Discuss Is this the right inverter? in the Solar PV Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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volans

Can someone give some advice - please? I have just solar panels fitted 7 to a south south east facing roof, & 2 to an east south east roof. Initially I was informed that I would need 2 inverters or a split inverter. I have ended up with a Suntellite SL-TL 2800. I know very little about inverters but have a feeling that this one is wrong for the installation, but having read up on mpp tracking & strings I have concluded that I need twin tracking and/or strings, I can't work out if the inverter has this or not!

Pete
 

SolarCity

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I've had a look at the datasheet for that inverter and it is difficult to understand. Not sure if it has two MPPTs or not.

Either way, 2 panels would not be enough to operate one of the MPPTs (unless you have a panel with a huge voltage!). I would say there is a strong possiblity that you are on one string - not a good idea on a system with two different orientations. Can you post a picture of your inverter?
 
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volans

My computer froze while replying, so if you get this twice, apologies.
Here are 3 photos, one front & 2 side. Thanks.DSC_0005.JPGDSC_0009.jpgDSC_0010.jpg
 

Eco Deal

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The amount of times I tell members of the public about dual MPPT's and low amount of solar panels on one MPPT is unreal.

the problem is many installer ill inform people on systems and they end up with the wrong inverter.

so those two panels on your roof you might as well put them in the bin!

you would of been better with solar edge system as I think two panels may be too small to start the smallest inverter on the market !!!
 

whinmoor

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The issue now is: the installer has designed, quoted and installed a system which the customer agreed to. Probably this is a rush-job to some degree to meet the FiT deadline. Assuming that the workmanship is sound, has the installer kept his side of the contract by installing what was specified? Is it the customer's fault (caveat emptor) for not researching the system/equipment in enough detail? Or, does the installer have a duty of care to design and quote for a suitable system? Does the customer have any comeback in such a situation where the system produces less electricity than SAP predicts?
 

SolarCity

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I think this points at a larger issue.

The amount of times we are having customers come on to this forum and ask advice about their systems only to find that their system has been installed poorly is incredible. I don't think that all these installers can just be cowboys. I think a lot of the blame must go to the training centres that ignore important info like this yet focus on polar bears and ice caps for example. It is entirely conceivable that these installers are trained, qualified and certified to install yet have utterly no idea what an MPPT is.

Personally I think that the PV route is far too easy for installers. They can spend a couple of days training, get an MCS document made for them and then rely on kits - presumably in the mind that they can then forget the design phase entirely.
 
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volans

I received 7 quotes for this installation and the one I chose was not the cheapest by a long chalk. This one seemed toknow what he was talking about - can't fit them there because of shadows, need split/two inverters etc. (bull **** baffles brains? - not that I'm saying I've got any brains ). When it comes to the crunch one has to trust someone, and if they are an approved installer it is assumed that they are o.k. I have been in touch with the installer & was assured that it is a dual mppt & will work correctly, so it looks like I've got a battle ahead. Trouble is, reading the above, can any improvement be achieved?
 

Worcester

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@SolarCity ... so what do you think of MCS's recent consultation excercies and likely proposals... Will it solve these bad designs?
MCS recently tightened up the requiremnts for heat pumps due to too many badly designed systems underperforming, and brought out their own guidelines. There should have been no need, as a well designed system would be no different under the new guidleines, however you could get away in the past wuith a badly designed system that would underperform.
We lost one contract earlier this year when we insisted compliance with the new spec 7 days before it came in, someone else bid using the old spec at 30% less than us and the client now has a system installed that will not perform as he expects but he'll only know after 5 years of excessive energy charges as the system underperforms.... Future systems will perform adequately because of these new design standards.
 

SolarCity

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@SolarCity ... so what do you think of MCS's recent consultation excercies and likely proposals... Will it solve these bad designs?
Unlike a lot of others, I am cautiously supportive of them.

One thing we definitely need is a certification body which is more interested in competency than whether or not our meetings have been recorded.
 

