What is an Inverter?
To be able to troubleshoot an inverter system, you would need to understand how it works. An inverter is an electronic device that converts DC ( direct current) power to AC ( alternate current) power or vise versa depending on the design. We have frequency inverters, solar inverters but I would be discussing solar inverters.
Common Inverter problems and their solutions.
Why is my inverter not coming ON?
One of the most commonly asked questions. There are a few possible causes ranging from faulty installation, Over heating, isolation fault etc.
Faulty installation: Its advisable that all components are certified OK before installation. The project must be commissioned in your presence before hand over. Make sure you have an active warranty programme.
Over Heating: When installing an inverter, location has to be properly considered since you are dealing with an electronic device that emits heat. High temperatures can lead to poor production, and can stop production if maximum operating temperature is reached.
Isolation fault: Another common problem that occurs over time. This is as a result of a short-circuit between various parts of the circuit, and the inverter will then report an “isolation alarm”. The short-circuit can be caused by a combination of moisture and damage to the sleeve on the cabling, faulty installation, poor connection of the DC cables to the panel, or moisture in the connection part of the solar panel module. This will be more common in areas with high humidity and/or close to the sea. If it is not something you can handle please contact a profession.
Why is my inverter not charging?
There are two possibilities:
- My inverter displays charging but once there is power outage it does not backup. Check if the inverter is set to backup i.e it is not on bypass, if that is verified it means that your batteries needs to be changed.
- I am sure of an active input current source but my inverter does not display charging. You probably need the service of a professional because one or two components in the inverter is bad and has to be changed.
Why do I have short backup time?
You have most likely over loaded the inverter system. I usually recommend 50% – 70% load capacity to get a minimal backup time. The more the load capacity, the lesser the backup time. Sometimes the batteries loose electrolytes too. In such case, you refill with distilled water to regain the battery maximum capacity.