BB. wrote: »
I am guessing the solar panels were scrapped. The installer was not very careful in taking them down and the backing was punctured on a few... In any case, from reading a report elsewhere, there was a risk of overheating/arcing failures eventually so nobody should reuse on another installation.
The GT inverter itself was returned to the vendor (voluntary change out by the vendor due to possible early life failure due to manufacturing issues). It was a 5+ year old inverter and does not meet current code (no neutral voltage sense, old DC/AC disconnect which could fail if switched on/off under full load). Do they reuse some components for warranty repairs? Don't know.
So far, the system is working probably 10% better than it did before... I have seen a bit over 3,300 watt peak at times (never more than 2,999 watt peak before) and multiple >20 kWH days from the system--Before, I would see perhaps 1-2 >20 kWH days per year. Neither inverter has indicated on the LCD that it was power limiting (don't know if they indicate condition or not).
The new inverter is 3.3 kW rated vs the older one which was 3.0 kW rated...
Still very happy and crossing my fingers.
BB. wrote: »
Yep... The panels failed (either 2-3 calls for single panels, or >20% of the panels failed Isc testing and BP would return). Mine failed the >20% bad panels. Took 3+ months to get a new set--but new set I did get.
The Xantrex inverter had a capacitor recall--but they would have just subsituted out the capacitor/filter board (bad batch of capacitors--lots of that going around--not just Xantrex).
I never heard the reason my GT unit, already just out of the 5 year warranty was replaced--Mine was working fine. I believe that Schneider is working hard to upgrade the product line--But I have no further information than (from what I had heard earlier) that a manufacturing issue was causing early life failure (when I purchased my inverter it came with a 5 year warranty with an option to pay for another 5 years--a year or two later, it was upped to 10 year). I assume that this inverter will have a 1 year warranty. The new GT inverter also has a huge 3 pole switch (two AC and one DC) to replace the little disk switch it had before (they had to enlarge the base of the inverter to hold all the new parts).
Other news--Got 22+kWH on my system today--Highest ever in the last 5 years with the "old system" was 20 kWH once or twice per year.
thehardway wrote: »
I wouldlike to hear some opinions.
I am seeing a lot of statements that single inverter systems have a rather short life cylce (10-15yrs.)
Enphase is claiming a life expectancy of over 25yrs and a MTBF of 331 years. Sunnyboy and Xantrex say "built for more than 20 yrs under the right conditions" and there are reports http://ecmweb.com/ops_maintenance/photovoltaic-module-maintenance/
that say 5-10yrs. is the usual time before replacement
At approx 10-20% of the systems initial cost it seems the invertor should last at least as long as the panels. If it fails it becomes more than 40% of system cost which severely hampers the payback and ROI numbers.
I am inclined to go with the Enphase micro invertors as they will also allow me to expand modularly in the future as panel and invertor prices drop. I don;t see a huge difference in the cost.
Why would I want to go with a single central inverter and why are all of the installers quoting systems with the SMA vs. the Enphase.
I see a lot of you listing Enphase invertors in your systems. What is your experience? Any regrets?
solar_dave wrote: »
I recently got quotes for 3Kw install with and without Enphase inverters, the Enphase raise the price about $0.25 a watt, slightly more than a central inverter.
Advantages, simplified wiring and components, Disadvantages, slightly more cost.
Inverterpro wrote: »
There are several problems with micro inverters. First they are typically far more expensive than a central inverter
...and offer a lower efficiency ratings... and a smaller rebate...
in many states than many central inverters and especially SolarEdge inverters.
Second, in a catastrophic nearby lightning strike, a surge of sufficient voltage could easily take our every micro inverter in every branch circuit
Third their limited maximum power rating means that you will lose a considerable amount of power production from each solar panel.
Fourth they typically handle their data communications over the electrically noisy AC lines which provides the potential for communications errors.
SolarEdge for instance comminicates over the relatively quiet DC lines and offers all of the benefits of a micro inverter including shade mitigation and individual panel monitoring and it offers a much higher efficiency and higher wattage capacity per panel so you are not wasting power at a lower price per watt.