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Author Topic: Powervault Problems......  (Read 1235 times)
Cumberlandnev
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« on: October 09, 2019, 10:26:04 AM »

Good morning, I'm new here but glad I found the site. I had a 4 Kw solar system installed to my all electric house in 2014 and soon became frustrated by the amount of electricity going back into the grid at half price. When I realised that battery storage was a possibility I contacted Powervault and went ahead without researching any other company (my mistake!). My Powervault system was installed in summer 2017. The system was a 4Kw system. An upgrade was performed last year after which the system became much noisier, (fan motion I presumed). During the summer months of June/July this year, it dawned on me that my system was not working properly. Suffice it to say I was in touch with Powervault and they confirmed that the system was down, something to do with balancing! Anyway, after balancing tweeks were performed, I was informed that Powervault would swap my system for a new P3 Eco system.  Initially, I was quite pleased by that decision, but then looking at the system offered I will loose out on 5 years worth of guarantee and it doesn't look as if the new system will fit where the old system is installed. Space is limited in my house! 
Yesterday, I found this site and it seems that this problem may have been repeated elsewhere, the difference being that in this case a P3 system was used as a replacement as opposed to the P3 Eco. I would like to upgrade to a 6Kw system but again this doesn't look possible.
Anyway, Id just like to hear views as to the next stage, bearing in mind that I have already lost out on 4 months of storage.

Great to realise there is a community of Powervaulters out there. Very helpful!
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Scruff
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2019, 01:05:38 PM »

Does investing in a battery and associated losses offer some benefit over selling your power to your neighbours?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 01:07:27 PM by Scruff » Logged
Iain
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2019, 04:18:56 PM »

Hi
Worth a read.
https://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,28343.0.html

Iain
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1.98kWp PV (11 x Sharp 180 and SB 2.5)
20 x 65mm Thermal and 180ltr unvented
Powervault 4Kw - G200 Lithium-Ion (LiFePO4)
9000ltr rainwater storage   Plymouth
Sprinter
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2019, 11:15:49 AM »

A couple of things to consider

I had had a G200 and i upgraded it to 6kWh, the system was good and worked just fine for about a year, my original batteries were new, not recycled Renault batteries (for which i paid a premium), i may have run into the balancing issue but it was never confirmed, but i did have a problem.

When i contacted PowerVault i found it difficult to communicate with them, almost like they was avoiding the issue, but i got there in the end and we started communicating, i found that emailing them backing up with a phone call worked best, and moving progressively up the internal food chain based on the company profile online gained better results, one of the things that i failed to do was open an incident ticket initially this hampered me as there was no official log of the emails and phone calls, so make sure you have an open ticket that you can reference in your emails and phone calls.

The ECO3 unit uses recycled batteries, as i had paid the premium for new batteries and an upgrade (of an additional 2kWh of batteries) so i was not prepared to accept a replacement based on 2nd hand batteries when only a year previously i had paid for new ones, so i rejected the ECO3. I had an additional problem in so much that they no longer had a standard solution that could provide a 6kWh replacement, this put the ECO3 and standard 3 unit out of scope as an option.

With some negotiation i finally agree that a the 8KW or the 12Kwh units would be best configured with 8kWh which i would pay for another 2kWh of new batteries to move me from a 6 to an 8kWh system would be acceptable, the 4 and 8 kWh chassis were in short supply but the 12's were not so i opted for a 12kWh unit loaded with 8kWh of batteries was the right way forward for me, though it did mean me getting my hand in my pocket again.

This was installed, after some messing around with the installer refusing to come onsite until the unit was confirmed as delivered due to their poor track record of delivering on time, all of this does lead to a very messy situation, but the way i see it you have a number of option available to you:

1, Stick with what you have and insist on continual repair until they fix the problem, which does run the risk of course of them going bust or being sold off and leaving you with a until that will fail eventually leaving you with a dead system to look at
2, Accept the ECO3 unit which has the balancing issue fixed (allegedly), and of course the 2nd hand batteries (not an issue if your G200 had second hand batteries, of course this seems to also lose 5 years worth of warranty (if you choose the ECO3)
3, legal action

I think legal action will fail as they will just offer a replacement battery pack until they either fix the problem, sell out or go bust, but as long as they are in business they have to honor the 10 year warranty that you currently have.

