Solar equipment reliability

NZRRNZRR Registered Users Posts: 28 ✭✭
Hi, I have a potential customer that is asking for reliability metrics for the solar equipment I am recommending (mostly Schneider Electric. Other than warranty, is there anything out there that will provide data for how long components actually last? Thanks.


  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Typically the biggest risk for equipment/appliance failure comes from the grid, followed by any line coming into the structure. The solar, the phone, the TV, and pumps. This is why offgrid equipment of good design lasts a long time. The other risk for all equipment is lightning and if you are in a risk area that needs attention. Surge protection is inexpensive and needs to done no matter where the structure is.

    Maybe someone else can get you some published data as mine is from experience in aerospace, marine and offgrid.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As well as lightning and other casualties, a big factor in expected lifespan of electronic components is heat.

    The heat could be from ambient temps, running at full rated current for extended periods, dusty environments fouling cooling fans, etc. Any stats available for component mean times before failure would have specific controlled environmental conditions as part of the rating, which would obviously be unlikely in a real world installation. Humidity can also be a factor, especially salty marine environments.

    I think most of us expect a lifetime of 10-15yrs from most components in non-extreme environments with gear not pushed to limits, after the "infant mortality" period. Defects tend to show up early in the life of otherwise well designed components, which is really what the warranty period is meant to cover. In a harsh environment, and/or with gear running near rated current all the time, expected service life could be cut by 1/2 or more IMHO.
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yep heat is on the list, unless the original design had that in the requirements. :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,568 ✭✭✭✭✭
    coming up on 7 years daily household loads on XW-6048 inverter. 7 more years would be nice.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭✭
    Trace DR1524. 1994 and still going strong albeit 6 months of the year.
    Island cottage solar system with 2500 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1.3kw facing southwest 170watt ancient Arco's facing south. All panels in parallel for a 24 volt system. Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Outback Flexmax 80 MPPT charge controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 29th year.
  • geosierranevadageosierranevada Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭✭
    Trace SW4024 15 years and keeps going. (But i keep a spare just in case)
    Off grid for 20 years. 5KW panels, Trace sw4024, Bergy XL1 wind generator, 3 EG4 Lifep04 200amphr batteries  3 SQF 2 well pump, 12kw back up gen.  Not easy living in the wilderness but it keeps you busy
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Trace SW4024 1982.  It worked last year when I lent it out. There is an XW that I take care of south of Tucson that has been in a metal shed in the desert since 2006. We have a beta mppt-80-600 that has been harvesting since 2010. 
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,691 ✭✭✭✭
    1982??  They made the SW series that long ago?

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric,  460 Ah. 24 volt LiFePo4 battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Typo! meant to type 1992... Before that I think I used Triplite for a Telcom project when HP built instrumentation.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • dougbertdougbert Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November 2017 #11
    I installed a Trace SW4024 in my home in 2000 with 800a-hrs of L16 batteries (2 strings), grid tied, to provide a UPS for my computers, furnace (Utah winters) and lights, etc.  THe L16s lasted til 2010 because they were rarely discharged.  Then the system was idle until sep 2016 when we were able to buy 12 2volt 1200a-hr batteries and put the system back on line.  1 array at the start with 1400 watts of PV, but lost 2 panel so down to 1200 watts which produce around 900 watts today (12 Siemans 100 watt panels).  Have had no issues with the Trace inverter and just now have read some reports of issues. Still running.  I am now adding a second array to the system.
  • clockmanfranclockmanfran Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    Stuff today, .... who knows?.

    I remember watching a recent utube clip of the German Manufacturer SMA ceo, who kept going on about quality, but then said, "We see our products are good for 10 years".

    Everything is possible, just give me Time.

    The OzInverter man. Normandy France.

    3off Hugh P's 3.7m dia wind turbines, (12 years running).  ... 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (8 years) .... 14kW PV AC coupled using Used/second hand GTI's, on my OzInverter created Grid, and back charging with the AC Coupling and OzInverter to my 48v 1300ah batteries. 

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