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  • SolarEdge warranty replacement vent

    So allow me to vent about how my afternoon yesterday was wasted doing a warranty replacement of a SolarEdge inverter.

    I installed a couple dozen SolarEdge systems about 8 years ago and the lastest failure occured this week with an "AC voltage too high" error when the companion inverter right next to it in this dual setup is working just fine (in keeping with the 50% failure rate I've experienced with 1st gen SolarEdge equipment). So spent an hour with tech support from India going through all the process to get them convinced that they need to send a replacement which to their credit, they did get it shipped to us in only three working days. In past replacements, they have sent refurbished units of the same model and swapping them out was no problem as the top section is made seperate to facilitate servicing. This time, we get a substitute HD wave model. Totally different everything. Different physical size, everything plastic, knockouts in different locations, top section totally incompatible with the old bottom section. Had to do a complete new install, changing all the conduit, splicing wire, modifying the mounting bracket. I get that the new design is a lot smaller, cheaper, "better" - but no reason it can't be backward compatible. If they want me to sell their product, it needs to be reliable, reliable, reliable, and servicable. I'm sure the new generation of SolarEdge inverters are more reliable than the 1st gen crap, but any company that has design practices that are inexcusable like this are off my list.

    And here in dry Arizona, let me tell you plastic just goes to pot. The resins in most plastic parts literally evaporates over time and disintegrates. Every time, I lift a PV panel with a SolarEdge optimizer underneath, I know I can expect their MC4 connectors to just snap off.....

    So now the really frustrating part of the swap process gets going with commissioning the new HD wave unit. I know I'm old and this new IT stuff wears me out, but I've been doing computers since the late 70's and I've done escape rooms that were easier than getting this inverter going. No display on the inverter. Have to talk to it with a smart device. Download the app without trouble, but the inverter's firmware (from a brand new replacement unit) needed to be updated and would not talk to the app. Short story is: hours and multiple tech support calls later, still can't get the thing to run.
    Last edited by solarix; 03-13-2020, 11:45 AM.
    BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >2500kW installed

  • #2
    Originally posted by solarix
    No display on the inverter. Have to talk to it with a smart device. Download the app without trouble, but the inverter's firmware (from a brand new replacement unit) needed to be updated and would not talk to the app. Short story is: hours and multiple tech support calls later, still can't get the thing to run.
    I fear the day I have to deal with an inverter having no display. Saves them a few pennies,
    never mind the problems it causes in the field. There are no smart devices around here, it
    all runs very simply and reliably. I picked up a complete set of new spare inverters like mine
    to have on hand in case of a failure.

    Its part of the trend, minimum first cost no matter what the final cost to the consumer. The
    79 car I bought had a worthless fake spare, a real one would probably only cost $5 more.
    Repairable parts non existant, everything is cheaply built and expendable. Software is not
    backward compatible, you are forced to get a new computer. And the consumers have
    lost all sense of quality and value, they are herded like sheep. Bruce Roe
    Last edited by bcroe; 03-13-2020, 05:10 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bcroe View Post

      I fear the day I have to deal with an inverter having no display. Saves them a few pennies,
      never mind the problems it causes in the field. There are no smart devices around here, it
      all runs very simply and reliably. I picked up a complete set of new spare inverters like mine
      to have on hand in case of a failure.

      Its part of the trend, minimum first cost no matter what the final cost to the consumer. The
      79 car I bought had a worthless fake spare, a real one would probably only cost $5 more.
      Reparable parts non existant, everything is cheaply built and expendable. Software is not
      backward compatible, you are forced to get a new computer. And the consumers have
      lost all sense of quality and value, they are herded like sheep. Bruce Roe
      I could live without the display on my inverter, but life would be slightly less convenient.

      I may buy a spare inverter before they become too inconvenient to all but nitwits. A potential problem with that could be they might not be code compliant in some future nanny state and so can't be legally interconnected.

      My wife bought a new vehicle. A real spare w/matching wheel added ~ $300 to the bottom line.

      I've noticed that all the "helpful", "safety" features on that vehicle may have made me more dangerous as a driver by virtue of the easily acquired overreliance on technology and the subsequent loss of habits and driving characteristics that (hopefully) made me a safe(r) driver.

      That got me thinking.

      It was probably some marketing (or after market) genius that saw how to turn a profit via gov. fiat or some people's resistance to changing familiar ways of doing things that figured out that making some things standard that are not wanted and then perhaps charging to remove them (legally or otherwise), or making their absence an extra cost option, can be as, or more profitable than adding stuff.

      On a somewhat lighterbut perhaps related note, that logic may be similar to that of a chain letter I once received (the scam where you send a dollar to the first name/adddress on the list, remove that top name, add your name/address to the bottom, and mail copies of the revised list to 10 friends and then wait for the money to roll in when your name comes up). Except, for the (joke) letter I got, if you didn't send $100 to the person who's name was at the top of the list, inside of a week, everyone who has already received the letter (,000's of people ??) will come and crap on your lawn.

      Maybe that's one old world equivalent of today's ransomware.

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