Who is Delta?
In my research, one particular manufacturer has stood the test of time, Delta. Not the airline or Australian songstress but rather the largest switchable power supply manufacturer in the world. Have you heard of them? No? That is okay, there is possibly a good reason for that.
Delta is traditionally what you call an OEM. Original Equipment Manufacturer. That is, if you were a large manufacturer that needed DC fans, DC to DC converters, Chargers for your laptop or LED headlights for vehicles you manufacture you often go to an OEM. They build their product to suit your needs. That is what Delta, a publicly listed company traditionally did, until the early 2000’s when they expanded to produce their own branded products. This includes EV Chargers, Solar inverters, Industrial automation, robotics, and ventilation.
Many common manufacturers use OEM’s to supply their builds and you may be surprised to know that you perhaps already own products manufactured by Delta. Considering they have been around since 1971 it’s a fair statement you either have owned or currently own a Delta product.
What are the new DELTA solar inverters built today like compared to their older models?
Delta solar inverters that were introduced to the Australian solar market 10 years ago were horrendous, just like every other Chinese inverter sold back then. But the one thing about Delta that stood out was their commitment to customer service and warranty replacement issues. Delta, like ABB and Growatt have stood by their solar inverter division that they could’ve so easily waved the white flag (like Bosch) and gotten out altogether, but no, they’ve soldiered on and have come up with a winning product.
The old Delta inverters had poor reviews, but it’s no different to any other cheap solar inverter from China back then. In the last 5 years they have been fantastic, and this new and exciting Delta 5kw inverter is now receiving rave reviews from all over Australia by many solar enthusiasts, like myself keen to get using it. Qld Solar & Lighting have a really good relationship going with Delta Regional Manager of Australia and New Zealand , Shane Arnold. We are confident that no customer of ours will be left in the lurch in the unlikely event that something bad and unforeseen were to happen.
Delta now has 175 offices world-wide with two in Australia (Melbourne and Sydney), 69 R&D centres globally employing over 9,000 engineers and 37 Manufacturing plants across Europe, Asia and USA. Delta also believes in reducing its environmental impact by converting its own buildings to Green Building status using its innovative automation technology and energy efficiencies.
Delta entered the solar inverter manufacturing business in 2009 and since then have released four generations of residential inverters 2.5kw to 5kw and commercial inverters from 5kw to 3MW. It’s safe to say they know what they are doing. If companies with a combined revenue of multiples of billions of dollars choose Delta, it is fair to say they deserve consideration for your home solar. The NEW and fourth generation residential inverter is the H5A, known within Delta as the H5A_222.
Similar in appearance to the third generation it is where the similarities end. The first thing you notice is how small and compact it is. Not much larger than a shoebox and weighing around 13 Kilo’s, it’s easier to handle for installers making it a favourite for them. From the front it’s very anticlimactic but it’s being installed on the side of your house next to a meter box or in your garage, what does it need to be glaringly RED, BLUE or Yellow for?
One thing that is apparent, Delta is following the trend of other European manufacturers with the removal of the screen. I am not sure how I feel about this so I asked Delta for a response and it is as follows:
“Display screens have been on the front of inverters for years and we are seeing manufacturers moving away from this due to a combination of product life and better connectivity options becoming available. Installers are more aware of the problematic issues of built in screens with UV and temperatures causing a shortened life. With this awareness inverters are being installed out of the elements and/or installing an awning over the inverter. In the competitiveness nature that is the Australian Solar industry we can’t rely on all to uphold this high standard, so in the interest of the consumer we have removed the display screen and simplified it with LED lighting as well as Wi-Fi connectivity”
I want to touch further on this as being aware of consumer expectations I will be happy with connectivity to Wi-Fi but not everyone has Wi-Fi. Delta is well aware of this and it’s the catch 22 they find themselves in being amongst the forward thinkers in this game. Delta’s solution is they have built in a Point-to-Point (P2P) Wi-Fi connection that will allow a smart phone with the MyDeltaSolar App to connect directly to the inverter and give you real time data. A basic phone for less than $80 would be able to serve as a dedicated remote screen allowing you to see all the data and more than what a built in screen could ever show all without an internet connection. That is good enough for me and those who don’t have WiFi can ensure solar is being produced without having to traverse to the inverter.
