Recommended vendors for GTIL inverters?

fafrd

Solar Addict
I’m planning to pick up a couple of these budget 1000W current-limited GTIL inverters to time-Shift my solar production and there are a gazillion vendors on AliExpress.

Has anyone here purchased these GTIL products from a vendor they were happy with?

Is the root manufacturer behind all of these rebadged GTIL inverters known and do they have a store on AliExpress?

And finally, I think I’ve seen enough reviews to give these GTIL current-limited inverters a try, but is there any feedback from here on quality and/or value for money?

If these products are crap, is there an alternative budget product that is better?
 

joeblack5

Solar Enthusiast
I ordered two 1000 watt version from aliexpress. After two month one has failed with grid error , and 46.1Hz error, two resistors burnt out. Aliexpress determined that I deserve a $40 refund. based on that the display still lights up and that I did not show that we have actually 60 Hz in the US.
Aliexpress customere service id offline and chat is under construction.

In my dispute I had requested them to ship another one or refund the cost price of one plus some shipping. Videos of test and problems were uploaded and images of teh burnt out resistor as well.
Emailing with the company seemed to be helpful in the beginning but now it has come to a standstill.

Proceed at your own risk.

Johan
 

fafrd

Solar Addict
I ordered two 1000 watt version from aliexpress. After two month one has failed with grid error , and 46.1Hz error, two resistors burnt out. Aliexpress determined that I deserve a $40 refund. based on that the display still lights up and that I did not show that we have actually 60 Hz in the US.
Aliexpress customere service id offline and chat is under construction.

In my dispute I had requested them to ship another one or refund the cost price of one plus some shipping. Videos of test and problems were uploaded and images of teh burnt out resistor as well.
Emailing with the company seemed to be helpful in the beginning but now it has come to a standstill.

Proceed at your own risk.

Johan

Wow, bummer.

I actually bought 2 of the 1000W models off of Amazon but have not yet put them into service. I tested functionality in a test setup for several hours and they performed as expected, so I’m going to give them a try.

Was yours hooked up for 240V AC output or 120V AC output?
 

bedpan

New Member
2000W model on US split phase, 2kw of panels at 60v, no battery. In service exactly 1 year. No problems.
Are you using limiters? If so can you explain your setup? The best I have seen is dual CT clamps in Parallel seems to be the answer with a small trim pot for calibration. Is this how you did it?
 

chilly2

New Member
Are you using limiters? If so can you explain your setup? The best I have seen is dual CT clamps in Parallel seems to be the answer with a small trim pot for calibration. Is this how you did it?
PV to combiner box w/ fuses & SPD run to 45-90/240v GTIL to 240v double pole 15a in panel. For the limiter, I cut the supplied CT wire and soldered two of those 100/50 blue ones off Amazon (https://amzn.to/2XpJktx) in series. The GTIL stays under load by a couple of percent nearly all the time. Using a Sense monitor to keep an eye on it from the AC side.
 

nate_syd

Solar Enthusiast
I used "GAIADEFENDER store" - super fast shipping & they've been perfect for months.
What country are you in? I'll be getting rid of my 2x1000W 24v units very soon.
 

fafrd

Solar Addict
I have been looking at these GTIL inverters, but wondered if we have other options. I searched a long time on Aliexpress and found this interesting Deye grid inverter with optional limiter and wifi:https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000618719583.html

I like the fact you can go well above 2000 watts and the efficiency seems very good.
Those seem like interesting units, but depending on your use case, they impose a few constraints that may prove problematic:

No ability to be powered off of a battery (so only useable to reduce / eliminate grid consumption during daylight hours - no time-shift capability).

Startup voltage: 120V. This pretty much means you cannot feed this with less than a 3S string of panels (with little margin for Vmp since it can’t drop below 33.3V per panel if you only have a 3S string).

A max of 3.6kW of panels leaves plenty of headroom for 3 panels but the maximum of 10A of PV input current will be problematic with any modern (powerful) PV panel…

The 160-300VAC operating range means this should work with US 220/240V single-phase output, but not with 110/120V (translating to some export on one leg most always).

The SUN GTILs will operate off of a 24V battery (1kW model) or a 48V battery (both 1kW and 2kW models) and two of them can be connected to the two different incoming legs (L1 and L2) to drive each 110/120V leg to zero consumption (so meter consumption is truly zero, even in the case that individual legs are being monitored).

And while the 2kW / 48V model would need a 2S string to deliver at least 48V, the 1kW / 24V model can run off of a 1S string.

