Fronius Symo image
 

 

Fronius Inverter Review Australia 2018

We have installed more Fronius inverters over the past few years than any other brand...in fact more than all the other brands put together, but now, here we are in 2018, and suddenly this wonderful, reliable Austrian made product is showing its age. It's therefore no surprise that there are new Fronius models due for release in 2019.


The Primo range is a single phase inverter. It has a lot of good things going for it. Excellent reporting via reliable WIFI, better than average reliability, a built-in DC isolator (ok that's not worth very much really), and it's made in Europe (Austria) not China. On the downside, it's enormous, it can not connect to batteries and it's about $700-$1000 more expensive than a regular single phase inverter like Goodwe, Zeversolar, Sungrow etc.

The Primo is either being joined, or replaced, we aren't entirely sure which, in 2019 by a hybrid. It's the thing that looks like a public address speaker picured below. It's smaller, and it CAN connect batteries (BYD and LG Chem).

The Symo range from Fronius are three phase inverters. Compared to the regular three phase inverters, the Symo is only $400 or so more expensive making it much better value for money than the Primo. For that price difference, get a Symo.

There is a 5kW hybrid version of the Symo currently available if you want to connect batteries. By the end of 2018 it will be able to connect to BYD batteries, and in mid to late 2019 it is either being joined, or replaced by, again, not sure which, by a range of three phase hybrids up to 10kW going by the slightly odd name of name of GEN24. In addition, the GEN24 will be our first residential inverter that has 3 MPPTs, meaning you can have panels on North, East and West without needing parallel strings or optimisers. Excellent.


For those who want to monitor their home power use, the Fronius smart meter delivers.
(Pictured further down this page)



As those who have read our Huawei review will understand, the LG Chem can't handle more than 500V input. Huawei manage this limitation by saying 'Don't put too many panels on the string' which, frankly, is pretty sensible and cheap advice. Fronius, being Fronius, have designed a $500-$600 box that you have to install between the battery and the Symo hybrid, cunningly called the 'Checkbox 500V' that stops any over voltage from getting to the battery, so as a result, once you add in the Fronius three phase smart meter into the cost, there is STILL about $1000 outlay before you can connect the LG Chem battery. No such concerns however if you go with a BYD battery.

 

Fronius 3 phase smart meter (left) and single phase (right).

 

Fronius product ranges (Australia)

Click the blue links to view the brochure/datasheet for each range.

Primo Range - All are single phase, dual MPPT

Primo 3.0-1 - 3kW AC output, 3.9kW max solar panel power

Primo 4.0-1 - 4.0kW AC output, 5.3kW max solar panel power

Primo 5.0-1 AUS - 4.6kW AC output, 6.1kW max solar panel power

Primo 5.0-1 - 5kW AC output, 6.625kW max solar panel power

Note: We stock both versions of the 5kW Primo. The AUS version is limited to 4.6kW AC
The International version is the full 5kW, allowing two extra panels to be installed.
Both are supported by Fronius in Australia.

Symo Range - All are three phase, Two MPPT

SYMO 3.0-3-M - 3kW AC output, 3.9kW max solar panel power

SYMO 5.0-3-M - 5kW AC output, 6.6kW max solar panel power

SYMO 10.0-3-M - 10kW AC output, 13.3kW max solar panel power

SYMO 5.0-3-S Hybrid inverter works with DC coupled batteries, three phase, but only one MPPT

Fronius - The Company
Austrian company that started manufacturing solar inverters in 1992.

Excellent WIFI and stats.
Stylish appearance
Almost on par with SMA for reliability
Much of the time, 10 year parts warranty, 5 year labour warranty.

Negatives about Fronius inverters

Quite noisy. The fans in even the latest Fronius inverters are frequently louder than any other inverter we've worked with, especially around mid day when its working hardest. If you are a nanny napper or night shift worker, sleeping with a wall close to the inverter, then you probably would be better to go with something else.

Large. The inverters are twice the size of most others, including Huawei. Some might say that means they are better made, and others, like us would say that they don't know as much about fitting a lot of complex electronics into a very small space, and cooling it appropriately as smartphone company Huawei. Of course, installed in a garage, often size really doesn't matter.

Fronius Inverter warranties
The standard warranty for all Fronius inverters is 5 years, parts and labour
As a sales incentive, they frequently offer an extra 5 years warranty on the inverter, but not the labour (e.g. in 2018 an inverter replacement typically costs $170 in labour charges).

Setting up WIFI on Fronius inverters

Fronius WIFI Setup for Android or Apple Smartphones

Download and install the Fronius Solar.web live app for iPhone or Android

Open the app, and press the red icon in the bottom right of the screen and then click

Setup my Fronius Inverter. Then select Grid Connected Inverter.
Go to your Fronius inverter and press the Menu button (2nd button from the right)

Scroll right until you get to the Setup menu and then press Enter (furthest right button)

Scroll down to WIFI Access Point and press Enter and then Enter again to Activate WIFI

On your smartphone go to your WIFI networks list and connect to Fronius.
The temporary password is 12345678.
In the Solar Web app, click SolarWeb Wizard and enter the details
Feed in tariff (what you get paid for surplus power sent back into the grid) in 2016 is 0.07135,
and Grid supply tariff (what you pay Synergy is 0.2647. You will need to update these prices every time Synergy increase their prices. When you have entered the date time and time zone, click Forward

Give your system any name you like and then enter the PV Power in Watts (e.g. if you havea 5.3kW of solar panels then enter 5300) , and then press Forward and then Accept. Select your home WIFI from the list and then enter your home WIFI password and then click Connect. Exit the App and re-connect to your home WIFI.
Test that you can access the Internet, and then re-open the Fronius Solar Web app. I will attempt to connect to the network, and can take a while. When it has connected, click Forward, and then enter a new password for your inverter, replacing the default 12345678, and click Finish.

The app will take you to the solarweb.com website where you need to register for a new account and then fill in all the details requested. You will be emailed a confirmation link to verify your email address for alerts. Respond to this (check your junk folder if you don't see an email, and if it has gone to junk allow all future emails from solarweb.com to be accepted).

Re-open the Solarweb app and click on the red icon in the bottom right again, and click Login to SolarWeb

Enter the email address and password that you used to register your new account and click Log In

It takes about 15 minutes.