Fronius Smart Meter Cost, User Guide and Specs
Fronius is a very popular brand when it comes to inverters. However, the company also manufactures one of the industry’s best energy meters. The FroniusEnergy meter works alongside the Fronius Inverter in a photovoltaic Solar System.
Fronius is a very popular brand when it comes to inverters. However, the company also manufactures one of the industry’s best energy meters. The FroniusEnergy meter works alongside the Fronius Inverter in a photovoltaic solar system.
What is a Smart Meter?
A Smart Meter is a digital meter for recording power consumption in near-real-time. You can then use this energy information to help households and businesses save money on their electricity bills.
A smart meter is often associated with electricity usage, but gas and water smart meters are also being rolled out in some countries.
How does a Smart Meter work?
A Smart Meter uses sensors to measure various energy flows into and out of your home or business. The meter then sends this information to your electricity network operator, who can use it to provide you with an accurate bill.
In some cases, the electricity network operator may also offer you real-time information after recording power consumption, which can help you manage various energy flows and uses.
What is a Fronius Smart Meter?
The Fronius Smart Meter is a type of smart, bidirectional meter specifically designed to work with Fronius Inverters. The meter can track the amount of energy that is being produced by your solar panels, as well as the amount of electricity that is being consumed by your home or business.
The Fronius Smart Meter presents you the opportunity to monitor various energy flows in real-time, making better decisions about when to use power-saving appliances or when to take advantage of cheaper off-peak energy rates.
How do I get a Fronius Smart Meter?
If you already have a Fronius Inverter, then you may be able to get a Fronius bidirectional Meter from your local electricity network operator. If you don’t have a Fronius Inverter, you can purchase one from a Fronius dealer. The inverter will come with a Smart Meter included.
Why do I need the Fronius Smart Meter?
Fronius offers the Smart Meter to transmit technical information regarding the connection to the grid and the Fronius inverter. In simple terms, the smart meter itemizes how much energy is being produced by your solar panels, which is passed via the inverter to the grid. The Fronius Smart, bidirectional Meter offers you the following functions:
Superior Insight and Control
This product is a bidirectional meter which optimises self-consumption (including the household load curve) and also the production from the photovoltaic system with an accuracy of 2%. It means you can see what areas of the house are consuming energy and you’ll be able to make smart changes to limit consumption or utilise it when the solar panels produce power at peak times of the day.
Monitors Solar Panel Production and Consumption
The smart meter device is connected to the built-in data logger on the solar inverter. After recording power production from your solar panels and home energy consumption, it feeds the information to Fronius software, including the handy Solar app & monitoring system from Fronius. The handy mobile app allows you to see this information in basic graphs and easy-to-understand formats to remain informed.
Additionally, the web-based monitoring system provides a range of highly accurate measurements that can be used to make even more informed decisions about your solar photovoltaic system and how it interacts with your household.
Detect Faulty Appliances
You can also use the Fronius Meter to detect any faulty appliances in the household that may have an extremely high power consumption or other errors. It is an excellent feature as it can help you avoid any costly repairs in the future.
When you understand how various energy flows in your system, you begin to learn how your appliances, such as your fridge, oven, or air conditioner, are impacting your solar production. You can start to change your usage habits, especially on one device that you use daily, and see savings on your power bills.
UnRivalled Energy Management
The Solar Web portal allows you to check daily energy balances with load curves and instantaneous power balances within the photovoltaic system. You can also look at your feed-in tariff & energy retailer earnings in AUD and check on the avoided CO2 emissions based on your production.
Also, suppose you have chosen an energy storage solution for your installation with the Fronius Symo Hybrid inverter or Fronius Galvo inverters. In that case, you can visualise the energy stored in the battery and how you used this stored power later on.
These features allow you to monitor your power consumption times and integrate overall energy management to change your consumption patterns to achieve more significant savings and utilise your system in the best way.
The Fronius Meter is an excellent addition to any home as it offers many features and benefits that can help you save on your power costs. If you are looking for an inverter and meter combination, the Fronius bidirectional Meter is a great option.