Poor conversion efficiency as well as loud fan noise are my two gripes with the Sunpower GTILs and if Deye ever offered a 2kW or 3kW model that could run off of a 24V (or possibly even 48V) battery and deliver 110/120VAC output, I’d be all over it (assuming they deliver efficiency in excess of 95% and can reduce fan noise as a result - at least when delivering modest power levels).

In general, these GTIL inverters allow an easy way to offset power consumption using solar power during the day, but at least in my case, it is the capability to be paired with a battery and an SCC that is the use-case whee they really shine (time-shift).
 

nate_syd

Solar Enthusiast
+1 on above - they're for Solar Panels not batteries.
HOWEVER... the alternative is to use Grid tie micro inverters, you can use batteries as inputs on those & they're also readily available & compliant with local standards.
Down side is that they're typically only 300W or so. You can also use small power supply modules to limit the input power & throttle them from max
 

turbo6bar

New Member
The 2000 watt GTIL can drive 120v split phase? I thought only the 1000 W can sync with 120VAC.

I agree with you about the 10A DC limit on the SUN inverter. That is really close on a series string, but I feel the higher MPPT will help with efficiency and keep the wiring simpler.

There seem to be an inordinate number of GTIL dying, with folks showing blown transistors. That's why I'm looking for other options.

Here's another interesting option from Aliexpress: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001565429387.html The inverter efficiency is awful, however, much like the GTIL that most use. 5-10% losses ends up being a lot of heat.
 

turbo6bar

New Member
HOWEVER... the alternative is to use Grid tie micro inverters, you can use batteries as inputs on those & they're also readily available & compliant with local standards.

Probably works, but mercy, a lot of work for such a small amount of power. Plus, not cheap unless you have spare microinverters.
 

fafrd

Solar Addict
The 2000 watt GTIL can drive 120v split phase? I thought only the 1000 W can sync with 120VAC.
They are single-phase and can deliver down to 110/120V. By connecting one unit to L1 & N and another unit to L2 and N, you are independently compensating each hot leg (including 240V consumption for an electric oven, for example.

They are not strictly speaking ‘split phase’ because their is no communication or coordination between the two units.

The coordination is from the face that the grid delivers a 240W 2-phase power signal in which L1 and L2 are 180 degrees out of phase…
I agree with you about the 10A DC limit on the SUN inverter. That is really close on a series string, but I feel the higher MPPT will help with efficiency and keep the wiring simpler.
My 335W panels from 2016 exceed 10A @ 25C. Hopefully it’s just a throttle on maximum incoming PV current so you don’t need to be concerned with worst-case conditions, but it will translate to any modern high-power panels being driven at voltages higher than Vmp (whatever voltage throttles output current back to 10A).

Wire size can be smaller but you may be losing 10% of your available energy (or more).
There seem to be an inordinate number of GTIL dying, with folks showing blown transistors. That's why I'm looking for other options.
Would love to see a link to any of those ‘blown transistor’ stories if easy. Many of the YouTube videos show people hooking these GTILs up in ways other than they have instructed.
Here's another interesting option from Aliexpress: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001565429387.html The inverter efficiency is awful, however, much like the GTIL that most use. 5-10% losses ends up being a lot of heat.
That is the first generation of these same GTIL inverters (G1 versus G2). They require an ‘external’ sensor (separate small box) versus G2 which supports either a ‘external’ sensor or an ‘internal’ sensor (meaning just a CT clamp sensor wired to the GTIL).

I was under the impression that conversion efficiency of G1and G2 was similar. I’m getting ~80% efficiency but that is partly because I am operating at 24V (efficiency is higher at 48V).

Even with 20% losses, I’ve noticed surprisingly little heat. The fan kicks in often and strongly, so that’s my only gripe (it’s very loud).

For $250 each, I’m comfortable testing these for a couple years before investing $1000s in whatever my long-term inverter solution will be.
 

turbo6bar

New Member
Are you positive the 2000 watt model can run 120VAC? All listings for 2000W version are shown for 180-260VAC, whereas 1000W is listed for 100-140VAC. Folks running the 2000 Watt model run 2 CTs in series or parallel, it would seem.

