#1 July 26, 2015 20:11:41

JGS
Registered: 2012-02-22
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I was never told when I purchased my system that the avergae life of an inverter is reckoned to be about 8 years.
I have had my system 5 and it is still going strong…

Have any members had their inverter go down?

The quoted price of a Sunny Boy 3000 is about £600. Replaving an inverter ought to be a trivial job. How much have members paid?

Care to share your experiences?

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#2 July 27, 2015 07:44:49

SolarDave
Registered: 2012-08-02
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sorry JGS, I've only had mine 3 yrs, which I think would be around the average for the website. the FIT payments came in around 2009/10, so 8 yrs ago takes us to 2007 for someone to be at the stage when they could be renewing their inverter. However, there may be some owners who's inverters have failed prematurely, since 2010, who may have some experience for you.

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#3 July 27, 2015 08:59:14

Thackie
Registered: 2013-08-05
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JGS -
We have had ours for 5 years (installed July 2010). We have a 10 year guarantee with ours and told to expect it to last at least that long.
Its all working fine at the moment.

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#4 July 27, 2015 10:04:59

Capetown
From: The Banks Of The River Mole
Registered: 2014-03-22
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10 year guarantee here also, system installed Nov 2010. As it's mainly heat that does for electronics, I crack open the loft hatch in really warm weather to allow a cooling flow over the Inverter which is situated above the opening. Not sure if it's going to do any good though!



The gene pool has no lifeguard!

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#5 July 27, 2015 14:38:02

SolarDave
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Hi both, interesting that you both had pv installed in 2010, and both had a 10 yr guarantee. when researching whether to go for panels in late 2011, it was commonly in articles that I saw 8 yrs, and you need to replace the inverter. when I had them installed in 2012, the installer mentioned the 8 yr replacement of the inverter - so maybe, after 2010, the warnings came on that the inverter had a shorter shelf-life? I assume it could go on for longer, but is it tied in with the inverter losing its efficiency in converting the DC to AC over time too, as well as the electronics failing?

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#6 July 27, 2015 16:18:43

Thackie
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hi, Not sure why the general guarantee changed ours is a German made inverter also we got a 25 year performance guarantee with the panels U.K. manufactured by Romag, Leadgate, Consett Co.Durham.
I think I saw a post somewhere on this site saying no panels came with a 25 year guarantee but I may be mistaken there.

Suffice we have it all in writing. For some reason all the guarantees state valid in the EU and Switzerland only !

with regard to performance in our information pack left by the installer they say that performance of the system could fall over time but the system is guaranteed to 80% over the 25 years (in addition to component guarantees)

Around 2012 was there an influx of Far Eastern and Chinese components which may have had a different manufacturing spec?

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#7 July 27, 2015 21:16:30

Capetown
From: The Banks Of The River Mole
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SolarDave, as I understand it, the workings of an inverter with a grid tied system, the grid frequency is sampled and “oscillated” then the signal is amplified by the DC from the panels. The oscillation and amplification is all done by semi-conductors (electronics). And the amplified signal is then passed into a transformer to obtain the correct voltage. I imagine the transformer is something like an iron ring with many windings on the DC side and AC side, which are probably very reliable. I'd guess and say the semi conductors would be the weakest link.



The gene pool has no lifeguard!

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#8 Aug. 1, 2015 09:28:35

SolarDave
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Thanks Capetown and Thackie, my system is 4kw comprising Solaredge inverter with power optimisers on each string . I noticed that SolarEdge must have a deal with Tesla as they are offering this option now on their website
http://www.solaredge.com/groups/solutions/self-consumption-storedge

they quote for their inverters, on their website, “Excellent reliability with standard 12 year warranty (extendable to 20 or 25 years)”. so whether the inverter fails at 8 yrs, the warranty should cover it, you would hope. I've not looked at the fine print though! [eg wasp nests in attic, birdnests or mice etc! Fingers crossed, as its summer number 3 for the inverter, so hopefully another 9 would be great!

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#9 Aug. 2, 2016 18:23:04

BackYardSolar
From: Surrey, on Gatwick flight path
Registered: 2015-05-30
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Hi All, just seen this thread.

The inverters contain large electrolytic capacitors to store the DC before inverting it into AC.

It is these components that only have a stated life of ten years from the component manufacturer. So this is the weak link in the inverter and the most likely cause of failure.

The power optimisers offered by SolarEdge use ceramic capacitors and have a 25 year life.

All the above was told to me by a SolarEdge engineer after I had suffered my third power optimiser failure in two years. Each optimiser failure shut down my entire system for weeks in May and June 2012 and 2014. So beware going hi-tec.



SolarEdge SE4000 inverter, 16 x Romag powerglaz 235W panels. South facing at 30 degree angle in Surrey just East of Gatwick and under the flight path.

ESS AC coupled system using a Victron Multiplus 24V/1600VA Inverter/Charger - 8.16kW Trojan 875 battery bank.

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#10 Aug. 31, 2016 13:47:30

guava090
Registered: 2011-12-14
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Solaredge 12yr guarantee due to the use of Optomiser's Making the inverter simpler. 25 yr guarantee on the opto's.

Guava090

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