Discuss Solar Edge problems - a warning? in the Solar PV Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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SolarCity

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Went back to a site earlier today to setup the monitoring. When we switched the system back on, the inverter was only reading 2v DC and was only matching up some of the power optimisers - varying between 1 and 15. Checked voltage at plugs and we were getting 16v as expected.

When we spoke to technical support, the gentleman on the line thought that the likely issue would be a power optimiser - perhaps a loose connection or a faulty optimiser. He suggested altering the setup to a string of eight and trying to isolate the problem that way.

Great. Apart from the fact that the £550 scaffold has already been dismantled of course. I suggested that replacing the inverter would surely be a better move as this would be cheaper and could solve the problem. He disagreed. I then asked the obvious question - who was going to pay for the scaffold erection? No surprises. All costs would be down to ourselves. I pointed out that I thought this was ridiculous and he explained that "Solar Edge would go out of business if they were to incur the costs themselves." - I then asked the next obvious question. If this would make Solar Edge go out of business then exactly how often IS this happening? He didn't know. To be fair, he was only the technical advisor so it wasn't really his issue anyway.

This does raise an important question - exactly how often do these optimisers go down? And why, if SolarEdge are confident about their product, don't they cover the costs of replacing faulty equipment? It is absolutely nonsensical to expect a trademen to incur scaffold costs AS WELL as labour costs when a product fails.

SolarEdge is a great system, but I am wondering whether the product - or the company - is really ready for the PV market as it stands.

Incidentally, the inverter suddenly sprang in to life while I was speaking to tech support - neither he nor I know why. We are monitoring the system and I'll let the forum know what happens.
 

whinmoor

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We recently had a similar issue. We traced it to the connector under the inverter itself so the issue was resolved reasonably easily. We didn't need to involve Solar Edge Technical Support.

I believe Solar Edge are a sizeable global company and their product is quite unique at the moment. Installations which would previously been impossible or uneconomic suddenly become viable due the flexibility of the product.
 
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SolarCity

SolarCity

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I believe Solar Edge are a sizeable global company and their product is quite unique at the moment. Installations which would previously been impossible or uneconomic suddenly become viable due the flexibility of the product.
That is true - but they clearly don't have the same confidence in their product as they expect from the installer.

Having extra equipment on a roof space where scaffold costs are required in the event of a failure is a big problem and I don't think it is right that the installer should have to shoulder this burden.
 

moggy1968

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I know solar edge aren't microinverters as such but it was issues such as this that put me off using that type of product. Over the 25 years of the tarriff Inverters are the weak link in the chain and if you need scaffold to get to them it starts getting expensive.
 

Eco Deal

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you got to place your power boxes wisey for future access , ie place power boxes on upper rails and lower rails only so all PB's are within arms reach .

I know I could lift a panel and swap a power box within 5 mins.

so thinking about it if I had to go to a job for a power box swap I would just use ladder and cat ladders on most of them.

you should also leave scaffold up for around a week after install just incase I know some customers want them down asap.

Come to think of it I did have a fault on the monitoring system where it showed a panel down but it was down to a TYPO by solar edge staff.

- - - Updated - - -

I installed over 1600 power boxes and not had a faulty one !!!!!
 

Eco Deal

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what time did you go to site the power boxes start up indivdualy so you will get

P_ok 01/01
P_ok 02/02
P_ok 03/03

etc etc until it gets to all panels on system as each one starts up!!!!
 

Worcester

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Just done our first solaredge install.

Started at early this morning finshed @1pm ago, 16 mixed panels all different makes, pumping out 3.2kW in the glorious sun..

Thanks to everyone here for the pointers about the comms etc. All working just great.
 
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SolarCity

SolarCity

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@MEP, we were getting various readings on the inverter - most concerning was the 2vDC reading. The inverter would stick in, for example, 02/15 for 20 minutes before setting on something else. I think it is an inverter issue but I'm monitoring it.
 
P

poheZ

What i have noticed since we have put in about 9 se4000 with 15 y265w pandas is that the solar edge system does not outperform some of our sma systems with web boxes when the sun is out (lets forget all variables). However, it does perform better on partially sunny days when comparing them to the same systems.

Ultimatley i would say the proof will be in the annual accumulation of kwh. I have now got to grip with the way the technical service works and actually it is a good way to get problems solved. The most common thing i have to do is get the upper voltage threshold changed from 253v to something a bit higher.

Also i would say that they are a bit more 'fun' and quicker to install than a powerone equivalent.
 
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SolarCity

SolarCity

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You don't fit a DC isolator? I know some people rely on the inverter DC switch but the SolarEdge switch doesn't give true isolation, does it?
 

Eco Deal

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I would disagree solar edge takes far longer to install than a standard inverter

WHY!

Power boxes need bolting to rail
Ethernet cable needs wiring to router or power boxes setup (extra radial really)
Set up of online monitoring account needs to be set up.
Pairing up power boxes takes 15-30 mins

so do not know why its quicker to install a solar edge system
 

Worcester

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Solaredge definately takes longer, and we wouldn't fit any systems without DC Isolators..

for the reasons MEP points out above.
 
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