Fronius Smart Meter Technical Specifications and Data Sheet
The energy meter measures voltage, frequency, current, reactive and apparent power, energy, and running hours with a 2% accuracy. An energy meter lets you control various energy flows sold back to the grid and establishes the power limits if necessary.
The rapid communication via the Modbus RTU interface (Modbus communication protocol that conforms to the SunSpec Alliance standard) is specifically developed to be synchronised with Fronius inverters.
There are two main options for the Fronius Meter: the 50 kA-3 version and the 63A version, which is also divided into two possibilities (the split-phase and the three-phase).
The 50 kA-3 is an energy meter that you can use with a three-phase inverter. The model tolerates a maximum surge current of 50 kA per phase and consumes less than 3 W. As you can imagine, this meter is generally used for commercial applications.
You can use the meter with external transducers (current transformers for measurement), so it’s ideally suited for electrical installations where you cannot modify grid use and connections. Even though the 50kA model is designed mainly for three-phase installations, you can also use it for single phase or dual phase installations.
The 50 kA-3 version technical specifications include:
- This version of the Fronius Smart Meter presents a maximum current rating of 50kA.
- You can use it with either single phase or three phase electrical systems.
- The meter also has a voltage rating of 400V, and it can tolerate surges up to 50kA.
The 63A-1 Version
The 63A-1 is the most common type of meter used in residential applications as it offers many benefits such as lowering and recording power consumption, high accuracy, and easy installation.
This meter is available in split-phase and three-phase versions and is designed to work in single, two, or three-phase installations.
The main difference between these versions is that the split-phase only has one voltage and current measurement, while the three-phase has three voltage and current measurements.
The meter is also equipped with a pulse output for kWh measurement (the pulse output is an electrical contact that changes its state based on a specific event, in this case, each time 1 kWh is produced).
This output can be connected to Fronius’s overall energy management devices (smart meter, smart home, and storage solutions), which will provide the user with more detailed information about the solar photovoltaic system.
The 63A-1 version is the meter that is recommended for residential applications as it has the following technical specifications:
- Like the 50 kA-3, the 63A-1 can be used for three-phase installations, but it’s designed to protect against higher surge currents of up to 63 kA.
- This model is available in two phases: split-phase and three-phase versions, with a current rating of 63A. The voltage rating for this meter is 400V.
The 63A-3 Version
The 63A-3 version meter is designed for three-phase installations with a voltage of 400V and currents of 63A. You can use this with external transducers (current transformers for measurement), so it’s ideally suited for electrical installations where you cannot modify grid connections. It is recommended for commercial applications.
The 63A-3 model technical specifications include:
- This Model is the three-phase version of the 63A.
- It offers the same protection against surges as the 50 kA-3 model. The voltage rating for this meter is 400V, and it has a current rating of 63A.
You cannot synchronise this Fronius bidirectional Meter model with the Fronius Data Manager Version 1; you can only synchronise it with the Fronius Data Manager Version 2.
As a general overview, the following diagram illustrates the photovoltaic system integrated with the Fronius Smart Meter and the connection to the grid.
Fronius Smart Meter Compatibility
The Fronius Meter is flexible and entirely compatible with various devices from Fronius. They include:
- You can synchronise this meter with the Fronius Data Manager Version 2, which will allow you to view all of the highly accurate measurements from your PV system on one screen.
- You can use the meter with external transducers (current transformers for measurement), so it’s ideally suited for electrical installations where you cannot modify grid connections.
- The Fronius Meter is also compatible with the Fronius Symo Hybrid, Galvo, Primo, and Eco inverters.
Fronius Smart Meter Installation, Costs & More
The Fronius Meter is easy to install and doesn’t require special tools.
Where to Install the Fronius Smart Meter?
You can install the Fronius Meter in the feed-in path, either outside or inside the switchboard, for dynamic feed-in control.
If you choose to install it on the outside, make sure that the meter is protected from the weather and that it can’t be reached by unauthorized people. If you install it on the inside, make sure that the meter is easily accessible if you need to service it.
