Luminous renamed its Solar Retrofit into “Luminous solar Conversion Kit” and relaunched it with some improvements and also with unresolved bugs.
Let’s see the pros and cons of Luminous Solar Conversion Kit
Actually Luminous has upgraded the product in some aspects without increasing the Price.
Why Solar Companies eyeing Home Solar Market?
Most Leading players in the Indian Solar market are now turning towards the home segment, where they have a good Market Potential in future.
Sukam is the leading player in Residential Solar Market and Tata Solar is leading in the Industrial segment. Several other companies are also offering cost effective Solar solution for Residential and Industrial use.
More than 60% Urban Homes in India already have Home Inverters (UPS system) installed, and by adding a small hybrid solar charge controller and solar panels (200 to 800 watts) to the existing home inverter and battery, we can convert it to home Solar Power set up to power up our home and office at affordable cost.
The hybrid Solar charge controller is now called as ‘Solar Conversion Kit’
No matter how expensive your Tubular battery and Inverter is, you are finished if you choose any unbranded, Chinese or low-quality solar conversion kit to convert your inverter into the solar inverter.
The quality of the internal components like IC chip, relay and other sensitive electrical and electronic components in solar conversion kit should be 10 times better than the normal inverter.
Unlike normal inverters, solar conversion kit intermittently disconnects mains supply to your inverter multiple times during daytime to utilize the maximum available current generated from your solar panel.
If anything goes wrong, your battery will be overcharged or your inverter circuit board and other components will be damaged. So, it is best decision to go branded. At the same time analyze and compare the features of the solar conversion kit and choose the best that offers you more facility and reliability.
We tested this Luminous solar conversion kit with different solar panels and different types of batteries with different capacity.
This Luminous solar conversion kit is compatible with both double battery inverter and Single battery inverter. Once you connect the conversion kit to your inverter battery, it automatically selects the voltage of your battery system (12v or 24v) and activates the setting according to the voltage and number of batteries you use.
The only restriction is ‘Amperage’
You could connect up to 400 watts (12v) solar panels if you use single battery inverter
You could connect up to 800 watts (24v) solar panels if you use double battery inverter
These are company recommendations, but we tested it with 500 watts (12v) solar panels for 12 v single battery system and 1000 watt (24v) solar panels for double battery inverter. We found no glitches and it works fine.
400 watts of solar panels only produce a maximum of 260 watts of current and 17 amps maximum at peak sun hours. This Luminous solar conversion kit “shine2420” supports up to 20 amp current and connecting 500 watts solar panels of 12V to your single battery inverter will give you more benefit. (Don’t forget to install DC MCB of 20 amp for your safety).
Same thing applies to the 24v battery system, we tested it with 1000 watts solar panels (24v) and it works fine.
What size wire should I use? How much does it cost?
Luminous recommends 6 sq.mm wire for this solar conversion kit. Actually, the size of the wire depends upon the distance between the solar panels and the solar charge controller.
6 Sq.mm copper wire is capable of carrying 38 amps current. Here we are not going to use more than 20 amp current.
why should we use 6 sq.mm wire, which is expensive?
The thickness of the wire is important if you want to minimize the voltage loss when you use long wires from solar panels to the solar charge controller.
If you are planning to install your solar panels at a distance of 30 feet away from your solar conversion kit and battery, you will need 45 meters of 6 sq.mm wire which costs around Rs.1500 approximately.
If you want to cut the cost and compromise with voltage loss, you could choose 4 sq.mm or 2.5 sq.mm copper wire which would cost around 500 to 700 rupees for 45 meters.
Is Luminous Solar conversion Kit Energy efficient?
This Luminous solar conversion kit is PWM based solar charge controller. There are two types of solar charge controllers available in Market, one is MPPT and another one is PWM.
MPPT is more energy efficient and also expensive one which is most preferred for large-scale solar installations.
PWM based solar charge controllers are widely used for small-scale solar installations and it is very much cost effective compared to MPPT charge controllers.
Energy efficiency of Luminous solar conversion Kit is ‘Average’ and it is OK when compared to its pricing.
Price of Luminous Solar Conversion Kit
This Luminous solar conversion kit is available from Rs.2300 online. But the Luminous official online store is selling this unit for Rs.2900/- which is very costly compared to other online sites.
Compared to its features and brand value, the price Rs.2300/- is a really good deal.
Sukam solar conversion kit which has similar specs is priced at Rs.3350/-
1000 Rupees price difference is really huge, Dear Sukam, you need to drop the price
How much current does Luminous solar conversion Kit Produce?
Do not think that investing just 2300 rupees would get you electricity that runs all your fans, lights and TV’s throughout the day.
Don’t forget to include the cost of
- Solar panels
- Mounting structures
By adding 400 watts of solar panels to your existing single battery inverter you could get up to 200 watts/hr of current for your home use on a shiny day. This information may disappoint you, but this is the fact
But this solar power set up will help you on long power cut days and during scorching summer with intermittent power cuts when your grid power supply is not enough to charge your battery.
With 400 watts Solar panels you could power up your 2 ceiling fans, mobile phone, and Laptop chargers for 8 hours without the support from grid power.
Useless Digital Display
Digital display in Luminous shine 2420 has some serious bug. We tested two more units and all the units are shipped with this faulty display.
When connecting the battery for the first time, the display works fine and when we disconnect and test it with other battery the display goes weird and little stretched. But we could see the readings with some minor difficulty.
The digital display is simply a useless feature which doesn’t show any basic and important data.
For Example, you can view the amps from solar panels and you cannot view the current produced in watts.
Automatic Mode needs improvement
This unit has 3 control switches, and surprisingly no information is provided in the manual about how to use these switches.
We will let you know how to use this switches.
The first switch you see in the above image has two options, Auto, and manual.
The second switch also has two options, Charger and 100% Solar.
Most importantly, the second switch will be deactivated when you put the first switch to ‘Auto’ Mode.
In Auto mode, everything will function according to the program and we do not have any control over it. The unit randomly switches off and switch on the grid power supply to our existing inverter and uses the maximum available solar energy during the daytime. This mode does not allow the battery to go below 90% charge level.
At the same time, it randomly cut off the grid power supply to the inverter even in heavy cloudy conditions where there is no solar power supply from the panels. We noticed, it even switches off the grid power supply to the inverter during night time, which is so dumb.
If you set the first switch to manual mode, the second switch will be activated. The manual mode is not 100% manual when you set the second switch to 100% SOLAR, the unit force cuts the grid power supply to the inverter and runs the load using the current from the solar panel and it takes support from the battery.
And when the battery voltage drops below the preset limit, the unit goes to auto mode without any warning or sound signal. So, the manual mode should be considered as a semi-auto mode.
Luminous R&D should work on all the problems listed above. Hope in next version all the bugs will be fixed. Anyway, the problems I mentioned above does not affect the core functionality of the unit and I believe it serves its purpose.