A shame really, i did a lot of research and had some concerns about it being a relatively small, new company without a proven track record, but i made the decision and went with it.

It is a great piece of kit (when it works) but it is also a technology that whilst becoming main stream, it is not there yet, would we have been better off with Tesla batteries? maybe but as much as i am a fan of Elon their future is by no means guaranteed yet either.

I admit i have thought some parts of the above statement for some time, but have been reluctant to post on the forums as i did not want to exasperate any issues that they might be having, but with a large number of G200's out there all starting to have the the same or similar issue i do wonder how long they can operate like this, part of me thinks that you should stick to your guns and try to get the same warranty on the ECO3 or PV3 unit, another part tells me that you should keep holding out for the 10 year warranty, but there is also a part that says, grab an ECO3 whilst you can.

A post i certainly did not want to write, but i cant see how they can sustain these issues as a company, I'm sure all the naysayers will be along very soon to add their negativity but it is what it is, we pay our money and make our choice. It is still a technology that in its infancy, will it succeed Yes, will PowerVault be there, i hope so.

On a positive node i am very happy with the 8kWh battery pack that i have in my garage, it sits there and shakes its stuff daily, if i had to provide a problem with it i would say that 4kWh of Solar PV is insufficient, to power an 8Kwh battery system, so there will be an expansion in my Solar PV next to drive it and get the best out of it.

But i am very happy with it.

Good luck
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Cumberlandnev
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2019, 05:09:34 PM »

Thanks, Sprinter,

A great reply. I did open a case with Powervault, but as you stated, they don't seem to want to answer questions posed to them. It's interesting to read that you don't think a 4Kw PV system is man enough for the 8Kw batteries and as my space is limited, my system will need to stay at it's current size.

I shall read and re read your reply as I continue to debate with Powervault.

Many Thanks.
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Cumberlandnev
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2019, 05:13:45 PM »

Hi Scruff and Iain,
Thanks for your replies. I'm not sure how you would go about selling power to the neighbours but it sounds expensive.
Yes, I have read the post, Iain, its what came up when I searched for Powervault problems on Google.

Thanks again.
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Iain
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2019, 07:05:29 PM »

Hi
Just as a comparison.
I have 2 kW of PV and I think the 4 kWH PowervaulT is just about the right size for the summer. The winter I have to manage the battery charge using the "Winter Charging" mode.

Iain
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1.98kWp PV (11 x Sharp 180 and SB 2.5)
20 x 65mm Thermal and 180ltr unvented
Powervault 4Kw - G200 Lithium-Ion (LiFePO4)
9000ltr rainwater storage   Plymouth
pantsmachine
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2019, 04:25:58 PM »

Guys, I followed the other powervault post for a while earlier in the year. If you have been sold a duff product and the company solution is to sell you a more expensive version at cost to you then it's time to contact the ombudsman. My pylontechs have ran for a year+ so far flawlessly so I'll throw that out as an option for readers not involved in the thread but on the hunt.

Really sorry to hear of these issues and the poor support.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 04:27:57 PM by pantsmachine » Logged

HUGE insulation depth.
5.12 kw PV system with Solar edge.
4.8 kw Pylon tech battery storage.
All Low energy bulbs.
Solar I boost charging 210 ltr OSO system tank.
Balanced & zoned CH wet system & Hive 2
Wood fired thermosiphon cedar hot tub.
Masanobu Fukuoka inspired veg garden & fruit trees
Sprinter
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2019, 10:24:34 AM »

I think the product is good in general, and when it worked i loved my G200, unfortunately with the current reports it does seem to have a flaw with battery balancing, and they need to fix that through either a firmware upgrade if possible, or add that technology to the units that are out in the wild before the problem escalates and consumes them, other than this balancing issue its a great product and i am still a fan of it, especially the new ones.

