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Infinisolar inverter switches off when PV unavailable


Frodo
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Hi Everyone,

We currently have an Infinisolar 3k Plus inverter installed with PV panels only and no batteries.  It is grid-connected.

Every evening, around 18h30 when the PV panels has a 0v input, the inverter goes off completely - meaning the screen goes off as if the inverter is disconnected from all power sources.  This happens, even although the grid is available.  The inverter has been running with no issues for about 15 months, and this only started recently.  It however happens every time the PV voltage drops to 0V - I have simulated this, by disconnecting the PV panels during the daytime as well.

In the morning, once the sun starts to shine again, the inverter can be manually switched on again.

What can cause this, and is there an easy fix for it, like reinstalling firmware?  Or will the inverter need to be sent in?

Should it be a firmware issue, where can one download firmware and if it is password protected, what is the password?

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, Frodo said:

What can cause this,

There are many power converters in the Infinis. There is one that takes AC power from the grid port, rectifies it, high frequency chops it, and feeds the output to the ~400 VDC "bus" that powers nearly everything. It sounds like something inside that power converter must have failed.

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and is there an easy fix for it, like reinstalling firmware? 

I doubt it, sorry. There is a very small chance that there is a fuse involved that nuisance blew and could be user replaced.

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Or will the inverter need to be sent in?

Yes, I think so, unless you are handy with electronic repair. I found it difficult to find detailed schematics. I did find one service manual, on this forum in fact (link below), with "overview" schematics, which gave the general idea and main part numbers (for transformers and transistors, for example), but no details (like MOSFET source sense resistors, snubbers, etc). The main power supply (which seems to duplicate several other power supplies) had no schematic at all, and was barely mentioned.

https://powerforum.co.za/files/file/10-1-phase-3kw-plus-hybrid-solar-inverter/

At least it is specific to a 3 kW Plus model.

If you send it in, the likely result is replacement of one of the "main boards", so possibly of the order of a third of the cost of a complete new machine, unless it's deemed a warranty repair.

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Thanks for the replies.

7 hours ago, Jaco de Jongh said:

Did you try to remove all power at once and then restart it?

Yes, it did not resolve the issue.

5 hours ago, Coulomb said:

There are many power converters in the Infinis. There is one that takes AC power from the grid port, rectifies it, high frequency chops it, and feeds the output to the ~400 VDC "bus" that powers nearly everything. It sounds like something inside that power converter must have failed.

So during the day, while the sun is shining, it pulls in froom the Grid and PV as energy source. Adding a battery bank also keeps it powered on. Does this make sense in terms of the power converter possibly being faulty?

 

Which repair centres will provide good service at a reasonable price?

The inverter is out of warranty.

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2 hours ago, Frodo said:

Does this make sense in terms of the power converter possibly being faulty?

Yes. The outputs are diode connected, so only the highest voltage output supplies the power. I assume that they organise it so that PV will usually provide power if available, and utility will be the source of last resort. The fact that you only lose power for the processor and display since a particular calendar date, only when utility is the only source, pinpoints that power converter. 

Edited by Coulomb
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