Outback Skybox

It is done! Ready for market and UL listed. My rep says I can order later this summer. I told him it would probably be more like fall. There are people waiting and pre-ordering which is good. I like to let them get the first ones anyway. ;)

I was disappointed a ways back when I found out the all in one would not have two HVMPPT's. I like them for tracked arrays. I can live with that though. I am happy they went with the less is more approach to programming like Schneider does with Mppt's. The FM series just had to many screens and choices that confuse the user. There is a link below that was not working yesterday. Pricing will be out soon and the beta and field electronics testing went well. Nice job Outback!


"we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
 http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
E-mail [email protected]

Comments

  • Graham ParkinsonGraham Parkinson Posts: 31Registered Users ✭✭
    Great but what is it??  Even Outbacks web page announcing the Skybox is vague, vague and vaguer.  I gather it includes one HV charge controller and an inverter in one box, but not energy storage.
  • Raj174Raj174 Posts: 641Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    It appears to be a 5000 watt Radian based inverter/charger with a high voltage controller, probably 100 amp, and communications system built in to one unit.

    Rick
    3600W PV, MNE175DR-TR epanel modified, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 54.4V 207AH LiFePO4 no BMS, 4500W genset.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,008Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    It is not a Radian! A new design Rick. A buddy is doing beta. All in one box and perfect size for many applications. It can have batteries or not which is a first!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Raj174Raj174 Posts: 641Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Interesting, I'll bet the price tag will be up around 6 or 7 grand.
    3600W PV, MNE175DR-TR epanel modified, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 54.4V 207AH LiFePO4 no BMS, 4500W genset.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,008Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I think 6 would make sense but should hear soon. It really is not all in one box but rather two that join with  8 or so wires to connect like an XW. Pretty simple install and finally a high voltage mppt from Outback after 6 years of promises. I saw 2 of them stacked so there is a nice way to get 2 mppts and 10 KW of power.

    I think they picked 5KW as a reasonable power to balance a 5KW load center for split phase. The Radian 4KW had problems with this as does the CSW at Schneider. The Radian also is not supported for AC coupling and Skybox will be.

    Also noted that there will not be non north american Skybox for quite some time. Only 240/120 for now, er when it is out.....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,008Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 26 #7
    The other thing is Skybox does not need a battery to work for grid aps. It can have one added but obviously, a battery is needed for offgrid.
    No one has done this, so a feather to them if it is reliable when the early adapters appear ;)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • boxermanboxerman Posts: 4Registered Users
    The other thing is Skybox does not need a battery to work for grid aps. It can have one added but obviously, a battery is needed for offgrid.
    No one has done this, so a feather to them if it is reliable when the early adapters appear ;)
    What about the Sol-Ark 8k?
  • bill von novakbill von novak Posts: 783Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    It is done! Ready for market and UL listed. My rep says I can order later this summer. I told him it would probably be more like fall. There are people waiting and pre-ordering which is good. 



    Any details yet?  Dimensions, max DC voltage in, battery voltage?
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,008Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Soon !

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • bill von novakbill von novak Posts: 783Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Soon !

    Thanks for the update!  From what I saw last year at SPI, it will have one MPPT channel - so more than one may be needed for systems that use different orientations or have different length strings.  It will be interesting to see if multiple Skyboxes can share one battery.  I'll have to stop by their booth at SPI this year and take another look.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,008Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Any inverter that has a DC battery bus can have a charge controller added. More than one inverter can also be on the same battery but you may lose the data sharing and some grid functionality. For offgrid, no matter what is said at a trade show, we know how to do it. ;)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • bill von novakbill von novak Posts: 783Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 25 #13

    Per the Outback booth at SPI they are now shipping the Skybox.  I asked how many they've shipped so far and they wouldn't give me a number, but I asked "more than a dozen?" and he said yes.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,008Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Thx Bill!   Ouch on the price but it should come down.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • ewbewb Posts: 2Registered Users
    Interesting product! I am awaiting more details like a users manual or installation manual.  I am comparing it with a Conext XW+ (5.5kW) along with a Conext 600 volt charge controller and the several other things you need for that system (eg:  wiring boxes, SCP, ...) and they seem similar in price and capability.  I am also comparing to a similarly equipped Conext SW 4048 system for a less capable and less expensive alternative.  Evidently the Skybox would be an easier install, but otherwise I'd love to hear about these comparisons from people here who may have "insider" knowledge or experience with the Skybox or the Schneider equipment.

    FYI: I have 4 PV strings on my roof for 12.6kW total. They feed 3 SMA grid-tie inverters. So this is a retrofit situation in which I want to add a backup capability. I am planning to use AGM batteries such as the Concord Sun Xtenders, until perhaps LFP batteries become more affordable in a few years.  I can access the string wiring easily to re-route it to a charge controller, but cannot easily rewire my panels for a lower voltage charge controller.  I'd probably plan to re-route 1 or 2 of my strings. The others would remain useless during an outage. Two of my strings are nearly identical (10 panels, 3kW, oriented identically) so they could be paralleled I think. This is apparently an exact match to the capabilities of the Skybox, and probably the Conext 600 volt charge controller.
    42 300W Solarworld. SB6.0, SB3.8, SB3.0 Owner installed. Mitsu. Hyperheat, State HPX-80. All electric, net+, climate zone 6.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,008Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I just priced one out with a client. At this time the XW+ including all items in a Skybox is a clear winner with several advantages and about $1K US less expensive.

    Not much more work to hang an XW+ with a mostly pre-assembled mini PDP and a 600 v controller. Do not get me wrong because I will use the Skybox for some Outback systems where the client does not want to learn a new system. Probably in 6 months or so after the early field reports are in and after the electronic field testing is more mature.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mcgivormcgivor Posts: 2,202Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭
    @ewb said  am planning to use AGM batteries such as the Concord Sun Xtenders, until perhaps LFP batteries become more affordable in a few years.  
    Don't expect prices to drop, if anything they are expected to rise, when I purchased the price had risen but the advertised price was less than the current price, the vendor reduced to advertised then corrected the advertised price, then again anything could happen  
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 

  • MangasMangas Posts: 547Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 5 #18
    I'm not an "insider" but from my user's point of view our off grid Schneider's XW+ equipment has been performing well. 

    System components below.
    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF House Construction, all appliances, Central A/C, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • ewbewb Posts: 2Registered Users
    Thanks for the responses.  I guess I'll just wait for more technical details if/when manuals are released.
    42 300W Solarworld. SB6.0, SB3.8, SB3.0 Owner installed. Mitsu. Hyperheat, State HPX-80. All electric, net+, climate zone 6.

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