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selectronic or victron inverter?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:31 am
by australsolarier
i have this 48v/400ah lifepo4 battery in the shed connected to a midnite classic. but no inverter yet.
i was setting on the selectronic pro 481 or 482. however selectronic refuses to give me a retail price. they recommended the local solar trader/installer to give me a price. it just so happens they are about 400m from here. "as it is their policy". rung up the mob. the bloke came out and looked at the situation, there will be some sparky work on the 240v side as well,etc. "mmmh" "uuuh" "yeh""" "i will look into it" ..... .....
that was 5 weeks ago. the local mob bloke tells me he is really busy and will worry about a quote "next week".
so this has dragged out to 7 weeks. there is still that empty space on the wall.

as i originally was torn between the victron quattro and the selectronic, but then thought yes, support the australian manufacturing, and they have a good name,etc i settled on selectronic.
but now looking seriously at the quattro again. i mean you just a few clicks on ebay and a week later it arrives. no jumping hoops, telephone calls to selectronic, the local solar bloke.

just wondering if somebody here has opinions or preferences on the two products.

greetings urs

Re: selectronic or victron inverter?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:52 pm
by offgridQLD
I run a selectronic (6000w model befor the SP range) but honestly if I had to replace it I would have to seriously contemplate if the investment in a Quality Au branded inverter was worth the 8 - 10X higher cost than the 4000w ebay inverter that runs along side it now at the moment. Sure I'm not using all the features the Selectronic offers as I'm just ruining at a basic inverter, and not taking advantage of extensive gen control option, battery charging options and not using any of the built in energy monitoring features.(if you have a classic they will all be redundant)

To me its all about having good clean reliable mains power in your house with little idle consumption and if your getting that then I'm happy $800 spent or $8000 spent.

Though it's a opinion in development . I guess its a bit like flying business or first class vs economy (I tried all three . I now have a opinion and couldn't justify the top two)

The selectronic sp pro is a good inverter range and you wont be disappointed with it but i don't think they are good value if you don't need all the features the Victron quattro might be a better option. Or some other brands. What are your needs what do you need it to do?


Re: selectronic or victron inverter?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:39 am
by tom rickard
Selectronic Pro SPMC 481 listed on EBay at $6495 + postage. Victron Phoenix 5kw inverter also on Ebay $3230 delivered. LAtronics 5kw inverter on Ebay $4573 + postage.

My "cheapie" Taiwanese inverter stopped working last week, so i'm currently looking for a new backup inverter. I'm tossing up between the Victron and LAtronics as I know people that run both these inverters in off-grid systems and have done for many years. I'll probably end up with the Victron.

For my primary inverter I went for the Sunny Island, as I believe it will be the easiest to combine the A/C coupled and D/C coupled system I will have, as well as being able to talk with my BMS.

If the system wasn't my primary power source, I wouldn't spend the extra on the Selectronic. Simply because it may last 20years, but I doubt my power system will be of the same format then as technology moves along.

Re: selectronic or victron inverter?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:46 am
by GeoffHammond
My house came complete with a Selectronic Sx-30-something inverter which died towards the beginning of last year. I made the decision to replace it rather than repair it. For a number of reasons I ended up purchasing a Victron Phoenix 3000VA inverter. I did not need or want the charging capabilities of the Multi or Quattro as I use an alternator based charger for that sort of thing.

The surge ratings of the Selectronic stuff (and I think from memory the Latronics stuff too) are more detailed and more informative than the Victron. I found that fridge compressors and stuff starting up which did not appear to worry the Selectronic did fuss the Victron inverter. Admittedly the Selectronic inverter did not have an indicator to tell me when it was entering overload territory, but the new Victron inverter would tell me so whenever a fridge turned on its compressor.

I anticipated this as a possibility going in and was prepared to purchase a second inverter to run as a parallel unit, doubling the capacity of my "inverter set". Which I subsequently did. I now have a system that can (according to the stenciling on the enclosures) supply 6kva continuous and 12kva peak. Those peaks are still only around 5ms or so and I don't know what its 30min rating is in the way that I thought I did with the Selectronic unit. I'm comfortable that with thermal derating and the way of the modern world, I have a setup which can handle the size of the loads I intend presenting it with.

