Horan Power Engineering Ltd,
Honeycomb West, Honeycomb,
Chester Business Park, Chester CH4 9QH

Investigating solar central inverter failures

Forensic investigation and managing the return to service

Investigating solar central inverter failures

Through 2020 we have investigated inverter fires and failures on six different sites.  Investigations have included central and string inverters.  In many cases an electrical fault this is predictable and relatively common is allowed to spread into a major fire because of a lack of adequate electrical protection.

As always with our company, the aim is not only to understand the failure mode, but to recommend ways to prevent further failures.  We can also project manage the works to return the equipment back to service.

We are currently developing strategies to extend the life of inverters that are susceptible to failures, which include developing an innovative arc flash scheme that will act to disconnect the grid supply to failing inverters within a few milliseconds, even in cases where the local high voltage fuse-switch is not rated for tripping on fault.

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