I also think the ECO3 is a good device and it seems to be a standard fix for the balancing issue (not sure how sustainable this is for the company) but i would be happy with the ECO3 if i had bought a device with 2nd hand batteries and i had not already expanded mine to 6kWh which the ECO3 cannot handle as its a 4kWh max unit, i think the real problem lies with people buying a unit with a 10 year warranty and then when they have to replace it ending up with a 5 year warranty.

The problem with not accepting the ECO3 is that you get a G200 replacement (or at least replacement batteries) is that it still has a balancing issue, means that you may well be in the same situation in a year or so, hopefully they have plans to add that in the very near future.

To be honest if the company can sustain this level of battery replacement then it is actually irrelevant because the G200 has a 10 year warranty so they just need to keep replacing the batteries, but i bet that was not considered in their profit margin when they introduced it.
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dan_b
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2019, 10:38:07 AM »

My G200 had a couple of fans installed when they came and did a firmware update last year too - I think they were trying to improve the temperature management with some active cooling. 
Mine is in the cellar so I don't hear it, but it certainly made the unit less unobtrusive noise-wise.

Going further back, my G200 also had battery failure within its first year and all the batteries were replaced with bigger capacity ones from a different manufacturer, but so far fingers crossed these ones have stayed ok, or at least as far as I can tell they have.



My Powervault system was installed in summer 2017. The system was a 4Kw system. An upgrade was performed last year after which the system became much noisier, (fan motion I presumed).
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3.06kWp SolarEdge system with a split array:
2.18kWp 10x South facing, plus 4x West facing 880W

Mk1 ImmerSUN DHW diverter
4kW PowerVault Battery

Tesla Model 3 Long Range
Iain
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2019, 01:05:29 PM »

Hi

Quote
To be honest if the company can sustain this level of battery replacement then it is actually irrelevant because the G200 has a 10 year warranty so they just need to keep replacing the batteries, but i bet that was not considered in their profit margin when they introduced it.

I have decided to stick with the G200 mainly because of the warranty and the emergency outlet.

I do think the unit is ideal for me, partly as the output is only 1200W.
I do wish it would accept a higher charge rate but still keep the output at 1200W. but that is a minor,"nice to have".

If they could add a cell balance unit to each battery it would be a cracking unit.


As I am sticking with the G200 it would be nice if the balance could be sorted. Costs of replacing batteries might encourage them to do it. I am sure each battery unit could be modified at minimal cost to achieve this. I live in hope!!!

Iain

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1.98kWp PV (11 x Sharp 180 and SB 2.5)
20 x 65mm Thermal and 180ltr unvented
Powervault 4Kw - G200 Lithium-Ion (LiFePO4)
9000ltr rainwater storage   Plymouth
dan_b
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2019, 02:36:19 PM »

Yeah I have also always wondered why the maximum charge rate is lower than the discharge rate!
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3.06kWp SolarEdge system with a split array:
2.18kWp 10x South facing, plus 4x West facing 880W

Mk1 ImmerSUN DHW diverter
4kW PowerVault Battery

Tesla Model 3 Long Range
Iain
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2019, 02:41:05 PM »

Hi

Quote
Yeah I have also always wondered why the maximum charge rate is lower than the discharge rate!

On mine it is 1200 charge, 1200 discharge. (I think the earlier ones had a lower charge rate, unless it was for the lead acid ones?)

I am happy with the 1200 discharge as it extends the time the batteries will supply for however if it accepted a higher charge rate it would be really good.

Iain
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1.98kWp PV (11 x Sharp 180 and SB 2.5)
20 x 65mm Thermal and 180ltr unvented
Powervault 4Kw - G200 Lithium-Ion (LiFePO4)
9000ltr rainwater storage   Plymouth
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