Turning the inverter over you see that its one big heat sink, combining both cast and applied fins. However, there was something missing………… Cooling Fans. With such large heat sinks and employing bottom to top convection methods, the H5A_222 does not need the extra burden of noisy fans allowing more energy to go to the home more reliably. Fans are also a moving part that could cause reductions in yield should they fail or intakes fill with dust. It is interesting to note that the inverter housing, including the integral cast heatsink are all powder-coated aluminium to protect from the elements. Some I have seen leave parts of the housing as raw aluminium or coated steel, which could weather poorly over the years.
DELTA 5kw SOLAR INVERTER REVIEW
Moving to the business end of the inverter, we get to see inputs and outputs. First, there is the LED display, which can tell me about my Wi-Fi status, Grid Status, Earth Fault and Alarm. This is very simple and explained in the short manual but quite simply Green is good and Red is bad. If you have anything red, connect your phone and check the faults. If you have cloud connection, you can choose to receive emails telling you of the fault. The app will always alert you to any issue of concern, this includes high voltage common with the grid today.
There are the DC solar inputs, as this is dual MPPT or Maximum Power Point Tracker there are two inputs to this inverter. This allows panels be installed in opposing directions like East and West without losing production efficiency. It is interesting to point out one advantage this inverter will allow for your installation is flexibility in panel placement. The H-Series of inverters all have a 35vDC start-up which means effectively you can run this inverter on one panel alone, which has a voltage above 35vDC. Delta did advise though in stating that they would suggest at least two panels to ensure you get well above that 35vDC. If you plan to have 10 x panels on one east-facing roof and 3 panels on the north roof, the Delta H5A_222 is the inverter for you. I understand that currently the only real guaranteed way to have this work is with micro inverters (costly) or the Delta H-Series (Great Value). My thoughts are that with the lowest start-up and shut down voltage (30vDC shutdown) available it would be possible the inverter will wake up earlier and go to sleep later than all other options available today.
We also note the AC output, which is a plug and play method as opposed to hard-wired eliminating the need to open the inverter for installation. This removes the risk of dust or moisture entering the workings of the inverter.
Therefore, the advantages are starting to look appealing, but Delta step it up a notch with the next feature. Built in consumption meter or as I call it “Smart Meter”. I am not sure if my terminology is correct or not but it works well for what I am about to explain. Most inverters will be able to provide production data standard but if you want to see, what your home is consuming in energy you need to have the installer fit a metering device in the meter box. In some cases it is not, an option as room is limited. With the built in smart meter the installer simply has to use a CT (Current transformer) clamp / cable to suit and run it back to the switch board. A cost saving in hardware and installation. Other advantages with this feature is that in many regions, the network can limit your export and with the CT clamp installed, it is purely a setting adjustment to meet compliance.
Final advantage of the Delta H5A_222 worth discussing is the built-in and complaint DC Isolator. “Compliant” is the key word here as the isolator used is listed on the Australian ERAC list as a level 3 device. Traditional inverters needed external DC isolators increasing cost of install with hardware and labour but now the Delta H5A_222 installed without any adjacent isolators makes it look much better on your home while providing initial savings.
Long term Delta are here for you. Delta had a rocky start at their solar debut in 2010 -2011 but many can attest to the fact that they honour their warranties and are still around due to their diversification amongst many industries, not just solar. For a long time they have been solid and offer their inverters with a five-year warranty standard. We choose to sell them with a FULL 10 year warranty standard (Not a 5+5) and have access to offer 15 year warranty should you feel it is a requirement. The interesting point of note is that whether we supply you the 5-year, 10-year or 15-year warranty the inverter is no different. The inverters, which when manufactured in an automated factory quality control is assured by removing human error. Therefore, if you want to make a small saving or pay more we can adjust the warranty period appropriately. But again, there is no difference in the inverter we install based on warranty.
Essentially, we can supply any inverter you feel the forums tell you is the way to go but a forum has no obligation to support you or your decision. Let us discuss your needs and explain in further detail why Delta and we are the right choice for you.
|Certification / Listing / Docs||Available|
|Brochure||H5A_222 by Delta Electronics|
|CEC Listed||Yes SAA192839 3/12/19 to 3/12/22|
|ERAC Listing Level 3 ISO||YES viewable HERE|
|About Delta Profile||HERE|
Delta manufactured on-board EV Charger https://www.pacificmotors.com/auto-parts-shop/tesla/tesla-model-s/hybrid-dc-converter-hv-delta-electronics-1028664-00-e-oem-tesla-models-2018/
Delta Manufactured Apple Charger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxoQMhfu4k0&t=4s