SolarEdge Inverter Failure -> Warranty Claim/ Actual Experience

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Screwdriva
Screwdriva Posts: 1,174 Forumite
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edited 23 November 2022 at 10:34PM in Green & ethical MoneySaving
For those considering PV, it doesn't take much to learn your options for an inverter are quite varied. In my humble view, SolarEdge has always been a pragmatic middle ground. Not quite as expensive as Enphase/ Tesla and not poor quality as many of the Chinese brands. 

Much to my surprise, the SE inverter at a family member's recent installation failed on commissioning (technically 1 hour after commissioning). Nothing unusual about the spec installation - 10X400W Sharp Panels/ 10X SE Optimizers/ 1 SE 3680 HD Inverter. No battery as the consumption didn't justify the spend.

The installer (Light Renewables) returned to the location after following SolarEdge warranty claim protocol, and were asked to check each panel and inverter on video call with SE before the inverter was deemed "in need of replacement under warranty" (Credit to the installer for remaining patient through the investigation while SolarEdge insisted on a variety of checks while on the roof).  

It took 2.5 weeks for the replacement to arrive, due to the fact that they are severely backordered. The CS rep shared that over ~500 3680 inverters were pending delivery in the UK, which is a number never before seen. The replacement unit is now up and running flawlessly and their system consistently outperforms my own, as I am regularly reminded.

Thought I'd share an actual example of a successful warranty claim with SolarEdge on these forums as one doesn't appear to exist!
-  10 x 400w LG + 6 x 550W SHARP BiFacial Panels + SE 3680 HD Wave Inverter + SE Optimizers. SE London.
-  Triple aspect. (22% ENE/ 33% SSE/ 45% WSW)
-  Viessmann 200-W on Advanced Weather Comp. (the most efficient gas boiler sold)

Feel free to DM me if I can help with any energy saving!
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Comments

  • 2nd_time_buyer
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    Well done for following it through. I suspect the cost of someone checking each panel on the roof might exceed the cost of the inverter. Do you know if LR were reimbursed for labor? My installers are a 3-hour drive away, i would not be that optimistic of them coming down to fix my inverter if it went faulty.
  • Screwdriva
    Screwdriva Posts: 1,174 Forumite
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    edited 23 November 2022 at 5:19PM
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    Well done for following it through. I suspect the cost of someone checking each panel on the roof might exceed the cost of the inverter. Do you know if LR were reimbursed for labor? My installers are a 3-hour drive away, i would not be that optimistic of them coming down to fix my inverter if it went faulty.
    Yes, installers are paid a nominal fee from SolarEdge to honour their warranty. It's not quite as much as they make when selling you a system, so be prepared to wait till they have an empty slot. 

    The real challenge is getting the inverter manufacturer to dispatch a replacement unit under warranty. If your installer is a SolarEdge supplier, the expectation from SE is if they were paid to install it, they will need to replace it. (This applies to optimizers too)
    -  10 x 400w LG + 6 x 550W SHARP BiFacial Panels + SE 3680 HD Wave Inverter + SE Optimizers. SE London.
    -  Triple aspect. (22% ENE/ 33% SSE/ 45% WSW)
    -  Viessmann 200-W on Advanced Weather Comp. (the most efficient gas boiler sold)

    Feel free to DM me if I can help with any energy saving!
  • vienly
    vienly Posts: 237 Forumite
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    edited 24 November 2022 at 11:12AM
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    Just had mine fitted this week from LR with Solaredge, glad to know they are efficent with warranty claims!
  • ispookie666
    ispookie666 Posts: 1,180 Forumite
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    edited 24 November 2022 at 11:22AM
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    Credit where it's due to the installer.  Would be nice if the company were to formally appreciate the installer and the household. 
    Inverters in accessible areas/roofs are going to be a pain to replace, the cost of scaffolding itself will put off most unless there are multiple unit failures. 

    “Don't raise your voice, improve your argument." - Desmond Tutu

    System 1 - 14 x 250W SunModule SW + Enphase ME215 microinverters (July 2015)
    System 2 - 20 x 330W Jinko Panels + Enphase IQ7+ microinverters (Jan 2022) + Givenergy AC Coupled inverter + 2 * 8.2KWh Battery (May 2022) + Mitsubishi 7.1 KW and 2* Daikin 2.5 KW A2A Heat Pump
  • Martyn1981
    Martyn1981 Posts: 14,820 Forumite
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    Well done for following it through. I suspect the cost of someone checking each panel on the roof might exceed the cost of the inverter. Do you know if LR were reimbursed for labor? My installers are a 3-hour drive away, i would not be that optimistic of them coming down to fix my inverter if it went faulty.
    Yes, installers are paid a nominal fee from SolarEdge to honour their warranty. It's not quite as much as they make when selling you a system, so be prepared to wait till they have an empty slot. 

