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Lightning damaged Axpert 4kW


Chris Hobson
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This evening I opened up a lightning damaged Axpert and despite a direct strike on the panels and house there is surprisingly little wrong  with the inverter (as far as I can tell).

On the DC side there are 2 MOSFETs blown and plan to replace all of them with 100V MOSFETs recommended by @Coulomb.

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The vulnerable 63V Jamicon capacitors appear normal but I plan to replace them. There are several film capacitors that have suffered damage or have  just been vaporised.

 

On the AC side there are some damaged IGBTs

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@Coulomb I am battling to remove the central  heat sink. Is there a trick? I managed to undo all the screws even the ones behind the big film capacitor but no go.

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10 hours ago, Chris Hobson said:

This evening I opened up a lightning damaged Axpert and despite a direct strike on the panels and house there is surprisingly little wrong  with the inverter (as far as I can tell).

I would not know about that. It sounds pretty serious to me. Not every failure is accompanied by obvious blackening or blown leads visible on the outside.

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On the DC side there are 2 MOSFETs blown and plan to replace all of them with 100V MOSFETs recommended by @Coulomb.

The repair manuals do say that if one MOSFET is blown, replace them all.

But blown MOSFETs often also take out driver transistors, resistors, and even the driver chips. 

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The vulnerable 63V Jamicon capacitors appear normal but I plan to replace them.

Also a good idea. They are suspected of causing MOSFET failures after as little as 3 months of operation.

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There are several film capacitors that have suffered damage or have  just been vaporised.

Yikes. You need to check any semiconductors connected to those capacitors.

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On the AC side there are some damaged IGBTs

Wow. I was thinking the other day how tough the AC side seems to be; I've rarely heard of the IGBTs failing. Of course, lightning is a rather special case.

 

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 @CoulombI am battling to remove the central  heat sink. Is there a trick?

Sorry, I've never tried. I just leave the heatsink there and replace the components bolted to it as needed.

I believe that there are two slotted studs that poke out of the heatsink that are soldered to the board. So it would take a couple of large ("Big Bertha") soldering irons to remove those. Is it necessary to remove the heatsink to get access to some of the components? I've had to remove some of the large film capacitors temporarily for some repairs.

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4 hours ago, educorner said:

which you good luck with the repair! Let us know if you succeed

When I initially received the inverter my idea was to see the internal workings of the inverter. After an initial look I thought that the inverter may be repairable but @Coulomb and @virge have warned me that there may be more damaged than meets the eye. I will continue to probe and see what is salvageable but am going to be circumspect about resurrecting the machine.

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4 hours ago, Chris Hobson said:

When I initially received the inverter my idea was to see the internal workings of the inverter. After an initial look I thought that the inverter may be repairable but @Coulomb and @virge have warned me that there may be more damaged than meets the eye. I will continue to probe and see what is salvageable but am going to be circumspect about resurrecting the machine.

I would like to know the outcome of this as well - if it does indeed turn out positively ;)

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FWIW. Y'all know I fried my small 12v Victron inverter with 24v. Then I had it repaired.

Few weeks later it started to fail when the load goes above 100w. Sent it in to a authorised repair shop - more out of curiosity than anything else.

After a few tests they said nope, repairs done was cool, but the board also suffered damage. 

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So I spent the latter part of the afternoon delving into the intracies of the lightning damaged Axpert. There is a burnt track that starts near the power supply and end somewhere near the transformer plus another capacitor that  I see is dome shaped (also near the power supply). I had the chance to look at a 3K Plus unit and the SCC on the 3k Plus unit is exactly the same as the 4kW version. The 3K Plus unit is rate as 1500W and 24V charging so Amps is obviously a limiting factor being ½ of the 4kW's ratings.

We tried to power up the SCC using the 3K unit. It recognises the SCC but powers down after a couple of seconds - back to the drawing board. I had hoped that the SCC which shows no apparent damage had survived :(.

I have said in the past there is not much one can do to protect equipment from a direct strike. Perhaps I should heed my own advice :D.

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29 minutes ago, Gnome said:

Yep, if you are doing this to save money, I would rather stop now.

If it is to learn, then it'll probably be a lot of work but you'll be an axpert at it in the end ;)

Hi Gnome

It has been fun an it has been good to learn. I have had an Axpert for two years and bar reversing the fans have not had a look at its innards. Now I am having a marvellous time and it has not cost me a cent. Better than DSTV:D. One can see the evolution of the unit especially the SCC which is based on the  PCM 60X MPPT.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Can anyone recommend a good repair center where I can take a 4Kw Axpert Inverter for repairs.

The Inverter just started to do continues resets when input power is connected, and if I disconnect all power from inverter (input and output), and only have battery power connected to inverter (although battery is fully charged), then the inverter switch off completely. 

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2 hours ago, SBBS said:

Can anyone recommend a good repair center where I can take a 4Kw Axpert Inverter for repairs.

The Inverter just started to do continues resets when input power is connected, and if I disconnect all power from inverter (input and output), and only have battery power connected to inverter (although battery is fully charged), then the inverter switch off completely. 

Mustek is one of the official distributors and repair centers. 

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