Suppose you are considering getting yourself a solar system either for your home or your business; you must have done some research about it till now. Now, doing so, you must have stumbled upon a solar inverter brand that everyone recommends, i.e. Fronius.
Despite seeing its high cost, it is still one of the most selling solar inverters in the Australian market. You must have wondered why despite being so expensive, it is selling like fire to date? What’s so good about it? Is it worth the extra money?
Today we will answer all of these questions and more in our Fronius Solar Inverters Review, so stick around and read through the end.
Origin of Fronius
Fronius is regarded as the industry leader in the solar inverters world and is generally considered as the best string inverters in the market. But the scenario was not always the same. Before 2012, SMA was leading the market with their high quality, reliable inverters, which despite having some problems, were the no.1 choice of every solar customer.
Fronius has been making welder inverters for more than 50 years now, but they started making their solar inverters in 1994. The experience with designing and manufacturing high-quality welding inverters provided Fronius with enough experience to start with the solar inverter. But things didn’t heat up as well as they thought because the sales were neutral until 2012. In 2012, Fronius introduced their snapINverter or Snap inverter, which had a lid open-close design. This thing went up like Fronius, and Fronius became the No.1 Choice for every solar customer looking for an inverter.
To date, SMA and a few other companies can compete with Fronius in the inverter market. Fronius Inverters aren’t the best sellers solely due to their design; their excellent after-sales service and product reliability play a significant role in their success in the global market. Their customer feedback is highly positive, and if anyone somehow encounters any issue with their particular unit, then the team of professionals at Fronius get it replaced within 3 to 5 business days.
Range of Fronius Inverters
Fronius has many types of solar inverters in the market with or without the snap-in design. We have reviewed the most popular ones below in the article:
Fronius Primo Inverters
The Fronius Primo Inverters are the most popular in the residential solar industry. The unique snap-in design is the main reason for this. The Fronius Primo solar inverter, despite being heavier than its alternatives, is considered a more practical option in today’s market. This is because the snap-in design makes the installation of the inverter very easy to perform, and if you want, you can even do it yourself (which we won’t recommend until you know what you are doing). The design of the inverters also helps in servicing the unit after installation, making it easy and effective than its alternatives. The installation setup is also easy to do, like an LCD screen, and four multifunctional button helps in doing so.
The following unique and advanced feature of the Fronius Primo Inverter is the active cooling system. Your Fronius Primo Solar Inverter comes built-in with a cooling fan which cools the inverter while it is in the operational state. This helps in the inverter remaining cool during its working and performing better than its competitors in the market, which uses a passive cooling system that is less effective than the active cooling system of the Fronius primo inverter.
Key Features of Fronius Primo Solar Inverter
· The active cooling system leads to improved performance and longevity of the inverter.
· Unique Snap-in-design makes the installation and servicing of the inverter easy.
· LCD Screen for easy and quick setup of the inverter with the panels
· Integrated DC Isolator, which is certified by the Clean Energy Council, Australia
· Ability to handle high input current, i.e. 18A per MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker)
The Fronius Primo range of inverters is sold in a variety of power ratings which goes from a mere 3 kW to an extensive 8.2 kW system. All the inverters of this range feature dual Maximum power point trackers. The inverters rated 5kW and above can handle a current of up to 18A per Maximum power point tracker.
Fronius Galvo Inverters
These single residential phase string inverters come with a power rating of 1.5 kW to 3.1 kW. These Inverters are meant to fit with the older systems installed years ago and require an inverter update. These carry the isolated old transformer topology and are mainly used as the replacement inverters to the already fitted old and short capacity solar systems. These inverters are perfect for you if you want to re-use your old obsolete solar panels to generate some free energy without having to spend a ton of money on a brand new installation.
Fronius Symo and Eco Inverters
The Fronius Symo inverters are 3 phase inverters meant for both residential and commercial use. They come in various power ratings ranging from a mere 3 kW to a massive 20 kW. The Fronius Symo Series of solar inverters pack the Fronius signature snap-in design and the active cooling mechanism to cool it down and maintain its performance in extreme weather conditions. The company claims that the inverter will show minimum power derating even at 50 degrees Celcius.
The Fronius Eco series of solar inverters are made with a well-thought design. They are seriously meant for large commercial solar installations, and that’s why they come in only two sizes of 25 kW and 27 kW. These are built for large scale commercial businesses operating at high voltages all day long; they offer high performance, reliability and longevity even in harsh use case scenarios. The Fronius Eco Commercial Solar Inverter carries a unique feature of the integrated all-pole string fuses. What this means is that with this inverter, the string combiner boxes are built into it, eliminating the use of it externally. This makes the installation of the inverter quicker and easier.
