Inverters

Neuk_

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2018
Messages
1,936
Victron is far better than goodwe - and more expensive
The only thing that I can see that Goodwe has going for it besides pricing is that it is an all in one inverter while most Victron inverters you'll need MPPT controllers for solar panels, the GX colour panel for easier setup, etc. My boss has a 5kVa Goodwe that he is happy with although regrets getting only 5kVa while a colleague spent a fortune on a Victron Quattro 48v 15kVa inverter so never has to worry about power handling ability. The beauty of Victron inverters is they can be run in parrallel, up to six of them, I am not sure if other brands are able to thought.
 

nadeem_k

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
635
Are you perhaps confusing the names Victron with Voltronic?

Victron is probably the rolls royce in invertors from what I know so far.So top of the range.

Voltronic is the axpert type basic ones.
You right.

I guess my question was more on functionality. Can both be used as hybrid inverters?
 

Mars

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Messages
10,319
I was under the impression the lithium ion batteries BMS or battery management system would do this,is this not the case and a BMS is just to balance load between different cells rather than managing the entire banks charging?
The battery's bms handles the charging of the cells but the inverter needs to be able to read the condition of the battery accurately so that the MPPT knows when to charge and the inverter knows when to stop trying to use the battery. Because of the BMS on the battery it outputs a stable voltage until its cut off point and the inverter cant read sht from it.

So what was happening to me specifically was that no matter how I changed the settings in the inverter it never knew what state the battery was in resulting in the battery shutting down and loss of power to the house. The inverter would then reset into bypass mode directly to utility and would refuse to switch even to solar. Often the display on the inverter would show 3/4 battery when the battery itself shows less than 1/4. At one stage it drained the battery so low it only read 24v and the inverter refused to charge it. I thought the battery was fsked. I went and bought a 48v 10a power supply and connected that to the battery and charged it with that and it came up, only to have the inverter drain it all the way down again and refuse to charge it again that very night.

The pi and ICC connects directly to the battery using RS485 and the charge state is read from the BMS, not from the voltage output. I set the software to switch to utility when the battery has less than 20% available capacity and I have not had one single failure since.


You right.

I guess my question was more on functionality. Can both be used as hybrid inverters?
Yes both have hybrid inverters.

I have heard only good things about Goodwe from people who have used them so I dont understand why they get so much hate. No one who hates them can tell me what exactly they dont like about them. I haven't used them myself so I cant comment, but it seems to me from the specs that it includes a lot of high end functions, including logging, remote access and battery monitoring via serial for a relatively low price .

If I had the spare cash lying around I would consider getting one to replace the mecer I currently have.
 

falcon786

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
9,901
The battery's bms handles the charging of the cells but the inverter needs to be able to read the condition of the battery accurately so that the MPPT knows when to charge and the inverter knows when to stop trying to use the battery. Because of the BMS on the battery it outputs a stable voltage until its cut off point and the inverter cant read sht from it.

So what was happening to me specifically was that no matter how I changed the settings in the inverter it never knew what state the battery was in resulting in the battery shutting down and loss of power to the house. The inverter would then reset into bypass mode directly to utility and would refuse to switch even to solar. Often the display on the inverter would show 3/4 battery when the battery itself shows less than 1/4. At one stage it drained the battery so low it only read 24v and the inverter refused to charge it. I thought the battery was fsked. I went and bought a 48v 10a power supply and connected that to the battery and charged it with that and it came up, only to have the inverter drain it all the way down again and refuse to charge it again that very night.

The pi and ICC connects directly to the battery using RS485 and the charge state is read from the BMS, not from the voltage output. I set the software to switch to utility when the battery has less than 20% available capacity and I have not had one single failure since.
Very interesting,thanks for the detailed reply!

In short, the inverter needs a communication port/link to the battery itself to read values and control it...

So in the case of the axpert type inverter this port/link doesn't exist or does the link exist but the inverter software lacks the ability/code to deal with lithium adequately?
 

agentrfr

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
4,724
I've had great success with custom made inverters from a Chinese company called Y Solar. They're one of the few manufacturers that dont make their stuff out of chinesium

I had one of their 5kVA hybrid systems: it is 48V nominal on the battery, MPPT is 5kW for the solar, inverter side is 5kVA and 10kVA surge. The surge is capable of starting a small lathe without going into over current protection on the output

All the components are high quality, LABLED and easy to replace if hit by lightening

The hybrid mode always runs off batteries, batteries are charged by solar and the balance by grid. If grid goes down you wont notice (apart from a beep - you can turn off the grid fail alarm too)

~R10k once you've paid for all the duties
 

agentrfr

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
4,724
^^ it can charge lipo based batteries too, you just change the setting in the panel (12S lipo for 50.4 Vmax)
 