In both cases, the meter must be installed in a way that meets the requirements of your local electrical code. The Fronius Smart Meter can also be wall-mounted using the optional wall-mounting kit.
The installation process is simple for a qualified solar installer and can be done in the following easy steps:
- Mount the Smart Meter on the rail within your switchboard
- Turn on the communication between the Data Manager Version 2 and the Smart Meter
- Place the current transformers on each grid phase to measure current values.
- Make the connections for voltage measurement along with the fuses.
- Activate the Smart Meter to transmit information to the Data Manager Interface.
- Check that you can see the installation parameters on your Solar Web account.
Crucial Installation Tips on Wiring a Fronius Smart Meter
Note: This should always be performed by a professional such as an Instyle Solar qualified Electrician. This guide is meant for informational purposes only.
When installing a Fronius smart meter, you should always follow AS3000 standard guidelines for cable sizing, overcurrent protection, and insulation.
Incorrect installation could damage the meter or, worse, fire.
The Australian Standard for wiring installations, AS/NZS 3000:2018, provides guidelines on correctly wiring photovoltaic systems.
Cable Sizing: You should always use the correct cable size (CAT 5 or CAT 6) to reduce voltage drop and prevent system overload.
The minimum cross-sectional area for each phase conductor is 0.5 mm², and the maximum allowable length of a run is 300 meters.
Connection on the Datamanager 2.0: The Fronius Datamanager 2.0 is a monitoring device that collects highly accurate measurements from the various devices in your solar photovoltaic system, including the inverter, smart meter, and weather station.
It allows inverters from different manufacturers to be monitored on the same platform and makes it possible to view consumption data in real-time, as well as historical data. The Datamanager 2.0 also has an integrated web server, so you can view highly accurate measurements from anywhere in the world using the SolarWeb App.
How much does it cost to install a Fronius smart meter?
Installation of a Fronius Meter generally costs between $200 and $500, which includes:
- Meter Cost: The Fronius Smart Meter itself generally costs between $200 and $300.
- Transformer Cost: If you install the meter in a three-phase system, you will need to purchase current transformers. These generally cost between $50 and $100 each.
- Installation Cost: The small cost of having a solar installer install the meter is generally between $100 and $200.
How to activate the Fronius Smart Meter on the SnapInverter
The SnapInverter is the Fronius Meter’s companion inverter and collects data from the photovoltaic system.
To use the SnapInverter, you must first get your system online using Fronius solar.web Wizard. Then you can go to Section 2.2.1 to activate the Fronius Meter. You can access the inverter homepage in either of the following ways:
Wi-Fi Access Point: You can access the inverter homepage by opening a web browser and typing in the address 192.168.250.181. Alternatively, you can open the Fronius SolarWeb App and select the “Access Inverter Homepage” option.
LAN port: You can also connect your computer directly to the LAN port on the inverter. The port address is 169.254.0.180.
Once you have connected to the inverter, you will be prompted to enter a username and password. Once you enter the correct username and password, it will take you to the inverter homepage.
On the inverter homepage, you will see a list of options on the left-hand drop-down menu. Select the “Fronius Smart Meter” option.
How do I use the Fronius smart meter?
Once you have your Fronius Meter installed, you will be able to see detailed information about your solar photovoltaic system’s output in the Fronius solar.web account.
From this account, you can view your system’s:
- Current production: It is the total amount of current produced by the system at any given time.
- Historical production: It is how much power the solar system has produced since you installed it.
- CO2 avoidance: The total amount of CO2 has been avoided by using renewable solar energy instead of fossil fuels.
- Energy production data over time (in 15 minutes, 1 hour, or daily intervals): The total amount of power that your solar system manages to produce.
- Solar PV system status: The status of the solar photovoltaic system components.
And much more!
The Fronius Smart Meter is also equipped with an I/O port that you can use to connect other devices, such as the following:
- Fronius Datcom: It is a highly accurate measurements collector that you can use to monitor the performance of your solar photovoltaic system to help you remain on the right track.
