Fronius inverters have been making news lately, especially on the back of the Tesla Powerwall reviews that have been flooding the Internet. How do these solar inverters stack up?
Fronius was there in the beginning. In 2008 when I started working with solar it was all about SMA and Fronius. They were both great inverters. But anyone who knows the Brisbane solar industry well, or who has read their share of solar inverter reviews, may understandably get a cold shiver when the Fronius inverter is mentioned. The Fronius ig 15 and Fronius ig 20 were not the proudest moment of the Austrian company’s 70-year history. But the mark of a trustworthy business is not how they operate when all is well, but how they respond when they monumentally stuff up. Fronius -I am glad to report- responded particularly well with their inverter warranty programme. They have passed the test. So when SunEdison invited me this week to a Fronius technical information day, I couldn’t resist.
It was the new kid on the block, the Fronius Symo Hybrid, that grabbed my attention. With all the hype about Elon Musk’s new Powerwall, the prudent noticed that Fronius had partnered with Tesla Powerwall to be a matching inverter. Fronius Symo Hybrid was the champion. Has an affordable solution reached our shores? The short answer is …. (UPDATE November 2016)….. almost!
It’s here and we have installed several. Read my review of the Symo Hybrid here.
It’s an exciting inverter, but keep in mind, the Symo is a 3 phase inverter. We’ll have to wait until the end of 2016 until the Fronius PRIMO Hybrid is ready to install.
But the day was far from over. Today I learned of the advantages of the Fronius Primo including:
i) the ten-year warranty,
ii) the built-in Wi-Fi and the swish “solar.web” platform,
iii) the ground-breaking MPPT efficiency,
iv) the Fronius smart meter explained more in this post
v) the integrated DC isolator for a neater, more cost effective install. Throw in a Fronius smart meter and consumption can also be monitored and with a little extra work, the inverter will be able to tell appliances such as your hot water system and pool when to operate, thereby reducing both unnecessary grid consumption and feed-in. Given the current cost of batteries, this power diversion capability should not be downplayed.
Add all these features together, and Fronius Primo to my mind has become a front player for domestic solar inverters. MC Electrical are now offering the Fronius Primo. The day was a success.