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  • FIRST POST
    • Aia
    • By Aia 10th Jan 18, 1:15 PM
    • 8Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Aia
    Solar inverter failure
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:15 PM
    Solar inverter failure 10th Jan 18 at 1:15 PM
    Looks like my solar inverter has failed after 6 years.
    The company that supplied and fitted the system no longer exist (Solar King) and neither do the manufacturer of the inverter Sonnen Macht. It looks like the inverter was actually a rebranded Chinese inverter made by Macsolar who also no longer exist.

    What have other people done in this situation? Some things I have been pondering on;

    1) There was meant to be a 10 year warranty backed by IWA this info was in my quote, but I was never given a certificate for this, which I didn't know I needed. I have not called them yet, till I've checked all my paperwork. A quick search online has shown a certificate is required. Solar King were very slow with paperwork ,I was more concerned about my fit registration deadline as I was very close to the cut off point.

    2) Claim from my building insurance? (but my insurance will likly go up)

    3) Get an MCS registered electrician to fit a new one. I'm in Manchester .(I'm guessing I am not legally allowed to fit it myself) anyway I would want a full 10 year warranty from the manufacturer.

    4) try to get it repaired, (cost of removal, repair, refitting, fit losses and time, probably dont make it economical)
    5) buy a second hand one (same issues above also might only last a few years)

    Thinking of getting a SMA sunny boy or a Fronius inverter due to their warranty lengths/company age/size



    If you have solar inverter, its a good idea to go and check if your generation meter is changing. I think a lot of people are going to start to have failed inverters in the next couple of years. The lifespan of 10-20 years was exaggerated.

    Other info;
    The inverter is 4kw
    (solar panel manufacturer also no longer exist but still working fine)


    Looked at Solaredge inverters (different kind of inverter) which have a longer warranty but require a module fitted to each panel. That would require scaffolding etc so not feasible.


    Edit moved to Green and Ethical Moneysaving forum
    Last edited by Aia; 10-01-2018 at 2:13 PM. Reason: update
Page 1
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 10th Jan 18, 1:52 PM
    • 4,800 Posts
    • 2,943 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:52 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:52 PM
    My feeling is that this one falls to you unless you can contact the third-party that issued any form of insured warranty. I am not sure that your home insurance will cover such a failure. Most solar websites that I looked at some time ago did make mention of the need to factor in the cost of an inverter replacement into any financial decisions.

    I am also pretty sure - notwithstanding the cost - that it is not permitted to start changing the configuration of your registered system. Others will be better placed to provide advice.
    • ard123en
    • By ard123en 10th Jan 18, 8:06 PM
    • 247 Posts
    • 121 Thanks
    ard123en
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 8:06 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 8:06 PM
    What is on the operating panel? Is there an error code

    Guessing tried a reboot already how far dose it initialize
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 10th Jan 18, 9:01 PM
    • 3,905 Posts
    • 4,874 Thanks
    zeupater
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:01 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:01 PM
    What is on the operating panel? Is there an error code

    Guessing tried a reboot already how far dose it initialize
    Originally posted by ard123en
    Agree, make sure the basics are covered first, starting with the fusebox ....

    On replacing (if necessary), I'm pretty sure that you can get any qualified sparky to change the inverter over as it doesn't change the system capacity (etc), but it's probably easier to use a local installer as long as they're not looking for unreasonable margins ... a number of regular contributors have had inverter technology/unit changes, hopefully someone will be along soon with info on their experience!

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • pinnks
    • By pinnks 10th Jan 18, 9:50 PM
    • 538 Posts
    • 1,193 Thanks
    pinnks
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:50 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:50 PM
    Another silly comment perhaps and don't shoot me but have you checked all "fuses" and isolating switches are fine and dandy
    Wiltshire - 5.25kWp
    3.5kWp: 14 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 4000TL, WSW 40 degrees, June 2013
    1.75kWp: 7 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 1600TL, SSE 45 degrees, March 2014
    • forestwn6
    • By forestwn6 10th Jan 18, 10:16 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    forestwn6
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 10:16 PM
    Solar panel inverter.
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 10:16 PM
    EEC home improvements of Southport do replacement inverters.
    I have not used them, but they get good customer reviews.
    • theboylard
    • By theboylard 11th Jan 18, 2:37 PM
    • 1,134 Posts
    • 2,765 Thanks
    theboylard
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 18, 2:37 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 18, 2:37 PM
    My Schuco branded SunnyBoy 3300 is still available? Only used for 9 months then replaced with a SolarEdge retrofit.

    If you go the SolarEdge route - I have 16 or 17 P300 optimisers still (never registered, so covered under first use waranty of 25 years), plus I can't fault SolarEdge support.