    The real challenge is getting the inverter manufacturer to dispatch a replacement unit under warranty. If your installer is a SolarEdge supplier, the expectation from SE is if they were paid to install it, they will need to replace it. (This applies to optimizers too)
    Yep, we had an optimiser replaced, about 6yrs ago. Solaredge posted the replacement to me, and worked with the installer. As you say, they get a small fee for doing the work, and in our case we are quite lucky to have a Velux in the loft, so no scaffolding needed - I attached a huge motorbike security chain to the 8x4 purlin, to which the installers atached their harness cable. Then a simple job to remove the Velux window, and climb out and over the ridge to the roof in question.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW). Two A2A units for cleaner heating.

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • uk1
    uk1 Posts: 1,839 Forumite
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    One of the key customer service issues that it is wise to advance-avoid is getting it in writing that the replacement unit will be a new ex-factory unit and not a refurbished item which manufacturers often and routinely do in many industries  on in warranty replacements.  It doesn’t happen every time but it does happen and is additionally tempting when new stock is heavily back-ordered. There isn’t an awful lot of channels for manufacturers to sell declared refurbished items and it is clearly more profitable to recycle them in some way. 
  • Exiled_Tyke
    Exiled_Tyke Posts: 1,193 Forumite
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    I've previously reported that I have successfully claimed from SE under warranty.  However it wasn't straightforward.  They initially insisted it was a panel and had me replace it. Only when this didn't solve the problem did they have the optimiser checked and replaced.  All in all it took three months from the first problem to getting the panel up and running again.  So three months at peak times (April to June).  I was not impressed!
    Install 28th Nov 15, 3.3kW, (11x300LG), SolarEdge, SW. W Yorks.
    Install 2: Sept 19, 600W SSE
    Solax 6.3kWh battery
  • 2nd_time_buyer
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    It Exiled_Tyke said:
    I've previously reported that I have successfully claimed from SE under warranty.  However it wasn't straightforward.  They initially insisted it was a panel and had me replace it. Only when this didn't solve the problem did they have the optimiser checked and replaced.  All in all it took three months from the first problem to getting the panel up and running again.  So three months at peak times (April to June).  I was not impressed!
    I am already thinking that it might be less stressful for me to hire a scaffolding tower when things go wrong and just do it myself. 
  • vienly
    vienly Posts: 237 Forumite
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    It Exiled_Tyke said:
    I've previously reported that I have successfully claimed from SE under warranty.  However it wasn't straightforward.  They initially insisted it was a panel and had me replace it. Only when this didn't solve the problem did they have the optimiser checked and replaced.  All in all it took three months from the first problem to getting the panel up and running again.  So three months at peak times (April to June).  I was not impressed!
    I am already thinking that it might be less stressful for me to hire a scaffolding tower when things go wrong and just do it myself. 

    Cheaper to buy to use in long run

    https://www.laddersandscaffoldtowers.co.uk/acatalog/Home-Master-DIY-Scaffold-Towers.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAveebBhD_ARIsAFaAvrELmW3eUowsEx2ffHXJwFYbZm2svqcByjM3Zl-Ai4vzmxYJkptszv0aAuD1EALw_wcB
  • Solarchaser
    Solarchaser Posts: 1,663 Forumite
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    Technically what you have reported is a failure at install rather than a warranty claim.
    Always a concern on brand new equipment,  you wonder what their factory quality control is like...
    The installer is liable for the warranty rather than the manufacturer in the first year, and its then up to them to liase with the manufacturer to get their money/unit.
    Or I suppose more correctly the installer is who you bought it from, so you are their customer, not the manufacturers.

    A manufacturer can if they wish, replace any warranty unit with a refurbished,  it's usually in their contract (certainly is with any manufacturer I've worked for).

    My aurora/power one/ abb inverter failed with only a couple of months warranty left of a 5 year warranty (though the installer told me it was 10)
    The installer had obviously gone out of business by then,  but abb arranged a local installer to come and replace mine with no hassles around 3 years ago.

    Abb definitely represent the cheaper end of the market.

    Solar Edge do have a decent name, but then, so do Sony,  and I'd never buy a Sony.
    West central Scotland
    4kw sse since 2014 and 6.6kw wsw / ene split since 2019
    24kwh leaf, 75Kwh Tesla and Lux 3600 with 60Kwh storage
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