How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
I thought this was an interesting question.

I'm in the market for a new or "new to me" inverter and I'm always looking for good deals. My current Prosine 1800 was an Ebay purchase, new never used (knock outs in place on a hard wire design) for @$400, it's work flawlessly for just under 5 years in mostly daily use.

I'm only in the market for a new system I'm setting up and it's even likely I'll move the 1800watt over for the time being (I had my hours reduced maybe until Jan 1st)

I've always liked the Prosine's, but I've heard they are hard/impossible to work on, something to do with how they are prepared to handle moisture and salt air (They are often used in marine applications)

So how's you XYZ brand holding up? This kinda got started with the Magnum vs Outback thread.
Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
- Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.

Comments

  • SlappySlappy Solar Expert Posts: 251 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Exltel tech 600 2yrs and going
    Morningstar 300. 10 months and still going. Not even a hickup so far.
  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    outback vfx3024e working now for seven years, almost five years working in the "open air" with high and low temperatures, dust and moisture, high humidity and even water splash!... and now finally housed in a container ... work without problem with welding, 1kw water pump, microwave oven, air dryer, concrete mixer, washing machines, refrigerators, and some "rave party" with 3000 watts of sound for 4 days straight ... ;-)
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Installed in 2006 four Xantrex SW Plus 5500 watt inverters housed in a stand alone stone constructed solar mechanical room.

    Replaced one $300 motherboard last year.
    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 Custom 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
  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?
    Mangas wrote: »
    Replaced one $300 motherboard last year.

    how long did it take to have the spare? ... how long did it take to fix it? ... has been easy to disassemble the inverter and reassemble? ... you liked what you saw inside? ... you found good support? ... ;-)
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    ~6 years in a Morningstrt Suresine 300. Wish they made a 600 watt version and or a 24 vdc version, nary a hiccough.

    Tony
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    The Outback VFX3524 has been in service since 2008. The Xantrex 3000 since 2005. The StattWatt 600 since 2002.
    The Xantrex 'went funny' about 2007 and they still haven't answered my question. It still works though.
    The other two are perfect yet.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,112 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Stacked Xantrex SW+ 5548s in service since 2005. Been very, very solid. Knock. knock. Would buy them again, but cannot ... Guess that the S XW series is solid if anyone can figure out the FW issues, and never needs Customer "Service" from S. YMMV, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • Jim45DJim45D Solar Expert Posts: 102 ✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Heart Interface: Freedom 458 Series, Combi..2K Inverter/Charger 130 Amp. Installed 6/20/2002 never a problem with the inverter. However, the Link 1000 controller is another issue. All up and running. Modified sine. Gotta keep knocking...
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Two SureSine-300 in operation 5 years, continuous duty, not a hitch. Prosine 1800 in service 4 years, again, perfect operation. All three inverters exceeded performance expectations. Also have far older MSW inverters no longer in operation, but still working like new, on standby in case one of the pure sine units fail.
  • H2SO4_guyH2SO4_guy Solar Expert Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Exeltech XP-1100 48 VDC purchased used in 2002, still working perfectly
    Exeltech XP-1100 48 VDC purchased used in 2006, still working perfectly
    Exeltech XP-1100 12 VDC purchased used in 2004, still working perfectly
    Exeltech XP-1100 12 VDC purchased used in 2012, still working perfectly
    Xantrex 800 watt 12 volt modified sine wave purchased new in 2004, still works, but ugly power and some stuff doesn't like it
    Duracell 100 watt 12 volt purchased used in 2010, still working for very small loads when mobile. Works alright to run florescent lights.

    If I could stack the XP's I'd have it all!!! Thinking about one of the older Exeltech modular systems where you can keep adding 1000 watt modules and they sync to a common reference so you can upgrade to 20kW per phase and get up to 3 phase if you want. That would be very cool. The XP's do make a bit of noise and it is a PIA if you are very close to it, but nothing like the old Trace SW series.
    12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    By chance, found out from Xantrex CS that our pump supplier located 1 1/2 hours from the ranch also manufactures their own pumps as well as repairs inverters. Said they have good service reputation.

    When I called them the morning it went down, they said bring it on up and if it's one of the motherboards they could fix me up in an hour or so. Arrived about noon met my truck with a cart and they had me out by 1:30. New motherboard installed, bench tested by one of their engineers for specs and the next morning had the electricians reinstall the unit.

