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I Can't Afford So-Called "Tier 1" Equipment. What's Good at Tier 2?

And 2 of them is slightly less than the Sungold. About $50 on a pair. Even less for the refurbished.
The growatts are 230v only though and will need an autotransformer for u.s and even then it's frowned upon because it can cause issues
 
I wonder what the OP ended up deciding? This has been an interesting thread with four pages of comments, recommendations, and discussion, but I don't think he as replied once to any of them. Oh well, it has still been a good thread!
 
OP statement was "I can't afford Tier 1 ..." It might be restated as "can I afford not to go Tier 1"?

In my case, I was replacing (filling the void of) a utility company that wanted $30k to bring the power to my site. That wasn't happening, so I had to become the utility, and the power had to be RELIABLE ... the chosen unit had to work all the time, and there really is no good in struggling with crappy warranty, reliability, support, etc. ... you just have to take over the role of being your own support, and you have to "choose wisely" vs "poorly".

If you are in a "building code monopoly" game (code developers and enforcers own the board and the bank), and you can't change the rules of the game (choose not to) in your favor (one or more get out of jail cards), it's also tough to thread the needle (UL, yes or no) ... how I'd do it (parallel systems) isn't how many others would do it. It sidesteps 'UL required" bs ... which it really isn't required, unless you are trapped in the game and choose, for whatever reasons, to remain in it.

For reliability, I chose an LF inverter/charger/mppt (an integrated "precursor" to an AIO), over 5 years ago, w/ a 5-year warranty (magnum 4024 prewired unit) for about $5k ... still running, past its warranty period. One of the few "good" choices I've made ... plenty of bad ones all around it in terms of other components or systems, due to manufacturing or system integration woes, but its getting there.

There are now other AIO's on our site, but they serve minor test roles, while I try to figure out if an AIO can last beyond its 12-month warranty; I'm looking at HF AIO's at the moment. I'm not sure these are ready for prime-time to replace the LF inverter. If they do, the redundancy thing will be critical. An LF AIO might make the cut, but I haven't gotten there in my testing yet.

With the state of manufacturing (not made in the country the item is used in), I think we're going to have to give up on warranties & support and such, and spend more time on research to find the best quality and componentry, to get the best possible chance of something that will keep running for 5 years or more. At least until the manufacturing problem is fixed. And, be your own support.

UL is a nice-to-have label, in support of building codes ... but the presence of it would increase system costs by a factor of 10, which just makes it unworkable. It isn't happening on my site, and I will do everything in my power (mortgage-free, self-insure, etc.) to keep it off my site. If manufacturing changes, perhaps this would change as well.

I think an LF (whether AIO or not) is (still) the future, and it might be replaceable with HF+redundancy, but will still require self-supporting ...

Lots of rambling, but hopefully something of value in there for others trying to thread the needle ...
 
I had 2 pairs of the EG4 6500EX's installed, one was a replacement pair that was to have the quirks fixed such as the light flicker. That replacement pair had a new quirk, lights that would glow with the light switch off. SS did take them back and issued a refund.

While the first pair was sent back and before replacements arrived 3 weeks later after I contacted Ben thru the forums, I had installed a pair of LV6548's and split my array down for the 250V VOC limit. These worked flawlessly during that time and I have been using the LV6548's since returning the second pair of EG4 6500EX's.

The problem has been the lower VOC rating and I have my array 420 feet away. As SS did stand behind the 6500EX's and refunded me, I did purchase a pair of the EG4 charge controllers and I'm in the process of installing them. I just redneck wired up one to get half the array back up to full power and start comparing how much the higher PV voltage affects the yield. I'll report further on this as time goes on.

I'd highly recommend the LV6548's. I recorded some videos of the power quality from the 6500X's compared to the LV6548's. https://diysolarforum.com/threads/e...led-and-replacement-6500exs.63575/post-795679
 
Mine as well. Very satisfied with the Growatt 5000 units. I recently bought a pair and have had no issues. They just work. For me, good value, great performance.
Yup
When I chose them. There wasn't a better value for the money. And I am pleased that I still haven't found one, yet.
Usually I make a decision on a product, right before a better option comes along. lol
 
Even though my 6548s are doing pretty well, I'm a little under powered. I'm looking to upgrade sometime in the next year to two of the EG4 18kpv.

What would you gain with the EG4 18Kpv?

I dug into the spec sheet, and asked James questions he is ignoring. https://diysolarforum.com/threads/the-effect-of-competition-sol-ark-15k-down-to-7k.64833/post-814612

It seems the 18Kpv is really rated at 12Kw on continuous output. Beware is all I can say, it has those surge 5 minute and 10 minute ratings for marketing purposes. Your pair of LV6548's are rated at 13Kw output continuous, I've seen very close for extended time frames by my official test manager.


Are they Tier 1? Well, they are actually LuxPower relabeled so maybe they are. Certainly not junk.

Used to be plenty of Tier 1 snobs around........ not so many lately.

My two cents, FWIW.
 
What would you gain with the EG4 18Kpv?

