Skybox is history

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Mike Curran
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Posts: 3260
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof (2007/2017):
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 24 (2x12) 235W Lightways panels with Enphase M215 microinverters plus 6 - 275W Talesun panels, also with M215s, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Trina Solar 270W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger), installed 3/5/24 (replaced original 2019 Talesun DC array)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W (manually switched during outages), Enphase M215 microinverters

Battery systems operate in grid-tied, net metering w/backup mode
All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Skybox is history

Post by Mike Curran »

I see Outback now lists Skybox as a legacy product.
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https://ei.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
raysun
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Posts: 10853
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Series Stacked, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: Skybox is history

Post by raysun »

Its been in the the lineup for what, 5 - 6 years?
User avatar
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 3260
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof (2007/2017):
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 24 (2x12) 235W Lightways panels with Enphase M215 microinverters plus 6 - 275W Talesun panels, also with M215s, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Trina Solar 270W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger), installed 3/5/24 (replaced original 2019 Talesun DC array)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W (manually switched during outages), Enphase M215 microinverters

Battery systems operate in grid-tied, net metering w/backup mode
All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Skybox is history

Post by Mike Curran »

Ampster was an early adopter in 2018, so yeah, 5 years or so. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it's still disappointing.
https://ei.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
raysun
Forum Overlord
Posts: 10853
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Series Stacked, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: Skybox is history

Post by raysun »

Mike Curran wrote: Tue Feb 14, 2023 5:04 pm Ampster was an early adopter in 2018, so yeah, 5 years or so. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it's still disappointing.
Very much so, as the full potential never seemed to be realized.
pss
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1325
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:40 am
My RE system: 8330 watts in three strings, Flexmax 60 x 3, Radian 8048A, GSLC load center, Mate 3S, Hub 10.3, FN-DC and 900 Amp, 48V Trojan T105-RE battery bank.

Re: Skybox is history

Post by pss »

I think Outback was smart to do this. The competition is ripe with new designs of all kinds of scales and combinations of intelligent hybrid inverters capable of connecting larger arrays, battery banks and inverter capacity. And easy to install and commission.

I'm sure they will be coming out with new products soon.

Outback, if your listening, many homes and buildings in California and the Southwest have their main panels outdoors and for these installations, NEMA 3R and more equipment is needed and due to restrictions on the simple geography of many homes, larger capacity inverters in a single package are needed. Also, temperature ranges need expansion due to the climate.

In my own case, if I wanted to adopt skybox, I would have needed to install and configure 4 of them and then combine a big battery bank and it would be a lot of work as compared to say a single 20K watt inverter in one package.
User avatar
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 3260
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof (2007/2017):
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 24 (2x12) 235W Lightways panels with Enphase M215 microinverters plus 6 - 275W Talesun panels, also with M215s, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Trina Solar 270W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger), installed 3/5/24 (replaced original 2019 Talesun DC array)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W (manually switched during outages), Enphase M215 microinverters

Battery systems operate in grid-tied, net metering w/backup mode
All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Skybox is history

Post by Mike Curran »

@pss - you're right, with all the changes going on, Skybox became obsolete quickly. Being grid-tied and only backing up some critical loads, a single Skybox was perfect for my needs. Skybox has a NEMA 3R rating and that was the reason I went with it over a Radian - had to be outdoor mounted.

Now, if I had to replace it my simplest option would be to buy a spare Skybox (they're made so that they can be swapped out without disconnecting any of the hard wiring to panels, signal wiring, and AC connections), and you can find used ones on ebay. Otherwise it'd have to be a Mojave in combination with an FM100 - much more expensive. Plus the hassle of rewiring everything.
https://ei.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
Electrictrauma
Forum Expert
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:18 pm
My RE system: Skybox
24 260 watt panels
2 12 string kong 48 volt
248 amp lifepo4 battery
12kwh
Location: North bay, CA

Re: Skybox is history

Post by Electrictrauma »

Guess that means we’ll never know why the sporadic error codes and restarts!
JDL
Forum Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:44 pm
My RE system: tbd

Re: Skybox is history

Post by JDL »