- Fronius Energy Meter: You can use it to measure the amount of energy consumed by your household.
- Solar Charge Controller: You can use the Solar Charge Controller to charge batteries with the solar photovoltaic system.
- Fronius Datalogger Web: The Fronius Datalogger Web is a data logger that you can use to collect and store data from your solar photovoltaic system.
You can use these highly accurate measurements to understand your system’s performance and make changes if necessary to maximize its output.
How much does it cost to use Fronius smart meter?
To use the Fronius Smart Meter, you need the Solar web App, free to download from the Fronius website. There are no ongoing costs associated with using the Fronius Solar web app.
However, if you want to use the Fronius Datcom, Fronius Energy Meter, or Solar Charge Controller, you must purchase these devices separately.
Can I use the Fronius smart meter with a single-phase solar system?
You can use the Fronius Smart Meter with two phases: single-phase and three-phase solar systems.
If you have a single-phase system, you will only need to purchase one current transformer.
For the electrically minded individuals who are still reading, this section is for you. Read on for a deeper dive into some of the technical electrics for installing the smart meter (you should obtain a complete instruction manual directly from Fronius).
A schematic of the electrical installation for the Smart Meter can be seen in this diagram:
The RS 485 represents the terminal output with the ModBus RTU protocol that you must connect to the Fronius Data Manager via a CAT 5 Ethernet cable.
It is also mandatory to terminate the bus line with an external 120 Ω resistor to ensure proper bidirectional measurements and rapid communication between the Data Manager and the Smart Meter. This resistor is included in the Smart Meter.
It is also important to note that the current transducers are not included with the Smart Meter. You need to purchase them separately when you know if the permitted secondary side of the transformer is 1A or 5A.
On the other hand, the other models are the 63 A -1 and 63 A-3 Fronius Meters, one strictly for single-phase applications and the other one for three-phase applications.
Connections and grid voltages are the same as the 50 kA version. Still, a significant difference is the current limit, which in this model is 63 A per phase, the reason why it is the Smart Meter for most residential applications.
Fronius Smart Meter Troubleshooting
The Fronius Smart Meter is a reliable and accurate device, but it can occasionally run into problems like all devices. Or you may get an inverter error code, and require a solution.
If you are having trouble with your Fronius Smart Meter, here is a list of problems that may be causing it and how to fix them:
Timeout, meter not detected: This error usually occurs when there is a problem with the accurate measurements and rapid communication between the Fronius Smart Meter and the Solar web portal.
To fix this, check that the CAT 5 Ethernet cable is securely connected to the Smart Meter and the Fronius solar.web.
If the problem persists, try restarting both devices.
No data collected: This error usually occurs when there is a problem with the data logger on the Fronius Meter.
Check that the SD card is inserted correctly into the Fronius Meter to fix this.
If the problem persists, try formatting the SD card.
Data is not accurate in Fronius solar.web: This error usually occurs when there is a problem with the communication between the Smart Meter and the Solar web.
It may be due to wrong meter installation in the switchboard, the low voltage from the photovoltaic system, or loose/damaged cables.
To fix this, check that the CAT 5 Ethernet cable is securely connected to the Smart Meter and the Fronius solar.web.
If the problem persists, try restarting both devices.
Is Fronius Smart Meter Worth It?
Now that you know all there is to know about the Fronius Meter, you may be wondering if it’s worth the investment.
The answer is, it depends. Suppose you are an experienced solar electrician with a good understanding of the Fronius Data Manager and looking for a Smart Meter that offers more features and higher currents. In that case, the 50 kA model is probably suitable for you.
However, if you are just starting out in the solar industry or looking for a Smart Meter that is simple to use and perfect for residential applications, then one of the other models might be a better fit.
It is essential to do your research and talk to an experienced solar electrician to see which Fronius Smart Meter is ideally suited for your needs.
The Fronius Smart Meter has several advantages over other meters on the market. Here are just a few:
Accuracy in Estimation
The Fronius Smart Meter is designed to be as accurate as possible when estimating the power production of your solar photovoltaic system. This is because it uses high-quality sensors and an algorithm that has been specifically designed for use with solar photovoltaic systems.