I dug into the spec sheet, and asked James questions he is ignoring. https://diysolarforum.com/threads/the-effect-of-competition-sol-ark-15k-down-to-7k.64833/post-814612

It seems the 18Kpv is really rated at 12Kw on continuous output. Beware is all I can say, it has those surge 5 minute and 10 minute ratings for marketing purposes. Your pair of LV6548's are rated at 13Kw output continuous, I've seen very close for extended time frames by my official test manager.
One by itself would not be an upgrade, other than maybe because it's a single 240v output inverter. If I do it I'll go with two, then I'm almost doubling the output and amps while also getting a LOT more PV input potential. And maybe just as important to me, if I hang two of them on the wall and one dies I'm not down while I try get it repaired or replaced. I love the LV6548s but if one dies I lose all 240v capability. Think A/C units in Texas. With a wife. Redundancy is a big deal.

But I'd like to see the grid export issue resolved and tested for awhile.

I have noticed a reduction in snobbery it seems.
 
One by itself would not be an upgrade, other than maybe because it's a single 240v output inverter. If I do it I'll go with two, then I'm almost doubling the output and amps while also getting a LOT more PV input potential.

I'd add more LV6548's if I needed more output, cost $2099 for a pair. As for PV, one could simply add another SCC for about $400 if you need the higher voltage, however I will report what I find running a higher voltage PV input gains. It isn't that great, early results show maybe 2.4% at peak output. Paralleling strings would be more difference (that is power loss) but if you simply double the amount of panels in series it is only the 2.4% at peak output. Most of the time it is less than 2%.

And maybe just as important to me, if I hang two of them on the wall and one dies I'm not down while I try get it repaired or replaced. I love the LV6548s but if one dies I lose all 240v capability. Think A/C units in Texas. With a wife. Redundancy is a big deal.

$2099 to add to your existing vs $5600 x 2= $11,200

You must have an oil well in the back yard. :)

But I'd like to see the grid export issue resolved and tested for awhile.

I have noticed a reduction in snobbery it seems.
(y)
 
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I'd add more LV6548's if I needed more output, cost $2099 for a pair.
The advantage of the MPP LV6048 model over the 6548: units can be added individually, ie going from two units to three while keeping output on both legs equal; loss of one unit does not affect 120/240 output since each unit does both. Two units = 13kW output, Three is 18kW output, $943 USD each! (no oil well required!)
 
When I chose them. There wasn't a better value for the money. And I am pleased that I still haven't found one, yet.
Usually I make a decision on a product, right before a better option comes along. lol
And then we got the new EG18kpv 12kW ...? It does have a lot of things going for it,..I gotta admit it is tempting. (Tim - were you even a little bit tempted?)
But like @EastTexCowboy, I am pushing my current set up close to max, 12kW output would not be enough. Two is 24kW output - maybe too much?
maybe in a year or two...gotta plan for the future and dream a little.
 
I'd add more LV6548's if I needed more output, cost $2099 for a pair. As for PV, one could simply add another SCC for about $400 if you need the higher voltage, however I will report what I find running a higher voltage PV input gains. It isn't that great, early results show maybe 2.4% at peak output. Paralleling strings would be more difference (that is power loss) but if you simply double the amount of panels in series it is only the 2.4% at peak output. Most of the time it is less than 2%.

$2099 to add to your existing vs $5600 x 2= $11,200

You must have an oil well in the back yard. :)
I don't really have room to put two more inverters. I'm working in a space between two windows in the garage and I've already got the transfer switch, breaker panel, and a separate breaker panel to control grid input. I could move the latter but that doesn't gain enough room. Or I could go above the first two inverters but that's not going to be fun to mount or connect or service. I'm not doing that. But I haven't pulled the trigger on anything just yet. As Tim just pointed out in another thread, the 18k is designed to be grid tied. If I really want to make sure I never export to grid I may need to look at off-grid inverters only, such as the LV6548. But I'd really like to achieve that redundancy so something that is 240v output. I'll still be very interested in how your SCC connected to the 6548 performs. The 250v PV limit is just a royal PITA. But the 6548s won't go to waste. I have ancillary solar projects on my wish list once I'm done with the house. I do have other buildings here. They all seem to cry out for solar!

Yeah, I know it's a big difference in cost but it's not apples to apples. I have a lot invested in this system and I'm 80% to where I'd like to be. I need to finish it. I'm actually about 150% of where I originally expected to be, at least in part thanks to this forum and people like you, but goals change!

No oil wells, dammit. It's near impossible to get mineral rights in Texas and has been for decades. So if there was a well I wouldn't get much from it. I do, however, have a lake house we're planning on selling in the spring. We just never use it anymore. So that will provide some discretionary funding for critical needs such as solar projects. I'm just trying to be patient until then. I may not make it. :ROFLMAO:
 
Grid-tied is just another function on this hybrid AIO.
You don't have to use every function.
I just prefer to not pay for functions that I won't use.
If there were a lower priced off grid version. I might be all over it. If the price for value made sense to me.
I would definitely like to play with it. If I had any free time to do so. lol
 
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WOW! :love: you heard it folks, even Tim is tempted by this new unit! LOL.
I wonder if they are working on other versions, perhaps a larger or smaller output version.
It is super interesting to see the direction the Inverter product technology is going, lots of great features, competition to the Sol-Ark at a significantly lower price point. I am encouraged that we are just seeing the beginning of a long run of improvements, features and prive for value.
As you said earlier, it seems I always buy into a product just as a better one comes out; I decided to keep with my MPP's for a few more years and just add in a third unit to bring up my capacity from 13kW to 18.5kW, although at the cost of even more idle stand-by consumption...LOL. I can see more PV added in next year.
 
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