Although solar power systems are pretty reliable, sometimes problems do occur.
Sometimes these problems can be resolved in minutes…If you know how!
So How do you even know if you have a problem? There are a few ways to tell if your system is not functioning correctly or has even stopped completely.
Your PV generation meter has stopped incrementing or is permanently off with nothing showing on the screen
Your FIT return for the last period was substantially smaller than the previous year, maybe even nil
Your inverter is showing a warning light or an error on the screen
Your electricity bill has vastly increased
The system keeps tripping the circuit breakers
Your monitoring software has alerted you to a solar problem
We have put together a series of steps to help you try to rectify some of the more common issues found in Solar PV systems, both in the home and business.
If you do think you have a problem, the first thing to do is check the time, remember after the sun goes down the solar panels will produce next to no power and the whole PV system including the PV generation meter will probably be off. If you are reading this at 1pm then its fair to say you definitely should be producing power.
STEP 1 Check the PV generation meter
Check your generation meter is powered up and showing a value on the screen, if not then that suggests either the meter is faulty or the inverter is not generating any power, go to step 2
If you are seeing a value but it is not incrementing then that also suggests the inverter is faulty, go to step 2
**Be careful that you check the correct meter, you should have one for the mains supply into your house and one for your solar PV system**
STEP 2 Check consumer unit/fuse box
Find where your PV system connects back into your house and check the RCD and any other circuit breakers or fuses.
All breaker switches should be active and showing green/be facing in the up position. If so go to step 3.
If any have tripped try to reactivate it by switching the RCD/Circuit breaker back to the upward/green position. It should stay in place. If it just trips again go to step 5
STEP 3 Check the inverter
Is the inverter generating power? Usually the display will give you a clue depending on what inverter you have. If the inverter screen indicates it is generating power but your meter is not incrementing, your meter is most likely to be faulty. Move to step 4.
If you do not have a display on your inverter you will not be able to check this so move to step 4.
Is the inverter showing any errors? If so please note down the error code and go to step 4
Is the inverter showing signs of life (you may have to tap the screen or a button)?
If not, check the connectors that plug into the inverter are not loose, still no life? Go to step 5.
STEP 4 Reboot inverter
Find your AC isolator (usually the red one) and switch it to the ‘off’ position, next locate the DC isolator(s) and switch each one to the ‘off’ position.
Once the inverter is powered off and the screen has gone blank wait 30-60 seconds and follow the above procedure in reverse.
You have now reset your inverter and should see it start to produce power within a few minutes. If the problem is still present go to step 5
STEP 5 Grab a pen & paper
You’ve now run out of things that you can tackle yourself, its time to make some notes of your problem.
Record any of the troubleshooting you have done, including any error codes from all equipment. Photos are always good way to show us your problem too.
Its time to give us a call – 0330 345 3400 Or use our inquiry form and we will call you back
Call anytime to book an engineer, or just ask for some advice which we are always happy to provide.
Just some of the problems you may see
This means there is low insulation resistance and suggests the DC cabling and/or connectors are faulty.
ABS/Aurora Power One inverters suffer from this common failure of the internal relays.
Birds nesting & pecking cables
We find all sorts nesting under those solar panels!
Disturbance Vac Bfr Error
SMA inverter with an AC coupling problem, sometimes an easy fix, sometimes replacement.
Single & 3 phase systems
Whatever the application, business or domestic, large or small, we can fix it.
This suggests the inverter has either failed internally or that it has lost its connection to the mains supply in your property.
Need help with your environment and requirements? Interested in a quote? 0330 345 3400
Ask us a question and we will give you a call back.