Gavin A

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I echo that. I'm sick of the level of incompetence we see on this forum, and the number of shocking installations I see where good design and installation principles have been ignored entirely.

I think the training providers and accredited course suppliers should share a huge amount of the blame for this - I was appalled at some of the rubbish my sparks were taught on the course I sent them on last year, some of which was actually dangerous, and I doubt they mentioned anything about stuff like dual MPPT etc.

In the consultation I actually asked that the assessors used to assess competence should meet the level 3 installer criteria for the relevant technology, which I think would be a vital component of raising standards. We had a former gas fitter with zilch solar experience assessing us last year who wanted us to have bonded the frame on a system which used an SB1200 isolating transformer inverter, just because it looked like it might be touchable from a velux (it actually wasn't anyway).
 

SpitfireW'sale

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I received 7 quotes for this installation and the one I chose was not the cheapest by a long chalk. This one seemed toknow what he was talking about - can't fit them there because of shadows, need split/two inverters etc. (bull **** baffles brains? - not that I'm saying I've got any brains ). When it comes to the crunch one has to trust someone, and if they are an approved installer it is assumed that they are o.k. I have been in touch with the installer & was assured that it is a dual mppt & will work correctly, so it looks like I've got a battle ahead. Trouble is, reading the above, can any improvement be achieved?
I don't know of any dual MPP inverter that could power a 2 panel string into 1 of the trackers. We would normally suggest something like 1 X Mastervolt Soladin 600 and 1 X SMA 1200 for a system like this, but would check that on PVSol (or manufacturer design software) first, obviously.

The installer may have made a simple mistake. I'd go back to them with your new info and see what they say before passing judgement.
 

Worcester

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Trouble is, reading the above, can any improvement be achieved?
You have two options:
Accept what you have contracted for
or
Challenge it.

To challenge it you need to ask the installer to show you how his chosen system will perform correctly with the 2 MPPT's that he said were nescsarry in the configuration that he has designed, adn give him the chnace to reply fully in laymans terms.

So there are 4 possible solutions
1) You've got what you've got.

as there are two areas of installation with different orinetations, in a first class design, they should either have been
2a) on Seperate MPPT's - (dual tracker)
HOWEVER: The chosen inverter needs to be able to cope with only 2 panels on that one string - I doubt this is the case. If it is fine, ask the installer to show you, else you have 2 other solutions, both of which require you challenge the installer further, wether you have legal contractual grounds to do so or whether caveat emptor applies, I cannot comment.
2b) Possibly two inverters, though whether there is one small enough for the 2 panels I cannot say, the Soladin 600 is about the smallest, though two enecsysy micro inverters (see below) would do the job. plus an inverter properly sized for the main roof.


If you decide to challenge the installer further, then the two best solutions are
3a) Micro-Inverters. Enecysy or Involar - you have one inverter per panel, so gauranteed no mismatch.
or
3b) SolarEdge Optimisers, these are attached to each panel, and effectively give each panel it's own MPPT, without actually being and inverter, so with the appropriate interface, they can be attached to any inverter (obviusly it would be best if it was a SolarEdge invertert, that way you don't need the interface.

That's really it unfortunately. You need to give your installer the chance to fully explain how it will work they way he has designed and installed it. If there are some compromises in the design these should be reflected in the output figures (kWh / annum) that you were quoted. If those compromises have been included there, then that's the end of it (legally)
 

Eco Deal

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I think these situations are a combination of

1. Poor training
2. Solar companies set up with no electrical knowledge and just in it for the cash.
3. sales persons - commmission
4. poor surveys
5. MCS accrediation is a walk in the park (my 6 year old girl could become MCS accreddited)
 

maks_sm

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Hi folks! I think I made mistake buying mppsolar.com inverter-charger. Its advertised as 1.6-3.2 kW but tripping on any load 1.5 kW, its noisy and it stinks when plugged to mains. And company does not want to replace it. Such great customer care! Today I found the same inverters on ebay.co.uk. You would not belive how many happy customers. Be carefull lads! I payed directly to company throug paypal. Will try to leave f/back there
 

Gavin A

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Hi, which inverter specifically (make / model) are you referring to?

might be as simple as it needing wiring up differently to get it to carry the 3.2kW outputs - eg Power-One 3.6 Out-D inverters need the link putting in to get both sides working if run in single string / 2 strings parralleled to same input.
 

