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New inverter: GoodWe, Sunsynk, or .... ?


SolarFrans
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Hi all,

 

Looking to replace my Axpert 5kVA with something a bit more feature-rich.

Setup is currently 9 x 330W panels, 1 x Pylontech 3000B, looking to add a 3000C to that.

At the very least I want:

- direct connection to Pylontech BMS for accurate battery SOC readings (not like Axpert's let's-guess-based-on-voltage algorithm)

- ability to set SOC thresholds for switching to battery / grid

- ability to view metrics remotely like current consumption/production

- ability to set time windows when unit should switch to grid

Nice to have is ability to connect secondary loads like pool pump that would use excess power when battery SOC is over a certain threshold.
 

GoodWe and Sunsynk both seem like good inverters and value for money. The Sunsynk 8kW is about the same price as a GoodWe 4.8 kW so seems more cost-effective.

 

What are the experiences of people who have tried either or both? What would you recommend?

 

Thanks!
Frans

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Sunsynk 8kw inverter user here for the last 11 months and I really can't fault it. It just works and there are constant upgrades and improvements. My inverter mppt was only 18A but they confirmed that it does support 22A and they upgraded my firmware overnight. 

Very happy with this inverter. The user interface is also very easy to understand but the settings does have a bit of a learning curve to it. There are many users here that can assist with the settings though. I don't think there's an inverter with a better user interface than the sunsynk with its touch screen display. 

There is a new logger that's currently in beta testing that allows for real time remote monitoring and changing of inverter settings. I'm not sure when it's going to be released. 

761049F8-5ACB-46E7-96CC-ACEF936E7AA0.jpeg.3f30e2e5e03aa0238d5a45e179b49cf5.jpeg

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I have a Goodwe but now wish I had a Sunsynk 8kW

Goodwe is easy to install and works as it should but it has many negatives in my opinion.

First I struggle to get support from Goodwe. 

The settings are a bit limited. Example you can set max discharge to say 10% and grid available discharge to 30% so you have 20% left for load shedding but that is about it.  I understand the Sunsynk has more options.

The interface or nice graphs is via the internet.  So somewhere in China the data is kept and my only connection to it.  I can't connect directly to the inverter to download data.  Currently my graph values do not correspond to what I am using in reality (it jumps to say 6kW while I am actually using only 4kW) and nothing I can do about it.

 

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20 hours ago, SolarFrans said:

What are the experiences of people who have tried either or both? What would you recommend?

Cheapest option would be to keep your current setup and add a control software like ICC or Solar Assistant and the Pylon comms cable to your system. I ran my system (2x Apert and a couple of Pylons) like that for 2 years and could do everything you are looking for (my pool pump would switch on if SOC was above certain value and if I had more than X watts of spare PV)

If you're willing to spend the cash, then the Sunsynk will be the better long-term solution. I recently did the upgrade (also because I wanted to add more panels) and am happy with it. However, out of the box the Sunsynk currently also only provides time-delayed metrics for remote viewing. Supposedly an upgrade for this is in the works, but I had to get Solar Assistant to remotely access real-time data. And remotely changing parameters currently is not supported on the Sunsynk (which you can do on the Axpert with either of the control software mentioned above)

My 2 cents: If your current inverter size and PV amount is sufficient for you, I would probably go the ICC / Solar Assistant route to add the features you are looking for. Investment for that will be around R3k (depending if you go ICC or Solar Assistant. You can save a couple of R if you buy the Raspberry Pi separately elsewhere and just get the software and comms cable from them). If you are planning to further add to your system in the near future, then the upgrade to Sunsynk will be the better option - but obviously also much more expensive

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7 minutes ago, wolfandy said:

You can save a couple of R if you buy the Raspberry Pi separately elsewhere and just get the software and comms cable from them)

I contacted ICC a few weeks ago, apparently you must buy the full package from them (pi and software). I had a PI around so it made no sense to buy more hardware. That made my decision easy...didnt buy ICC. Got an alternative going Solpiplog. Not sure of the Pylon integration yet

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5 minutes ago, abeetude said:

I contacted ICC a few weeks ago, apparently you must buy the full package from them (pi and software).

You know that ICC split into 2 'branches' a while back, right? Which one did you reach out to? One of them (Centurion Solar - they've renamed their product SMH now) I cannot comment on because I never dealt with them. The other one (still called ICC) you can buy the software from separately here: https://iccsoftware.co.za/about/shop/

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16 minutes ago, YellowTapemeasure said:

Sunsynk FTW.

And to think a year ago when I was looking into what inverter to go with there were only a few threads here and elsewhere online with very little information available on the sunsynk. I ended up watching the US sol-ark inverter videos as I think somewhere there is a connection between the two, even though neither company wants to comment on who copied from who. 

Very glad that I went with the 8kw sunsynk. 

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1 hour ago, Achmat said:

And to think a year ago when I was looking into what inverter to go with there were only a few threads here and elsewhere online with very little information available on the sunsynk. I ended up watching the US sol-ark inverter videos as I think somewhere there is a connection between the two, even though neither company wants to comment on who copied from who. 

Very glad that I went with the 8kw sunsynk. 

True that. What changed my Victron mindset at the time was that Sunsynk did everything that a Victron ESS did, at about 1/3 of the cost.