The All-new GEN24 Plus Hybrid Solar Inverters
After a long lacking of battery storage space, Fronius is back with a bang as they release their brand new GEN@$ Plus hybrid Solar Inverter in Oct 2020. The GEN24 Plus range is built keeping in mind the Fronius vision of 24 hours of sun, which means using solar energy in the day and using the same energy stored in a battery at night. This will help households in becoming energy independent, which will help them significantly in reducing their grid charges.
Quick and Easy Installation
Since Fronius inverters became popular, the main feedback from solar installers was to make an inverter system that will significantly reduce the time invested in the installation and setup process. This made Fronius think about the same, and finally, they have come up with a very easy to install and a new mobile app to set up the same quickly.
The new GEN24 range of Fronius inverters will feature –
· A quick and easy 3 step setup for the new inverters with the Fronius Mobile app
· Integrated WPS button for easy connection with nearby devices
· Introduction of 180 locking screws which make the cover removal more accessible than ever
· Elimination of tools with innovative spring clip connections for internal cables
· An integrated large cable area for an aesthetically pleasing install
· Easy access of parts to tear down and repair
Secret to longevity
The Fronius inverters generally last longer than any other inverter present in the market. The reason behind this is their active cooling mechanism coming as standard in their Primo, Symo, Eco and the brand new GEN24 Plus range of solar and hybrid inverters.
Unlike everyone else in the race, Fronius decided to Ditch the conventional ways to heat the inverters by using a moving fan to cool the inverter actively and its components during its working. Other manufacturers who depend on heat sinks to passively cool the systems tend to face failure or significant power degradation of their inverters in the starting years of their installations, mainly due to the increased heat inside the inverters, thanks to the Australian Weather.
The Inverters manufactured by Fronius uses only a fan-forced active cooling mechanism, which removes the heat from the inverter as soon as it generates. This makes the inverters perform as good as new after the usage of many years. This also helps in increased performance of the inverter in extreme weather conditions and also resulting in minimum power degradation over the years.
Some of you may still debate about using a mechanical part like a DC fan which is likely to fail, to cool the part of the solar system on which everything depends. Well, to answer this, the DC fans used by Fronius are manufactured to have an increased lifespan to cool the inverter for many years to come. But even if the fan fails, then it will be relatively easy to repair that rather than replacing an overheated transistor or a blown up capacitor, which commonly fails in other inverters inviting an inverter to replace to be fixed.
Warranty and after-sales service of Fronius
This is another area where Fronius as a brand excels. The Warranty and after-sales service of Fronius is something that has set an example to other solar manufacturers. Due to the meagre failure rates of Fronius Products, you are most likely to use the inverters lifetime without even bothering about the after-sales support team. But if you are in the few customers who contact the support staff, then the company is generous enough to send you a replacement within 3 to 5 business days, now that’s what we call customer ‘CARE’.
Coming to the Warranty part for Fronius then it is also not a problem as the Fronius inverters come with a standard five years warranty in Australia. Still, you can get an additional five years of Fronius Service free of cost if you get your inverter through the Fronius web Portal, i.e. www.solarweb.com. If you combine both of them, you will get a warranty of 10 years which is more than sufficient with these products.
Monitoring of Your Solar System
A standard wifi monitoring is offered with all the models sold by Fronius through Fronius Solar. Web app. If you want, you can also get an additional Fronius Smart Inverter which will give you even more information about the generation and consumption of your solar energy. The Solar. web app is an intuitive and easy to use interface designed to make the task of solar tracking fun for all. This functions through the built-in wifi monitoring system in your Fronius Solar iNverter and tells you about the actual time generation and consumption of solar energy by your system. This app also helps you track the past three days of consumption and generation of energy along with the information about the savings you made with the same.
Unfortunately, there is a lack of all-time monitoring of the generation and consumption of solar energy unless you decide to get a premium version of Fronius Solar. Web app. This added cost of a premium subscription is unfortunate as you can get all of this for free in other manufacturers monitoring systems.
Fronius Inverters are the leading manufacturers of solar inverters for a reason, and you have understood them through this review. To sum it up, the inverters offered by Fronius have proven reliability, high build quality and higher performance than its alternatives, thanks to the active cooling system.
To end it here, Fronius inverters cost more than the regular inverters in the market, but they are worth the extra money and will provide you with a great experience once you install and use them.