My solar panels are 10 years old...

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by burritos, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. burritos

    burritos Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    4,946
    252
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    I have a 2.5KW inverter. When I first got the panels, the peak reading in the middle of the day was 2400 watts. Today, the peak reading is 2350. So over 10 years, I think I may lost a little more than 2% efficiency with my panels. Probably not the most scientific way to measure efficiency loss, but I don't care, because for 6 people in a 2800 sq ft home, the electric bill is still only $300 a year(up from $80/year 10 years ago, but that was only with 2 people).
     
  2. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    4,003
    941
    118
    Location:
    Los Angeles Foothills
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Sadly two of my SMA Sunny Boy 2500U's are down. The dreded "bfr, MAX EARTH CURRENT ERROR".
    Unfortunately, it's the detector circuit that is junk and malfunctioned!
    It now inhibits the inverter from turning on! This sucks.
    I contacted SMA America and was told, oh sir, those are "Legacy Inverters" we do not support those anymore. We can sell you another one if you want.... NO I want to fix it, I am a board level Maintenance guy...it's what I do!
    So now I am buying two SMA 3kw replacements, and extra warranty to go to 20 years!
    I can not find anybody that repairs these things.
    I asked to buy a copy of the service manual, and was told, "Oh no sir, that's proprietary information..... "SO WHAT, YOU NOT SUPPORTING IT, IT'S LEGACY it should be released!
    Man I'm pissed!
     
  3. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    3,779
    1,282
    0
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    ESL End Service Life is common in an industry that is changing rapidly.

    Perhaps used parts exist among brokers, etc.

    I recall buying a Toshiba Plasma TV with a 5 year service contract

    The TV messed up and the technician took the TV

    I got a call parts discontinued can't get replacement part, cut me a Check to replace the TV
     
  4. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    4,539
    1,426
    9
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Is this helpful?

    Sunny Boy SB2500 Tech Manual

    I didn't try downloading it and have feeling you have already been there.
     
  5. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    4,003
    941
    118
    Location:
    Los Angeles Foothills
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    +2 for the try, this is the operations, install, setup manual. I printed that out when I first put in the system!
    The Factory Service manual is out there, but I sure can't find it! I am calling Go Solar today and after 5 weeks of searching, I give up and I am going to purchase 2 - 3kW Sunny Boy 3000HF inverters. Each with an additional 10 year warranty for just under $5K.
    OOhhh, this chaps my nice person, I am backed into a corner because of the RS-485 monitor and control link I set up when I installed the package. The new inverters will work with the old software! I just have to unscrew 4 wires, swap units, reattach the 4 wires, to the proper L1, L2, +, and - terminals.
    How hard can that be!!
    On the plus side, I can now add 1 kW's worth of new panels to jump up to a 8.5kW system!

    JMD, I am amazed at the lack of info I found. Most places wanted to install a complete new system, panels, racks, and Inverter! They could not understand why I, me myself, would want to repair, not replace my system!
    Man, there are some DENSE Solar Vendors out there!!!

    If I was smart, I should chuck the whole system, jump up to a Clear Edge Power Fuel Cell. 7.5kW, runs 24/7 on cheap natural gas, it also gives you heat, & water, HOT! It's about the size of a AC Compressor unit!
    Now there's the ticket laddie!
     
    JMD likes this.
  6. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    4,319
    1,526
    0
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    I
    I found this interesting:

    Google Translate
     
  7. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    4,003
    941
    118
    Location:
    Los Angeles Foothills
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I too found it interesting, in fact I purchased the last module he had 4 weeks ago! It did not help!:)
     
  8. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    2,816
    850
    0
    Location:
    Arcadia, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    You might want to download the SMA configurator to see which inverters are the correct size for the amount of panels you have. It's usually not good to under size the array.

    SCH-R530M ? 2
     
    KK6PD likes this.
  9. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    4,003
    941
    118
    Location:
    Los Angeles Foothills
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I contacted SMA, Its like a cloudy day, I will produce 500 watts less, simply because I need to add panels, the good news, when I decide to step up, I just add additional to the daisey chain. The 3000 series can handle up to 500Volts, 19 Amps!
    $5344.60 was spent today, thankfully I used my Chase cash back card to buy it, I will get the cash back bonus, then promptly pay off the card!
    All I could think about when ordering the Inverters was the scene in "The Wrath of Kahn"..... just before Kahn detonates Genesis!
    "From Hell's heart, I stab at thee... For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee..." Here is my credit card number, ship the Inverters, RS-485 Modules, and extended warranty!!
    I also don't believe in the no win scenario!
    I can take failure bitterly sometimes.......:mad:

    And I'm still looking for a Service Manual!!!
     
Loading...