MCS Renewables

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Interesting post on another forum :

Hello, I'm new to all of this, but over Xmas I had a solar PV installation installed by ECO-Deal. This should have taken 1 day at most I guess, but all in all it took nearly 5 weeks. Panels not arriving, wrong parts supplied, sick children, Xmas etc.


Original planned start date 17th December which came and went with no panels arriving- started a week or so later. Finish date 5th January after another interim visit and a missed appointment and tiles on my lower roof damaged by the company when installing the rails, nothing mentioned about the damage, it was up to me to point out the damage, it leaves me wondering what state the rest of my slate roof is in after seeing what damage had been done to the tiled roof, additional work and repairs to damaged roof carried out on the 18th January.


Now as far as I can see my installation is still not complete, I'm still not registered for FITS even though I signed a returned the docs on the 7/1/2013 and the layout of the panels with the SolarEdge montoring system is still incorrect. I have a contract which states that this would be done by ECO-Deal yet I am having to chase British Gas myself to get the work done, meaning I've lost the first 5 weeks of power generation (although it was quite low). I've also logged a call with Solar Edge to find out why my layout hasn't been completed and guess what? ECO-Deal have not done what is required.


I can't complain about the the system as that seems to work well, but ECO-Deal don't seem to know what they are doing at all, very shoddy workmanship in my book and have been blaming british gas and solar edge for the issues.


Update, my layout has changed today 24/2/13 and now my panels have dropped form 16 to 12 and the layout doesn't match the roof at all.


I wish I had never contracted ECO-Deal to carry out the work - keep clear of them if you want solar PV

Solar PV installed by ECO-Deal - not happy so far : Solar PV Output & Performance
 

Worcester

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Hope that's not our Eco-Deal man from Up North...
 

maks_sm

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Hi Gavin A, Thanks for reply! PIP 1624 HS inverter-charger model is advertised like 1.6-3.2 kWatt on ebay! It s tripping because current on AC side is over 7 Amps. 4 Solar pannels (Maximum 1 kWat all in parallel) charging 2 batteries 180 Amper-hours each connected sequence 24 Volts. So, 30 volts from pannels converted to 24 to charge batteries and then from 24 Volts batteries DC PIP 1624 makes 230 Volts AC. MPPSolar.com passed my details to lawers to chase me. I am scared lads, and taking chance to say "Good Buy" everyone and make my last wish. Next day I publish reply without changing. At least we hav a fun time
Hi, which inverter specifically (make / model) are you referring to?

might be as simple as it needing wiring up differently to get it to carry the 3.2kW outputs - eg Power-One 3.6 Out-D inverters need the link putting in to get both sides working if run in single string / 2 strings parralleled to same input.
 

Gavin A

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ouch - do you mean their lawyers are chasing you for the posts made here?

Would surely be a lot better for their reputation if they got their tech guys on this forum to resolve the issue for you instead of bullying you into submission.

didn't realise it was a battery system - chances are that it's actually 1.6kW continuous, 3.2kW short term peak output from the inverter then, as this is how those inverters tend to work. This should really be explained in the sales blurb and technical literature though.
 

maks_sm

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I suggest 1.6 to be DC charging power limit (actually it is 50 Amps gives you 1.2 kWatt and you are limited with 5 solar pannels only unless the pannels twisted a bit toward sun to spread max) and 2.4 suppose to be AC power limit but it is written on reset bottom 8.7 Amps and I repead tripping 1.5 kWatt so real insert is 6 Amps. Anyway it s so far of declared 3,2 kwatt. MPPsolar.com replyed that best way to use power under 1 kWatt as a few trips may damage inverter. And it stinks when connected to mains even without load. I have a couple of gas testers and will find out what gas it is.