Although there is (now) no doubt that this setup can supply enough power for my house/workshop/brewery/etc, it is also fair to say that the voltage regulation is a bit 'slow', resulting in a lot of noise in the AC waveform as even small things turn themselves on and off. I will say preemptively that I do not believe my battery or wiring to be at issue here.

The documentation on how to achieve a simple parallel installation is sparse and elusive. I found the tech support available to me to be less than I hoped for.

I do not intend hassling anyone in the supply chain of these inverters to make things any better than they are now. But, I don't expect these things to live as long as the old Selectronic unit and when the time comes to replace them, I will most likely not be considering Victron.

In the meantime, I do have a system that I believe I can rely on to supply 6kva all day most days that cost around $4k plus BOS components and installation.

Re: selectronic or victron inverter?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:27 am
by jules
Long term reliability is such a big factor!

Kurt's set up has the best of both worlds but I wonder how he'd feel about running only the Taiwanese inverter with no back-up? Of course two of the $800 inverters could be a good option? I have some Chinese built audio equipment where the build quality of the circuit boards and electronics is absolutely first class, so country of origin isn't always a guide to the quality of the product but until a company has built a good [or bad] reputation you just can't tell.

I'm tending to think that all off-grid systems should duplicate some key pieces of equipment, like inverters and solar regulators.

I'm not a huge fan of Victron though I haven't used one of their inverters. I bought a regulator that didn't work out of the box. The agent I bought it from was happy to return my money, though they would also have replaced it.

There's a Selectronic SPMC 241 for sale on gumtree at the moment for $4,300. ... 1095276485

could be worth checking out ...


Re: selectronic or victron inverter?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:12 pm
by offgridQLD
The Selectronic inverter was inherited with the purchase of the property I don't have much invested in it. What situation would I be in if the Selectronic had a issue.

If it was a simple component that could be diagnosed by myself and replaced I guess that would be the first step.I could come out if it ok with little down time and cost. If the outcome was a complete board roughly divided up into 3 boards. Power board, brain board or control board. Typically the Power board with all the fets and caps would be the most common failure point. This board alone the list price is worth several times more than the complete Ebay inverter. It would have to come from VIC (if it's in stock) they discontinued my model in 2010.

I would most likely purchase a 2nd Ebay inverter but localy (They are stocked and backed up by a local distributor now) that way I could have 8000w continuouse and 16,000w surge. Not to mention each inverter has a 3000w MPPT charge controller built in (as a backup to my two other seperate charge controllers) + a AC/dc charger built in with Generator triggering. I wouldn't miss any of the Selectronics more advanced features.

I wouldn't feel uncomfortable running my house from it. I know I can drive down the road to a shop and get a replacement or unit or part if I purchased it locally at a slightly higher cost.

The quality of the AC power is important. I see positives and negatives with both the Selectronics and the ebay inverter. The selectronics has a higher surge rating (due to having a large heavy transformer) Though the other unit has no trouble starting a 3hp air compressor, welders, and several other large spike loads (the fridge actually starts smoother on it than the Selectronics) It also runs at a higher frequency so less issues with things like induction cook tops making strange noises. The idle consumption is less on the ebay unit (though newer Selectronics are most likely better than it)

I think though at a minimum any inverter should meet AU standards offer local support and warranty if your going to count on it for your one and only house inverter. Something the Ebay job didn't when I first got it but now days it actualy meets all that criteria.

The selctronic was installed in 2008 so 8 years old and the ebay job is 2 years old time will tell. they are both being asked to produced a similar amount of AC kwhs pr day as our electric car and workshop actually use more AC kwh than the house most days.


