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Installation Horror Story - PLEASE VERIFY THAT YOUR INSTALLER IS LEGIT


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I hope this post will help someone in the future - it happened to a very good mate of mine but I am not going to name any names as I think what happened is par for the course with these fly by night installers...

My mate repsonds to this advert - note the spelling - now if you are familiar with the industry it is obvious but averge Joe doesn't pick up on this:

image.png.acd22dc68739675334c1638aed6170b5.png

Not clear in the image - but a Growatt suddenly becomes a Growcall

Then also the price - if it looks to good to be true it probably is...

My mate requested an Axpert type inverter instead of the Growatt - so they replace it with a Kodak 8Kw.

Day of install mid Feb:

1. I get a picture of the panels going on the SOUTH side of the roof - red alert! Plenty of space on the north side

2. During the install somehow switches are not doing what they are supposed to and eventually magic smoke comes out of the inverter

Next week:

1. Installer arrives with a FiveStar 8kw unit - sorry to say...Red Alert 2! Obvisouly supplier of kodak told them to get knotted as they blew the inverter during install.

2. Things seem to be working slightly better except the switchover to from and back to Eskom isn't working as it should and the battery also seems wonky

3. Batteries are 2 x Sungod 48v units...Red Alert 3! Never heard of these and cannot find any info of substance on web around these. A user manual etc. Battery is taken away as a dead cell is suspected.  Battery is returned a few days later.

4. Panels are obviously not delivering much power.

5. Solar Asssiatant doesn't work on the FiveStar - my mate says he wants another Kodak

4 Weeks later:

1. Installer comes with a new 10kw Kodak - ok thats an upgrade at least from the 8kw.

2. Installer cannot get the kodak to see the Eskom feed...Red Alert 4!

At this point my mate listens to me and we get my installer onsite.  The ESKOM feed from the DB to Inverter In - Earth is wired into Neutral and Live on Neutral and Neutral on Live - I sh1t you not... how this inverter is still opertional...A new date is scheduled to check all wiring and remount the panels on the north facing roof.

Today:

This is the pic of the panel labels:

image.png.dd2ae15dc0f1c7d61fe6d2fb9a3c5b66.png

Notice the Chingling spellng next to Fivestar brand... also only rated for 450W (IF THAT IS EVEN TRUE) - the advert and quote stated 550w panels.

Anyway...things are being sorted out as I write this and my mate is going to take things further woth the original installer.

Beware of what is out there in the solar wild west.

 

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Well this explains one thing: I have seen some South facing panels recently. I couldn't figure it out. A couple of times I thought I must have lost my orientation but I check and yes, those panels really are facing South. I suppose they will make SOME useful current. My East facing panels carry on producing after midday, but nothing like full tilt.

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21 minutes ago, Etiennet said:

I just noted Kodak 8Kw, are you sure you are not referencing the Kodak OG7.2? As I am not aware of a 8Kw Kodak? 

Yeah probably that one - the new one is the 10Kw.

To make things worse...I suspect the panels are 150w - not the 450w that is on the sticker...

At present sunny skies 9:55am, his batteries need charge - max being generated is 1020w with 8 panels...My system is already generating around 2Kw (I have 8x 455w JA's)

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17 minutes ago, Douw G. Gerber said:

Yeah probably that one - the new one is the 10Kw.

To make things worse...I suspect the panels are 150w - not the 450w that is on the sticker...

At present sunny skies 9:55am, his batteries need charge - max being generated is 1020w with 8 panels...My system is already generating around 2Kw (I have 8x 455w JA's)

150w and not 450w! wow that makes this that much more terrible! I really hope your friend gets this resolved or refunded as this is unacceptable! 

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My suggestion after experience with installers like this, is to start afresh, get another reputable installer to check everything, which equipment is legit, and reinstall from scratch. 

Ask for a refund for the fake equipment from the old guy, but don't let him touch the electrical side any longer 

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I meet dodgy electrician's all the time.

I was told of an installer today that issued a COC with a different installers signiture on it.

The COC was yellow paper ,if I'm not mistaken all COC's are now a white form.

As a registerd electrician I have a card issued to me by the Department of Labour ,ask your electrician for his card before he or she starts the work.

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2 hours ago, Clint said:

I meet dodgy electrician's all the time.

I was told of an installer today that issued a COC with a different installers signiture on it.

The COC was yellow paper ,if I'm not mistaken all COC's are now a white form.

As a registerd electrician I have a card issued to me by the Department of Labour ,ask your electrician for his card before he or she starts the work.

"A major change is the removal of some duplications that stemmed from the Electrical Installation Regulations. In addition, the single page CoC/test report has been divided into two parts: regular electrical of compliance and sub reticulation.The reticulation certificate is blue while the standard certificate is yellow"

Below examples old bottom new 1 pager top.

New-CoC-yellow-768x785.thumb.jpg.27b1bf3dbc43cadc1ac447574f3da800.jpgNew-CoC-blue-768x983.thumb.jpg.c973898ca54a37b41d8778f086eafb73.jpg 

Edited by TaliaB
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