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Imeon 3.6 Failures


Mike
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thought i would give you guys a heads up.... Over the last 3 weeks, i have had 6 Imeon installs fail. 4 of the units have been fan failures, 1 has been charger circuit board and this weeks one has just been internal failure.

The way that the manufacturer is handling the issues and the time factor leaves a fair bit to be desired. Firstly not stock in S.A for spares initially, then a delay of between  a week to 3  weeks for repair. I must admit two were swapped out with a fight. Their tends to be a pattern, between 4 to 6 months of usage you will start getting a red led error with the center icon flashing, once you reset the unit it will work again for 15min up to a day unit it goes into error mode again, you will then notice the fans have stopped working. The local agents are not allowed to replace anything in the unit without getting the logged fault report authorized by Imeon France, as well as only using fans supplied by France - This looks like a patent defect with regards to the fan issue. It's not nice that these units are failing so early into their 5 year warranty. Plus you have a lot of docs to fill in to effect repair

 

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Sjoe I nearly, nearly bought an Imeon. I still think it is a superior inverter but they need to sort out repair procedure, and perhaps fan issues. Plonky and TTT are going to tell us nothing goes wrong with their blue pixies. I only know of one Axpert to fail but I suspect it was abused. Any other folk with experience with other inverters?

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

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I just feel people must be able to make informed decisions when it comes to such an expensive nowadays necessity. SUppliers don't want you to hear the problem side of things, hence  a certain lithium manufacturer forceing one to sign non discolures etc....

To date with the amount of Infini solars i have installed -- NOT ONE failure in two years, Imeons i have done 57 installs with 6 failures so far, Axperts, only one that i am aware of and it was a client fault by connecting is battery polarity incorrectly..... And for the blue boys, the few i have installed .......guess what NO failures either. Also never had a GTI fail on me yet - Fronius,Microcare,ABB, SMA....

 

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They are 40 cells, 1,2 V nominal (thus a 48V bank) and are 300 Ah, Nickel-Iron (Edison's Ni-Fe type). The make is Changhong made in China under Varta (German) specs I believe.

I had to get a one day key from the Imeon supplier to change the charging voltage somewhat. (After that, if you want to use the key again, just change the date back to the date you received the key!)

Advantage is that you can charge them even without a charge controller with no harm. Furthermore, 300 Ah means just that, unlike the lead-acid ratings which must be halved and then you have 5 to 8 years.... Ni-Fe cells have disadvantages such as higher self discharge rate, but not serious. You can leave them in a fully discharged state indefinitely, charge them again and away you go! They are bulky for their capacity, but hey, they are stationary, so if you have space, no sweat! The life expectancy can be such that it will outlive me (There are still Edison cells in operation today, after 85 years,if google is right).

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On 2016/03/19 at 8:05 AM, Chris Hobson said:

Plonky and TTT are going to tell us nothing goes wrong with their blue pixies

Hey, I know of ONE Multiplus or Quatro that failed. I mean, it's anecdotal and all... but apparently the transfer switch malfunctioned and it burned one bank of MOSFETs :-)

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Mike, would you mind PM'ing me the supplier in question? 

I have had 3 axpert failures so far, at two different clients. I suspect in both cases it could have been a surge on the house wires since one client is totally off-grid and has some big equipment - but he doesn't want to RMA the unit, transport costs is too much for him so he's having it fixed locally. Let's not go there. In the other case the unit was fixed under warranty and they replaced the main board but didn't say what was wrong. My suggestion: put a surge arrastor before, and after the inverter. Probably a Class I? I didn't think it's necessary in the past but do think it's a small price to pay for some added protection. 

Though I guess this could happen with other brands as well?

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Same thing here in Namibia. Only know og one imeon/in gateau installed. And it fails to grid fees every day. Client is not happy as he had the option to install 2 Infini plus due to sales poeple went for the more expensive option. Probably going to change out the inverter for the Infini if things goes on like this. It's been 6 weeks and still not even France can sort out the problem. So ja go with the Infini and if it fails wich I have not seen once out of 38 installations in the last 2 years you get a new one.

