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Why do solar inverters fail?

Solar power systems comprise of solar panels, inverters, batteries and a meter. As long as the solar PV system is installed properly, they remain low-maintenance devices. Electricity is generated by the solar panels while the solar inverters convert DC electricity to AC electricity to power the household appliances.

The inverters have more electrical components than solar panels. And they are much more sensitive to heat and equipment failure.

How long do solar inverters last?

String solar inverters have a life expectancy of 10-15 years and microinverters can last for 20-25 years.

Although they are rated to last for decades, many factors can affect the performance of the inverters:

  • Heat
  • Faulty installation
  • Humidity
  • Poor maintenance
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Reasons why solar inverters fail

Overheating

Electrical components are highly sensitive to temperatures. If the maximum operating temperature is reached, it may lead to a reduction in electricity production. It is important to clean the dust filters regularly and ensure that the inverter has open airflow.

Grid Fault

High or low voltage due to a grid fault could prevent the inverter from working. Circuit breakers or fuses can be used to prevent the inverter from failure due to high voltage.

Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT)

Solar panels generate different voltages - it is important to get the maximum efficiency irrespective of the different voltage levels. MPPT algorithms extract the maximum power from the solar panels. The MPPT tracker adjusts itself constantly to keep the solar panels at their Maximum Power Point.

If you are experiencing reduced output, it could be due to a fault in the MPPT module.

Faulty Installation

A very common reason for failure in the solar inverter is faulty installation. If the solar panels are not matched with the inverter capacity, your inverter will not work efficiently. As a rule of thumb, your solar panel capacity should be up to 133% of the inverter capacity.

For example, if you are using a 4 kW solar panel, your inverter capacity should be 3kW. If you are using a 6 kW solar panel, your inverter capacity should be 4.5 kW. Solar panels do not generate the power they are rated for

Fault codes

If your inverter is not working properly, it might show the error via a fault code. Refer to the inverter manual to troubleshoot the problem.

Alternatively, contact your solar specialists at Fallon Solutions for resolving the problem.

What to do if your solar inverter fails?

If your solar inverter is displaying a fault code or it is not restarting after a power outage, contact Fallon Solutions. Our CEC accredited solar electricians can diagnose and repair the solar inverter in a flash! We provide residential and commercial solar power solutions in Brisbane, Logan, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Moreton Bay and Redland.

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