Go to "Solar Grid Tie Inverter with Limiter USA Users" Facebook group for plenty of posts about GTIL failures. Some guys have been running them for well over a year. Others get a few months. One way to hedge reliability issues is to get the 3 or 4 year extended warranty on a GTIL purchased from Amazon, or get the Square Trade warranty on GTILs from eBay. For the price, I really don't expect something reliable or well-built. If it costs $275 here, the actual parts value in the inverter has to be very low. As long as no one expects several years of service, I don't think one would be disappointed.

For simplicity, I would love to get a 2000 watt model that would sync with 120VAC. Running off a battery would be a plus.
 

fafrd

Solar Addict
Are you positive the 2000 watt model can run 120VAC? All listings for 2000W version are shown for 180-260VAC, whereas 1000W is listed for 100-140VAC. Folks running the 2000 Watt model run 2 CTs in series or parallel, it would seem.
I just checked my G2 manual and where the first 3 ‘connecting methods’ show 3 different ways of connecting a SUN-2000G2 for 240V output, the 4th method showing split phase output states ‘Using two SUN-1000G2 inverters to connect with US split-phase AC grid (good solution).

So it looks like you are correct that the 2000W G2GTIL does not support 110/120V output (and don’t you love how they use a combined manual for two fundamentally different products ;).
Go to "Solar Grid Tie Inverter with Limiter USA Users" Facebook group for plenty of posts about GTIL failures.
Not a Facebook guy, but thanks.

Some guys have been running them for well over a year. Others get a few months. One way to hedge reliability issues is to get the 3 or 4 year extended warranty on a GTIL purchased from Amazon, or get the Square Trade warranty on GTILs from eBay. For the price, I really don't expect something reliable or well-built. If it costs $275 here, the actual parts value in the inverter has to be very low. As long as no one expects several years of service, I don't think one would be disappointed.
I’ve got a 4kW Microinverter-based grid-tied system as well. I have dual-Microinverters from NEP (Japanese Company) that cost me a little over $200 each and they have run reliably for over 5 years now.

Those microinverters only put out 600W rather than 1000W but my point is that low-power inverters can/must deliver good reliability and lifetime for low $100s of cost.

Whether these early-generation GTILs from China can deliver NEP-like levels of quality and lifetime is unlikely, but those products will materialize eventually.

My plan has been to set up a small 1kW GTIL system to learn and gain experience before investing in a larger 4kW DC-coupled system in 2-3 years (tied to getting an EV).

If these little 1000W GTILs conk out by then, no biggie and either there will be higher-quality GTILs in the marketplace by then or I’ll fall back to a split-phase hybrid inverter (many now ready for prime-time, but at much higher cost).

The cost savings from not having to do any AC rewiring with these GTILs is a major advantage (‘plugs in like a toaster oven’).

The manual is quite clear on the different ways to wire up these GTILs and many/most of the YouTube videos I have seen have involved splicing together 2 CT sensors in an attempt to avoid 240VAC export with a single GTIL inverter. They are not designed to do that and so any Facebook ‘failures’ associated with that bushwhacked wiring/configuration I would take with a large grain of salt…

For simplicity, I would love to get a 2000 watt model that would sync with 120VAC. Running off a battery would be a plus.
Two 1000W 120V GTILs can be paralleled to deliver 2000W of generation capability.

So 4 1000W GTILs can be configured in a 2x2 configuration to offset a full 4kW of 240V AC consumption or up to 2kW of consumption on either leg.

My fridges consume half our annual power and never consume more than 600W after startup surge, so I’d really get no benefit from higher output levels.

When the electric oven is heating, that burns 1.5kW per leg and my pair of 1kW GTILs max out at ~850W each meaning they are only compensating 57% of consumption and the remaining 43% is being drawn from the grid, but that is only during the short time the element is being fired (low duty cycle after reaching target temp) and only for ~1 hour a couple times a week.

120V support is critical for the US market and from my perspective, it’s far more important to support battery-powered operation (and hopefully for less of an efficiency hit) than it is to support increased output levels.

If they crap out on me in less than two years, that will be my biggest complaint, but until that happens, it is how loud these little GTILs are that is my biggest gripe…
 

fafrd

Solar Addict
I believe I finally found proof that these small blue SUN 1000W and 2000W GTIL inverters are actually manufactured by Deye: https://www.solartex.co/tienda/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/FICHA-TECNICA-INVERSOR-CON-LIMITADOR.pdf

I’ve had mine up and running for over a month now and so far I am very happy with the quality and the performance (though I understand it’s still early days).

My only two complaints:

-poor conversion efficiency of ~80%
-they are loud when they need to activate the fans to stay cool
 
Top