A Final Salute To The Fronius SnapINverter?

Fronius SnapINverters

Australians hankering after a Fronius inverter should find the cost of the company’s SnapINverter range, which is being phased out, now more wallet-friendly.

Fronius inverters have always been “reassuringly expensive” as SQ’s Anthony puts it. Generally speaking, installers love Fronius and in this year’s SolarQuotes Installers Choice Awards, Fronius won the best inverters in 2024 money-no-object category for the fourth year running. The company also took out gold in the best customer support category again, and oddly enough even had a spot on the podium in the budget category.

At home, we have a Fronius Primo 8.2-1 SnapINverter working with 10kW of solar panels, a Fronius Data Manager and a Fronius WattPilot EV charger. Aside from a bug on Fronius’s end that prevented me from upgrading the inverter firmware for months, my only gripe is the fan can get a little loud; particularly on very hot days – and this was something I was aware of before installation..

But it’s this fan (active cooling) that helps keep the inverter working at optimum performance and will likely extend its life. Still, the fan noise is something to take into consideration when determining installation location. Noise is an issue that has been addressed with the GEN24 range, which supersedes the SnapINverter.

What’s A SnapINverter?

When you’re on a good thing, you stick to it – and Fronius has done so for quite a while.

Fronius introduced the SnapINverter format back in 2014. At that time, inverter housing designs were pretty ordinary and the SnapINverter concept was quite a departure. But beyond (arguably) looking better, it was applied to all product families – Galvo, Symo and Primo. This meant standardised installation, whereby each model was installed and commissioned in exactly the same way.

The “snap” in the rather clunky name referred to a hinged system with “snap-in” function simplifying the inverter fitting and installation process. Combined with Fronius continuing its tradition of quality in other aspects of construction, it was a hit with installers and their customers.

But all good things must come to an end.

SnapINverter – Out With The Old (But Still Very Good)

When choosing a solar power system, it’s not super-important to have top-of-the-line premium solar panels, but you shouldn’t skimp on solar inverter quality. It’s the workhorse of a system and the component most likely to fail first given the conditions it works under day after day.

If you’re in the process of choosing components and have overlooked Fronius due to pricing, it might be a good time to look again and have a chat with installers. Starting the beginning of this month and running until 31 July 2024, or while stocks last, Fronius is offering $400 off on the entire SnapINverter range. It’s assumed the company is trying to clear out the last of its stock.

There aren’t too many gotchas with this offer. Eligible inverters must be sourced from any of Fronius Australia’s Authorised Sales Partners or Special Partners, stock must ship during the promotion period and the offer is only available to shipments made to Australia .

GEN24 – In With The New-ish (And Better?)

As mentioned, superseding the SnapINverter range is the Gen24 family that has been around for a while now. Aside from being much quieter, one of the interesting aspects of the GEN24 range is you can buy one as a regular solar inverter, and then upgrade the firmware to a hybrid inverter if you add batteries later. This upgrade comes at a price of course – $650 to $1,000 depending on inverter capacity.

The GEN24’s are pricier than the SnapINverter range, even without the discount. So, quieter fan and hybrid upgrade capability aside, is it better to go for the GEN24? Anthony’s Fronius GEN24 review could help you decide, and SQ Founder Finn thinks it’s better to go for the GEN24 if you can afford it.

Still, there’s something to be said for using an inverter as tried and tested under Australian conditions as the SnapINverters – and overall I’m very happy with ours. But it pays to think ahead.

By the way, you can compare specifications and estimated pricing of various inverter brands and models on SQ’s solar inverter comparison page. Note that the Fronius SnapINverter (Primo/Symo) estimated RRP is without the discount.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Gyan singh says

    Why Fronius is charging membership fees to see data how the inverter is performing. Can anyone review this

    • For the same yearly price as solar web premium you can get solar analytics which gives you much better data and a plan comparison tool

  2. I really wish Fronius would release larger capacity Gen24s though. Goodwe can do it at 15KW, 20KW, 25KW & 30KW with their ET range, so hopefully Fronius isn’t far behind.

    My 20KW Snapinverter has been bulletprooof over the years but as soon as a 20KW Gen24 is available, I’ll be installing one to address the fan noise and provide a DC coupled battery option.

  3. I have a 3 phase Symo 8.2-3-M which peaks at 8,280watts coupled to a PW2.
    It is a shame the the new Gen24’s closest match is the 8kw model. Anyway thank you finn for another informative solar inverter article.

    Kind Regards
    John

  4. Pepi
    16/05/24
    I purchased a Fronius 500, with my 6kW with German solar panels,
    Before the 4 years installation the unit died on me since January this year, so since this I haven’t be getting anything from my power company on solar feeding tariffs, have contacted the Natural Solar, the installers and suppliers of the panels and inverter, when I received my bill and noticed the discrepancy on the bill, I have contacted the company since Easter Wednesday, I’m still waiting for an electrician from the company to drop by, I feel I have been ripped off either by the solar contractor or inverter company, I’m still paying for the 6k I borrowed to install, now I’m stuck with a roof for of panels and a waste of money of a inverter that is absolutely rubbish, and no one in either company cares about how hard people try to get a bit of a discount when they pay for something and being ignored by this cowboys that offer people everything when one gives them their money. Waste of money, honestly.

  5. The gen24s have such a small mppt voltage range compared to the snap range. Very disappointing

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