Based in Austria, Fronius International is active in the fields of photovoltaics and welding technology. Founded in 1945, as of 2015, Fronius has subsidiaries in over 60 countries and 3500+ employees. Fronius Inverter is one of the biggest names in the Australian solar market. Their Primo and Symo series have been premium options among residential and commercial PV consumers. However, apart from inverters, Fronius also delivers a large range of products like battery storage, monitoring systems, sensors, smart meters etc. A new addition to their Australian portfolio is the OhmPilot. Introduced back in late-2017 (in Europe), this is a Fronius water heater that utilizes the excess PV energy generated by solar panels.
Fronius Water Heater
Ohmpilot is a consumption regulator that can use the excess solar energy in an average household to meet at least 50% of its hot water needs. It can be installed as an add-on to a Fronius inverter or energy management system. The system possess a continuously adjustable regulation (0 to 9kW), and can supposedly heat up to 150 liters (on an average) of water to around 40 degree Celsius. The device features easy commissioning and monitoring. However, during installation, it requires Fronius data manager and smart meter as retrofits inside the existing inverter.
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In the current transient state where batteries are very expensive, Ohmpilot can be a cost-effective alternative to utilize the excess solar power. A mid-sized battery storage solution starts at AUD 5,000 in the current market. As opposed to this, the fact that a completely installed Ohmpilot (including the required retrofits) is available at around AUD 1800, makes it an economic option to households who already have investment in a rooftop solar system. Furthermore, with warranty of upto 7 years, it can deliver high ROIs (as compared to solar batteries) for the next 4-5 years. Detailed specifications and compliance standards of Ohmpilot can be found here.
Source: PV Magazine, Fronius International