In Blog, Inverters, Micro Inverters & Optimisers
Mark reviews the Schneider Conext

Mark & the Schneider at our inverter testing wall

The Schneider Conext Inverter has grabbed my attention lately, so I put some time into reviewing it to see if it was worth adding to our range.

Schneider Electric is a huge multinational company. Their Queensland state office is down the road from my office on… Schneider road. Yep, they dominate. I’m most familiar Schneider circuit breakers both domestic and commercial, and their substation switch gear from my Energex days. They are also known for energy management solutions.

A few years ago, Schneider acquired  Xantrex inverters, discontinued the Xantrex model and introduced the Context range to replace it. To the customers delight, when a Xantrex inverter fails under warranty, it is replaced with the new Schneider. This is where my experience of installing the Conext comes from, and it’s what intrigued me to dig a little deeper.

Schnieder Conext-RL specifications

The good points

  • Schneider will be around to honour their warranty.
  • Its MPPT range is fairly flexible, giving the installer a decent range of options
  • It has high current capacity giving greater design flexibility.
  • It has a full 5000w nominal output so you can install 6.5kW of panel on it.
  • It has wifi – important for monitoring.
  • It’s cheaper than most European inverters

The Bad points

  • Its upper voltage limit is a bit limiting for design.
  • It’s Chinese built. While Chinese have mastered panel production, they are certainly not renowned for inverters.
  • It’s only a 5-year warranty, others have ten (eg Fronius)
  •  It has heaps of neagative feedback. Because I’ve only installed a few Schnieder inverters (as Xantrax warranty replacements), I asked other installers their experience. Typical replies were: “It’s just another Chinese inverter” and “Reasonable, not impressive though”. One installer, who had installed many Schneider inverters over a 12 month period, said they are the worst inverter he had ever used. He elaborated with specifics and cleverly said: “they last 12 Months or until Summer – whichever comes first”.

Summary

While the a review of the specifications of the Schnieder Conext look good from an installer’s point of view, the street wisdom that tells installers to be wary of Chinese inverters has once again been proven correct. Schnieder inverters are not impressing the blokes who install them, and are not lasting test of time.

Mark

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4 Comments on Schneider Conext Inverter Review

Walter Huyck said : Guest Report 4 months ago

I purchased this Inverter the Connext 5548 XW+ a couple years ago. Installed Oct 2018 Note that this inverter is not good for an off grid application as the documentation implies. A generator connected to the Inverter must have less than 3% THD to be recognized by this inverter, ruling out most portable inverters. The Inverter when on battery power without a grid for reference will cause the lights in the residence to continuously fliker, and casues the UPS's on my PC and electronics to give warnings. It will not maintain a constant stable frequency without the grid reference. Schneider did send a replacement inverter on warrenty after much frustration with Tech Support but it has the same problem. It is a problem in the inverter design. The Charger is vary limited in local control setting allowing only a one hour equalization charge on battery the local operator cannot change the equalization charge time. most battery banks of any size need more than a one hour equalization charge. The CommBox does not connect to my local network or in any other way that I can find consistently. When it does connect, which is rarely, I has many charts and monitoring reports that are very handy. Plus easy access to controls. However, after doing a firmware update from Schneider it now no longer connects at all. Support just closes my requests of help without providing help. Tech Support from Schneider Solar is via Email takes three or four weeks for a response and usually the responses are useless. Very frustrating. Worst so called support I have ever experienced. I am an IBEW trained Electrician with a Masters License and many years of experience. call for more information 812-230-2001 Walter

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Bart said : Guest Report 11 months ago

Like mine, but tech support is horrible if you are truly off grid since it is now only through email submission. Phone support has been sent by the way side!

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Plu42jiKoyh said : administrator Report 4 years ago

Hi Kerry, I'm not sure what you are saying. The feed-in amount has nothing to do with the inverter - you need to compare the production. Where do you live?

    Kerry Crosson said : Guest Report 4 years ago

    I have a Schneider Inverter in my Solar City System. I'm on my third one in two years and have compared it performance with other Solar City customers who have Solar Edge Inverters and they are getting ^3% to the utility company compared to 32% for Schneider. An suggestions?

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