Safe Grid Use of the 5000ES and transformer

Quattrohead

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Some simple beginner research would inform anyone that 240v single phase inverters should not be used with splitphase. Making them work is a hack with an auto transformer. I would spend a few extra hundred and get the inverter that outputs 120v or splitphase..
And this is what I have been saying all along.
 

Hedges

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At $4700 for 5700 watts the price wkuld severely limit people getting into solar. SOL-ARK 12k is a nice option but that price make it difficult to recoup the investment unless you are young, damm

Yes, and it's even worse than that. For 120/240V split-phase you either need two Sunny Island or an autotransformer.
Originally designed for the European market, it made a good mid-range bundle with one of those and one grid-tie PV Sunny Boy. Expandable to 4x Sunny Island and 8x Sunny Boy. They used to have a much smaller battery inverter in Europe as well, must have found the market not worthwhile.
For US, it is a better fit for larger systems.

Adding battery backup to a grid-tie house is hard to justify financially. For someone building off-grid, the premium brands can be a good value, unless the project is really being done on a shoestring.
 

12VoltInstalls

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For someone building off-grid, the premium brands can be a good value, unless the project is really being done on a shoestring
That’s the conundrum. For my opening move to solar i was in the shoestring market. My first upgrade made sense for my needs and my wallet, still shoestring level even though affordable. After that other than just adding ‘more’ of what I had already the jump to a “serious” small system has very little to nothing in the marketplace making the buy-in either thousands of dollars more expensive: OR you pick from dubious cheap chinese rigs with no certs whatsoever.

I think that’s the niche signature-sol is likely attempting to satisfy. The problem apparently lies in engineering, imho: the difference between an ‘educated’ engineer versus an application-experienced electrical engineer. Any engineers at SigSol are currently steepening the curve dramatically thanks to the application and design experienced personnel on this this forum.

I’ve learned tons from this thread! I’ll never be involved in designing or modifying anything like this machine - I’m not even an engineer- but there’s integral information that is knowledge I can use. I’ve gone from ‘knowing’ the rule you don’t mess around with phases or transformers at 240V to understanding at some rudimentary level- “why,”

If SigSol can a) make this device safe and better b) get the ‘system’ UL certification they will probably find a big market.

On the other hand, why can’t they engineer a device or two that is North American appropriate, UL certify it, and order a run of same from China? Sure it would eventually get cloned but they’ll have the brand and the market and the clones probably would still not have a real UL sticker or on-shore support and inventory.

At this point - one death being one too many- SigSol is obligated and compelled to solve the problem fully or: choose to cease selling versus await the inevitable criminal negligence suite.
 

Ozark Tinkering

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At this point - one death being one too many- SigSol is obligated and compelled to solve the problem fully or: choose to cease selling versus await the inevitable criminal negligence suite.
Sulphur Springs is in Texas and considering the utility there hasn't done any upgrades since last winter when 246 people died because of what some would call 'criminal negligence", a fella might believe such an action would be a reach.
 

Hedges

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Power company won't have liability for power going out. They don't pay for your lost freezer of food. Government might fine them for shutting off power to prevent a deadly wildfire. They are liable for damage/deaths from fires sparked by their wires, even if no negligence.

Selling something that causes death due to a flaw in the design would carry liability.
 

Will Prowse

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Assuming people have done due diligence is imo foolish.. Actually as soon as Poz installed the ES there was a lot of comments telling him this was a bad idea and why. I think Will was only using the ES for 240v only loads without a transformer
I've never used or seen the 5000ES in person. I never had any inclination to use it either. It's designed for European grid, and I live in north America.

I would have caught most of these problems if I set one up. I don't understand why people won't instead buy the north America models if they live in north America.

Yes, I did have the idea to run a stand alone ev car charger with the es model (I mentioned that in the comments once), but that would not work. Would need that center tap neutral, and most Ev chargers are expecting ground to be at that potential.
 

