solar panel wiring checks / repairs

Bruce Almighty

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Warwickshire
The performance from our panels has dropped in the last year or two.
The original installer has long gone out of business.

I'm looking for a reputable company to check our system. We're at Warwick.

Any recommendations please ?
 

rollestonpark

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Burton on trent
What inverter you have on it?
Our ABB you can check the strings to see their KW output, if they are much difference, then you may have a dead panel.
Some panels seem to earth out on the frame, then must be replaced.
The inverter should also tell you the resistance, if that's low, then you may also have an issue.
But a decent electrician should be able to do these tests for you.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
The performance from our panels has dropped in the last year or two.
The original installer has long gone out of business.

I'm looking for a reputable company to check our system. We're at Warwick.

Any recommendations please ?
Are they roof or ground mount?
I do my computations on the year Nov 1st - oct 31st.
Theyear Nov 20 - Oct 21 was by far and away the worst we have had for generation.

If your panels are roof mount like mine , we have serious issues on one in stall where MC 4 connectors are laying in the gulleys of a ridged roof since thry were not secured to the back of the panels
This means serious earth leakage when it is wet with a build up of rubbish around the connector .
Most inverters will refuse to run when the resistance drops below certain levels. Older ones this wouldhave been set about 30K ohms newer one below 100k ohms.
The resistance in the system should normally display on the screen , you may need to download a manual. But most are fairly simple.
Ideally this should be in no less than 500K ohms on small to medium system, on a damp day. When it is dry probably 10 M ohms
You will need an electrician to check the circuits though
 

Bruce Almighty

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Warwickshire
Are they roof or ground mount?
I do my computations on the year Nov 1st - oct 31st.
Theyear Nov 20 - Oct 21 was by far and away the worst we have had for generation.

If your panels are roof mount like mine , we have serious issues on one in stall where MC 4 connectors are laying in the gulleys of a ridged roof since thry were not secured to the back of the panels
This means serious earth leakage when it is wet with a build up of rubbish around the connector .
Most inverters will refuse to run when the resistance drops below certain levels. Older ones this wouldhave been set about 30K ohms newer one below 100k ohms.
The resistance in the system should normally display on the screen , you may need to download a manual. But most are fairly simple.
Ideally this should be in no less than 500K ohms on small to medium system, on a damp day. When it is dry probably 10 M ohms
You will need an electrician to check the circuits though
Thanks for your reply.
They are roof mounted, fitted 2011, I can't remember if it's 112 panels or 128 but the system was 26.6 kW.
Green Earth energy fitted them, we went with them because it was done through Countrywide & thought that was a good selling point. (Oh the irony !)
I'm not clever enough to deal with it myself, as well as currently being understaffed for the amount of livestock we have, so don't have the time. (I do have extra staff on the way though)
I'll try & dig out the historical figures, 2018 was probably the highest & it's gone downhill since then.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Thanks for your reply.
They are roof mounted, fitted 2011, I can't remember if it's 112 panels or 128 but the system was 26.6 kW.
Green Earth energy fitted them, we went with them because it was done through Countrywide & thought that was a good selling point. (Oh the irony !)
I'm not clever enough to deal with it myself, as well as currently being understaffed for the amount of livestock we have, so don't have the time. (I do have extra staff on the way though)
I'll try & dig out the historical figures, 2018 was probably the highest & it's gone downhill since then.
Don't worry all mine were fitted by some of biggest and best in the trade, I don't think any of the old companies survived the FIT collapse.
Have you had them cleaned at all, particularly livestock sheds can have a huge amount of crap on them. But the chances are it may be MC4 failure especially on an asbestos ( or that type) roof, or any roof with relatively narrow channels.
Sadly replacing them is not cheap if you need scaffold, but it is well worth doing.
Another point are your inverters Fronius. These used a stacking system inside of a series of small inverters. These come into play as power increases. Oddly the top of the stack, which is the last to cut in often fails first. The system still works but the power output is redused.
If you go to your inverter you may find an error code on it. If you post type and error code on here some of us may be able to give you a diagnosis
 

Bruce Almighty

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Warwickshire
Don't worry all mine were fitted by some of biggest and best in the trade, I don't think any of the old companies survived the FIT collapse.
Have you had them cleaned at all, particularly livestock sheds can have a huge amount of crap on them. But the chances are it may be MC4 failure especially on an asbestos ( or that type) roof, or any roof with relatively narrow channels.
Sadly replacing them is not cheap if you need scaffold, but it is well worth doing.
Another point are your inverters Fronius. These used a stacking system inside of a series of small inverters. These come into play as power increases. Oddly the top of the stack, which is the last to cut in often fails first. The system still works but the power output is redused.
If you go to your inverter you may find an error code on it. If you post type and error code on here some of us may be able to give you a diagnosis
We've had them cleaned twice in the last 12 months, having never cleaned them before.
The building they are on was built in 1998 with a fibre cement roof. (Landini)
In 2011 we had to remove the fibre cement sheets to replace the Z purlins for deeper/ stronger ones as advised by the structural engineer.
Initially they were ground mounted as GreenEarth couldn't get the Schletter frames to fit them to the roof, but we were installed just in time before the FIT halved. We moved them onto the roof about 3 months later.
The inverters are Sunny Tri Power/SMA (I think ?)
We had a system fitted to the inverters which gives us a daily production report by email, about 6 months ago. But I don't have much faith in the man that installed it.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
We've had them cleaned twice in the last 12 months, having never cleaned them before.
The building they are on was built in 1998 with a fibre cement roof. (Landini)
In 2011 we had to remove the fibre cement sheets to replace the Z purlins for deeper/ stronger ones as advised by the structural engineer.
Initially they were ground mounted as GreenEarth couldn't get the Schletter frames to fit them to the roof, but we were installed just in time before the FIT halved. We moved them onto the roof about 3 months later.
The inverters are Sunny Tri Power/SMA (I think ?)
We had a system fitted to the inverters which gives us a daily production report by email, about 6 months ago. But I don't have much faith in the man that installed it.
The problem with knowing your daily output is fine, but you really need others to compare it to locally. Luckily all mine are within a relatively small area so I have a program to match them up.
Even then there can be quite considerable variations with in ten miles
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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