How to know if you have a broken solar PV inverter
Knowing if your inverter is broken is crucial to ensure that you are getting the most from your solar PV system, in terms of generating electricity, and earning money from the Government Feed-In Tariff.
Stringed inverters typically last for approximately 5-7 years, therefore it is crucial that you check your production on a regular basis to ensure you don’t lose out on your valuable income and savings.
Here are some of the things to look out for, to help you assess whether there is a problem with your solar inverter:
1. Perhaps the most important thing to take into consideration when assessing whether you have a problem is whether your inverter is showing a red light, or a green light.
Most inverters will show a solid green light if it is working correctly and you are producing energy. Remember – your inverter will show a red light during the evenings when it is in sleep mode.
If your inverter is showing a solid red light during daylight hours, then it is likely that your system is not working, therefore not generating any energy and most importantly losing you money.
2. To identify a specific fault, an error code would show on the display and you can refer back to your user manual that you should have been provided by the original installer.
Depending on what the error code displays, you may need a professional to take a look at the system and either reset the system or offer a solution to fix or replace the inverter.
3. If access to your inverter is difficult, then you can check if your system is generating energy by viewing your generation meter (the meter you use when supplying readings to your FIT supplier).
When producing energy, your generation meter will show a steady flashing red light. The brighter the day, the faster the flashing will be as it records the generation being produced. Your will also notice the meter reading increasing if your system is working ok.
If there is no flashing or change in the meter reading in daylight hours, it’s extremely likely that you have a system fault and you may want to try and access your inverter to see if it is working, or call your installer for advice.
4. If you are lucky enough to have a SolarEdge inverter installed, you can immediately view your production online or via your smartphone or tablet app.
If your monitoring shows your panels as all black with no individual output, this may indicate an inverter or wiring fault. This could also be a wifi fault, so before panicking about your inverter, please check the connection of your inverter to the wifi first.
Your installer will be able to login to your system and asses the fault, indeed they may be able to remotely fix the system for you. Fortunately the SolarEdge inverter comes with a 12 year warranty as standard (with a 20 year upgrade option) therefore on the rare occasion there is a fault, it can be replaced free of charge.