bradbissell
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Failed SolarEdge Optimizer causes entire string to fail

Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:42 am

Has anyone had issues with their SolarEdge optimizers? I lost one string of 10 panels apparently due to one failed optimizer. At least that is what my solar installer is saying. I thought this wasn't possible, but they stated that SolarEdge said that this was a possible failure and would be covered under warranty. Currently half my panels are down at the worst time of the year. Needless to say, I'm a bit irked with SolarEdge.
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2k1Toaster
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Re: Failed SolarEdge Optimizer causes entire string to fail

Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:31 pm

If you look at how they are installed, they are all in series. Take one out, and the string is no longer a complete loop, like a old christmas light string missing a bulb.
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RegGuheert
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Re: Failed SolarEdge Optimizer causes entire string to fail

Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:02 pm

That kinda stinks about the lost production until the failed unit is replaced. Hopefully they won't take a month like Enphase has for the last couple of units I've had to replace.

I did have a look at the SolarEdge website and I do not find anything there that says you won't lose the entire string if an optimizer fails. Of course they don't say that you WILL, either. Instead, they tell you have incredibly reliable the optimizers are.

How long have you had your array? I saw a post in the Tesla PowerWall thread indicating you had it in early May, which was over two months ago. If you haven't had it much longer than that, then I would say this is likely just an infantile failure and nothing to worry about. Unless you have additional failures, it shouldn't be a big deal (except for the lost production).
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
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bradbissell
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:47 am
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Location: Boston, MA

Re: Failed SolarEdge Optimizer causes entire string to fail

Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:15 am

I assume it is just infantile failure also, since the failure occurred during the hottest time of the year with the highest level of stress on the unit. The system has been up since February, with one panel being replaced in April due to a seal failure and water infiltration. 3+ feet of heavy snow on an avalanche guard caused the seal to crack.I have since had the avalanche guards removed to limit another failure point. I'm more than happy to have the snow slide off rather than lose production. As far as I know the parts are in and the installation crew is waiting for an opening in their schedule to complete the work.
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Valdemar
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Re: Failed SolarEdge Optimizer causes entire string to fail

Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:36 am

One of my optimizers was BDOA (brain-dead on arrival), it didn't report any telemetry data but apparently was producing energy as I didn't see any increase in production once it was swapped out for a new one. A single optimizer failing a whole string is entirely possible as it was posted above. Equipment failures are unavoidable unfortunately. The good news is that they are much less expensive than the micros, I'm sure you can work something out with your solar installer as they come and replace the optimizer and handle the warranty claim post fact, if you used a reputable installer that is still around that is.
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2k1Toaster
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Re: Failed SolarEdge Optimizer causes entire string to fail

Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:24 am

I'm interested how the optimizer replacement goes because I have 4 panels that aren't part of my system that I want to add to the 39 that are. Wondering if there is a way for a non-installer to modify the site plan and all that for the web interface. I think the optimizers are added at the inverter when it does a serial scan or something... Haven't bought the extra optimizers yet.
2013 Nissan Leaf SV with every option
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Valdemar
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Re: Failed SolarEdge Optimizer causes entire string to fail

Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:53 pm

2k1Toaster wrote:I'm interested how the optimizer replacement goes because I have 4 panels that aren't part of my system that I want to add to the 39 that are. Wondering if there is a way for a non-installer to modify the site plan and all that for the web interface. I think the optimizers are added at the inverter when it does a serial scan or something... Haven't bought the extra optimizers yet.


You need to have admin rights to your portal, then you can modify the plan. The inverter doesn't discover which panels are on what string, it is a manual process to define the logical layout in the portal . You will need to pair the new optimizers to the inverter once they are connected. How many strings do you have, 2 or 3? There is a limit on home many panels you can have on each string, actually it is a power limit so # of panels will depend on the kind of panels you use. If you have 2 strings and will be exceeding the string power limit with the 4 new panels you'll need to reorganize your array and add a 3rd string and use a combiner box.
'11 SL, totaled
-1CB@33k/21mo, -2CB@53k/33mo, -3CB@68k/41mo, -4CB(41.5AHr)@79k/49mo, -5CB(38.85AHr)@87.5k/54mo
-0CB(66.14AHr)@87.5k/54mo (BBB)
59.7AHr, SOH 93%, 118k miles
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bradbissell
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:47 am
Delivery Date: 29 Mar 2013
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Location: Boston, MA

Re: Failed SolarEdge Optimizer causes entire string to fail

Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:51 am

My installer came yesterday and replaced both the failed optimizer and the discolored panel that it was connected to. Not sure if the discoloration and failure are connected, but it is interesting that that was the offending location. The optimizer is being covered under warranty, and the discoloration is being handled internally by my installer. They tried to have SolarWorld warranty the 270 mono black panel, but so far they have refused. My 20 panels are all up and running this morning and all is well. Overall, I am very happy with my installer (SunBug Solar in Cambridge MA) and their willingness to rectify the failure.
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RegGuheert
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Re: Failed SolarEdge Optimizer causes entire string to fail

Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:30 am

bradbissell wrote:My installer came yesterday and replaced both the failed optimizer and the discolored panel that it was connected to. Not sure if the discoloration and failure are connected, but it is interesting that that was the offending location. The optimizer is being covered under warranty, and the discoloration is being handled internally by my installer. They tried to have SolarWorld warranty the 270 mono black panel, but so far they have refused.
That's a bit scary! "Discolored" equals "got extremely hot". :shock: This is one of the real issues with any type of PV string. In case of a fault there is more than sufficient power available to cause a fire.
bradbissell wrote:My 20 panels are all up and running this morning and all is well. Overall, I am very happy with my installer (SunBug Solar in Cambridge MA) and their willingness to rectify the failure.
It's great to hear they got you up and running so quickly!
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

bradbissell
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:47 am
Delivery Date: 29 Mar 2013
Leaf Number: 404629
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Failed SolarEdge Optimizer causes entire string to fail

Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:32 am

The discolored panel was purple in color not black like the rest of the array. It was like that from day 1. Perhaps a backing sheet issue, or some thing else, but the discoloration covered the entire panel, so I don't think it was heat.

As a side note, the crew took 6 panels off the roof to swap everything out, and placed them on my front lawn. I now have 6 very nice rectangles of dead grass. Oops. The black panels got hot enough to cook the grass.
Silver/Black 2013 SV Manufactured, Leased March '13, Returned Dec '15
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