Note: Solar Choice is not a solar installer and has no financial or other incentives to promote any product brand over another.
Overview of Fronius – Company History
Founded in Austria on June 20th 1945, Fronius is an international company with a 75-year history in the manufacture of welding equipment and nearly three decades of experience with solar inverters and other devices for monitoring and controlling energy, including battery chargers.
Fronius launched its first grid-connected solar inverter back in 1995. Since then Fronius has grown to become one of the industry leading solar inverter manufacturers, with 19 of 28 offices worldwide being involved with solar energy. This includes the Australian office located in Tullamarine, Victoria.
Fronius inverters are suitable for a wide range of applications, including residential solar and commercial solar projects, including their recently launched Fronius Tauro inverter with 100kW capacity.
A Brief Rundown on Solar Inverters
A solar system’s inverter is the point at which the DC electricity produced by solar panels is turned into grid-compatible AC electricity.
String inverters have traditionally been the standard in the solar industry. They send the power produced by solar panels to a central inverter that changes it from DC electricity to usable AC electricity that powers homes.
Microinverters, on the other hand, convert DC to AC electricity at each individual panel and allow for monitoring and power regulation at the panel level. This is useful for homes that are located somewhere with shading from clouds, trees, or other buildings.
What is PV Evolution Labs Top Performer?
PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) independently test solar inverter reliability. The tests are voluntary, with solar inverter manufacturers paying to participate in the testing. This testing process is internationally renowned and is an accurate reflection of the solar inverter’s performance. To read the full PVEL scorecard click here.
In 2019 Fronius Symo ranked as a top performer in the following tests:
- High-Temperature Operation
- Transient Response
- Ground and Arc Fault
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Fronius Inverter Costs
As Fronius inverters are manufactured in Europe this higher quality product comes with a higher price tag in comparison to the inverters that are manufactured in China.
Keep in mind that inverter costs generally only run between 10-20% of your total system, so often it is worth investing in a high-quality inverter given this will have a large impact on the efficiency and performance of your entire system.
Fronius Inverters – Point of Difference
There are many solar panels out there, what makes Fronius inverters stand out?
The most used inverter brand in Australia
Fronius has earned a strong reputation for its high-quality inverters, advanced technology, and excellent customer support. Their inverters are widely used in residential, commercial, and industrial solar installations across Australia. Based on information from Solar Choice’s database of residential solar quotes, Fronius has maintained over 60% market share of installers’ premium options.
Monitoring and Data Communication
Fronius inverters offer advanced monitoring capabilities, allowing real-time access to energy production and system status through mobile apps and web portals. This data empowers users to detect and resolve issues promptly, optimise energy usage, and integrate with smart home systems and energy management platforms for more efficient energy consumption.
Fronius Inverters Technologies
A unique aspect of Fronius inverters is the SnapINverter technology. It’s a standardised wall-mounted bracket with the inverter on a hinge system. This enables easy access for servicing as the inverter opens like a car boot, without needing to be removed from the wall.
The majority of Fronius’s Inverters are approved by the Clean Energy Council for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which is Australia’s home solar rebate program. A notable exclusion is the Fronius Symo Hybrid, this system combines a battery charging system, battery inverter, hybrid inverter, controller and system monitoring solution in one 3-5kW device.
The Fronius Primo series is designed primarily for residential household applications with power ranging from 3.0kW to 8.2kW. These inverters are single-phase inverters, meaning they are suitable for smaller solar PV systems typically found in homes. They also come with advanced features like dynamic peak management, integrated data communication, Superflex design and smart grid ready.
These inverters are three-phase inverters that are suited to larger residential homes and small commercial projects. The power range of Symo is from 3.0kW to 20kW.
The Symo series offers higher efficiency and the same advanced features as the Primo series, including reactive power control and support for dynamic grid conditions
The Fronius Eco is a transformerless three-phase inverter designed for medium to large-scale commercial solar systems. The commercially used inverter comes in 25 or 27-power capacities. The Fronius Eco inverter holds an Ingress Protection Rating (IP Rating) of 66, which means it’s dust-tight and able to withstand heavy seas or powerful jets of water. Both power categories hold an efficiency rating of over 98%.
Unfortunately, the 27kW inverter is not well-designed for the Australian market where inverters are able to extend to 30kW without requiring extra network protection. The optimal design for many small businesses is to use a 30kW inverter and extend the solar panel capacity to 39.9kW, while the Fronius Eco 27kW can only support 35.9kW of solar panels.
Fronius Inverter Efficiency
Residential inverter efficiency standards are generally 95 to 98 percent, the Fronius Primo & Symo sit at or above 98% efficiency placing them towards the top of the industry in residential inverter efficiency.
