Field Support for Schneider Electric Solar Division.

This may explain why it has been harder for some to get support from Schneider. I have not had an issue other than the land line they published di not work at first. The cell always worked for me as a registered installation company.
It is a pain for non installers and you will just have to fill in the form and get a case number. Here is what I heard from Support.


I am sorry to hear the challenges listed here on accessing the Schneider Electric technical support departments.
The recent changes made were intended to improve the support to our installer. However, we are still working out bugs.
The technical department call center is available to the solar professional, but it does requires a simple first step. You must first register your company by filling out this form (link below) the registration is only needed once per company. After completing the registration, you will receive an email response that will provide you with an unpublished code that will get you through directly to the technical support call center.
https://solar.schneider-electric.com/installer-registration/
The 866-519-1470 phone number has not changed, and a new number 833-391-8640 has been added. Once you receive the unpublished access code everyone in your company can use it. 
I hope this classifies the changes. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns.
Regards 
Sandra Herrera
[email protected] 
"we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
 http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
E-mail [email protected]

Comments

  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 293 ✭✭✭

    I think the difference in technical help from the Schneider solar department and the other divisions is stark! I have been a Schneider electric Square D division stocking installer for many years. My distributor gives me numbers to call for technical help on all the Schneider products that I use. I have never been asked to register my company with them. I have allways got my technical problems solved even having replacement Equiptment drop shipped directly to me. I had only one failure due to design and Schneider got on it and shipped the replacement part that day. It was on motor logic controller used on delta hi-leg 3 phase contactor for a 60 hp Ag. pump. The tech rep told me that they had problems with that motor logic controller on some delta hi-leg systems and they wanted the defective part back for analysis along with my volts/amps readings at failure time. Super service! Not so with the solar division! When looking into high end controllers I never got an answer from Schneider, good support from Morningstar, script reading from Outback and my first call to MidNite I got my tough question referred to boB, That made my decision very easy......I bought the Classic. At this point I don't search....I get MidNite gear. Schneider controllers and inverters look real good but I wonder about end user support, I didn't find any!

    I buy my product from my local stocking distributor and rarely had an issue with Square D product and do not deal with Schneider directly. That did not seem to matter to the rep. I had product that didn't do what they claimed! And a farmer looking at losing his berry crop fail due to the water pump controller. Very pleased with Square D and Multi-9 division support.

    david

    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Cotek SK-1500,Exeltech 1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or 10S LiFePO4,
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,369 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You should write Sandra at the end of the previous post. It does little to help your situation if you don't do something proactive as Schneider does not monitor this forum. She will want to know,

    1. Is it the web installer registration
    2. Or the email response instruction not clear
    3. Are they able to call and reach a technician
    4. Do we have a long wait line

    Most of the installers that I know (alot in NA) do not have a problem once they are registered. For owners of their equipment they will give you an installer. It takes alot of effort to support DIY and they have made the decision over the years to concentrate on the Pro market.

    I miss the old Xantrex user forum because it was a great place (like wind and sun) to get information. I think they are a bit short on being right about their decision. They do care so tell them.

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 293 ✭✭✭

    Dave,

    thanks much for the response, I do understand the issues with end user support. As a practicing electrical technician, I am not an end user. Maybe I get better service from Squard D division due to the fact I have accounts at major Schneider stocking distributors. Solar in not my mainstay. I do small scale off grid systems, mostly for persons not wanting to deal with building inspectors. Here locally there is only one licensed contractor doing solar off grid. All the others are grid tie exclusively. There is no knowledge pool here. I try to fill that gap.

    david

    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Cotek SK-1500,Exeltech 1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or 10S LiFePO4,
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,369 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Especially when the end user is DIY. They just decided it was taking too much time. They are trying to address DIY this a bit. They have an interactive FAQ section but it is Corporate wide. They know they need one just for the Solar division and leave out all of the other 90% that is not related.

    You are out near Santa Cruz?

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 293 ✭✭✭

    Dave

    Yes I am in Santa Cruz County a bit to the south, nearer to Watsonville...in Freedom and Pajaro. I maintain one system that is mostly Schneider but the problem area which I was hired to support was the battery bank. It was a dismal array and ended up buying a new single bank of 2 volt batteries to replace multiple strings of matched but incorrectly wired Trojan L-16's The Schneider controllers and inverters work flawlessly.....2 ea. 600 volt controllers and 2 ea. 8 kW inverters.......big array way up the hill in good sun....4 houses down below.

    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Cotek SK-1500,Exeltech 1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or 10S LiFePO4,
  • mcnutt13579mcnutt13579 Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭✭

    We did try to register as an installer a while back, right after they dropped general support. After a lot of waiting we got a very non-specific email that our "case" was closed. I figured that was them telling us to go pound sand, that we are not big enough for them. I never pursued it any more.


    My fear with giant corporations supporting small niche markets like this is one day they will just decide to orphan it completely, without warning. I have seen this happen in other markets.


    I really want to like Schneider gear. We are trying in our business to move toward full professional installation jobs where it just works and the end user does not have to do anything. Schneider seems to cater to that market but there are too many things about the company I don't like yet.


    For now, the high end user gets SMA here, and we are waiting for the Midnite B17 as patiently as possible.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,369 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My experience (as Technodave above) is that once the gear is properly configured, it just works and works. I do think they dropped the ball by not supporting the old Xantrex user forum and I have been told there is a new effort in Denver to address some of the issues. The big one is they need more than youtube videos to train installers. My business is close to 1/2 funded by electricians and NABCEP installers who maintain their status and were taught to pass the testing. A bit different to commision a $50K+ power system than what you were taught in a CE class.

    The SMA sunny is not split phase and so I can't call that high end. I do wish Midnite well and they will find out just how hard it is to make a world class inverter.

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mcnutt13579mcnutt13579 Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭✭

    It is funny, the way things are different by region.


    Around here, old original SWs abound, best inverter ever made, I tell the customer.


    Early XW60xxs got kind of a bad rap, I personally know of about 3 of them, and all 3 have had major/stupid problems. But all have "special" circumstances so I don't know if the hatred is deserved. But the company sure did not want to support us back in those days.


    Bad taste lingers a very long time, especially in a specialized market like this.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,369 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My experience goes out worldwide for close to 30 years. I see it as a huge quantity of Inverters and there. There will be a small subset that have issues and mostly at the installation.


    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mcnutt13579mcnutt13579 Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭✭

    Also I have to disagree about SMA. They are 120V but they go in as pairs. They also just work. Their variable frequency AC coupling makes them really nice for distant solar arrays. They are no good for novices or DIY. But for somebody who wants to set and forget, and have us come by once in a while, they work. Just that the platform is getting rather dated, and I have the same reservations about SMA as a company as Schneider. Are they going to keep it around.


  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,369 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No one has to agree about anything. I just look at that 100,000 inverters from Schneider and then add on the Xantrex inverters that they bought.

    Go back to when Xantrex bought Trace and they are definitely going to be there. Alot of time building the best/most inverters in the world.

    Part of the problem for support is they moved their support facility out of California to Denver. I do not know why but can guess that Colorado is much more of a business climate and an employee can still buy a home there.

    I like Outback alot also!

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,369 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The call center for Schneider technical support is in Denver Colorado, so when you call in you are in the US.

    The system supporting the end-user is in Madrid for the moment. 😥

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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