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3 hours ago, wolfandy said:

Cheapest option would be to keep your current setup and add a control software like ICC or Solar Assistant and the Pylon comms cable to your system. I ran my system (2x Apert and a couple of Pylons) like that for 2 years and could do everything you are looking for (my pool pump would switch on if SOC was above certain value and if I had more than X watts of spare PV)

I was running the Axpert with ICC on a Pi 3 connected to the Pylontechs which worked fine for about 2 years until recently. But then ICC just stopped working at some point -- it just slows down and completely freezes and I need to restart either ICC or the whole Pi. I've had to disconnect the Pi and run the Axpert the "old-fashioned" way which basically means it switches to grid every time we turns the kettle or the microwave on as that dips the battery voltage below the 48V threshold (if I set that number any lower to prevent this, it switches off completely at night when the battery discharging actually drops it below 48V and the inverter doesn't switch back to grid in time).

ICC have been completely useless. I asked them to help and they told me that they don't support my version anymore (even though it says the licence is valid until 2030 or something) and I need to upgrade for $20. I asked why I need to upgrade when I don't need new features, just need my existing version to work, and the only reply I got was "Have a nice day" and after that all my e-mails have been ignored. It appears ICC is really just one Afrikaans bloke who it seems is a better programmer than customer service person which doesn't help in my case. So you'll understand I'm not keen on paying them even more money when they're obviously not interested in keeping their customers happy.

Fewer parts also means less finger pointing and easier troubleshooting if something doesn't work.

 

Thanks for the input though, at least it means I'm making the right decision :)

 

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3 hours ago, abeetude said:

I contacted ICC a few weeks ago, apparently you must buy the full package from them (pi and software). I had a PI around so it made no sense to buy more hardware. That made my decision easy...didnt buy ICC. Got an alternative going Solpiplog. Not sure of the Pylon integration yet

Oh great, this is worth checking out!

Their GitHub page does mention Pylontech integration so fingers crossed...

And the fact that it's open source means I can actual debug it myself and fix issues if it doesn't work, a great plus over ICC which is closed source.

 

OK, let's try this before spending 30K rands on a new inverter! 😃

Thanks!

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2 hours ago, SolarFrans said:

I'm going to try the SolPipLog software as mentioned by @abeetude and see if that can replace what ICC was doing before it broke down...

If that fails it's going to be a SunSynk.

 

As mentioned, this is what I use for now, however I have ordered a Sunsynk 8, hopefully will take delivery in a few weeks. :) Ordered from Steve PowerStore. Great guy for super friendly service and great advice!

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6 hours ago, wolfandy said:

You know that ICC split into 2 'branches' a while back, right? Which one did you reach out to? One of them (Centurion Solar - they've renamed their product SMH now) I cannot comment on because I never dealt with them. The other one (still called ICC) you can buy the software from separately here: https://iccsoftware.co.za/about/shop/

@wolfandyICC as mentioned in the post. The lady that answered the phone was friendly but very clear that the software is not available separately. 

I moved on and glad I did

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15 hours ago, abeetude said:

ICC as mentioned in the post. The lady that answered the phone was friendly but very clear that the software is not available separately. 

In the online shop, you can put the software only version into your basket and proceed to payment. I did not venture further than that

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19 hours ago, YellowTapemeasure said:

True that. What changed my Victron mindset at the time was that Sunsynk did everything that a Victron ESS did, at about 1/3 of the cost.

You MUST NEVER SAY THAT! The Victron die hards will crucify you....They're still stuck in the dark ages...The big plus for Victron is remote control which hopefully will be available soon for the sunsync, then there's no reason to go Victron if you are comparing price/functionality across the 2 brands...

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18 hours ago, SolarFrans said:

I was running the Axpert with ICC on a Pi 3 connected to the Pylontechs which worked fine for about 2 years until recently. But then ICC just stopped working at some point -- it just slows down and completely freezes and I need to restart either ICC or the whole Pi. I've had to disconnect the Pi and run the Axpert the "old-fashioned" way which basically means it switches to grid every time we turns the kettle or the microwave on as that dips the battery voltage below the 48V threshold (if I set that number any lower to prevent this, it switches off completely at night when the battery discharging actually drops it below 48V and the inverter doesn't switch back to grid in time).

ICC have been completely useless. I asked them to help and they told me that they don't support my version anymore (even though it says the licence is valid until 2030 or something) and I need to upgrade for $20. I asked why I need to upgrade when I don't need new features, just need my existing version to work, and the only reply I got was "Have a nice day" and after that all my e-mails have been ignored. It appears ICC is really just one Afrikaans bloke who it seems is a better programmer than customer service person which doesn't help in my case. So you'll understand I'm not keen on paying them even more money when they're obviously not interested in keeping their customers happy.

Fewer parts also means less finger pointing and easier troubleshooting if something doesn't work.

I can't comment on the history, but I take it you are aware of the split of the company into 2 parts at one point - which caused this problem for us end customers...

I was running the ICC (not Centurion) variant and it was running (mostly) stable for me.

If you can get the upgrade to the ICC version for R250, then I would definitely give that a try first. I understand your pain regarding their customer service (even though I already received prompt service when I had a problem) - but is that really worth throwing R20k at it?

Alternatively consider Solar Assistant. I am running that now as it was the only software that supports Sunsynk that I could find. Am happy with it, even though at the moment it is only data display and no active management of settings for Sunsynk. I know that it also has similar features as you are looking for for Axperts - but have no experience with it. If you already have a Pi and the Pylon comms cable, then all you are looking at is the R800 software license

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