Product review: Fronius Symo Inverter
Looking for an inverter that serves the grid-tied three-phase market that also offers interesting features like the Dynamic Peak Manager, the SnapINverter technology and the Smart Grid Ready function. Well, look no further.
Today we will address and provide a comprehensive product review on one of the most popular devices from Fronius, the Fronius Symo Inverter. Fronius, an Austrian company, is famous for its SnapINverter solutions for the PV industry. The brand produces storage devices, monitoring systems and inverters.
Meet the Fronius Symo Inverter
Symo comes integrated with the SnapINverter technology which consists of an installation procedure that separates the mounting bracket and the connections to the PV system from the inverter’s electronics.
Once removed from the box, you need to install the mounting bracket, take the wiring from the PV system to the aluminium mounting, and then simply slide the inverter’s body through the bracket and snap! Installation ready.
Symo is also integrated with the Fronius SuperFlex design that presents solutions for irregularly shaped or multi-oriented roofs.
In general, the feature consists of a high DC voltage range with two independent MPP trackers optimised for shade management with the Dynamic Peak Manager. This interesting MPP tracking algorithm allows optimisation of the system’s power output by always operating the PV array under the Global Maximum Power Point (GMPP), instead of the local maximum power point (LMPP) that appears under shading conditions; something similar to the OptiTrac Global Peak function from SMA.
Renewable energy sources like solar energy are starting to become an important share of the power capacity in grids all over the world, including those in Australia.
Another interesting feature from this inverter is that it comes integrated with the Smart Grid Ready function. This allows Independent System Operators (ISO’s) to effectively manage the power grid balance at any time, by using a direct communication link with the Fronius inverter to shift the feed-in of the reactive and active power of the inverter and release congestion from the grid.
The function is designed to allow a stable grid operation in spite of PV systems with a high energy density (typically at noon) to prevent undesirable interruptions on the grid.
Another useful tool of this function is that the inverter provides information on energy yields and voltage levels to the grid operator.
States like South Australia with a large share of renewable energy sources would really appreciate having this type of inverter installed.
Although this technology is still far away from being implemented, it is an interesting feature unique to the brand, that provides solutions to the future Smart Grids.
Symo Inverter Specs
Symo is a grid-tied three-phase and transformerless inverter that is available in different sizes suitable for both residential and commercial systems.
Available sizes vary between 3000 W, 4500 W, 6000 W and more versions up to 20 kW in AC power output.
Voltage levels are either 400 V/ 230 V or 380V/220V suitable for Australian grid voltages.
The MPP voltage range is between 150 V-800V on the models from 3000 W to 8200 W, while the models from 10kW to 20 kW have an MPP voltage range between 200 V and 1000 V.
Moreover, on the lower models of Symo (3kW to 4.5kW), there are two possible versions. One of the versions is marked as “S” (reference for small) while the other slightly larger version is marked as “M” (short for medium).
The voltage, power and current inputs and outputs are equal in both versions, but some other things are different.
For example, the M version has two MPP trackers while the S version only has one MPP tracker.
The power factor is also different between the two of them, the S version has a wider power factor between 0.7 and 1 per unit inductive or capacitive, while the M version is between 0.85 -1 per unit.
Weight is also an important difference since the S version is close to 16 kg while the M versions are almost 20 kg.
Monitoring & Analytics
In addition to the standard production-monitoring, Fronius provide consumption-level analytics via the Smart energy meter.
This allows you to monitor the amount of energy that has been used, as well as the amount of energy that has been produced by the system.
The Hybrid Possibility
There is another additional inverter that is also part of the Symo version. We are talking about the Symo Hybrid inverter.
The Symo Hybrid is the solution to the energy storage sector that wishes to include a PV system.
There are three main models with different power outputs (3kW, 4kW, and 5kW) and the inverter can be coupled with three-phase systems as well of 400V/230V or 380V/220V voltages from the grid.
However, one of the limitations of the Symo Hybrid is that the battery technology must be the Fronius Solar Battery or the LG Chem RESU7H/10H.
Fronius comes with a 5-year parts & labour warranty, followed by a 5-year parts-only warranty (5+5 warranty).
One of the main jewels of the Austrian brand is an inverter that serves the grid-tied three-phase market with interesting features like the Dynamic Peak Manager, the SnapINverter technology and the Smart Grid Ready function.
The Fronius Symo inverter is a complete solution for the PV industry and a valuable product for the Australian market.