Great to hear back from you and thanks for sharing details of your system. In the interim since my previous post, I have taken the plunge and bought 25 pcs of the Trina 450w Tallmax panels. The prices were much higher, @ approx USD150/panel than what you paid, but it’s probably not unreasonable given the higher power output of these newer panels and compounded by the recent inflationary pressures on almost everything. This price is also FOB Manila, so includes the shipping cost from China.
Did more internet deep dives on the Growatt hybrid charger/inverters and learned that the Growatt design is allegedly ‘pirated’ from an almost identical model developed by MPP Solar, a Taiwan company. The feature-set and design of the MPP Solar unit is basically identical to the Growatt ‘clone’ and the pricing very similar, so I am opting to go with the MPP Solar product, given the good user feedback and my own positive experience with their responsive and knowledgeable customer support team. I’ve imported several other pieces of equipment from China previously and found that getting competent after-sales support (in english) is often a serious problem.
I have briefly looked at the Growatt 48V Lifepo batteries. However, I’m not sure which battery cells, which are the most important part of any battery, they use. Also gotta be careful with the product warranties on batterypacks… 48V batteries weigh more than 300 lbs (150Kg!) so shipping cost alone for warranty exchange would be very high, esp to/from China. If you live outside metro Manila, the cost of intercity trucking can also be exorbitant (as I have learned the hard way, living in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya). In fact the cost of (and hassle of arranging) trucking can represent as much as 50% of the product purchase cost, depending on your final location! (Where do you live in the Phils?)
Also be careful of the ‘fine print’ on the warranties. Some battery manufacturers provide only remote diagnostic support to help isolate the problem in a batterypack and will ship the replacement part(s) but its up to the customer to open up the pack and replace the defective part(s)! Not easy if you have little or no hands-on experience in building batterypacks.
These factors have motivated me to seriously look at locally available china-made batterypacks, such as the “Blue Carbon”. According to the suppliers, these packs use prismatic cells from BYD, which is well known and long established in the lithium battery market for electric vehicles. Despite the cells being ‘used’, they are tested and rated by BYD, to provide >2000 cycles at 1C discharge and >4000 cycles at 0.4C discharge rate. Also depending on the local seller, some offer local warranty service/exchanges. The local price of a 48V 200AH pack is approx USD1200. What price is a comparable Growatt model? I would appreciate if you could share your China contact info with me so I can do some due diligence on my own.
I’m about to purchase one BC pack to test it and will share my findings with you after I’ve gained some real world experience with it.
For anybody else reading this thread, I would welcome your thoughts, suggestions, advice on the MPP Solar hybrid inverters and the ‘used’ BYD batteries.
FYI I will be installing the system myself so it’s definitely gonna be a steep DIY learning curve!
Take care and let’s stay in touch.