Fronius Solar Inverter reviews – 2023
November 2017 – Queensland Solar & Lighting visits Fronius factory in Sattledt, Austria
I was happy for them to show me around the factory and meet the workers, and all the Fronius bosses that look after Fronius technical support and customer care in Australia. Fronius have an impressive workshop and factory. It is clear why Fronius now make the best Solar inverters in the world.
Although it was cold, it was well worth the trip, and we got to go Skiing in the nearby town Sölden.
Queensland Solar & Lighting have a very healthy working relationship with Fronius. How many solar companies in Australia can say they have visited the Fronius inverter factory in Woop woop, Austria? Not many.
Introduction to Fronius
Fronius has long been a front-runner in doing intensive research development for innovative solutions over the last 60 years. They have been in the field of creating new solutions and technologies for monitoring and controlling energy. Fronius are also front runner in battery charging systems and solar electronics, as they have their own Fronius Battery made for the Fronius Symo Hybrid (Their 3 phase solar inverter) currently, but are very close to releasing their Fronius Primo Hybrid inverter.
Fronius, a European company from Austria, is known for producing products of very superior quality and high performance, unlike the constant cheap rubbish inverters that are dished out by China in the masses.
Fronius Solar Inverters
Fronius has developed a wide range of products in system monitoring and also has a grid-connected inverter that has high performance as compared to others. Fronius has been in the Solar photovoltaic area early on since 1992 and started by selling their grid-connected solar inverter in 1995.
Today Fronius offers a wide product range of solar inverters, they have developed both 3 Phase Solar Inverters as well as Central Inverters. It offers both transformer-based and transformerless solar inverters to cater to both the European as well as the USA, and Australian solar markets.
Fronius inverters are also a partner with Tesla and have exciting new Hybrid inverters due for release next year that will work with the Tesla Powerwall.
Fronius inverter fan noise
Fronius solar inverters are unique in the fact that they are fan cooled and not relying on the Chinese preferred Heat-sink. It was thought that you needed to cool them with a fan, and the reason for mass inverter failure 10 years ago was because of the absence of a fan for cooling. Fronius added the fan and made the inverters a bit louder, and the Chinese made them just as reliable and stuck to the quieter, cheaper, and more convenient heat sink.
Current Fronius Inverters we sell – Fronius Primo Review – AUS vs INT
We sell the Fronius Primo 5.0 AUS as our most commonly sold and popular inverter. The AUS is the purposely built for Australia version Vs the International version which could have the potential in running hot as the AUS version can handle a lot more DC current thann the INT version – The AUS version is built on the Primo 6kw-8kw design and frame. You can even see on the Fronius Primo spec sheets where it says the obvious difference, meaning that the AUS version is ‘derated’ and won’t be working as hard, or getting as hot as the Fronius Primo INT version. Fronius knows now that inverters get hotter in Australia than in most other parts of the world so they have made the AUS version like this. You can see in the photo below, you can design much better and more flexible systems with the Fronius AUS model.
Why do we recommend Fronius Primo inverters over SMA Sunnyboys?
There are a few reasons why you should buy the Fronius Primo inverter over the SMA Sunnyboy.
- Fronius has extended their 10-year inverter warranty until 1st January 2016 – A similar warranty costs an extra $500 with SMA – Get in while it is on offer!
- Fronius Primo is only around 18 months old, whereas the SMA Sunnyboy has been around for 8 years or so and is being left behind and stuck in the past. The Fronius Primo is truly ‘Next-gen’ compared with the older, but still reputable SMA Sunnyboy. For example, the SMA Sunnyboy has Bluetooth or the need for an Ethernet connection whereas the Fronius Primo is more advanced with a direct WIFI connection to your home WIFI router.
- Fronius Primo has the benefit of being able to add the Fronius SMART METER to your solar system so you can not only see what power the solar inverter is producing, but also how much power your home is using, and how much more power you could use without drawing from the grid. The Fronius Primo and Fronius Smart Meter is truly an impressive combination. A similar offering by SMA at this point in time can cost you around $1000 – YIKES!
Fronius Solar Inverter Downloads – Fronius Spec Sheet
The soon to be released Fronius Primo Hybrid 5kw inverter
Fronius Solar Smart Meter Review
The Fronius Smart Meter is an outstanding gem because it improves life, especially where solar power presents new problems for homeowners. Spoiler Alert: the Fronius Smart meter is the solution to those problems.
The Hurdle To Be Overcome
Solar is a tough deal if it is simply put in place and then left up to homeowners. Not all homeowners are engineers or very interested in doing the work to get the most out of their solar system. Reading inverters and making calculations on efficiency is work, but it is essential to getting the most out of solar. What happened is that most homeowners would give up and stop looking at the inverter. When their electric bill arrived, and it was expensive, that is when the homeowners cared.
The Real Issue
The homeowners, simply stated, were not utilizing their solar power when it was available freely from their system. That meant the electricity they were producing and needed for their home use was getting sent off to the grid for 8 cents. That was not what the brochure said when you went all in to get solar! Even worse yet, you had to guess at improving self-consumption timing. You tried using all of the appliances right at dusk, or mid-day. Were you supposed to have to guess when you could use the electricity?
