As solar renewable energy increases in popularity, so do the number of older solar inverter issues and the need for solutions. Although these units typically last more than 25 years, problems with previous models of solar inverters account for one of the leading calls for field technicians.
Be ready for the next service call and stay prepared for when another one comes in. Inverters are needed to power the grid— a part that is so essential should be well understood by technicians. Have the most effective plan to work through these issues. Save yourself time by knowing how to fix faulty solar inverters efficiently.
Take notes and photos of everything you come across. As symptoms change, it is a good idea to have everything recorded for yourself. Record updates and repairs that the system has undergone and include solar model numbers, inverter fault codes, and current equipment conditions.
Define all codes and issues that arise. Reach out to solar manufacturers and our solar equipment specialists through email or phone at 855-755-5855 to quickly help define what each error code means. They may be familiar with the problem and can give valuable guidance. Use your available resources to understand how to fix solar inverter issues.
Have a game plan and communicate it with your team. Make sure to break down the step by step process. Also, let your team know the different scenarios that could appear and how to respond. Doing this ensures readiness for every situation and will help everyone understand the next steps. For example, if plan A doesn’t work, does everyone know plan B?
Walk Around Check
Figure out areas that need to be checked and document everything. Are there chewed off wires, damage from natural causes, a lousy wifi connection that could just be affecting the system?
Create a list of tools and replacement parts that you will need. Figure out what metrics it is using, if you need internet access, safety gear, etc. Double-check as you are packing things - this is a step that is often overlooked but can save you much time and grant you peace of mind.
The most important thing, above all, and even before you start working, is safety. Often just a quick action: do not forget to turn off the power and have safety gear on before you start your work. While you and your team are working, make sure to communicate what you are about to do.
Before starting, try to take a quick look around. Is there anything that you can initially notice that is part of the problem? Use the checklist you created in the planning stage to ensure you are not overlooking anything important.
Troubleshoot Solar Panel Inverter
Document everything, especially during this stage. Take photos of the things that failed, something that worked, conditions of the solar PV system, and measurements like voltage and circuits; doing so will be helpful, as will be mentioned later on.
Now that you are ready to work your magic on this solar inverter do not forget that safety is first. Also, consider that when things are not working, avoid jumping to the conclusion that the unit needs replacement. Sometimes there are underlying issues that are just symptoms to the problem you are working on.
As you are working through the problem - documentation is critical. Add your step-by-step process to your library; it will help you check the changes made during a repair. Documentation will save you time and serve as receipts for unanswered questions about what led you to the repair process changes.
Last Few Steps
You finished fixing the inverter, and the solar panel is up and running. With all the things you have documented throughout this process, it is time to put it together from start to finish.
Organize your photos/notes to be ready for others who might have questions and need guidance and advice. Your organized documents will be helpful for the next field technician who comes to fix something. Having a history on the solar system will keep it in good shape for as long as possible.
Owners might also have questions about the process; this is the perfect time to have a conversation about your notes. Give them suggestions, show them your records, and help them with steps to keep their solar system healthy.
Ask: Do they need to upgrade? How about needing to consider power optimizers? A debrief is an essential part of helping your customer understand the issues and preventative measures in maintaining their solar power inverter systems.
When finishing a project through this process, you can probably see why documentation is essential! You now have a file for all your experiences, and if a similar call comes up, your recording will help save you time and increase efficiency and your expertise in your field. The five steps above (research, prepare, troubleshoot, repair, and debrief) are essential to help you stand out from a novice to an expert field technician.
Contact a Renvu Solar Sales Engineer today if you have any questions about products.