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Solar Panels and Solar Inverters... Our first repair...

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by AEdennis, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

    Jul 23, 2013
    What is a Solar Inverter? It's a device that converts the DC power generated by solar panels into AC power that one can use in most homes. When we first shopped around for solar, we had many choices and we picked our provider based on cost, and it turned out to be a pretty good technical solution as well.

    With the first generation Tesla Powerwalls, the price was lower, but did not include the inverters for that product. The newer Tesla Powerwall 2 does, which is what makes PW2 a better bargain.

    As for our solar installation, have micro-inverters and we just had a failure and repair and I thought to share our experience. (
  2. swaltner

    swaltner Active Member

    Oct 13, 2012
    Kansas, USA
    I recently had a Enphase M215 inverter fail. My 5 kW (21x 240W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters) solar system went live in July 2012. In mid-June, I happened to look at the enphase web site and saw the power levels on one panel jumping around throughout the day. It would produce the 200 W the other panels were generating, then drop to 1 W, then jump back to 200 W and repeat this throughout the day. The other panels would produce steady output during this time. It couldn't have been a more pain-free fix.

    Jun 16: I sent an e-mail to the local installer (VERY small shop, just a couple employees) asking what they thought of the power levels being reported
    Jun 22: Reply saying that they see the issue and have filed a warranty claim with Enphase
    Jul 6: Notified warranty coverage has been approved
    Jul 7: Notified the inverter was replaced that morning

    No bill was received for the parts or labor - both covered under warranty. 5 years in, 37.7 MWh of electricity produced and my first minor maintenance issue. I live on a dusty dirt road and should probably clean the panels, but I don't like climbing on the potentially slick metal roof on the airplane hangar in my back yard that these are mounted on.

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