An Unexpected Answer
Get up-to-the-minute information whether you are on-site or at work via reports that show historical usage and energy production. It will also include information such as when the inverter is sending power out, and to subsequently turn on the pool pump to make use of your power.
Solutions That Missed The Mark
But how, when there have been so many other monitors and meters that just did not perform as expected or needed? Many inverters can perform some remote work, but it comes at an added cost. The reason that you invested so much money into solar was not to get roped into some other financial game. In addition, these inverters are unstable and not well designed. At the least, inverters are less expensive and a tool that is beginning to have use for more typical consumers. for
Both the Watts Clever and the Watson Meter missed the mark. They are unreliable, quirky, and not even accurate. They are not worth buying because they do not work. Both SunnyMate and ImmerSUN market their solar diverters, as they call them, as an aid in consumption. Financially they do not make sense.
One way to limit exporting of power is through the use of a twenty-four-hour-load shift timer. This is a reliable and economically friendly manner to minimize power being exported. Here is how it works. Set the pool timer to be on and running when you would normally be exporting power.
The problem is that the weather can change or if there is irregular consumption to overcome. On cloudy days when there is lessened production, or during upsurges in daytime usage, set the pool to run anyway. If not set up right, it will cost money with an increased power bill. In those cases, you will have to leave electric devices off during peak hours.
The Real Solution
Fronius Smart Meter is three-pronged, including its Datamanager, Smart Meter, and the Appliance Relay. The Datamanager is internal and records and relays the actual production information about the inverter to Fronius.
Fronius has an online platform for monitoring, called SolarWeb. It is not a new concept, just that this is the best execution of it. It makes Fronius a bellwether in the industry.
SMA and ABB cannot hold a candle or a solar panel to Fronius’s performance. The monitoring solution is seamless. It makes it easy to set up Solar.web as part of the installation process.
The Smart Meter is an add-on that connects externally. The main point is to measure the export power. It is essentially a digital kilowatt meter, so it is not new. The fat that it integrates so seamlessly with Solar.web is what is new. It is both user-friendly and provides useful and informative graphs to the smartphone app or desktop.
Knowing With Certainty
It is great to have some data that helps paint a clearer picture of when to run appliances to avoid selling back needed electricity and ending up with a bill in return. Knowing how much of your produced power is getting sold to the grid for a cut-rate is great information.
The Appliance Relay is the part of Fronius’ Smart Meter that takes all of the information that the Datamanager and smart meter record. The inverter can signal appliances to turn on when your solar system is over-exporting power that you are producing.
Put the appliance relay to work with your hot water system to turn it into a solar appliance. It is like turning your hot water into an energy storage tank you bide your time. You could connect the relay to another big energy consumer, your pool’s pump.
This Smart Meter has an appliance relay, and that is what sets Fronius apart. The Symo Hybrid inverter is the absolute best device for any homeowner who has solar on their home. It is available and ready to use today.
Combine this with a solar battery, either the Tesla Powerwall, or Fronius’ Solar Battery to get reliable electric power every night. No more guessing when it is safe to use the electricity and hopefully no more astronomical electric bills. After all, you invested in solar and should be getting to benefit from it.
Old Fronius Solar Inverters
Fronius inverters below were not as reliable as they should have been in Australia. This is put down to the hotter climate in Australia that has seen regular failures on the old Fronius IG ranges.
1) Transformerless Solar Inverters (IG TL Series)
This series is targeted at single-family homes, and agricultural or commercial operations, and it comes with standard system monitoring. This series offers 5 inverters in the range of 3 – 5 kilowatts.
2) IG Series of Inverters from Fronius
This series of inverters are targeted for installation in the home as they come in a low kilowatt range. For better protection from the weather, they also have a solar inverter which is suitable for outside installation.
3) IG Plus Series of Solar Inverters from Fronius
This is an improvisation over the IG Series and is available in power ranges from 3 to 12 kW. There are both 3 phase and single-phase inverters.
4) Fronius CL Series of Solar Inverters
These are central inverters and are the largest inverters offered by Fronius and come in 3 sizes 36,48 and 60 kW.
5) Fronius IG Central Series
This series of Central inverters are targeted toward photovoltaic systems which need power in the range of 24 kW
Benefits of Fronius Solar Inverters
Fronius inverters offer many advantages and key features like –
- These inverters have been made by combining many power panels into one inverter and thus they always lead to giving the maximum yield
- The MIXTM concept which they use ensures an extended inverter service life since there is an algorithm that handles input voltage fluctuation
- Fronius inverters have been designed with PC board replaceability in mind, so that if an issue arises the entire unit does not need to be disassembled
- Fronius has a unique Ventilation concept that seals away dust getting into the internal parts.
- An innovative approach to inverter design that ensures the perfect design
- An excellent brand name in the Solar energy area
- Fronius is acclaimed by all customers to provide superior service
- Diverse catalog of inverters to choose from
- Fronius offers the best warranties in the solar inverter business ranging from 10,15 and 20 years, which places it above many other inverter manufacturers.