SMA vs Fronius energy management unit | Point Clare, Central Coast NSW

I’m on the Central Coast of NSW in Point Clare. I have a 2-storey house with a 45,000l swimming pool, a split system aircon unit downstairs, and a 4-zone ducted aircon system upstairs. My roof can accomodate only 21 solar panels, 14 facing East and 7 facing West. There should be no shade problems.

My last 4 electricity bills (Red Energy) plus average daily usage were $580 (21.2kWh), $475 (17kWh), $210 (5.7kWh) and $928 (35.2kWh) (including a pay-on-time discount). I cannot explain the low usage in that 3rd quarter.

Here’s a view of my roof:

I have received 2 quotes as follows:

  1. 7kW system - Superior Solar: 20 LG Neon2 panels @ 350W each, SMA 6 solar inverter, $10,390 (plus $550 for optional consumption meter)

  2. 6.72kW system - TCC Solar: 21 Canadian Solar panels @ 320W each, Fronius Primo 6kW inverter, $6,110 (includes Fronius Energy Management unit)

The solar panels in Quote 1 are a newer, and more powerful, model than those in Quote 2. Quote 2 is much cheaper, but looks to be a quality product (as does Quote 1).

Is the Fronius Energy Management unit in Quote 2 equivalent to the optional consumption meter in Quote 1? Is the 0.28kWh difference between the 2 systems significant?

My feeling is that Quote 2 offers better value.

Hi Hugson,

Thanks for your post.

First of all, I’m curious as to why you wouldn’t use your north roof? That’s where you will get the most sun.

I think I would agree with you, the LG Neon2 are definitely a superior panel, but it would be hard to justify paying an additional $4k for them. The inverter is the most important element, and you cannot get better than a Fronius.

I believe the two energy management units are very similar, I think they will both do the same function for you. It will be good to have in conjunction with your swimming pool, to make sure you are always using the cheapest power.

Solar should do great things for your power bill, good luck and please let us know how you go.

Cheers
Marty


Checkout out our Solar Power Central Coast page

My North roof is tiny - it’s that triangle in my picture between the 2 sets of panels.

And the difference between using Canadian Solar and LG panels is around 21x$125 = $2625. So do you think the LG superiority is worth $2665? I’m not so interested in the 25-year warranty: I can’t think that far ahead , who can say if LG will still be in business, who can say what technology will be like then? But the fact that LG offers a warranty of that length tells me the product must be supoerior tp the other one. But is that worth the extra cost?

Hi Hugson

I’m not sure how you work out that cost difference. From the quotes you’ve provided it looks like you’ve got a system with Canadian for $6k and one with LG for nearly $11k with the like for like energy management. However, if you can get the LG panels for a total of $8.5k, I would probably do that. They are very good panels, very high performing and top quality.

Regarding north roof, fair enough, thought it looked like it would fit a few on there.

Cheers
Marty

Sorry, I was using a quote I hadn’t published! Silly me!

The company offering the quote with the Canadian Solar panels also provided a 2nd quote for $8,839 with 20 LG Neon2 335W Mono panels. They have now revised that offer to 21 LG Neon2 330W panels for $8,735. I don’t know how significant the reduction of 5W per panel is. The other company’s quote (for over $10k) came with their advice not to use lower-wattage panels, so they were recommending the new-in-Oz 350W LG ones.
All quite confusing.

It’s as simple as 5x20 panels = 100W less, but they are giving you 1 x 330W panel more. So you are 230W better off.

The company quoting over $10k sound a little disingenuous to me, I’d avoid them.

Cheers
Marty

I found a site that provides unit prices for each type of LG solar panel. The new-to-Oz 350W panels appear to cost over $2,000 more for the 20 panels they quoted. So at least I can understand why their quote is so high.

But what I’ve been entirely unable to discover is how important a 350W panel is over a 330W panel - not being very knowledgeable, a total difference of 400W doesn’t seem very significant, especially when the cost differential seems extreme. Am I wrong?

It’s $2000 more, but don’t forget the government rebate. That’s only on installed panels.

No, you’re not wrong. Higher wattage in itself means absolutely nothing. That’s why I think thy are disingenuous.

Cheers
Marty

I took the plunge tonight and ordered the 2nd installation I quoted in my original email (which I hadn’t expected to do - I thought the LG panels superior to the Canadian Solar ones, but was persuaded by the sales guy - after all, if he’s saying the cheaper quote is sufficient for my needs, then I perceive that to be an honest response). Thanks for your help and advice.

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Good news @hugson!

All the best with it, would love to see a pic when done, and know how it all goes with the installation.

Cheers
Marty