-grid and grid-tied does a complete "switch-over" and pulls 2Kw from the grid if the PV panels or batteries can't give that amount?

-G-

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2 hours ago, Pietpower said:

Grid tied joins pv power with grid power to feed a load.

Grid tie inverters do AC-Coupling, so they need a sinewave to couple to, thus no mains no generation or backup (They can however be used downstream from a inverter that can provide it with a sinewave to couple to, they do this with frequency shifting)

2 hours ago, Pietpower said:

Off grid use pv power and battery power to feed a backup load and switch over to grid when the pv and battery is not enough.

Well not necessarily, Off grid could also mean, no AC Input, since its "Off grid" meaning no AC power close by. E.g (Victron Phoenix inverters, they could be seen as "Off grid" inverters)

2 hours ago, Pietpower said:

Goodwe is an example of an all in one hybrid inverter that can do both the functions above in one inverter.  Hybrid inverters can be divided onto many categories or setups.

Here is where I think the misunderstanding comes in, a Hybrid inverter isn't necessarily a all-in-one solution, its a inverter, that has the ability to blend power from a DC bus with AC to supply a load, the fact that a Goodwe unit happens to ship with a MPPT doesn't make it a Hybrid, Voltronic units (Baring the King and Infinisolar models) all ship with MPPT units built in, but they can't be seen as Hybrids because they can either supply power from Only the DC bus or Only grid power, they have no ability to blend power.

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7 hours ago, Pietpower said:

In my world inverters can be divided into three groups: Grid tied, off-grid and hybrid.

I find it useful to actually start with the English language and think about what the word "hybrid" means. It means it is a combination of two or more things. What things? In this context, it means that it combines features from a battery inverter with other features from a "grid tied" inverter. So it's like a fat man sitting on two barstools 🙂

Victron terminology is to refer to the battery-less kind as a "PV inverter". This is done to avoid the confusion coming from grid tied... since not all grid-tied inverters are necessarily solar inverters (you get wind too), nor are they all battery-less (eg Tesla powerwall is grid-tied from a high voltage battery).

A hybrid inverter also doesn't have to have a separate input and output. It could have just one connection to the grid too (like a PV-inverter). In this case, it would disconnect itself from the grid to avoid forming an island, just like a PV-inverter would.

The Goodwe, Infinisolar and Victron units are however the same in this regard, in that they also incorporate a transfer switch (it can disconnect the grid). For this reason it usually ends up with two connections (input/output)... the important thing to note is just that this is not what makes them hybrid.

Now... when the inverter closes that transfer switch (Victron calls it the backfeed relay), then the inverter is capable of pushing power backwards into the grid. In other words, it can push power to loads that are NOT connected to its output. You can then connect a modbus energy meter elsewhere in the installation, and the system will attempt to balance the amount of energy that it feeds into the grid with whatever that meter reads. In other words, it acts like a PV-inverter with a grid limiter.

When you have such a hybrid with the grid-limiting modbus meter... then you technically don't need AC-out-2.

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I'm going to add in to this mix the MLT Powerstar. It's  Bi-direction Hybrid Inverter, so it can export to the grid to, take from the grid if there is a short and mix. It's got it's own build in Islanding system and you can adjust the export settings to. 

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16 hours ago, PJJ said:

Voltronic units (Baring the King and Infinisolar models) all ship with MPPT units built in, but they can't be seen as Hybrids because they can either supply power from Only the DC bus or Only grid power, they have no ability to blend power.

Well I don't know about the King but I have an Infinislolar 5 kW and it will blend DC with AC.

 

2 hours ago, Gerlach said:

I'm going to add in to this mix the MLT Powerstar. It's  Bi-direction Hybrid Inverter, so it can export to the grid to, take from the grid if there is a short and mix. It's got it's own build in Islanding system and you can adjust the export settings to. 

Exactly that is the definition of a hybrid I guess.

Edited by RikH
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12 minutes ago, RikH said:

Infinislolar 5 kW and it will blend DC with AC.

Right. The issue with the Infini, is that they only have NRS097-2-1 compliance by the 2010 version of the standard. Since February this year, Cape Town requires compliance with the 2017 version. You therefore cannot install an Infini in Cape Town anymore.

They are not the only ones affected. The entire Fronius stable dropped off the list, even though I can guarantee you that not only does the Fronius comply... it is yards better than many of the other inverters on that list.

Edited by plonkster
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1 hour ago, RikH said:

Well I don't know about the King but I have an Infinislolar 5 kW and it will blend DC with AC.

That is why I said:

17 hours ago, PJJ said:

(Baring the King and Infinisolar models)

They are the only true Hybrid inverters in the Voltronic range.

I think I just chopped my sentences badly there, I wanted to point out, that even tough the Voltronic models all have MPPT's as well, all wrapped into one package, it does not make them Hybrid inverters. (Excluding the King and Infinisolar models) 

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On 2020/02/21 at 10:36 AM, PJJ said:

That is why I said:

On 2020/02/20 at 4:34 PM, PJJ said:

(Baring the King and Infinisolar models)

Haha ok, missed the word Baring. A word that I didn't knew its translation into my native language (that is quite similar to Afrikaans of course) and I still don't because when I look it up in Google it comes back with baring and that is not a word I know in Dutch. 😉

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All

On this topic, how does one distinguish between a hybrid inverter and a grid tied inverter. 
 

Hybdrid - Like Victron Multiplus and Goodwe ES that can blend power sources like PV and Grid whilst providing backup

Grid Tied - To my understanding these have both Grid and PV inputs but can’t blend, like most Axperts. 
 

Reason I am asking is that when I read spec sheets I see for both types specs like AC in, MPPTs, ups transfer times, Battery In BUT struggle to understand what technical aspect makes this differentiation. 
The price off course is an indication 

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