Steamy Tom

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
3,494
I've had great success with custom made inverters from a Chinese company called Y Solar. They're one of the few manufacturers that dont make their stuff out of chinesium

I had one of their 5kVA hybrid systems: it is 48V nominal on the battery, MPPT is 5kW for the solar, inverter side is 5kVA and 10kVA surge. The surge is capable of starting a small lathe without going into over current protection on the output

All the components are high quality, LABLED and easy to replace if hit by lightening

The hybrid mode always runs off batteries, batteries are charged by solar and the balance by grid. If grid goes down you wont notice (apart from a beep - you can turn off the grid fail alarm too)

~R10k once you've paid for all the duties
Looks like a voltronic clone
 

Jaws677

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2009
Messages
732
Best value for money options with local support that I have worked with

1. Sunsynk
2. Goodwe

If you have money to blow
1. Victron

If someone still recommendes any other battery but lithium he is an idiot.


I personally have a 5 kW Voltronic / RCT /Mecer unit. Their best description is an UPS with solar input capability.
 

Mars

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Messages
10,319
Best value for money options with local support that I have worked with

1. Sunsynk
2. Goodwe

If you have money to blow
1. Victron

If someone still recommendes any other battery but lithium he is an idiot.


I personally have a 5 kW Voltronic / RCT /Mecer unit. Their best description is an UPS with solar input capability.
Really? Hmm....
 

Tacet

Expert Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
2,428
The most important difference between Victron and Axpert for me is the way that it does its combining of AC (Eskom) and DC (battery/solar).

The Axpert rectifies the AC to DC, then use the DC from the panels/batteries and the converted DC, and inverts it back to AC to power the loads. So if you have a 4 kW Axpert, you can never exceed 4 kW irrespective of the sources you have available.

The Victron grid-ties, so it inverts the DC from the panels/batteries to AC, and ties that in with the AC from Eskom. Meaning that if you have a 4 kW Victron and you have Eskom available, you can actually use quite a bit more than 4 kW. That said: if Eskom is down you can only use 4 kW - it can't invert more than its rating.

It sounds like a small thing, but it means that under normal conditions you don't have to watch your peak consumption all that much with a Victron.

As for grid-tying, the Victron has anti-islanding control built in. When Eskom dies, it has two relays that open, effectively disconnecting your system from Eskom. The system keeps on going, though. I usually only notice that Eskom is gone by the sound of the relays opening, and sometimes a momentarily dim in the lights.
 

Mars

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Messages
10,319
The most important difference between Victron and Axpert for me is the way that it does its combining of AC (Eskom) and DC (battery/solar).

The Axpert rectifies the AC to DC, then use the DC from the panels/batteries and the converted DC, and inverts it back to AC to power the loads. So if you have a 4 kW Axpert, you can never exceed 4 kW irrespective of the sources you have available.
This is not accurate in my experience. I have a 5kw mercer and when I load more than that it just switches to utility.
 

Steamy Tom

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
3,494
This is not accurate in my experience. I have a 5kw mercer and when I load more than that it just switches to utility.
what model do you have? and how much have you pulled through it for an extended period of time? (i.e more than a few seconds)
 

Gaz{M}

Executive Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Messages
5,256
The Axpert rectifies the AC to DC, then use the DC from the panels/batteries and the converted DC, and inverts it back to AC to power the loads. So if you have a 4 kW Axpert, you can never exceed 4 kW irrespective of the sources you have available.
Are you sure about this? There are many Axpert models and clone models. They are not equal in operation at all.

It is a fine line and never properly explained in the manuals I have read. The question remains: Can you combine the energy from solar with the energy from the grid, to power your loads. Or is the solar energy wasted completely if the load demands more than the solar can combined (ie: 100% grid power).

If the inverter uses battery and grid and solar energy to power the load, that is good enough.
 

Steamy Tom

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
3,494
Are you sure about this? There are many Axpert models and clone models. They are not equal in operation at all.

It is a fine line and never properly explained in the manuals I have read. The question remains: Can you combine the energy from solar with the energy from the grid, to power your loads. Or is the solar energy wasted completely if the load demands more than the solar can combined (ie: 100% grid power).

If the inverter uses battery and grid and solar energy to power the load, that is good enough.
the king series axpert models can.
 

Mars

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Messages
10,319
what model do you have? and how much have you pulled through it for an extended period of time? (i.e more than a few seconds)
I'll check the exact model later when I get home, but I run a big cyclone dust extractor, my shopvac and my big cnc router for an hour or two at a time and when I'm using them the total usage is above 6Kw. I'm not sure what the individual draw on each is.
 

