Solar advice: Exchange or repair the inverters?

7/31/19, 5:00 PM -

In the case of inverters, repairing them is more difficult because they involve a lot electronics. It is uncommon for a technician to get out his soldering iron to repair faulty components or circuit boards.

Repair of solar inverters in the small factory of SolarInvert in Swabia.

Usually, the inverter is exchanged for a new one and the faulty one is repaired by the manufacturer or by a company commissioned by them. Some inverter manufacturers permit specially trained and certified independent technicians to completely exchange specific circuit boards or the power units. Otherwise, tampering inside the unit risks voiding the manufacturer’s often quite extensive warranty.

There is a market for replicas and repaired devices

Replicas are available for some inverters, where the manufacturer is no longer on the market. Mostly, those are very small and specialised inverters from the initial period of photovoltaics. If the solar installation was set up 15 years ago and still has five years to run in order to claim subsidies, repairs or replications can be worth it. However, it should always be considered on a case-by-case basis, if exchanging the inverter for a new or second-hand model may not be the simpler option.

Second-hand units are no longer under warranty, whereas new products are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty in every aspect.

Furthermore, it is easier to integrate the existing installation into the monitoring system. Replicas are treated as new-built units and come under all the usual warranties. (HS)

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