The Vguard 1200 S is the first of its kind solar inverter which has IoT Capabilities. I have been using this product for a few weeks now and following is the review of the product.
Priced at nearly 9000 at amazon and sold by Vguard official itself this product demands a 40% premium when compared to its counter parts. It is very well justified in doing so. This is a full fledged IOT capable inverter that remains connected to your 2.4 Ghz wifi and is accessible anywhere through the mobile app. When i say accessible i mean it . you can tweak a lot of things from the app except a few things that are necessarily kept as hard buttons. For me this was a blind buy as i wanted to see how an iot capable inverter works. Vguard dint disappoint on the product. The app is still in its nascent stage but still is capable on a lot of things. only thing it lacks i a good dashboard with a few missing data points . even though i would still have purchased if i had known these facts as there is no other product in the market that boasts this capability. I will talk about the product and app later in the article.
- As the name suggests 1200 S where S stands for the Solar model the 1200 doesn’t stand for 1200 VA. It is just a number . it is actually a 800 W inverter, which means the VA rating will be 1000VA . So 800W of capacity. for a 3 BHK house this suits just fine.
- The solar panels that need to be connected is a maximum of 500W. The combinations of solar panels as mentioned in the manual is 150W*3, 250W*2, 100W*5. Do not increase panels as this might lead to a DC current overload
- Operating DC panel voltage is 12V and battery is also to be maintained at 12V with a maximum of 220 Ah capacity
- Solar Tall tubular battery is recommended C10 Rating
- I am not sure if this uses a PWM or a MPPT charge controller. But a 500W of max panel means the controller might be of 30A capacity.
- the front panel doesn’t display any numbers. a small display displaying backup remiang time would have been wonderful . Even the app dosnt show a backup time remaining. one has to calculate from the
Build & Features
The body of the inverter is build with good materials but the weight is very lopsided. It has all the features that a normal inverter needs to have. There is a Vguard app where you can control the inverter.
The connectivity can be either by Bluetooth or by WiFi if available . make sure your router has backup from inverter so that you don’t lose connectivity to your inverter when you are not nearby and there is a power cut.
Dashboard of the app looks like this. It doesn’t show how much time is remaining for backup or how much tome it will take to charge the battery.
The top section indicates if there s some solar current available.
The right section indicates load. When it running on battery or direct solar it will be display load percentage where the max is 800W . You can reverse calculate the load currently being utilized. this will also display how much of the load is being run by solar and battery. During peak solar solar hours the load will be running on 100% Solar and extra solar current will be used to charge the battery.
The bottom section is all about battery. It displays the capacity of the battery. the arrows indicate if battery is being charged or discharged.
the left section is source . When there is enough solar capacity it will auto cut off mains to save your electricity bill and run the load on solar. you might be wondering that this will cause fluctuations , but it isn’t so. the inverter is smart enough to pull power from battery to compensate low solar radiance when ever required.
Solar Savings Calculator
The Solar Savings calculator is a wonderful feature. It gives you a estimate of how much solar power has been utilized throughout the day and a corresponding savings on on your electricity bill. In addition is provides how much Co2 you will be saving from being produced. For a brief estimate on Co2 savings read this
So this is the 1st week of October and solar irridiance was minimal with bursts of rain. With a winter sun shining throughout the day you can expect a saving of 2KWh a day.
Forced power cut is a switch where you can simulate a power cut for the inverter. I normally use this feature to cycle my lead acid battery and further reduce energy units on my bill. After a discharge at night it will charged again through solar .
Turbo Charging is a mechanism to charge your battery through mains 30 percent faster. i have tested this using an digital ammeter. Under normal conditions the inverter draws 1A of current for charging, but when this mode is ON it draws 1.3A of current.
The appliance mode is for running high loads. i have never used it. But it might be useful if you are planing to run a 1HP motor.
Reserve Power is a setting that will allow the inverter to utilize the last reserve capacity of the battery.
Holiday Mode is like the bypass mode
The next two settings are are applicable only when the inverter is running on solar/battery. if you want good longer backup increase the second setting. Do be ware that this will significantly reduce your fan speeds. I keep it at default setting.
is fairly simple. It is used to set up buzzer alarm on or off and assign a load % when you will be notified of an overload.
Get to know the load trend, but is a glitch graph . It only measures load trend as long as you are on that page. doesn’t collect data when the app is not in use. so it is a useless feature. then next bar graphs below gives you a count of power cuts that is happening and how long the inverter is running on either solar or on battery or both. As you can see i have a daily 5+ count of power cuts and 6+ hours of power cuts. This doest mean there were actual power cuts. this count includes the auto cut off mains due to solar availability and all the simulated power cuts that you might have done.
Most of these settings here you see cannot be changed on the app. These are hard switches that needs to be changed from the back panel of inverter. If you are reading this article then i am pretty sure you are aware of these settings. As I am not running any PCs on inverter socket so have kept it as normal mode. the charging mode is kept high charging because as per the manual any battery with 150 and more Ah capacity needs to be kept in High Charging as a recommended setting. you can still use it in normal charging if you wish. Select the battery type properly.
the next two settings must be new for you, so let me explain. When the inverter is kept is power saver max mode the inverter will not charge the battery from mains power until it falls below 60% of charge. Solar current is used for battery charging as a priority one. There was one instance at night when my battery was at 70% capacity and it dint charge it until next morning. if you read the manual it is recommended to use this mode only when power cuts are not frequent like a rainy or winter months. When normal mode is selected it will charge will the what ever source is available
The last setting is fairly simple. When there is a an outage during the day the inverter will not supply power as it needs to conserve battery for the night. So for a normal household the day time usage will always need to be in YES mode.
If you have got more questions do ask in the comments section