Steamy Tom

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
3,494
I'll check the exact model later when I get home, but I run a big cyclone dust extractor, my shopvac and my big cnc router for an hour or two at a time and when I'm using them the total usage is above 6Kw. I'm not sure what the individual draw on each is.
and they are all definitely going through the inverter? i know at my brothers place the electrician didnt move one of the circuits and for a few months he though he was using his washing machine on solar but he wasn't xD
 

Tacet

Expert Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
2,428
This is not accurate in my experience. I have a 5kw mercer and when I load more than that it just switches to utility.
Apologies - you're right, I've stated it badly. But then it uses the grid for the full load, it is a full switch over to grid. Some versions can combine, such as the King, but if you exceed the rated capacity it will also fully switch to the grid. Basically the inverter output of the Axpert is limited to what it can invert from DC. With the Victron the output is a sum of what it can invert from DC and what it can take from the grid.

So in my house I run everything of the Victron (4 kW, 5 kVA), including geyser (2 kW element). If the geyser is on, and I switch the oven on (3 kW), my total load is 5 kW. It will use sun and battery to provide 4 kW of that, and it will take the remaining 1 kW from the grid.

Whereas with the Axpert, if the inverter can do 4 kW, and your load is 5 kW, it will fully switch back to the grid. With models like the King, if you have 2 kW available from sun or batteries, and your load is 4 kW, it will take 2 kW from sun/batteries and combine with 2 kW from the grid to give you your 4 kW. But increase the load to 5 kW, and it will take all 5 kW from the grid.
 
Last edited:

MEIOT

Expert Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
2,406
Apologies - you're right, I've stated it badly. But then it uses the grid for the full load, it is a full switch over to grid. Some versions can combine, such as the King, but if you exceed the rated capacity it will also fully switch to the grid. Basically the inverter output of the Axpert is limited to what it can invert from DC. With the Victron the output is a sum of what it can invert from DC and what it can take from the grid.

So in my house I run everything of the Victron (4 kW, 5 kVA), including geyser (2 kW element). If the geyser is on, and I switch the oven on (3 kW), my total load is 5 kW. It will use sun and battery to provide 4 kW of that, and it will take the remaining 1 kW from the grid.

Whereas with the Axpert, if the inverter can do 4 kW, and your load is 5 kW, it will fully switch back to the grid. With models like the King, if you have 2 kW available from sun or batteries, and your load is 4 kW, it will take 2 kW from sun/batteries and combine with 2 kW from the grid to give you your 4 kW. But increase the load to 5 kW, and it will take all 5 kW from the grid.
Hi - what model Victron do you have?
 

Steamy Tom

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
3,494
Apologies - you're right, I've stated it badly. But then it uses the grid for the full load, it is a full switch over to grid. Some versions can combine, such as the King, but if you exceed the rated capacity it will also fully switch to the grid. Basically the inverter output of the Axpert is limited to what it can invert from DC. With the Victron the output is a sum of what it can invert from DC and what it can take from the grid.

So in my house I run everything of the Victron (4 kW, 5 kVA), including geyser (2 kW element). If the geyser is on, and I switch the oven on (3 kW), my total load is 5 kW. It will use sun and battery to provide 4 kW of that, and it will take the remaining 1 kW from the grid.

Whereas with the Axpert, if the inverter can do 4 kW, and your load is 5 kW, it will fully switch back to the grid. With models like the King, if you have 2 kW available from sun or batteries, and your load is 4 kW, it will take 2 kW from sun/batteries and combine with 2 kW from the grid to give you your 4 kW. But increase the load to 5 kW, and it will take all 5 kW from the grid.
are you sure, wouldn't the inverter trip if you exceed its ratings?
 

Gaz{M}

Executive Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Messages
5,256
Apologies - you're right, I've stated it badly. But then it uses the grid for the full load, it is a full switch over to grid. Some versions can combine, such as the King, but if you exceed the rated capacity it will also fully switch to the grid. Basically the inverter output of the Axpert is limited to what it can invert from DC. With the Victron the output is a sum of what it can invert from DC and what it can take from the grid.

So in my house I run everything of the Victron (4 kW, 5 kVA), including geyser (2 kW element). If the geyser is on, and I switch the oven on (3 kW), my total load is 5 kW. It will use sun and battery to provide 4 kW of that, and it will take the remaining 1 kW from the grid.

Whereas with the Axpert, if the inverter can do 4 kW, and your load is 5 kW, it will fully switch back to the grid. With models like the King, if you have 2 kW available from sun or batteries, and your load is 4 kW, it will take 2 kW from sun/batteries and combine with 2 kW from the grid to give you your 4 kW. But increase the load to 5 kW, and it will take all 5 kW from the grid.
It's not clear from the data sheets, but what is the max. grid only bypass load these units can support? Surely it isn't unlimited? I always assumed it was still 4kw or whatever. The connectors and internal wiring have limits, so you can't, say draw your full 60 A 240V from the mains through the poor thing.
 
Top