String Solar Inverter Failure Symptoms

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String inverters are an important part of solar PV systems, yet they are often overlooked. Why? Because they are mostly maintenance-free! However, like all solar equipment, string inverters do occasionally fail. When a string inverter fails, it can take the entire system down.

Because of this, it’s critical to be able to spot the signs of failure so you can respond right away. We’ll look at the most typical signs of string inverter failure in this blog post. We will also go over how you can stop losses from happening and what to do if your system malfunction.


What is a String Inverter?

String inverters are one of the market’s most common types of solar inverters. They are typically used in grid-tied solar PV systems and work by converting direct current (DC) from the solar panels into alternating current (AC) that the home or business can use. String inverters are usually mounted on the side of a building or a pole near the solar panels.

Solar PV systems with string inverters typically have multiple solar panels wired together in series, hence the name “string.” The string inverter takes this DC input from all of the connected panels and converts it to AC power. This is then sent to the main electrical panel, where the home or business can use it.

String inverters are a reliable type of solar inverter, but like any other type of electrical equipment, they can experience problems and fail.


Some common  string inverter failure symptoms include:

-The system produces less power than usual

-The system produces no power at all

-There is an increase in DC voltage coming from the solar panels

-There is an increase in AC voltage coming from the inverter


-The system trips circuit breakers or fuses

Solar String Inverter Failure Symptoms

If your string inverter is starting to fail, there are several symptoms that you may notice. The first and most obvious symptom is a drop in the power output of your solar panels. Several factors can cause this, but your inverter will likely start to fail if you see a sudden drop in power output.

Other symptoms of a failing string inverter include:

– Increased noise levels coming from the inverter

– Flickering or flashing lights on the inverter display

– An error message on the inverter display

– The inverter shut down unexpectedly

As soon as you detect any of these signs, it’s critical to have a qualified technician examine your inverter. A malfunctioning string inverter could cause substantial harm to your solar system, so it’s important to spot any issues as soon as possible.

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Causes of String Inverter Failures

String inverters are one of the most critical components in a solar PV system, yet they are also most likely to fail. Inverter failures can be caused by several factors, including:

– Component failure: String inverters rely on several different components, any of which can fail and cause the inverter to fail.

– Environmental conditions: Extreme heat or cold can damage string inverters, as can exposure to dust, rain, or snow.

– Electrical problems: Loose connections, voltage surges, or other electrical problems can damage string inverters.

– Manufacturing defects: Sometimes, string inverters are simply defective from the start.

How to Prevent String Inverter Failures

As the essential component of a solar PV system, string inverters play a critical role in converting DC power generated by solar panels into AC power that household appliances and the grid can use.

Given their importance, it is crucial to know how to prevent string inverter failures and identify early warning signs that indicate an impending failure.

The most common cause of string inverter failures is overheating. Overheating can be caused by several factors, including inadequate cooling, excessive dust or dirt build-up, and faulty components.

To prevent overheating, it is essential to keep the inverter clean and free of debris and ensure adequate airflow around the unit. If possible, avoid placing the inverter in direct sunlight or where it will be exposed to high temperatures.

Another common cause of string solar inverter failure symprom is water damage. Water damage can occur due to leaks in the roof or other parts of the PV system, condensation inside the inverter, or flooding.

To prevent water damage, it is essential to regularly inspect the PV system for leaks and repair any that are found immediately. The inverter should also be kept dry and away from sources of moisture.

If a string inverter does fail, it is essential to have a qualified technician replace or repair the unit as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the system.

How can I determine whether my inverter is broken?

When you suspect your inverter is failing, there are a few crucial factors to take into account. First, look for any obvious evidence of damage, such as burns or cracks.

Next, listen to the inverter for any odd noises. Last but not least, make that the inverter is generating power at the expected rates. It’s crucial to call a certified solar specialist to come to take a look if you observe any of these things.

What usually fails in an inverter?

String Solar  inverter failure Symptoms can be hard to spot, but there are some common indicators that something is wrong.

Damaged or loose wires should be one of the first items to be looked for. Any open connections could result in the inverter working inefficiently or failing altogether.

An error message on the inverter display is another solar string inverter failure symptoms. This can range from a straightforward “overload” issue to more serious ones like “inverter fault” or “rectifier fault.”

If you suspect that your inverter is failing, it’s essential to get it checked out by a qualified solar technician as soon as possible. Inverter failure can lead to the decreased power output from your solar PV system and may even cause damage to your panels or other components.

What happens if the solar inverter stops working?

If your solar inverter stops working, it’s essential to understand the potential causes and consequences. You might be able to resolve the issue yourself, or you could need to contact a professional, depending on the root of the problem.

One potential problem is that the AC breaker trips. Several things, including a power surge, excessive heat, or loose wiring, can cause this. If this happens, you’ll need to reset the breaker and check for any other damage.

Another possibility is a problem with the DC input from the solar panels. This could be due to a faulty connection or a break in the wire. You’ll need to check the links and replace any damaged parts.

Finally, the inverter may be overloaded. This can happen if too much power is being drawn from the system or if there is a problem with one of the components. If so, you’ll need to lessen the system’s stress or replace any broken components.

How long is the lifespan of a String Inverter?

The string inverter, which is frequently used in systems with installed capacities higher than 10kW, is one of the most widely used solar inverters.

String inverters have a lifespan of around 20 years, but they can experience problems after just a few years of use. The most common symptom of a failing string inverter is an increase in the amount of power that is being drawn from the grid. This can happen for several reasons, including:

– gradual degradation of the internal components

– damage from lightning strikes or other electrical surges

– physical damage from wind, hail or other severe weather events

If you notice that your string inverter is drawing more power from the grid than usual, it’s important to have it checked out by a qualified solar technician as soon as possible.

How much does it cost to replace a String Inverter?

For string inverters, the typical guarantee length is 5 to 10 years.

However, like any other electrical equipment, string inverters can and do fail. When a string inverter fails, it must be replaced. The cost of replacing a string inverter will vary depending on the inverter’s brand, model, and size and the labour costs associated with the installation.

We’ve produced a list of costs from various manufacturers to give you an idea of what you might be expecting to pay for a new solar string inverter:

ABB: $1,500 – $4,000

Enphase: $1,200 – $2,000

SolarEdge: $1,500 – $2,500

SunPower: $2,500 – $3,000

These prices are just for the replacement inverter itself and do not include the cost of labour to install the new unit. Depending on the complexity of your PV system and whether or not you have an existing relationship with a qualified installer

Do Solar Inverters need maintenance?

Solar inverters are designed to require little maintenance, but there are a few things you can do to make sure they continue to work at their peak efficiency.

Here are some pointers for keeping your solar inverter in good shape:

  1. Keep it clean – Dust and dirt can build up on the surface of the inverter, causing it to overheat. Be sure to keep the area around your inverter clean and free of debris.
  2. Check the connections – The connections between the solar panels and the inverter can loosen over time, causing a drop in performance. Periodically check all links and tighten them if necessary.
  3. Keep an eye on the cooling fans – The fans inside the inverter help keep it cool, so make sure they are always clean and unobstructed. If the fans are not working correctly, contact a qualified technician for service.

You can ensure that your solar inverter keeps working at its peak for years to come by adhering to these easy suggestions.



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