Will Prowse

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What I don't understand, is why anyone would buy the ES and mess with these auto transformers at all. It costs $1,250 for the growatt and auto transformer:
Screenshot_20220123-072137_Chrome.jpg
Or one could just purchase a LV6048 for $1,499
Screenshot_20220123-072220_Chrome.jpg

Why make things difficult? The lv6048 has 1000W more ac output capacity, and 2000W larger pv input capacity, for $250 more, and it would be easier to wire up, and you would not have any safety issues at all. And you get split phase output as well.

I just fail to see the logic as to why anyone would use these European models. Safety wise, or cost wise. It doesn't make sense to me.
 
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Rocksnsalt

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I question why companies would offer it for sale in the US if it’s meant for Europe.
There should be clear info flagged in the “cart“ at a minimum.
 
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Ozark Tinkering

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Adding battery backup to a grid-tie house is hard to justify financially.
True that.
At the end of 2020 I had a 5.1kw grid-tied system installed on the roof of my home. That set me back right at $13,000 which included professional installation and the paperwork for my net metering agreement. Had I been using 100% my own money or had it been necessary to finance the project, the payback period would have stretched out close to 15 years. However I didn't use 100% "my money" to get'r done.

During 2020 each adult tax payer received a $1200 check and a $600 check. My wife and I decided best use in our case for that money would be to put all of it against said 5.1kw system. That brought our immediate out of pocket expense down to right at $9000. Then we took a 26% energy tax credit to the tune of $3300. That brought our total investment down to $6700. We commissioned the system 1 year ago this month and so far generated $650 of power. Without any consideration toward inflation, our system will pay itself off in 10 years.

Keep in mind we're still talking about 100% Chinese equipment...Enphase and Jinko.

Hey, who here thinks there won't be utility rate increases over the next 10 years?

We lose power here a couple of times a year and it can last anywhere from an hour to a week. Most recently it was out for just over 48 hours after the last snow came through last week. I have a 6kw generator I converted to propane about 12 years ago that if we manage our usage, will get us by but the power it produces is so dirty I worry about my electronics. What I'm leaning toward is something Growatt coupled to a lithium based battery and an inverter generator that uses propane to keep it charged. I've been backed up with a shoestring for 40 years. What's a few more?
 

Ozark Tinkering

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What I don't understand, is why anyone would buy the ES and mess with these auto transformers at all. It costs $1,250 for the growatt and auto transformer:
View attachment 80915
Or one could just purchase a LV6048 for $1,499
View attachment 80916

Why make things difficult? The lv6048 has 1000W more ac output capacity, and 2000W larger pv input capacity, for $250 more, and it would be easier to wire up etc. And you get split phase output as well.

I just fail to see the logic as to why anyone would use these European models. Safety wise, or cost wise. It doesn't make sense to me.
I made my last post prior to reading this recommendation. I've been watching your videos for a long time and that's why I came here. I'll be looking in that direction. Thanks Will!
 

Hedges

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At the end of 2020 I had a 5.1kw grid-tied system installed on the roof of my home.

Keep in mind we're still talking about 100% Chinese equipment...Enphase and Jinko.

What I'm leaning toward is something Growatt coupled to a lithium based battery and an inverter generator that uses propane to keep it charged.

Does your model Enphase do frequency-watts? If so ...
Consider a surplus (discounted) Sunny Island with a 120/240V transformer on the output. Lithium can be used, but AGM or FLA for KISS, occasional backup use.
It could sit on one breaker of your panel, providing battery backup to some critical loads.
In the event of a power failure, turn off it input breaker and connect the 120/240V output through interlocked generator breaker.
That should let Enphase provide PV to the system.
Maybe a bit more $$ than what you suggest but possibly $5k to $6k, depending on the surplus deal you find.
 

