The solar inverter is like the control center for your solar system. If you ask anyone that has been in the solar industry for a while, they will tell you the inverter is the most important part of the system. Far more system failures are due to inverter faults than are caused by problems with the solar panels themselves. Initially, most inverters were of the string inverters type, and SMA and Fronius were probably the leading string inverter manufacturers in the world. Then along came micro-inverters that were pioneered by the American company Enphase around 2011 and started to gain traction. Read more
Micro-inverters optimized power at the panel level rather than the array level as string inverters do. Another American brand Solar Edge then further developed the industry with panel level power optimizers. These did not convert the power to AC at the panel level as the Enphase micro-inverters did, but intead achieved much of the same benefit by varying the voltage at each panel to maximize the output current. The power optimizers were able to handle shade and differental roof planes much like a micro-inverter but with less electronics (and thus lower costs and better reliability) on the roof. We here at SolarReviews like power optimizers ver much, but we are also still big fans of Fronius and SMA string inverters.
However, the competition between the technologies may be about to skew heavily in favor of the optimizers and micro-inverters because it may be easier to comply with the new Rapid Shutdown requirement of the 2017 NEC code that came into play in 2019. The revised rapid-shutdown requirements in 690.12(B)(2) provide three compliance options for reducing hazards within a PV array:
Option 1: List and label or field-label PV array as a rapid-shutdown PV array.
Option 2: Limit control conductors within the array boundary to 80 V or less within 30 seconds of rapid-shutdown initiation.
Option 3: Install nonmetallic PV array with no exposed wiring and array more than 8 feet from any grounded metal parts.
In layman's terms what this means is that from 1 January 2019 it will be a requirement that someone can isolate all connectors in an array externally so that that at no point there is more than 80 V connected. As I understand it, based on my limited technical knowledge, the optimizers and micro-inverters will meet this requirements because they can kill the active power within each panel quickly and effectively.
the support is terrible you call them, and you have wait whatever they want, the engineer department, I have issues with my monitoring system
We've been customers for 9 years. Some of our Micro-inverters failed and we had a bit of difficulty trying to get this resolved. When I reached the correct person in the organization they went out of their way to make sure that we were satisfied customers. We love being part of green energy solutions for our planet.... read more
Had a solar system installed March 2020 by Lumina Sun. Activated May 2020. Both inverters not functioning from the beginning. New ones ordered and now I'm being told the Sunny Boy Inverters are not in stock and Lumina Sun has no information as to when I will receive them. I have made 2 payments on a solar system that is not functioning in addition to my regular electric bill. I am beyond mad!!!... read more
The Primo is a transformerless inverter and the snap inverter design makes it very easy to install. The connection unit bolts to a wall and the inverter hinges into the connection unit and is attached by two screws making the inverter very easy to remove and service. Fronius is the only inverter manufacturer that can replace boards if there is a problem, usually an hour job. It has two maximum power point trackers, so you can have strings facing different directions. It has very low warranty claim rate unlike the IG. The monitoring can be done via wifi or ethernet and is very simple to configure. On Fronius' solar website, you can look at AC volts and amps, DC volts and amps, mppt 1 power, mppt2 power, and total power. If you don't have any shading, definitely go with a string inverter and this is a good one. Less components to fail versus Enphase - inverter behind every panel in an extreme environment.... read more
Live in San Antonio TX and have had two inverter failures in 2 years, always in July or August (hottest months). First time it failed, July 2019, took 6 weeks to replace...primer solar creation time. Now the replacement HD Wave (SE114000H) also failed, August 12th 2020, and my installer doesn't respond nor can I get a response to my trouble ticket with SolarEdge. Crap ... obviously not viable for hot climates.... read more
Services: Residential Solar Electric, Commercial Solar Electric, Storage
Two years ago we moved to an off grid location in the Nayarit Mexico jungle. Outback USA recommended a system and battery specification for us that would be suitable in the tropics. They were more expensive than other options but we were assured that they would be fit for purpose and give us support. We built a purpose designed building to house the inverter and batteries safely. Just after a year of operation our batteries started to fail and our Mate 3S control unit on-line connection failed. We had to reduce our bank from 8 batteries to 4 batteries to keep the system working. We advised our Outback providers and service people in Mexico. After providing all the information required and constant requests for help and warranty we have been effectively ignored. We have raised this issue with Outback USA who recommended our system and again are being effectively ignored. We are in Mexico with an expensive nano carbon battery bank that is failing and unable to monitor the system on-line. We have given Outback service USA and Mexico every opportunity to communicate with us. We have been effectively abandoned.... read more
Please don’t purchase Xantrex inverters. They sold me the wrong inverter and now they won’t take it back, even though I offered to purchase the correct inverter and send this one back on my dime. They won’t stand behind their product. Frustrating
I had a Schneider Electric solar monitoring system installed on my completely OTG property in 2019. Their website monitoring platform does NOT provide data regarding the power level of your battery system, which is the most important issue to monitor. I have spent months trying to get an answer or a work-around with their Service Support and I keep receiving responses via E-Mail which are NOT related to my inquiry. Additionally, it takes over a week (on average) for them to respond. Meanwhile, my battery bank and power to my home can only be monitored manually in mid-winter by trudging through snow and 20 degree weather to go to the battery shed to read the monitor.... read more
Again we have had almost five years with no problems. Almost wish we had a problem so the guys would have to come back because they were like family.
Office location: Lawrence, MA 01843
I have been waiting months during prime generation months to get 2 of my inverters working properly. The problem was diagnosed on-line and parts were ordered. Now neither inverter works at all after a failed attempt to fix and the company will not get back to me. Stay away at all costs.
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