Actually yes, my expected service life is based on info from Midnite - but not by their warranty statement. It's based on the target set by the engineers that designed the product. Additionally, I understand that each 20°C drop in operating temperature roughly doubles system life where temperature is a limiting factor, that fans are the #1 failure item, and that running the equipment at or over design limits will take a bit out of life. I've designed the system to stay at under 80%, will install the charge controller and inverter in a climate controlled space, and will swap the tiny fan in the Classic before it fails as part of the system PM schedule. Talking with folks using the Classic 150 in similar service suggests the fan won't be working much if at all anyway.RegGuheert wrote:No argument. I'm just pointing out that there is a cost associated with taking this approach.AndyH wrote:You're missing the point. Talk to the people on the East Coast that make a generator decision based solely on the assumed availability of either a fuel station or a functioning natural gas line.
A battery bank doesn't need an electrically-supported gas line, and keeps the homeowner out of the other electrically-supported "gas line".By whom? Not by Midnite Solar. Here is their latest warranty statement from the Classic manual:AndyH wrote:My Midnite Solar charge controller is expected to live beyond 20 years.Microinverter manufacturers warranty their inverters for 25 years. Not 5 years. 5 years is the length of warranty you offer on a product which you do NOT expect to last for over 20 years. My guess is the MTBF is on the order of 5-10 years like other hand-crafted multi-kilowatt power electronic item like the Midnite Solar Classic Controller.Warranty
MidNite Solar's Classic comes with a standard 5 year warranty we will repair or replace the Classic at no charge to the consumer during this 5 year period
Your multi-kilowatt inverter also likely has a similar 5-year warranty.
I agree that fans are the weakest link. At the same time, the company has made hardware choices and firmware tweaks that increases component life and reduces the need for the cooling fan. As stated, I'm not concerned about 5% as I'm allowing a bit more than a 20% cushion.RegGuheert wrote:Note that just two years ago they had an additional offer in the manual which is now removed:If I combine this old statement with recent firmware updates that Midnite has released which aim to reduce fan runtime, I will make the extrapolation that they are experiencing fan failures which of course leads to failure of the electronics.End of Warranty tune up
MidNite Solar offers a industry first Tune up / Extended Warranty. 6 months prior to the end of the
warranty period Customers can ship their Classic back to MidNite Solar with a check for $125 dollars and
we will replace any wearable items like the fans and the capacitors and in general tune the Classic up.
This will also extend the warranty by 2 additional years as well.
Finally, I will note that the latest firmware reduces the maximum current for some modes by more than 5% than what was allowed 2 years ago. Again, I believe this is indicative that Midnite Solar is experiencing some warranty failures and is having to reign in their SOA limits on this controller.
Maybe I misunderstood as well - I thought the added twist of adding battery to a grid-tied system was solely for emergency backup power.RegGuheert wrote:Don't get me wrong, I hope your Classic Controller lasts over 20 years. This controller uses a very innovative power stage design which exceeds all the predecessors. But the manufacturing techniques and build quality are similar to what has been used in renewable energy for many years. I simply do not think there is much chance that it will show a step change in MTBF like has been achieved with microinverters.Agreed that a battery bank in float service can last 20 years. But I thought I was responded to someone who was using the battery in daily cycling service. I may have understood.AndyH wrote:A properly sized bank of industrial batteries in back-up service will do the same.