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DON’T JUST TRUST FRONIUS INVERTERS, make an educated decision. It’s easy to be ignorant and enlightening to be educated. Sidestep the information which clouds an accurate assessment of the right product to suit your needs.
In a sea full of alternative inverter technologies how do you know what you’re investing in for the long-term is the right choice for your home or scenario? Below PSW Energy technicians contribute and rate an honest assessment of the features which matter to the majority of end users.
Each key area of Design, Performance, Interface, Communication, Software, Mobile Applications, Supply Connectivity and Overall is scored below.
Galvo, Primo & Symo
Utilising the Fronius SuperFlex design, unique and versatile input parameters, allow for a highly flexible installation. The result, a central string inverter solar system which has the greater adaptability to a wider range of scenarios. A feature which minimises a solar system being limited less by the inverter and more accommodating to the structure or design. Furthermore, the innovative SnapINverter mounting system assists technicians, minimising installation costs and reducing maintenance times for future servicing.
Above: The acclaimed SnapINverter design by Fronius.
Fronius inverters boast impressive conversion efficiencies. At standard test conditions, Fronius inverter models are capable of a maximum efficiency of up to 98%. The inverter will always require a level of energy consumption to operate and losses will always be incurred whilst inverting. The good news is such losses are minimal.
More importantly, due to rigorous European benchmark standard test parameters, such level of efficiency is beyond impressive when compared to the competition. Test parameters which help to ensure the best performance for solar PV systems incorporating Fronius inverters.
All models Galvo, Primo and Symo utilise the same graphic L.C.D screen and L.E.D three light notification system.
The L.C.D display is a straightforward display which is similar to viewing the original Nintendo GameBoy. Although the graphics are the simplest version of Liquid Crystal Displays, the distinct advantage is to consume as little power as possible from the conversion process, being the inverter. The interface is interactive through four buttons directly below the display. This combination of the display and four buttons enable a cycling of fundamental production insights, an information log and setup parameters.
Modern inverter designs from alternative manufacturers have begun to avoid the L.C.D screen integration. The main reason, cheaper L.C.D screens are a common point of failure when subject to a diverse set of environments. The inverter still operates under L.C.D screen failure, the localised performance and log becomes inaccessible. A testament to superior componentry, Fronius displays rarely fail.
Possessing an advanced WiFi communications package, Fronius inverters communicate harmoniously through the end users WiFi enabled modem direct to Fronius Solar.web.
Communicative devices excel when having to communicate with alternative peripherals outside of it’s manufactured box. Fronius inverters do this well when configured correctly. Refined expandable communicative products include:
- The grid (energy import/export) in conjunction with the Fronius Smart Meter.
- The SolarWatt MyReserve solar battery.
- Additional Fronius inverter powered solar energy systems.
Expandable Fronius energy management options will also be available in the near future creating the need for a seamless communications system.
One drawback, however, is when first establishing a Fronius device onto a communicative network, Firmware updates are imminent and a key factor in certain warranty terms. This is a severely time-consuming process and why it is recommended an adequately endorsed professional commision the system installation and setup for optimal usability of the product. Less lag in commissioning and firmware updates would see a massive win.
Fronius Solar.web cloud-based remote monitoring software is a cut above most other manufacturer supplied monitoring options for both insight and UX (user-experience).
Once commissioned and configured correctly (a vital element which should be completed by the installer) an end user gains access to expanded features:
- Basic live energy production.
- In-Depth production analysis.
- Historical data logging.
- System savings in monetary value.
- CO2 savings.
- Programmable automatic reporting features.
- Advanced email warning and notification system (including energy fluctuations, system dropouts, earth fault alarms).
Assign alternative users and administrators.
- Remote technical assistance.
When compared to alternative (paid) third-party energy monitoring packages such as Solar Analytics, the Fronius Solar.web software could use some improvement on the user experience for the advanced analytical and beneficial data. A minor negative in a superior software package.
Above: The incredibly user-friendly Fronius Solar.web portal.
Mobile Apps: 6/10
Although not a deal breaker for most. Mobile Applications are without a doubt the future of solar inverter interaction. Ignoring this key feature could leave one exceptionally underwhelmed with less insight and control than originally anticipated.
