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Inexpensive hybrid inverter suggestion


Ryan B
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Hi everyone

I spent the last 6 or so months speccing a hybrid system to assist with loadshedding/power failures/cable theft etc. I measured all my appliance loads, monitored my consumption for a month with a wireless logger, split my db into essential/non-essential and after all the research was done, I settled on the following system, to be rolled out over the space of up to 12 months:

Goodwe ES 4.6 hybrid inverter
Pylontech US3000 batteries (up to 3)
10 x Art Solar 410w panels

I purchased 1 x US3000 battery and then the world fell to pieces with the Covid outbreak.

As a result, i find myself sitting with an unused battery (still in the box) and a significantly reduced budget. For now, I will look to just install an inverter so that I can have backup with the one battery for loadshedding. Solar can come later when budget permits. I would appreciate it if I could have some suggestions for a quality, inexpensive hybrid inverter in the 4 - 5kw range. Max budget would most likely be approx R15k. I understand that pickings may be slim but I thought I would see what options are out there.

Tx,

Ryan

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1 hour ago, Ryan B said:

measured all my appliance loads, monitored my consumption for a month with a wireless logger,

What was the average consumption and what would the load on your essentials be? 

1 hour ago, Ryan B said:

As a result, i find myself sitting with an unused battery (still in the box) and a significantly reduced budget. For now, I will look to just install an inverter so that I can have backup with the one battery for loadshedding. Solar can come later when budget permits. I would appreciate it if I could have some suggestions for a quality, inexpensive hybrid inverter in the 4 - 5kw range. Max budget would most likely be approx R15k. I understand that pickings may be slim but I thought I would see what options are out there.

 

You will not be able to run big loads from only one US 3000, the battery will not allow you to draw too much current for too long... Taking that into consideration, if you can keep your loads under 1700 Watt, you might as well get a 3000 Va Victron Multiplus2. You can get them for around 15k and its a great start with some of the best equipment around. 

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1 minute ago, Jaco de Jongh said:

get a 3000 Va Victron Multiplus2. You can get them for around 15k and its a great start with some of the best equipment around.

Also, there is enough Victron stock in the country. Shortly before the lockdown they were actually flying in stock because it sold out faster than it could be shipped in by sea (thanks Eskom). The warehouses are also open again as of this week.

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5 hours ago, Ryan B said:

Hi everyone

I spent the last 6 or so months speccing a hybrid system to assist with loadshedding/power failures/cable theft etc. I measured all my appliance loads, monitored my consumption for a month with a wireless logger, split my db into essential/non-essential and after all the research was done, I settled on the following system, to be rolled out over the space of up to 12 months:

Goodwe ES 4.6 hybrid inverter
Pylontech US3000 batteries (up to 3)
10 x Art Solar 410w panels

I purchased 1 x US3000 battery and then the world fell to pieces with the Covid outbreak.

As a result, i find myself sitting with an unused battery (still in the box) and a significantly reduced budget. For now, I will look to just install an inverter so that I can have backup with the one battery for loadshedding. Solar can come later when budget permits. I would appreciate it if I could have some suggestions for a quality, inexpensive hybrid inverter in the 4 - 5kw range. Max budget would most likely be approx R15k. I understand that pickings may be slim but I thought I would see what options are out there.

Tx,

Ryan

HI Ryan hope you doing well? 

I'm going to give you my opinion on inverter selection. First thing is u need to know your load. Ideally you want to run all your lights maybe a socket outlet or 2 for your TV, wifi and fridge. (essentials) this will be in range of of 800w. I would suggest a 3kva 24v plus system as you only require 2 batteries to run the system, you can still connect 4 later on it will just make your load run longer. A lot of people go for bigger systems that requires more batteries and it adds to the bill. Most non essential loads just adds unnecessary loads to batteries and in the long run its killing your equipment. 

I run a 3kva system with all my lights, TV, double fridge, deep freazer and wifi and it comes up to 780w.

Bigger load = larger battery banks, large pv array and more money. 

Hope this will help you make the right choice. You can contact me on whatsapp for discussion on solutions on your budget . 0712956332

Kind regards 

Hannes 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Hannes Bester said:

24v plus system as you only require 2 batteries

Allow me to also add my opinion, given that I am myself a member of the 24V club.

Whether you buy 4 x 100Ah batteries or 2 x 200Ah batteries, the cost is pretty similar and the capacity is the same. A 24V system is pretty capable, but I envy the 48V guys who can do 3kw of PV at a mere 60A. You can do that with a piffling 25mm^2 cable... meanwhile I'm running 35mm^2 and 50mm^2 cables and I have to run larger (and more expensive) MPPTs to get the same power into the batteries.

