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In most cases, error codes may appear on the LCD screen. Each inverter manufacturer has their own error codes which relate to the fault showing.
Call us to discuss which one is causing issues to see if we can help over the phone.
Water Ingress In Isolators
Water with any electrical equipment usually results in failure and a potential risk of fire.
The problem with DC systems is that the natural characteristics of DC electricity usually means when a fire occurs, it is difficult to extinguish and will normally have to burn itself out. Most fires in our industry are the result of water ingress in DC isolators.
Common Causes of Water Ingress are:
- Top entry into the enclosures
- Incorrect installation
- Conduit and fittings not glued
- Enclosures have failed or cracked under UV degradation
Burnt out MC4 plugs
MC4 plugs are another common fault which we find. Normally, it is directly a result of installation error and usually because of the below points.
- Incorrectly matched or paired – as per Australian standards these must be of the same manufacturer and model
- Incorrect installation or crimping of internal pin leads to burning out or melted plugs
- Located at both the inverter and solar array where each panel have these plugs
- Hot spots usually caused by poor manufacturing – soldered joints or cracks within the solar cell.
- Microfractures are usually caused by poor manufacturing or external pressure placed on the panel e.g., walking or stepping on them. They can cause performance losses and eventuate to a hot spot causing a fire
- Snail trails are broken cells on a panel which can cause issues with performance
- Fractured back sheets are caused by poor manufacturing and cause water ingress
- In most cases the common fault seen on the inverter is a PV isolation error where the inverter has detected an earth leakage on the system and turned off
- Most of these faults have the potential to cause a fire & system performance issue.
Meter not Configured
- This is usually shown on the electrical bill as ‘solar feed in’ with a tariff. The standard feed in tariff in Victoria is now 6.7 cents
- The premium feed in tariff is a minimum 66 cents but the system would have had to be installed pre-December 2011
- Unfortunately, many of our clients don’t realise that their system is not ‘connected to the grid’ as the inverter is operating. Whilst the inverter is operating, if the meter has not been configured for solar export it usually means the distribution network don’t know your system is alive on their network. This is illegal and can cause complications for the distribution networks infrastructure.
- It also means that you are not being paid for any solar generation which is fed back to the grid surplus to your consumption
- It is the solar retailer’s responsibility to ensure all documentation is sent to the electrical retailer & distribution network
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