So the question is - How long will outback support the Sky box :?: Will they have spare parts? and if so for how long? Outback - feel free to respond.
User avatar
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 3260
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof (2007/2017):
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 24 (2x12) 235W Lightways panels with Enphase M215 microinverters plus 6 - 275W Talesun panels, also with M215s, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Trina Solar 270W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger), installed 3/5/24 (replaced original 2019 Talesun DC array)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W (manually switched during outages), Enphase M215 microinverters

Battery systems operate in grid-tied, net metering w/backup mode
All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Skybox is history

Post by Mike Curran »

I'm sure they will honor the 10 year warranty but beyond that we're probably on our own. Since many vendors are still selling new Skyboxes it would seem Outback will have to provide support for those sales. Note warranty states coverage starts 6 months from factory shipment. Since they're no longer being produced, that gives new owners 10 years or less of warranty coverage, as I see it.
Screenshot_20230305_212612_Adobe Acrobat.jpg
https://ei.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
mhspohr
Forum Guru
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:56 am
My RE system: Skybox "Bristlecone" with 14.3 kWh LiFePO4 (power outage backup)
Skybox "Bristlecone2" with 5 kWh SLA (not currently active since "stacked" operation not working)
6.6 kW SolarWorld/Enphase and 2.6 kW Sunpower/SMA
Skybox "Cottage1" with 14.3 kWh LiFePO4 (power outage backup)4.4 kW REC string (with Tigo Optimizers) into Skybox in Cottage
3.4 kW CSUN string (with Tigo Optimizers) into Skybox in Cottage
Tesla 2022 Model S LR and Tesla 2022 Model Y charged from the sun.

Re: Skybox is history

Post by mhspohr »

This is sad.
My investment of $10,000 seems to be wasted now.
They are still functioning most of the time but have a nasty habit of just randomly going off line leaving me without power.
I can't rely on them so will need to look for replacements.
User avatar
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 3260
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof (2007/2017):
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 24 (2x12) 235W Lightways panels with Enphase M215 microinverters plus 6 - 275W Talesun panels, also with M215s, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Trina Solar 270W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger), installed 3/5/24 (replaced original 2019 Talesun DC array)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W (manually switched during outages), Enphase M215 microinverters

Battery systems operate in grid-tied, net metering w/backup mode
All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Skybox is history

Post by Mike Curran »

Mike Curran wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 5:21 am @pss - you're right, with all the changes going on, Skybox became obsolete quickly. Being grid-tied and only backing up some critical loads, a single Skybox was perfect for my needs. Skybox has a NEMA 3R rating and that was the reason I went with it over a Radian - had to be outdoor mounted.

Now, if I had to replace it my simplest option would be to buy a spare Skybox (they're made so that they can be swapped out without disconnecting any of the hard wiring to panels, signal wiring, and AC connections), and you can find used ones on ebay. Otherwise it'd have to be a Mojave in combination with an FM100 - much more expensive. Plus the hassle of rewiring everything.
Edit: Make that 2 FM100s, plus weatherproofing (or finding space indoors) for a Mojave, which is not outdoor rated like Skybox..
https://ei.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
mhspohr
Forum Guru
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:56 am
My RE system: Skybox "Bristlecone" with 14.3 kWh LiFePO4 (power outage backup)
Skybox "Bristlecone2" with 5 kWh SLA (not currently active since "stacked" operation not working)
6.6 kW SolarWorld/Enphase and 2.6 kW Sunpower/SMA
Skybox "Cottage1" with 14.3 kWh LiFePO4 (power outage backup)4.4 kW REC string (with Tigo Optimizers) into Skybox in Cottage
3.4 kW CSUN string (with Tigo Optimizers) into Skybox in Cottage
Tesla 2022 Model S LR and Tesla 2022 Model Y charged from the sun.

Re: Skybox is history

Post by mhspohr »

I was looking at the Mojave. I'd need to also buy new solar inverters and rewire.
I'd rather they just fixed the Skybox.
mhspohr
Forum Guru
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:56 am
My RE system: Skybox "Bristlecone" with 14.3 kWh LiFePO4 (power outage backup)
Skybox "Bristlecone2" with 5 kWh SLA (not currently active since "stacked" operation not working)
6.6 kW SolarWorld/Enphase and 2.6 kW Sunpower/SMA
Skybox "Cottage1" with 14.3 kWh LiFePO4 (power outage backup)4.4 kW REC string (with Tigo Optimizers) into Skybox in Cottage
3.4 kW CSUN string (with Tigo Optimizers) into Skybox in Cottage
Tesla 2022 Model S LR and Tesla 2022 Model Y charged from the sun.