If you plan on expanding, especially if you plan on expanding a lot... go 48V.

4 hours ago, Hannes Bester said:

A lot of people go for bigger systems that requires more batteries and it adds to the bill.

Here I agree with you. A lot of people buy a 5kVA inverter so that "one day" when they upgrade the batteries or add more PV they already have the inverter. Then the battery bank fails 15 months in, and the inverter blows up around 3 years in... and in the mean time that big inverter sucks down 50W fro your tiny "starter" battery bank just to keep itself running.

Heck there is a handyman on Facebook proudly posting his 5kVA installs, a big old Axpert inverter and 4 x 100Ah SLA batteries (not particularly high end ones either). He did not like it when I commented and explained that a 100Ah bank is good for 500W continuous! Whatever you do, don't be that guy... 🙂

 

Edited by plonkster
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7 hours ago, Hannes Bester said:

HI Ryan hope you doing well? 

I'm going to give you my opinion on inverter selection. First thing is u need to know your load. Ideally you want to run all your lights maybe a socket outlet or 2 for your TV, wifi and fridge. (essentials) this will be in range of of 800w. I would suggest a 3kva 24v plus system as you only require 2 batteries to run the system, you can still connect 4 later on it will just make your load run longer. A lot of people go for bigger systems that requires more batteries and it adds to the bill. Most non essential loads just adds unnecessary loads to batteries and in the long run its killing your equipment. 

I run a 3kva system with all my lights, TV, double fridge, deep freazer and wifi and it comes up to 780w.

Bigger load = larger battery banks, large pv array and more money. 

Hope this will help you make the right choice. You can contact me on whatsapp for discussion on solutions on your budget . 0712956332

Kind regards 

Hannes 

 

 

HI Ryan look at these links, they not badly priced. 

https://www.solarpanelenergy.co.za///p/957659/3kw-24v-growatt--24kw-backup-power

https://www.solarpanelenergy.co.za///p/951531/3kw-48v-growatt-hybrid-off-grid-inverter

https://www.solarpanelenergy.co.za///p/957658/3kw-48v-growatt--48kw-backup-power

Kind regards 

Hannes 

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16 hours ago, Ryan B said:

I purchased 1 x US3000 battery and then the world fell to pieces with the Covid outbreak.

 

11 hours ago, Hannes Bester said:

I would suggest a 3kva 24v plus system as you only require 2 batteries to run the system

What is the logic of this?

 

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21 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Indeed, if the man has already bought a 48V battery, that ship has sailed, right?

If it was me I would rather get the 5KVA inverter now, and than just install a 10A main circuit breaker from inverter to the load so that you ensure you don't exceed that pylontech battery limits. If you misbehave it will just trip, by the third trip you would of learnt your lesson and give training to the family (That will allow loads only under 3KW) Then who knows 3 months down the line when companies need cash and Eskom have excess power due to declined demand you might be lucky and get panels for half the price and before you know it you buy that second pylon.😁

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14 minutes ago, Gerrie said:

just install a 10A main circuit breaker

Or get a proper hybrid inverter and tell it to stick to 500W max and take the rest from the grid. It's another argument I've made before, that people are all hung up about the price of the inverter, but they forget that a true hybrid inverter can save you money on the battery bank.

Now to be fair, the OP said he was looking at a Goodwe, and that is a proper hybrid inverter.

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On 2020/04/21 at 4:18 PM, Jaco de Jongh said:

What was the average consumption and what would the load on your essentials be? 

You will not be able to run big loads from only one US 3000, the battery will not allow you to draw too much current for too long... Taking that into consideration, if you can keep your loads under 1700 Watt, you might as well get a 3000 Va Victron Multiplus2. You can get them for around 15k and its a great start with some of the best equipment around. 

I have to agree with Jaco here. I run the same inverter with 2 x US3000BS and 6 x 315W panels and it serves me very well. The geyser and oven/hob bypass the inverter. Everything works flawlessly and it is the perfect starter system and can easily be scaled up as required. The Victron hardware and software offerings, large community, frequent updates, good support etc. make a very compelling argument. If I had to do it all over again, I'd go the exact same route.

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Thank you for all the replies everyone. My daily max essential power consumption is approx 750w for day and up to 1100w for night so the 1700w of the US3000 will be ample for the foreseeable future. I had planned to move more items over from non-essential to essential as the system grew, hence why opting for the 4.6kw inverter, but will hold off on that for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately whilst I appreciate the Victron brand, I find it a bit out of my price range when you take into account the total requirement of inverter, controller and eventual charge controller.