The ability to gain superior user-friendly analytical insight is often limited toward the mobile application version of any manufacturer’s software. What manufacturers must adapt to is the fact that users will require a simplified login process via a Facebook profile or similar, then briefly view their energy profile through the ease and usability of mobile applications ie; phone or tablet. The more graphical insight a user gains briefly, the better informed they are. Throw into the mix application push notifications for energy downtime and alternative service messages, users can now optimally maximise their investment through superior knowledge and responsive action when required.
The good news, although limited, Fronius web app versions of Solar.web are some of the most progressive available. It takes a good investment to develop great software and Fronius are on the charge. Apple and Android versions of Solar.web appear to be consistently evolving and considering Fronius are definitely quite progressive and very refined, we upped our score from 5 to 6/10
Above: Mobile application versions of Fronius Solar.web portal.
Supply Connectivity: 10/10
With the most diverse range of specific models, there is no other solar inverter better equipped for your ideal energy supply. Four different models of Galvo for smaller single phase power supplies. Nine different models of Primo for larger single phase supplies. Seven different models of Symo for domestic three-phase supplies. Another category where Fronius inverters excel above all others.
To keep the interpretation simple, the Fronius models and their adaptability to your particular supply is as follows:
- Single Phase – GALVO and PRIMO.
- Three Phase – SYMO.
It’s not uncommon to be unsure of whether your energy connection is a single-phase, three-phase connection.
FOR EASE OF REFERENCE: Most smaller or small-to-medium sized modern homes tend to run on a single-phase power supply in Australia.
The entire Fronius inverter package is seriously good. Every inverter manufacturer should always be seeking consistent refinement in the pursuit of perfection. There is though one vital element Fronius trumps nearly all competition, reliability. Fronius has built an exceptional inverter with the Galvo, Primo and Symo models and they are in such high demand for good reason. It’s not perfect but as close to perfection one would get for what is available today.
Which Fronius inverter is your best fit?
In the simplest form possible:
GALVO: Single-phase power supply, 1.5kW to 3kW max output | SHOP NOW >
PRIMO: Single-phase power supply, 3kW to 8kW max output | SHOP NOW >
SYMO: Three-phase power supply, 3kW to 20kW max output | SHOP NOW >
Use our quick select buttons below to fast scroll to the inverter matched to your power supply
For smaller single-phase power supplies. Galvo inverters exist in four models; 1.5 kW, 2 kW, 2.5 kW and 3 kW. Such versatility exists due to the fact that the closer an inverter operates to its peak rating, the better it performs. Therefore selecting the perfect Fronius Galvo option is made easy. These are also the last Fronius inverter models to posses galvanic isolation with an internal HF transformer design. A necessity for existing solar energy systems without array earthing. Fronius Galvo models at a glance:
For larger single-phase power supplies. Fronius Primo inverters exist in Nine models; 3 kW, 3.5 kW, 3.6 kW, 4 kW, 4.6 kW, 5 kW International, 5 kW Australia, 6 kW and 8.2 kW. An exceptionally broad range from a single line of solar inverters. Most commonly in Australia due to Feed-in-tariff and grid parameters are the 3 kW, 5 kW (INT) and 5 kW (AUS) versions. The Fronius Primo has also proved to be a durable choice for array oversizing by up to 33% of the nominated output capacity with no detrimental side effects.
For three-phase power supplies up to 20kW. Considering the common domestic scenario and neglecting the S models, Fronius Symo inverters exist in seven M models; 3 kW, 3.7 kW, 4.5 kW, 5 kW, 6 kW, 7 kW and 8.2 kW (larger commercial Symo models exist above 8.2kW). Another exceptionally broad range from a single line of solar inverters. Most commonly in Australia due to Feed-in-tariff and grid parameters is the 5 kW version. The Fronius Symo is another popular choice for array oversizing by up to 33% of the nominated output capacity with no detrimental side effects.
More than a name.
With over 70 years of manufacturing DC technologies, Fronius is to solar inverters as to what trusted European names such as Bosch and Metabo are to power tools. An exceptional product renowned and trusted by professionals and users within its industry.
Still researching? Read 3 of the Best Solar Inverters, Fronius vs SMA vs Enphase