Re: Skybox is history

Post by mhspohr »

I keep having the problem where my Skyboxes will just stop feeding power to loads and stop drawing power from the grid. Happens every few months and usually both houses at the same time. The only way to recover is to shut them down completely and restart.
They have no interest in fixing this problem. I have had lots of conversations with support and they are useless.
I have asked them to replace these abandoned units with something more reliable from their currently supported products. (We'll see how that goes.)
goldserve
Forum Expert
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2022 3:06 pm
My RE system: Skybox inverter
Battery: 2 x EG4 100A lifepo4 batteries & 1 x SOK 100A battery, total 15kWh
16 x REC260 panels, 2 strings of 8
Grid-tied, net metering with TOU
Location: NorCal, PGE

Re: Skybox is history

Post by goldserve »

They are pretty generous but I don't think there is a good hybrid replacement for the Skybox from Outback. I'm cheap and if I keep on getting these issues, I may consider changing out to something like the new Luxpower hybrid inverter. It's smaller than the skybox with BOS so it should drop right in with some minor conduit rewiring.
mhspohr
Forum Guru
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:56 am
My RE system: Skybox "Bristlecone" with 14.3 kWh LiFePO4 (power outage backup)
Skybox "Bristlecone2" with 5 kWh SLA (not currently active since "stacked" operation not working)
6.6 kW SolarWorld/Enphase and 2.6 kW Sunpower/SMA
Skybox "Cottage1" with 14.3 kWh LiFePO4 (power outage backup)4.4 kW REC string (with Tigo Optimizers) into Skybox in Cottage
3.4 kW CSUN string (with Tigo Optimizers) into Skybox in Cottage
Tesla 2022 Model S LR and Tesla 2022 Model Y charged from the sun.

Re: Skybox is history

Post by mhspohr »

I'm researching alternatives.
I'm thinking that it might be best to go with a separate solar pv inverter and a battery backup unit.
I've had good luck with SMA PV inverters and they are reasonably priced.
Up in the air for the grid-tied inverter charger to hook to my batteries. I wasn't aware of the Luxpower line but don't seem to find a US seller.
Lots of different options but I'd prefer something that was proven reliable. A lot of the alternative are Chinese made and they often are "optimistic" on specs and have ? reliability.
(Interesting... As I was typing this there was another "phantom failure" where both houses shut down with the same "grid connected" but 0 from the grid, 0 to loads. I did the usual power cycle and they both came back up. This is the second time this week. They are really unreliable. Probably another grid anomaly since there is a strong wind and distant thunder.)
goldserve
Forum Expert
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2022 3:06 pm
My RE system: Skybox inverter
Battery: 2 x EG4 100A lifepo4 batteries & 1 x SOK 100A battery, total 15kWh
16 x REC260 panels, 2 strings of 8
Grid-tied, net metering with TOU
Location: NorCal, PGE

Re: Skybox is history

Post by goldserve »

I was hinting at the fortress power or signature solar new inverter. I just need some more people to test it out before I get fed up with this unreliable condition. It’s all firmware and I can’t see why it can’t be fixed. This is not looking good for outback because supposedly they are known for rock solid stability and made in the USA.

Do you not get any error messages in the event log?
mhspohr
Forum Guru
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:56 am
My RE system: Skybox "Bristlecone" with 14.3 kWh LiFePO4 (power outage backup)
Skybox "Bristlecone2" with 5 kWh SLA (not currently active since "stacked" operation not working)
6.6 kW SolarWorld/Enphase and 2.6 kW Sunpower/SMA
Skybox "Cottage1" with 14.3 kWh LiFePO4 (power outage backup)4.4 kW REC string (with Tigo Optimizers) into Skybox in Cottage
3.4 kW CSUN string (with Tigo Optimizers) into Skybox in Cottage
Tesla 2022 Model S LR and Tesla 2022 Model Y charged from the sun.

Re: Skybox is history

Post by mhspohr »

Never any error messages. Just stops feeding loads.
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