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Thank you for the great forum, Safe Driving over the weekend. Sincerely Jason
RhysMcW

Infinisolar 3k plus woes

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Hi all,

I've been running an Infinisolar 3kW Plus (Mecer branded), 4 x 250Ah Gel/AGM batteries, 2 arrays of 8 x 260W panels and a separate DB for the load circuit for almost 5 years now. A little over a year ago I added ICC (Inverter Control Center) to better monitor the inverter.
The batteries seem a little tired now and I was hoping to upgrade to Lithium late this year or early next year, however my inverter seems to have issues again.
In July 2019 the inverter tripped my main DB (utility fed DB) and as long as the inverter was connected to the utility feed the earth leakage would trip. I took the inverter in to Mustek and they stated that the inverter's "main board" was faulty and needed to be replaced, which took a month.
Now I'm having the very same symptoms so I'm assuming the same basic issue and expecting to be told the main board will need to be replaced yet again and of course I've been told there is only a 3 month warranty on repairs so would have to pay again...

With the cost of the main board replacements (last year was R4985) I'm seriously considering just replacing the unit entirely.
I've considered replacing with the very same model (it has work well in terms of load etc) but was thinking about the 5kW unit (just not it's price).
I'm not against changing brands as long as the "other brand" has decent monitoring tools (I really have been enjoying ICC).
I'm very partial to hybrid inverters, specifically I like the Infinisolar for the fact that it will feed the load from solar when available with top-up from grid or batteries (depending on setup) and that excess solar will charge the batteries and/or feed to the grid (if configured). I specifically like the load circuit from the inverter as I have the "essentials" connected to the separate DB which the inverter then supplies from solar and/or battery when load shedding (or just grid failure) without having to supply the load to the heavy users like kettle, stove etc.
 

I'm looking for some advice please but my budget is not endless...
As stated I would prefer a hybrid inverter that can supply the load form solar and top-up if needed form grid/battery and have the separate load circuit (I've seen this labelled "AC Out" on some brands).
3kW is really enough (we very seldom go over 2500W on the load side and then that is usually for relatively short periods, average between 600W and 1500 W)
Parallel capability would be nice, hence me looking at the 5k Infinisolar, but not really essential.
Decent monitoring tool, I like to know how much solar is being produced and the load usage and monthly totals etc...

What other brands would be recommended that can do the same/better than the Infinisolar? If another brand is also supported by ICC that would be a plus...
Should I just replace the unit with the same model, hoping a new one will last, or just pay the approx R5k and have mine repaid again???

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Forgot to ask where one can reliably buy units, ideally somewhere that at least has decent after sales service.
There seems to be quite a price difference between sites like GC Solar, GW store, Weables and Sustainable.
Should any of be avoided or preferred etc?

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