Troubleshooting Common Problems with a Solar Inverter

large solar panels

A solar inverter is a mechanism that collects radiant energy from the sun and then converts it to usable energy that can power gadgets as small as a mobile phone to larger appliances such as televisions, air conditioners, and microwave ovens. Solar inverters are used in many applications such as energy saver alternatives, power outage backups, and remote area power supplies.

Solar inverters may run through some problems and often times, these issues are easy to fix.

1. Battery Not Charging

The photovoltaic array open voltage circuit should be measured to confirm that it is within normal limits. Measure the connections for the photovoltaic array if the voltage is measured zero or low. Always remember to disconnect the photovoltaic array from the controller when checking the system. Another thing you could check is the photovoltaic and battery voltage at charge controller terminals if the voltage reading at the terminal is the same when it is battery charging. If the photovoltaic reading is close to the open circuit reading of the panels and then the battery reading is low, the controller is possibly not charging the batteries itself and may be a sign of battery damage.

2. Excessively High Reading on Battery Voltage

High voltage readings of the battery could mean problems with the controller. Check by disconnecting the lead battery from the positive terminal and leave the photovoltaic array disconnected. The charging light on the controller shouldn’t be lit. Go to the solar panel terminal and measure the voltage from the charge controller. If the green light lights up then this indicates the controller may be damaged.

3. Improper Loading

The fuses could possibly be damaged or defective if this is the case. Check the fuses to ensure they are not frayed or damaged. Another possibility is that the breakers might have been tripped.

4. Fault Line is On but AC Load Not Working

A shutdown might have occurred due to an overload in the system and might have exceeded the solar inverters surge capacity.

5. Reverse Polarity Connection on Solar Inverter

The battery connection should be checked because the inverter could possibly be damaged and needs to be replaced. Always check connections if it is time for it to be replaced.

6. Improper Disconnection of Loads

The controller is not receiving proper battery voltage so the battery connection should be checked. Batteries should be checked as a maintenance routine to know if it has to be replaced soon.

7. Array Fuse Short Circuits

The battery might have been connected when a short circuit test was performed. The battery should be disconnected in order to perform the test. The rating of the photovoltaic array may have exceeded the rating so another controller in parallel should be added if needed or replace it with a controller that will be able to accommodate the rating.