One other requirement which would be nice to have and to be able to cater for now, would be the ability to feed back to the grid eventually when I install panels.

I have had the following 2 inverters recommended to me:

Axpert VMIII 5kw - R13800
Mecer King 5kw - R15525

Unfortunately, can't seem to find the Growatt 5kw hybrid in stock anywhere.

For a bit extra, the Sunsynk/Deye 5kw looks appealing, but is a bit more that what my budget permits at the moment.

Tx

 

 

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The Mecer is also an Axpert, so they are very similar. 
The Axpert is not in the approved inverter list to feed back into the grid, so you might have a problem there in future.

From what I understand the Axpert also have a hard switch over if you need more power than it's max. So if you use for instance use 5.5 kw (more than the 5kw max of the inverter) it will switch the full load to the utilities.
If you use something like the Vicron Multi it will just add the extra you need from the grid and supply the rest itself (0.5kw from the grid and 5kw from the inverter) 

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3 hours ago, Ryan B said:

Unfortunately, can't seem to find the Growatt 5kw hybrid in stock anywhere.

The 5kW GroWatt inverters I've seen were rebadged Axperts (they have WiFi connectivity though).

Unfortunately one has to be careful of the term "hybrid". Initially this term meant that the inverter can grid-tie (like a PV-inverter), but can also run standalone (when there is an outage). In other words, it combined features of a grid-tied and a battery inverter, hence the term "Hybrid". Unfortunately makers/sellers of Multifunction devices co-opted the term and use it to describe devices that bundle an MPPT in the same packaging.

This is incredibly confusing. For example:

1. The Axpert bundles an MPPT, but does not tie with the grid.

2. The Victron Multiplus-II ties with the grid, but does not bundle an MPPT.

3. A Victron EasySolar and a Goodwe bundles an MPPT and ties with the grid.

All of these are marketted as Hybrids by at least some outlets. So unfortunately the term Hybrid is somewhat meaningless nowadays.

Even more frustratingly, the Victron inverters are almost always in the "Off grid" part of the site. So completely paradoxically to the original meaning, the Axpert is now a hybrid and the Multiplus is not. Pfffft.

Edited by plonkster
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2020/04/21 at 4:18 PM, Jaco de Jongh said:

get a 3000 Va Victron Multiplus2. You can get them for around 15k and its a great start with some of the best equipment around. 

Only problem with this is you'll still need to get your GX device, Smartsolar MPPT, WiFi adapter and most likely a BMV. Once you're done with these things your total cost is a bit closer to around 30k

Sunsynk, although not to familiar with durability of the inverter have a nice 5kVa hybrid inverter for about 23k.

I would advise to spend the little extra if you can though, even if it means building a slightly smaller system initially, and go with a Victron. Start with a 3kVA multiplus and if need be add a second later down the line. 

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On 2020/04/27 at 12:08 PM, Louisvdw said:

The Mecer is also an Axpert, so they are very similar. 
The Axpert is not in the approved inverter list to feed back into the grid, so you might have a problem there in future.

Not only are they not allowed, they can't. An Axpert is an off grid inverter and does not have bidirectional capability. Hence why is not on NRS grid approved inverter list. It does not need approval. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
2 hours ago, Kilowatt Power said:

Is it an issue of NRS approval, reliability or cost?

I can't speak to the NRS approval, but the cost doesn't seem as low as the Axperts, and the reliability seems low (but that may be skewed by only reading posts about the problems, not the satisfied users). So I think the value proposition isn't so compelling.

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On 2020/06/09 at 12:26 AM, Kilowatt Power said:

Why aren't InfiniSolar VII hybrids popular when Axperts rule the roost in the off-grid world? Is it an issue of NRS approval, reliability or cost?

Cost. Those infinisolar inverters are expensive... I have no idea why though to be honest.  You can install a Goodwe ES for less than an Infinisolar

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On 2020/06/09 at 12:26 AM, Kilowatt Power said:

NRS approval

I believe the Infinis are only compliant with the 2010 version of NRS097, they have not been recertified for the 2017 version. This affects other inverters too, even some very good ones...

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On 2020/06/09 at 12:26 AM, Kilowatt Power said:

Why aren't InfiniSolar VII hybrids popular when Axperts rule the roost in the off-grid world? Is it an issue of NRS approval, reliability or cost?

I think Infinisolar VII is relatively new model, and pricing seems to be only around R600 or so more than the Axpert MKS2 in the RCT price list.  As far as I know they are working on getting NRS097 approval.

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