Inverter efficiency technology can be seen in the Fronius Galvo. This inverter utilises an automatic high-frequency (HF) transformer with three efficiency peaks. This enables a higher percentage yield as the HF transformer is more efficient across the entire input voltage range.
Fronius Inverter Value and Warranty
An important aspect of getting the most value out of a solar inverter is choosing an appropriately sized inverter to optimise the solar panel system’s efficiency. To read about the importance of inverter sizing and system efficiency click here.
Fronius inverters capture value through a number of their components, however, their industry-first data communication package is showcasing the evolution of solar inverters. The data communication connects to the internet providing the ability to monitor energy management and data logging. This information enables the system owner to increase their self-consumption rate, therefore reducing reliance on grid power.
Both the Fronius Primo and Symo models utilise the Fronius Superflex Design. This design creates value as the two maximum power point trackers (MPP) enable the accommodation of the entire nominal inverter output, regardless of roof orientation or partial shading. The inverters track the MPP through the Dynamic Peak Manager algorithm, which dynamically adapts the optimal operating point.
In Australia, all CEC-approved Fronius inverters come with a 5-year warranty for parts and labour. A free additional 5-year extension (parts only) to the warranty can be claimed by, registering at solarweb within 30 months of the factory inverter dispatch. A warranty extension can also be purchased from the inverter installer within 30 months of the inverters dispatch from the Fronius factory. This can be for 10, 15 or 20 years, making the longest possible warranty 25 years.
Fronius Solar Inverters Pros and Cons
- Fronius has one of the strongest brand names and recognitions in the solar inverter market having stood the test of time with regard to its quality
- Fronius have an Australian office and helpful support staff to handle sales and service enquiries
- Fronius inverters are premium products and are generally more expensive that most alternative string inverters
- The 5 years full + 5 years parts-only warranty is not as beneficial as a full 10-year warranty which is offered by some of Fronius’ competitors
Fronius Inverter Specifications
|Fronius Primo 5.0-1 AUS||Fronius Symo 5.0-3-M|
|Rated AC Power Output||4,600W||5,000W|
|Maximum Continuous Output Current||21.7A||7.2A|
|Maximum DC Power||7,500W||10,000W|
|Maximum Inverter Efficiency||98.1%||98%|
|Dimensions with Safety Switch/Connection Unit||645 x 431 x 204 mm||645 x 431 x 204 mm|
|Warranty||5 Years (Extendable up to 25 years)||5 Years (Extendable up to 25 years)|
|Operational Temperature Range||-40°C to 55°C||-25°C to 60°C|
So, Should I Buy Fronius inverters?
We consider Fronius as the premium option for both residential and small commercial uses. Fronius is one of the longest-standing brands in the solar inverter market with an excellent reputation.
In recent years, many of the Chinese solar inverters have caught up to Fronius (and in some cases overtaken) when it comes to the technical performance characteristics of the inverter. Fronius’ point of difference comes from the long track record they hold in terms of reliability and after-sales support.
In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with Fronius, and it would be worth paying a bit more to go with this brand over many of the others in the market.
Example of a Fronius Commercial Solar Project
The Philippines has seen quite a rise in the number of solar systems being installed over the past few years. This is due to the public grid being unable to reliably supply power to the 13 million Filipinos living in the metropolitan area surrounding Manila.
In April of 2019, a field located in Tarlac City, Philippines had a 20MW system equipped with 612 Fronius Eco inverters go live. The system included 61,200 solar panels to total the 20MW, the installation was completed in 5 months.
By installing the Fronius Eco the overall potential yield of the panels was increased. Although, for an installation of this magnitude it is unusual for the inverters used to be string inverters. However, it is because of the string inverters that the system is able to be more efficient. String inverters work better in conditions such as partial shade compared to central inverters. It was estimated that the system will produce around 32,000MWh of electricity, reducing CO2 by around 18.6million kg.
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Reviews from Australians who have installed Fronius Inverters
Our Fronius Inverter is brilliant.
Went well until I had my modem upgraded to a newer model. The Smart Meter could not be reconnected. Supplier has been trying to get a response from Fronius, but this has been dragging on for well over a month now, and I am unable to review my consumption of power.
Primo 5.0-1 not battery storage ready, as advised by solargain when purchasing.
Was recommended solar inverter brand and was happy Amazing solar solutions was able to offer it. Very happy ????
Fronius, was my preferred inverter requested by ne,
I briefly looked at the installation instructions and thought they made an effort to get the installation hasslefree done.
