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Solar shutting down due to sudden voltage drop

I've had solar since 2019 and in the past couple of weeks I've had 5 days where my SolarEdge inverter has tripped out and refused to produce, reporting 18x3F: GRM Sync and 18x7B: Startup Error

This has happened once or twice before - but once a year rather than multiple times a week! Tesla have been out and confirmed that there is no fault with the system, the technician thought that the utility transformer could be on the way out.

I've got a Sense energy monitor and it shows a large voltage drop whenever this happens. It's not my usage that's causing the voltage drop, I always charge the car overnight during the off-peak period and the house is using under 1kW whenever this occurs.

I've tried speaking to my utility company (PSE&G) but they don't really seem that interested - I just wondered if anybody else had dealt with a situation like this before and if so how did you manage to get somebody to actually investigate?
 

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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,512
23,482
Riverside Co. CA

Is it not the same error that this thread is about? I dont have a solar edge inverter so dont know, but there are lots of posts about solar edge inverters.
 
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BGbreeder

Active Member
Jun 19, 2020
1,170
847
Bay Area
Nope, that’s 18xB7 which is a hardware failure, my original inverter died with that error - it’s terminal.

This is confusingly 18x7B.
Per this site, an 18x7B is a grid voltage out of range error, and you should contact your utility;

All the best,

BG
 

astrorob

stealth performance M3
Aug 27, 2014
602
157
oakland, ca
something like this happened to me - east bay PGE customer. PGE seems to have juiced up a nearby transformer to handle a voltage sag somewhere else, but it put the voltage at my house outside of the 5% tolerance which is mandated (by the CPUC i guess.) my SMA inverter, made in germany, seems to be a stickler for this part of the spec, and would not sync with the grid in the early morning summer light. by later in the morning there were enough loads on the grid that my voltage would droop back down into the acceptable range for the inverter, so i'd have to go outside and power cycle the thing and it would sync up and start generating.

PGE took care of it pretty fast once i told them they had an over-voltage condition. sunpower was of absolutely no help; their technicians were clueless and the philippine support people decided that the inverter had been misconfigured with some other country's grid parameters based on the error it was throwing. of course that error can be caused when the grid is actually out-of-spec and is a nonsense conclusion since the inverter had operated properly for 5 years up till that point.
 
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Yeah, call your utility. We’ve had an undervoltage issue forever and only probably noticed it because we had an EV charger put in and the supposed 240v get closer to 220v at times.

When I called our utility they we not very communicative or committal, but super responsive. Basically the person on the phone just took my message and couldn’t answer questions or tell me what or when anything would happen. Utility lineman showed up a few hours later, maybe 2, really surprised me. He wanted to know how I knew the voltage was low, then said he would go check the transformer on the street. He came back a little less than an hour later and said everything at the transformer was within spec so it must be something between my house and the street. We have over 300’ of buried electrical line to the street and he didn’t want to answer any questions about that and drove off. To this day that is where we stand.
 

BGbreeder

Active Member
Jun 19, 2020
1,170
847
Bay Area
Yeah, call your utility. We’ve had an undervoltage issue forever and only probably noticed it because we had an EV charger put in and the supposed 240v get closer to 220v at times.

When I called our utility they we not very communicative or committal, but super responsive. Basically the person on the phone just took my message and couldn’t answer questions or tell me what or when anything would happen. Utility lineman showed up a few hours later, maybe 2, really surprised me. He wanted to know how I knew the voltage was low, then said he would go check the transformer on the street. He came back a little less than an hour later and said everything at the transformer was within spec so it must be something between my house and the street. We have over 300’ of buried electrical line to the street and he didn’t want to answer any questions about that and drove off. To this day that is where we stand.
Just to be clear, the specification is 240V+/- 5% at your utility main service point. If it is 240V there, but sagging another 20V in your wiring, that is on you.

I would hire an electrician to document the low voltage, and then circle back to your utility. If there is not a satisfactory response, I would then escalate to your state public utilities commission. The 240V +/- specification is not on some random pole, it is at your main panel.
Acceptable Voltage Ranges

Don't forget the power of contacting your state and US representatives if you aren't getting satisfaction.

All the best,

BG
 

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