First I asked company for refund and collection of item or replacement. The result is "they accept as insult and pass my details to solicitors". If they arrest me and bring from Ireland to Thailand? Lads, they knows my address! Anyway today I engaged dispute through PayPal as no other way available.

I do not think electricians or engineers on other end exist at all. When I asked what is best way to wire my 4 pannels (on the inverter it says 24-120 Volts so I could go in sequence and that gives me 120 V in Max or Seq-Parall gives me 60 V or parallel 30V) but no reply received. It is no instruction in book about that. Remembering that all declared may be just declared I plugged at my own risk all pannels in parallel
 
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Gavin A

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I suggest 1.6 to be DC charging power limit (actually it is 50 Amps gives you 1.2 kWatt and you are limited with 5 solar pannels only unless the pannels twisted a bit toward sun to spread max) and 2.4 suppose to be AC power limit but it is written on reset bottom 8.7 Amps and I repead tripping 1.5 kWatt so real insert is 6 Amps. Anyway it s so far of declared 3,2 kwatt. MPPsolar.com replyed that best way to use power under 1 kWatt as a few trips may damage inverter. And it stinks when connected to mains even without load. I have a couple of gas testers and will find out what gas it is.

First I asked company for refund and collection of item or replacement. The result is "they accept as insult and pass my details to solicitors". If they arrest me and bring from Ireland to Thailand? Lads, they knows my address! Anyway today I engaged dispute through PayPal as no other way available.

I do not think electricians or engineers on other end exist at all. When I asked what is best way to wire my 4 pannels (on the inverter it says 24-120 Volts so I could go in sequence and that gives me 120 V in Max or Seq-Parall gives me 60 V or parallel 30V) but no reply received. It is no instruction in book about that. Remembering that all declared may be just declared I plugged at my own risk all pannels in parallel
As I suspected, it's clearly advertised as being 3200W surge, 1600W continuous max output - I suspect the 1600 continuous is at 220V, so at higher grid voltages the output will be lower.

This inverter is a 1600w continuous / 3200w surge,
1600w surge 3200w 24v pure sine wave inverter charger inverter power inverter, View inverter charger, MPP Solar Product Details from MPPSOLAR INC. on Alibaba.com

I don't know about Ireland, but in the UK that also wouldn't conform to G83 standards as it outputs at a power factor of 0.8, G83 regs are for PF of 0.95 or higher.

I can't quite work out if it's actually supposed to operate in grid tied mode in parralel with the grid, or more as a UPS supply to supply some circuits seperately to the grid - if the latter then the power factor would probably be ok.

Are you actually a solar trained spark, or DIYer?
 

maks_sm

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Do no trust Greeks!

Ireland have all same as UK standards. I am BSc in Physics, City&Guilds Engineering Technician e.t.c. So I am a bit understanding and bit curious why microwave shows 1.2 kWt on my Inverter instead of 0.7 kWt. I would belive 0.9 but no more.

I m fed up with bills. I have been chasing this idea for my own household for a couple of years, but installers charged so terrible price equal your electric bill for around 40 years. I sent them calculations but they were not impressed.

System I tryed to set in my house suppose to replace totally your electrical suply if you have enough batteries capacity and enough sonshine and good amount of pannels, charging batteries day and using AC anytime independent of supply. System has mains supply to charge batteries and supply through bypass also if we get nuclear winter. As we are not in Morocco I simply and unplugged inverter-charger from mains and plugged my fridge to AC supplying end. So solar pannels charging batteries and supplying my fridge only. The rest of my electric usage is on mains.

I think AC breaker working on current not on power unless something new. Anyway inverter shows produced Voltage 236 V. Will check if true tomorrow.