This means that you can be confident that the data you are getting from the Fronius Smart Meter is accurate and will help you make the best decisions about the energy from your solar photovoltaic system.
Different from your electric meter
The Fronius Smart Meter is not just a smart meter but also a data logger. It can record and store data about your solar photovoltaic system’s power production and performance over time.
You can access this consumption data to access and analyse using the Fronius Data Manager, giving you a clear overview of how your solar photovoltaic system performs.
This information can be beneficial for troubleshooting problems with your system or tracking its performance over time.
The Fronius Meter is highly flexible and can be used with many solar systems, including single-phase and three-phase systems.
It also has a wide range of current limits, allowing it to be used for various applications.
Easy to Use
Thanks to its intuitive graphical user interface, the Fronius Smart Meter is straightforward, making it perfect for residential applications, where ease of use is essential.
You can remotely monitor the Fronius Smart Meter via the Fronius Data Manager, allowing you to keep an eye on your solar photovoltaic system. Remote monitoring is perfect for solar photovoltaic systems installed in remote locations.
Minimizes expenses and increases savings
The Fronius bidirectional Meter minimizes expenses and maximizes solar savings. It does this by providing accurate consumption data about the energy production of your solar photovoltaic system, allowing you to make informed decisions about your system and make the most of your investment.
The Fronius bidirectional Meter does have some disadvantages. Here are a few:
The Fronius Smart Meter is one of the more expensive smart meters on the market. The Fronius bidirectional Meter is packed with features and is designed for use with high-end solar photovoltaic systems.
If you are looking for a more affordable option, you might want to consider one of the other meters on the market. However, they are less reliable than the Fronius model.
Savings require proactive use
The Fronius bidirectional Meter saves you money by providing accurate data about the power production of your solar photovoltaic system.
However, these savings are only realized if you are proactive about using the consumption data to make informed decisions about your system. If you don’t use the Fronius bidirectional Meter data, you will not realize any savings.
Setup costs may be prohibitive
The setup costs for the Fronius Smart Meter may be prohibitive for some people. You need to have a good understanding of the Fronius Data Manager to use the Smart Meter.
If you don’t have the required knowledge, you will need to hire an experienced solar electrician to set it up.
Fronius Smart Meter – In summary
Adding a Fronius Smart Metre to your new photovoltaic system can drastically improve your solar production, power consumption habits and equate to more money in your back pocket – instead of the electricity providers’. It is an easy-to-use device when utilising the mobile app, and it can provide you with a wealth of information that you would otherwise not be able to access.
To achieve the best results straight away, it’s advised to include a smart meter when your solar system installation or upgrade. This way, the same electrician can assist with setting up and tweaking any part of the solar installation. As advised previously, it must be installed by a qualified solar electrician.
The Solar Analytics product is the only other solar monitoring and recording power consumption device that can provide you with similar data but is not made uniquely for Fronius inverters. Instyle Solar is trained and experienced in installing solar systems with the Fronius Smart Metre and the Solar Analytics products.
Our Guides to Solar Monitoring and More
We have a series of unique guides to solar, solar finance, batteries and more, if you are looking to do more in-depth research into solar monitoring check the below:
1. What Is Solar Monitoring and How Does It Work?
Solar monitoring will give you information on how much energy you have, if you have it and how long you have it for! As the expression goes, knowledge is power. Installing solar is a great method to cut energy bills and emissions, but with the additional knowledge acquired from monitoring, the savings can be significantly boosted.
2. Monitoring Your Solar System Performance with iSolarCloud
Monitoring your solar system performance with iSolarCloud helps you understand how your system is working. It’ll provide you with detailed solar production and consumption data. This will help you keep power consumption within production levels to get the best out of your system.
3. A Guide to Solar Analytics Monitoring
Solar Analytics is an add-on device that monitors your solar system and sends data to your device. You can access energy usage and production, savings and credits, and expected output vs. actual output. The monitoring system also detects and alerts you of any system issues that arise.
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