Re: selectronic or victron inverter?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:25 pm
by australsolarier
thanks for all your contributions.

i have small 12v system with a midnite classic and a 12v/300ah lifepo4 battery.with a 2000va multiplus victron inverter. at the moment this does about two thirds of my electricity consumption. though in the winter more like half or less. (that is partly because most panels or flat on flat roof)

the new inverter however is meant for the whole house and eventual disconnection from the grid after the 60cents/kwh grid feed in tariff stops end of next year. so i want that system to be reliable and long lasting. i do not want to go down the chinese/taiwanese way, just because the chinese traders and suppliers are so difficult to deal with when something goes wrong. and you have to be super cautious, so it does not look like they are losing face.
as my greed feed inverter system has 3panels in 6 strings, basically i can just use the same configuration for the midnite classic. the ac coupling capability of either inverter can then probably be used if something goes wrong with the midnite classic.

the sp 481 on ebay is pick up only, but i suppose they might send it for an added fee.

i tend to buy things that are important new, unless they are super cheap, in which case i would ask myself what is wrong with it.

i do not need at the moment or the near future all the capabilities of either the quattro or selectronics, but !!! experience showed me things change, things get added, more power consumption, etc etc so they are somewhat future proved. and in case i decide to remain on the grid. (there is always hope that grid feed rates might go up 10 year down the time) or as back up.

i find starting the refrigerator is the hardest on the small victron inverter. the fridge has only 90w consumption when the compressor is running. much less so then the 400w pressure pump.

greetings urs

Re: selectronic or victron inverter?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:52 pm
by Ray
If your planing to go off grid then i think now is the time to think about going 24V or even 48V i know it will cost more for the batteries but you will save in the long run down the track.

I decided to go all the way and do a 48V system because i plan to run my workshop off the system and don't wish to start a generator to cut the odd thing with the drop saw or to pump up a tyre on the car with the compressor etc. The battery cables i am using now are big and to do what i do to run my house at the moment if i was using 12V would be close to imposable.

I have a compressor that i have had trouble starting on mains sometimes, but unless the battery is flat it starts fine on the latronics 3500W inverter and also because there is a fault in the latronics (one of the mosfets is blown due to a previous owners modification error) since you need power to fix the inverter etc i bought a selectronics 3000W inverter as a backup unit and it also starts the compressor very well.

I forgot to say that i got sucked into trying the chinese inverter first it was a powerstar and used 225 watts just to turn on with no load.

The selectronics looks to be much stronger unit when you look inside.

Disappointing the local bloke is so useless, he should be able to give you a current price for the unit and let you find your own sparky :(

Just cause you can get the cheaper stuff easily would not make it a great option as when your off grid there is nothing worse than having no power even for a few minutes so if something fails then it could be days or weeks without power even if it is covered under warranty.


Re: selectronic or victron inverter?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:25 pm
by davidg
48V is the way to go, I've even done 120Vdc battery packs for some systems as it reduces the current consumption drastically on the battery pack at higher sustained loads but it does cost a bit more doing it that way 48V is by far the most popular. I use a Selectronic SPMC-482 myself and used them for a large % of the installs I've done they are very good at doing full households loads and a beyond with some smart management etc for the average house without going to higher voltages on the batteries. It really depends on how you view a system .................... and other stuff. 8-)

Re: selectronic or victron inverter?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:11 am
by australsolarier
and what more?

ok i found somebody willing to supply me the selectronics spmc482. and i duly paid the money and it seems it was sent off to my address.
what now?
the star track delivery man possibly thought the weight of the selectronic inverter might be to heavy for him, dropped a card in the mail box and did a runner before i discovered him. ( i was here all the time, at the door is a largish sign that says "i am in the back yard" postal deliveries and other blokes then give a call into the backyard ......)
so i ring the star track number to find out where their depot is and pick it up myself. however, the depot is at a secret location, they possibly work together with ASIO or FSB or CIA? so ok redelivery next day. however, the weight was still 40 something kilos and no delivery. ok ringing up again. redilivery next day. no delivery again. and redelivery next day. however no delivery again. ringing back to star track. ehhhh, ohhhhh ok, it is ready to pick up at the depot!!!!! and no more offers of "redelivery. ok what is the address of the depot? ahhh yeah, i will tell you now. it is .............. ............ .......... ok. tomrrow being monday i will go to the address, with caution, just in case ISIL targets them. and see whether it is actually there. or at least find out where the inverter has travelled in the meantime. i surely hope star track does not deliver overseas!!!!!
i will keep you posted