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On 3/19/2016 at 0:02 PM, Mike said:

did you import or purchase locally? i kinda like them a lot.. price point is how bad? various ah ratings available?

I was busy dealing directly with the manufacturer in China to import and got a price for them. Subsequently they notified me of a local agent with whom they are dealing with for the last 20 years (other stuff, but also all kinds of batteries). The local company then did the import on my behalf for the same quoted price of R84k. Landing cost was another R6k.

We are looking at 300 Ah for this price, just remember it is not 300 Ah lead-acid which is only really less than 150 useable Ah.

They are available in various Ah ratings as can be seen from the websites below.

It is exactly the same batteries as sold by the American company IRON EDISON. Better to look at their website for more language friendly information.

https://ironedison.com/iron-edison-usa-series-nickel-iron-nife-battery          American

 

http://www.changhongbatteries.com/Nickel-lron(Ni-Fe)_m2_c10_cu13.html     Chinese (original factory)

 

http://www.sjandrews.co.za/       Local South African supplier/importer

Edited by SOLARWIND
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On 3/20/2016 at 6:38 PM, SilverNodashi said:

I suspect in both cases it could have been a surge on the house wires since one client is totally off-grid and has some big equipment - but he doesn't want to RMA the unit, transport costs is too much for him so he's having it fixed locally. Let's not go there. In the other case the unit was fixed under warranty and they replaced the main board but didn't say what was wrong. My suggestion: put a surge arrastor before, and after the inverter. Probably a Class I? I didn't think it's necessary in the past but do think it's a small price to pay for some added protection. 

Though I guess this could happen with other brands as well?

Yes, I am pretty sure it can happen to all makes when connected to Eskom.

Heard on Friday from a CPT supplier whom was supplying Voltronic devices, having had a few failures themselves, stopping supplying them following a JHB importer of Voltronics (name was withheld) having had them fail in droves. Surges from Eskom and / or lighting being fingered.

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On 3/21/2016 at 9:59 PM, viper_za said:

What charge/float voltages are you looking at for a 48v bank?

Float at 1.4 V to 1.42 V/cell, but can be changed. Compromise between maintaining capacity and water consumption. Boost anything up to 1.6 V/Cell.

 

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  • 3 years later...

I know it's an old post, but today it's my turn - IMEON intermittent fan failure (027) - Seems to kick in whenever charging the batteries (Solar or AC) - Bypassed and Muted for now, just grumpy that have had 2 invertor failures in 2 years, especially since both have only been in backup mode type installs. Am hectically occupied over next few weeks so just have to bypass for now... Then hopefully just a small strip and cleanout...

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  • 1 month later...

@Mike - Have been living in another town for a while so only got to take a closer look at the Imeon today - Imagine my relief when I opened the covers and found that the only reason the fan had stopped was a dead gecko stuck in the fan... Cleared out the petrified remains of a dead gecko and the Imeon purred back into life:D. Saved me nearly R2k on importing new fans!

@Wayne Kolevsohn - I had this issue just today after restarting my Imeon... To start with, shut down the Imeon completely (no solar, no battery, no input AC and no output AC). Wait for the Imeon to completely shut down and then give it about a minute after. Then connect all the sources and outputs again and check. If still not charging the batteries then you need to go into the software admin mode - If you don't have the software, and/or the admin access then you will need to chat to us further. From the Admin mode - under Flow Manager, switch the "Function Mode" to "On-grid" (Warning - this might cut output from the invertor). This will reset all the Battery Manager functions internally, and will reset the charging logic (both the "Allow AC to charge Batteries" and the "Charge batteries from grid authorised from...". Seems weird, but the Imeon lost the settings on mine and even putting the correct settings in didn't reset the charging. Once the "On Grid" settings have been loaded (takes about a minute or 2), then set the software back to "Smart-grid" or "Back-up" (whichever you use) and check the rest of the settings are what you want under Flow Manager, Battery Manager and Grid Manager. Hopefully this will resolve the charging issue.

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