    Now that was service! Never was treated by nicer (and competent) folks

    I was prepared for a long distance, drawn out repair cycle. The engineer told me the boards are pretty easy to get but the transformers are no longer available. Sure was handy having them so close. So far the SWs' have been bullet proof. They run 24/7.
    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 Custom 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
  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?
    Mangas wrote: »
    Now that was service! Never was treated by nicer (and competent) folks
    I was prepared for a long distance, drawn out repair cycle. The engineer told me the boards are pretty easy to get but the transformers are no longer available. Sure was handy having them so close. So far the SWs' have been bullet proof. They run 24/7.

    yep! ... transformer is a matter reserved!...lol
    it accumulated much of the know-how of outback, especially in terms of figures of performance and distortion, and do not forget that it is used both for the charger and to the inverter function...as well as the enclosure, both are indestructible, especifically the transformer trough some protection systems available for the inverter, and the enclosure for its strength...

    but the outback repair system, based on the substitution of any of the three printed circuit boards that comprise it is fast, easy and cheap ... and above all, resolve!...

    there are some videos that you can see how anyone itself can repair easy your own inverter/charger:
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Mangas, you said make was OB in the first post and X in the second???
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?
    westbranch wrote: »
    Mangas, you said make was OB in the first post and X in the second???

    how wonderful!...I had understood that xantrex given coordinates for the repair shop, where he repaired his outback inverter!...
    sorry did not understand anything if I'm wrong? ... :-(
    Mangas wrote: »
    Installed in 2006 four outback SW Plus 5500 watt inverters housed in a stand alone stone constructed solar mechanical room.
    Replaced one $300 motherboard last year.
  • bbbuddybbbuddy Solar Expert Posts: 134 ✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    We had a 1987 Trace 2012 that was still inverting in 2000 when the charging portion went haywire and ruined our 7 year old batteries.

    23 years isn't bad...and those were our first set of batteries, used without any proper battery monitor.
    Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery.  Off grid since 2004.
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Sorry, everyone.

    Corrected my erroneous post. That would be Xantrex SW 5548 Plus Inverters.
    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 Custom 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
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    I started this thing, and didn't include some of my uglier / cheaper inverter experiences. I did use a cheap 1400 watt 24V - 120AC 'ebay special' inverter that I was actually OK with it's short service, the fan died after less than a year, and I used it with the case open for most of a year after(as I recall) with a fan pointed at it in the summer. It was never intended to be a final solution and allowed me to look for a quality inverter (I found the Prosine) at under $200, I was OK with the service.

    For 5 years I lived with just a 200 watt MSW car inverter. I had 3 different models(WalMart specials) in the 5 years. One I left on when I went on a trip and had reduced my array to minimal, I came back to ruined batteries and the inverter wasn't functional. The one I replaced it with lasted less than a month, and the following one lasted the rest of the time I used the tiny system, really not bad for $20-30 car inverters that were never intended for 24/7 use.

    It was neat to see the video of "how to" replacing boards on the outback. I had read that the designer (Robin) had made them field servicable, looks very easy. Something positive to put toward Outbacks!

    I have a lead on another 24V 1800 Prosine and as it would be nice as a spare, I think I'll try to get it and put off the "real" inverter until next year and a return to full employment.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • FullpowerFullpower Solar Expert Posts: 69 ✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Outback FX2024 in continuous service from September 2003.
    Has never shut down, nor missed a single cycle.
  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?
    Mangas wrote: »
    Sorry, everyone.

    Corrected my erroneous post. That would be Xantrex SW 5548 Plus Inverters.

    I apologize for my mistake too, I have understood SW by SineWave thought we were talking about outback inverters!... :-(
  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?
    Photowhit wrote: »
    It was neat to see the video of "how to" replacing boards on the outback. I had read that the designer (Robin) had made them field servicable, looks very easy. Something positive to put toward Outbacks!

    Yeah, maybe Robin and Bob have much to do in the modular design, the "reversible" transformer and the magnificent enclosure that houses all the components ... a jewel of intelligence and efficient design...
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    SMA Sunny Island has only been in use for a year, so not really useful information for longevity. But the cost of their extended warranty could indicate how long they expect it to last:
    Original device cost 2800 Euro. Extension to
    10 years = 450 Euros
    15 years = 900
    20 years = 1,350
    25 years = 2,700
  • WisJimWisJim Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Trace SW4024 installed in 1999, in constant use since then except for a few days early on to repair lightning damage which occurred due to my mistake in grounding.
  • SCharlesSCharles Solar Expert Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Our Trace 2512 went for 23 years, on all the time. It is now sitting off to one side, replaced by an Outback when we went to pure sine wave. But it was still working fine when I disconnected it.

    The Outback 2812 has only be online for a year, so too soon to tell. But I could wire the Trace back in and be ok. They are now Xantrex, no idea whether the current ones are as well-made as mine.
  • SolInvictusSolInvictus Solar Expert Posts: 138
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Trace 2012 modified sine wave inverter: 23 years of daily operation, no problems, still running
  • DavidOHDavidOH Solar Expert Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?
    Trace 2012 modified sine wave inverter: 23 years of daily operation, no problems, still running

    Woo Hoo ! Glad I have one of those. The smaller is a Xantrex ProWatt SW 600 that I just got.
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: How long has your Off Grid Inverter lasted?

    Four SW Plus 5548s' 24/7 going on 9 years.
    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 Custom 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
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