This is same inverter-charger 48 V if you like to see. PIP 1624 HS missing from screen on 1 st page or nobody bought yet 48 Volts to claim refund as myself

4000W 48V pure sine wave solar smart UPS inverter charger max 50A | eBay

 
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Gavin A

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Do no trust Greeks!

Ireland have all same as UK standards. I am BSc in Physics, City&Guilds Engineering Technician e.t.c.
in which case I'm a little baffled why you expect an inverter that's listed as being capable of peaking at 3.2kW for a maximum of 5 seconds, or 1.6kW continuous to be doing anything greater than 1.6kW... or be particularly surprised if it trips a little lower than this.

bit off to be complaining about that tbh, as it's doing what it states it will do give or take a small percentage.

Fridges have much higher surge currants on start up of the compressor than their actual ratings, so probably not the best thing to be using with an inverter like this.

you;re right, it will be current, so I've probably got that bit the wrong way round, was posting quickly.

lead acid batteries give off hydrogen on charging, but sounds more like to me that you're running the system too hot and burning off crap left inside in the manufacturing process... or worse. If you're going to buy cheap Chinese rubbish, it's a little unwise to be trying to run it well beyond it's official rated output - I'd think the advice to keep it below 1kW would be sensible.
 

Gavin A

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that said, it actually looks quite an interesting device.
 

maks_sm

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It was a book delivered in same box with inverter nothing saying about trippin limits, thanks for informing me.
I am not familiar with all perfect devices in market. The one I purchased:

1. Stinks plugged to mains, two hours work and concentration of CO2 four folds normal in the room with ventilation (Cheked today 9 a.m.). Imagine if you set it ON overnight inverter installed downstairs and never wake up. Fortunatly I set it up in my shed in backyard. I will repead test tomorrow and send official opinion to Environmental Protection Agency of Ireland if it is not late and somebody wakes up in better world.

2. Under rated power. When I ordered I e-mailed to mppsolar that in my household maximum power is 3 kWatt. Nobody from mppsolar.com advised me that it will be in danger to use anything over 1 kWatt and it will be tripping on 1.5 kWatt like it suppose to tripp on 3.2 kWatt with 5 seconds.

3. It s declared like 95% officiency. If It runs fridge 80 Watts inverter itself consume 120-200 Watts. 33,3 and less?

4. Ventilator produce noise like a few bad computers from early 90' s. Imagine it turns ON automatically in midnight and wakes up your neighbours, I m no saying about your family.

5. Finally If you pay for car with 4 wheels and get car with 3 wheels and trying to claim your customer's rights to refund or replace company unleash solicitors on you. Well done Mppsolar.com! That was last straw.

I hope your interest in mppsolar.com inverters dramatically increased.
 
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solarfred

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You paid tuppence for a device that if properly built and certified should cost multiples of £192!! Chances are it is being built from reject parts outside of the legitimate factory and I doubt it is pure sine wave.If you buy a car for £192 I would almost guarantee it has 3 wheels. If it goes up in smoke it will be a nasty experience so I suggest it is not used in the house. A noisy fan tells you it is poor quality as the fan should only operate on occasions when the unit has been running hot for a while. It suggests a lack of heat sinks. The CE certificate has been checked for conformity has it? I bet you did not pay any VAT either? Just a hunch

Apologies to the OP as this thread has been hijacked. Should really be a separate post.
 

taffbutc

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The customer is not the expert. He / She can only agree to what the so called expert says. This is quite clearly a bad design and i would get the installer back. If no joy find out what MCS approved body he /she is with and invite (no demand) them to inspect your system. I'm sure the work will be done correct eventually.
 

Gavin A

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The customer is not the expert. He / She can only agree to what the so called expert says. This is quite clearly a bad design and i would get the installer back. If no joy find out what MCS approved body he /she is with and invite (no demand) them to inspect your system. I'm sure the work will be done correct eventually.
sounds like a DIY job to me
 

BruceB

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It was stated above that Ireland has the same standards as UK. They are slightly different as far as I can tell.
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