Typical invertor and MPPT life

Just wondering, how long does a typical invertor last. I assume that something like Victron would last longer than e.g. Sunsync or would that be an incorrect assumption. Similarly, at what age can one start to expect issues with the MPPT units and one should start considering replacing it.

How would issues materialize, I have read that invertors start to “hum” louder with some developing a high pitch noise after 10 - 12 years of heavy use.

How would the load on the system impact on the equipment life? I assume that for the same invertors, the one that is used to feed in excess power back to the grid would not last as long as one that mainly service a typical house?

My simple outlook:
Guaranteed the warranty period … inverters now can have a 10-year warranty if asked for.

Anything thereafter is a bonus that is dependent on how the product is used, the environment, operating temp etc.

But 15-20 years is not unheard of.

On Victron equipment I’ve heard of units that are 12 years old and still kicking around. A lifetime of 10 years is not overly optimistic.

Electronics rarely make it to 20 years though. Most of them. Usually because electrolytic capacitors dry up. So expect to replace an inverter once a decade. That is assuming that you don’t replace it already, as part of an upgrade.

I used to only run Microcare, made for africa, but as soon as i bought one from africa and brought to the city one year later something would pop, so for me inverters last about a year, its not like im super hard on it, automation kicks in at 75% load and reduces it, so could be my bad luck but im on inverter number 3 and mppt number 2, im busy changing over to the other blue team as CoCT changed offgrid to be a no no…

So my 2c, get what ever you can afford but make sure you know where to get it repaired and if you can have redundancy in your system.

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I had a Microcare pop on me as well. It is unclear exactly how it happened. It was working fine, but the flash on the PIC Microcontroller was worn out (which is something that happened to the early models). So I heard that they will replace it free of charge, I just had to ship them the unit. Which I did.

After hearing nothing for two weeks, I called them up. Turns out, just putting your name and number on the box, and assuming they will try and correlate it with recent communication, is not enough. You need to put a letter inside the box explaining what’s up with it. So they put it on the bench, and found nothing wrong (because that issue takes a few hours to show up). Eventually managed to get PIC replaced, and unit shipped back.

Mounted unit. Plugged back in. Noticed something is not quite lekker with it. Not sure if it popped immediately after I plugged it in, or perhaps was damaged somewhere along the trip. Decided to do what I wanted to from the beginning: Buy a Victron MPPT instead.

Decided to open the Microcare and see what happened. Not a bad design. A tad old-school (async buck converter), and clearly an older design that was updated over time (judging by spaces on the board that appears to have been for older linear regulators, but now held a SMPS). Should have been rock solid, except the transformer that is used to create a 15V isolated above the battery voltage (to switch the N-type MOSFET on the high side) was burnt up.

Tried to rewire it, without much success. Applied an external 15V supply to it, and proved that it still worked. Bought an isolated DC/DC converter chip from RS components and fitted it. Unit now worked, but only up to 200W. Above 200W it would reset itself.

Suspected something to do with the fan. Unplugged it, no change.

Still think it might have something to do with a damaged power supply chip somewhere. Didn’t have a storage scope back then to properly debug it. Chucked it in the parts bin.

Still have it. Haven’t had the itch to try looking into it again.

Still, was disappointed. I think it lasted maybe 3 years.

Once had a bright idea after 12 am, let’s connect this small Victron inverter up and power XYZ from it.

Took about ±3-4 minutes … white smoke everywhere.

Turns out that connecting a 12v to a 24v battery is never a bright idea.

In any case, wanted to know how bad the damage was so I sent it in for repairs.

Was fixed with a warning, “no idea how long it will last” as the main PC board took some “shots”, or is that volts(?) and is uneconomical to replace, so here you go with the caps (?) replaced.

I ran for a good 6 months after the repairs.

Was impressed with the 3-4 minutes, the repairs, and how long it lasted after such a catastrophically bad move on my part.

Had a 1600va Multiplus, 2nd hand, so badly “mutilated” over the years that it tripped the house when I connected the AC. Was repaired for next to nothing compared to the new price … and is still running years later after I sold it.

The above tales give this gem credence:

A system with a built in MPPT running at full capacity and pushing back into the grid might feel it after a few months, but a Victron Quattro with a PV inverter on its output, can let the power generated by the PV inverter “pass through” to the grid, leaving the PV inverter to do the hard work. in the last case the PV inverter is designed to run at full capacity for as long as the sun shines and your Hybrid will last longer than the all in one.

This is purely my opinion and I don’t have much to back my thinking… just throwing different bits of info I have learned over time into a single idea.


My Quattro and 2 x mppts just recently passed their 5 year period, and not a single days issues…
I lost my 3rd MPPT once, it was still operational but the VE-direct comms failed after one terrible lightning strike that I could hear passing through the system. I could hear the sparks in some of the components. Had it replaced.

Probably because of you, they now have a whole book in process you have to do before you send anything out!
the MPPT started to get hot so i took the cover off and added a fan on the coils, was not till later that day i walk into the garage with the lights off that those was red hot…

5kw inverter1 - replaced a bulged cap and it worked for a year after, then decided to not turn on anymore, inv2 - decided 230-240vac was not enough and started to push out 280-310vac, was not at home so started to turn every big load i could on just to drop it low enough.
So yes very disappointed in them atm, still running a 10kw that seems fine(for now) But redundancy is now my next step, rather run less things than nothing at all.

They do need to redo their products, its outdated and many things have wires or resistors added ontop/after the fact, also in their shunts, their Li upgrade to their old inverters and mppt’s is also more of a hack(to stop things going pop when bms disconnects)
Would love to support them, but they do need to get off their high horse and listen to their market and adjust(faster than they are atm, there are some new products, but its not on the same level, although they have a few things better, others lack)

Yeah, I saw that too. It is not uncommon, when a mistake was made on the design of the board, they may fix it like this in production. But then usually the next version of the board will have the mistake corrected.