A little bit noisy in operation, especially when starting up at the start of daylight and closing down at the end of the day. Otherwise excellent. Note that I was aware of this issue - noise- (from reading reviews and owner comments), but as system is installed in/on a large farm shed, it does not intrude on house with the noise generated.
I consciously choose an expensive inverter (but I had no need for sophisticated one). This is a critical component, and I wanted to have open access to it with reliable API and known protocol (so that I could gather statistics independently, without 3rd-party tools). But this may not matter for most. Fronius Primo is clearly a well-designed unit with enough customisation, which is pleasure to work on, and which worked flawlessly so far (1.5+ years). The only thing that the users should be conscious about: it has a fan, which can get appreciably noisy when the power output is close to maximum. (It will be practically silent at night and most times in winter). Don't install it next to windows and doors, if possible.
never missed a beat
The 6KW Fronius Primo Dual-MPPT inverter! Since its installation, it has been working flawlessly without any issues, excellent build quality.
Unit is of high quality and designed to accept battery backup when required
Too early to comment.
Product seems fine. However, Fronius has poor customer support. If you aren't an installer they don't want to know you, which is no help if the installer is no longer involved with the installation.
Another top brand offered by Chris and whilst I was offered alternatives that would have saved me money I was happy to go with this design option.
no problems since installation
Even in Tasmania on a hot day it limits production due to overheating which will also no doubt shorten its life. This only happens on hot days and in the afternoon when the inverter itself is in the direct sun.
Good inverter, but complex to interface with - but now done.
This system is Off Grid but the Grid is present as a manually switched backup. The Fronius is electronically coupled to a Selectronic SP PRO which acts as the battery inverter and charger and controls the 240v to the house. The Fronius is there to convert Solar DC to 240v which is AC coupled to the Selectronic.
To date, there have been no problems with the inverter.
Again, it works.
Wanting to update to a battery at a later stage Jack took this into consideration and opted to use the Fronius brand inverter to save on costs of installation when we add a battery to our set up.
It was highly recommended by our friend who is using a Fronius inverter himself.
Working well Wireless connection with phone and computer
It works, easy to read meter.
Used to the product
Very good inverter
No issues and great reporting available.
It works well and is one of the leading invertor brands so I feel very comfortable knowing that.
Best brand inverter on the market worst app to use very limited and basic information available only. Need a smart meter to get more information on export consumption and other information
Top of the range solar inverter.
Easy to use mobile app for real-time tracking
Looks great and so far no problems. Web based member data reading is great
Choose a quality inverter.
Working very well
Easy to operate, smart technology and performs as per the rating
First inverter arrived DOA. second device works fine.
Thee Rolls Royce of inverters
Everyone is saying a Fronius brand is reliable but they forgot to tell me that you won’t get full feature reporting until you subscribe to their service of $33 every year.
Suggested by NDF Group to us, we couldn’t be happier with the outcome and solution provided.
Brand is well respected.
Sam Had recommended the Fronius brand inverter for its great reliability & Service support along with the extended 5 year warranty.
I have a Fronius inverter and Smart Meter. The inverter seems to be working okay but the Smart Meter is not. I’ve been trying to get it fixed in the last 2 months but there is very little support. This is not acceptable.
Been working perfectly so far - after 2 months, couldn’t be happier.
Fronius works supremely well.
As yet cannot really comment but seems fine.
Excellent inverter, we've had a few issues with the Fronius app to monitor our usage and production. The app issues are annoying, but have nothing to do with the performance of the inverter itself, which has been easy and smooth.
Happy with specifications and technical information provided by the manufacturer.
Working and performing as expected. The monitoring ap is good. Registering for warranty is a bit clunky but we don't expect it to be needed.
WORKING VERY WELL INSTALLED FEB 2021
Again exactly what we requested after researching
Went with the Fronius Gen24 10KW 3phase inverter. Installed in the Garage, extremely quit and the performance is top notch. The monitoring solution provide is excellent.
We choose the Fronius gen24 as this was a hybrid and it seems to work as intended.
Fronius seems to be the most popular inverter and seems to be the best from a technology point of view. Also can monitor power generation and consumption via the Fronius Smart Meter and the Solar.web iterface.
German made, top quality
Fronius inverters are a very good quality product that deliver good capabilities to manage the Trina Solar panels. This inverter has the ability to add on a battery.
so far so good
Too early to say
Small quiet unit. Able to check on progress of panels.
The Fronius inverter looks good. The app is limited unless you pay $60 for the premium app. I have not yet purchased the app.
Very happy with this Fronius inverter - the best brand.
Too early to tell, believe its a reputable brand.
inverter has been working flawelessly for over 18 months
The inverters have performed satisfactorily, meeting our expectations.
Happy so far