    Just putting it out there, you know...
    4kWp, SSE, 16 x 250w EcoFuture BoB with retro-fitted SolarEdge P300 optimisers & SE3500 Inverter, in occasionally sunny Corby, Northants.
    • Aia
    • By Aia 12th Jan 18, 3:56 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Aia
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 18, 3:56 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 18, 3:56 PM
    I had tried the reboot. But the fault light comes on. The latest code was from april 2017 , and just says 0 followd by 00 00 00 and then load more 00. According to the manual 0 means Grid Voltage Fault. it doesn't say anything about 00

    At the bottom of the main display it says
    Status: 0x02 Time (follwed by todays date and time)
    I don't know what status means and there is no reference to it in the manual.

    On the main screen
    Pac 0W
    Vgrid reads 249.0V
    Igrid 0.00A
    Vpv1 404.2V
    IPV1 0.00A

    on a side note
    There is no Vpv2 and after removing the cover (when all switched off) it appears all the solar panal wires attach to 2 points on the board marked PV1+ and PV1-
    • Aia
    • By Aia 12th Jan 18, 3:59 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Aia
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 18, 3:59 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 18, 3:59 PM
    yes. From what I can tell, everything looks fine. Switches work. And the display show voltage from the grid and solar panels.
    Theres a large fuse under the first cover of the inverter and its ok (checked with multimeter)
    • Aia
    • By Aia 12th Jan 18, 4:08 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Aia
    Little update

    When switching back on, DC first, the panel lights up and no fault light comes on. Only when the AC is turned on, a clicking noise can be heard followed by the fault light coming on, followed by more clicking noise. no new error code is shown on the display.

    A friend suspects its a faulty relay. As it a slow clicking (on then off)
    • Dave Fowler
    • By Dave Fowler 12th Jan 18, 4:26 PM
    • 454 Posts
    • 803 Thanks
    Dave Fowler
    At 249V, Vgrid is higher than normal. Can it be that when you start to generate power via the inverter, the mains voltage rises still further and the inverter is registering a fault because of excess mains voltage and the relays disconnect the input?

    If the inverter operates without an error light when there is no PV voltage (DC off, AC on) and also operates with no error light with DC on and AC off, I would suspect there is an over-voltage condition on the mains grid input.

    Dave F
    Solar PV System 1: 2.96kWp South+8 degrees. Roof 38 degrees. 'Normal' system
    Solar PV System 2: 3.00kWp South-4 degrees. Roof 28 degrees. SolarEdge system
    EV car
    Location: Bedfordshire
    • Aia
    • By Aia 12th Jan 18, 6:03 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Aia
    At 249V, Vgrid is higher than normal. Can it be that when you start to generate power via the inverter, the mains voltage rises still further and the inverter is registering a fault because of excess mains voltage and the relays disconnect the input?

    If the inverter operates without an error light when there is no PV voltage (DC off, AC on) and also operates with no error light with DC on and AC off, I would suspect there is an over-voltage condition on the mains grid input.

    Dave F
    Originally posted by Dave Fowler
    it crossed my mind as well. Luckily in 2016 I took a picture of it , and it showed a voltage of 249V, and was operating normally.
    on the 6th of January it showed 243.7V but still showed a fault. In Manchester we seem to have a higher voltage than everyone else. (was taught 230V in school)

    "If the inverter operates without an error light when there is no PV voltage (DC off, AC on)"
    in this situation, the display is off and I think there was no lights on at all.

    I had crawled up in to the attic, (after borrowing a ladder again) and it had become dark outside, so there was no DC voltage. The display was off and from memory there were no light on. The AC switch was on when I went up to have a look.
    Last edited by Aia; 12-01-2018 at 6:04 PM. Reason: update
    • ard123en
    • By ard123en 12th Jan 18, 11:06 PM
    • 247 Posts
    • 121 Thanks
    ard123en
    If it was the relay gives error 19 looking at the manual

    00 is mains voltage fault as you said reference voltage of 270 if about 40 v to high

    You say have a meter what is the measurement of AC on your home
    • ard123en
    • By ard123en 12th Jan 18, 11:15 PM
    • 247 Posts
    • 121 Thanks
    ard123en
    “Grid Voltage Fault”
    The grid voltage has exceeded the permitted
    range according to local gird regulations.
    Following conditions might lead to this error:
     Grid voltage is out of the range rating.
     Sudden change to the grid.
     Grid impedance at the terminal of the
    inverter is too high.
    For safety consideration, the inverter will
    disconnect from the grid for a short time till
    the grid return to normal.
     Check the grid
    voltage.
    If this event occurs
    continuously and the
    inverter doesn’t work:
     Please contact your
    f
    • ard123en
    • By ard123en 12th Jan 18, 11:27 PM
    • 247 Posts
    • 121 Thanks
    ard123en
    My gut feeling is that it can't sync with the main so shuts down.

    That's why ok with no DC as no production
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