PV solar panels mystery question

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PV solar panels mystery question

Postby zandie » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:16 pm

Soon after having P.V. solar panels installed by a well known Sydney company, our trip switch on the house power circuit would occasionally go off early morning. I called back the installation company and they replaced the inverter. After a week it happened again. This time I called our electricity company to check it. The electrician checked all the circuits and found everything was good. Asking him what he thought was the problem, he replied that he had no idea.
So I then decided to do some basic tests. Over two weeks, I would turn off a house circuit, also individual appliances throughout the house, but to no avail.
What I did notice was, it trips in the morning after first light and usually on a dull cloudy or wet morning around the time the light is strong enough to start to register on the inverter dial.
I once again called the initial installer to check the P.V. installation, as I suspected that somehow it is 'earthing'. The electrician spent two hours but could not find the problem and he had no clue either!
If I turn the solar panels off at the board each night, it does not trip the power circuit.
My question is: Can an expert in this field, possibly come up with a solution as to why my trip switch goes off and has only done this after having solar panels installed.
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Re: PV solar panels mystery question

Postby Privatteer » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:39 pm

When the RCD trips does the inverter also shutdown? They are not supposed to be on an RCD particularly one sharing other circuits.
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Re: PV solar panels mystery question

Postby Inspector » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:54 pm

I suspect the inverter is connected to the "load" side of the RCD. Does you switchboard have the general main switch as a RCD? It was common a decade (or more) ago for a sparky to install a RCD which was on the line side of all existing circuits, therefore being the new "main switch". For an installer to safely connect the new inverter he would simply turn off the RCD and then connect the inverter circuit breaker to the load side of the RCD (so he wasn't working "live").

In saying that, I know of a few instances where inverters would trip RCDs and CB's which were completely independent of the solar inverter/circuit. I'm unsure of the cause of these; yours could be another one.
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Re: PV solar panels mystery question

Postby davidg » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:41 pm

Inspector wrote:I suspect the inverter is connected to the "load" side of the RCD. Does you switchboard have the general main switch as a RCD?

If that is the case, sparkie was either in hurry which is no excuse or does not know his AS5033 very well. It's pretty clear about how to wire it. IE not through any RCD.

I dispair sometimes at the lack of care or diagnostic ability of some sparkies :cry:
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Re: PV solar panels mystery question

Postby Inspector » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:28 pm

davidg wrote:I dispair sometimes at the lack of care or diagnostic ability of some sparkies :cry:


+1. I had one accuse me of being incapable of measuring earth resistance, when it was clearly evident he failed to install WEEB washers correctly (more than one was visibly bent up and not between the rail and module frame, and others were on the "floating" rail (ie: the rail which the earth bonding conductor hadn't been fixed directly to).
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Re: PV solar panels mystery question

Postby davidg » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:48 pm

Inspector wrote:and others were on the "floating" rail (ie: the rail which the earth bonding conductor hadn't been fixed directly to).

I don't have that problem, I earth all the rails nowadays, have for a while. For a few bucks extra in materials, why not, takes only a small amount of time to do it.
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Re: PV solar panels mystery question

Postby Tracker » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:07 am

..
I do wonder what the inverter is...

I heard of an INSPIRE inverter that did very strange things under confused lighting conditions (overcast start up)

It would start to buzz like heavily generating, but sinking MUCH current, until tripping out on error..
..
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