Ozark Tinkering

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Does your model Enphase do frequency-watts? If so ...
Consider a surplus (discounted) Sunny Island with a 120/240V transformer on the output. Lithium can be used, but AGM or FLA for KISS, occasional backup use.
It could sit on one breaker of your panel, providing battery backup to some critical loads.
In the event of a power failure, turn off it input breaker and connect the 120/240V output through interlocked generator breaker.
That should let Enphase provide PV to the system.
Maybe a bit more $$ than what you suggest but possibly $5k to $6k, depending on the surplus deal you find.
I think I know what you are asking? My tentative answer is yes, but I've been wondering just how to get it done without biting the bullet and getting the Encharge add-on (which I know works. I've been thinking that all I should need is good clean 240vac inverted 60hz source of line power and the ability to store power made and I should be able to run my rooftop system as an island if I'm isolated from the grid.
 

Hedges

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I think I know what you are asking? My tentative answer is yes, but I've been wondering just how to get it done without biting the bullet and getting the Encharge add-on (which I know works. I've been thinking that all I should need is good clean 240vac inverted 60hz source of line power and the ability to store power made and I should be able to run my rooftop system as an island if I'm isolated from the grid.

Encharge, if compatible (probably is) should work.
Good clean 240V will turn on the inverters, but if loads are less than AC generated by enphase, your inverter gets force fed power it doesn't want.
Some battery inverters are designed to suck down AC power to charge batteries. But once batteries can't take more, then what?
AC coupling can be managed with a different communication channel to tell AC coupled inverters to back off (I think Encharge/Enphase does that.)
AC coupling can also be managed by frequency shift. Battery inverter increases frequency above 60 Hz, and PV inverters that implement frequency-watts reduce power output. Sunny Island, Outback Skybox, some Schneider models, and others do this. Some forum members use Enphase this way.
Varying performance and price from the various alternatives.
 

Zwy

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What I don't understand, is why anyone would buy the ES and mess with these auto transformers at all. It costs $1,250 for the growatt and auto transformer:
View attachment 80915
Or one could just purchase a LV6048 for $1,499
View attachment 80916

Why make things difficult? The lv6048 has 1000W more ac output capacity, and 2000W larger pv input capacity, for $250 more, and it would be easier to wire up, and you would not have any safety issues at all. And you get split phase output as well.

I just fail to see the logic as to why anyone would use these European models. Safety wise, or cost wise. It doesn't make sense to me.
I thought about running the numbers with using an isolation transformer with 2 5000ES inverters compared to 2 LV6548. From what I find, a 5Kw isolation transformer is $700 to $1000 USD. Ian has the 5000ES at $865 x 2= $1730 plus $1000 for the isolation transformer comes to $2730. LV6548 each is $1575 x 2= $3150

Is it really worth $420? If the lifespan of the LV6548 is 10 years, that comes to $42 per year; 20 years comes to $21 per year. Then we get to capacity, which the two LV6548's are 30% more than two 5000ES. That's $420 for 30% more output.

Capacity is 3Kw more with the two LV6548 compared to two 5000ES. Surge on two 5000ES is 20Kw, on two LV6548's it is 26Kw.

The reason we see people buy the 5000ES is because they get 240V and the videos out there showed it to be able "to power a house" but it took 3 units plus the autotransformer. 3 units will get the user just over the 13Kw the two LV6548's. If you add in another 5000ES, that comes to $865 + $2730 = $3595 plus more wire, breakers, etc.
 

Bud Martin

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#1 did You say it in your not to buy this unit video?
#2 You can buy the Transformer separately or in a package
#3 come on man, don’t backtracking now. I watch you videos over and over, there was no indication this was a problem. I purchased three of them and will have a master electrician install them, dam I trusted you and Poz now what are we suppose to do.
Can you show the Link to Will's video?
 

Will Prowse

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#1 did You say it in your not to buy this unit video?
#2 You can buy the Transformer separately or in a package
#3 come on man, don’t backtracking now. I watch you videos over and over, there was no indication this was a problem. I purchased three of them and will have a master electrician install them, dam I trusted you and Poz now what are we suppose to do.
Post the video here, I've never used this unit in my life. I'm not backtracking anything. Post the video here.
 
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