Sunday, February 11, 2024

The Case Of The Exploding Fronius

We had a solar panel system installed in 2020 by a contractor out of Marion, Illinois and it produces a touch over 10,000 watts on a sunny day. It greatly reduced our power bill. This is the front of the Fronius inverter, that coordinates the power we produce, along with the power coming from our electric co-op.

We can cut off the power from the panels by switching the handle down to Off.
You open this box only when you have a problem...
...with the time delay fuses. They have a life, and when one fails, you cut off the power, open the box, check the fuses for continuity, and replace them if one is bad.  Turn the switch on, and the Fronius should soon be showing your wattage being produced. The net-meter off to the left will show if you are sending out or taking in power. 
Last week we saw that we weren't making any power, so I checked the fuses. Both of them were bad, and that is not good. That meant that something had occurred to make them blow. I replaced them, turned the power on, and nothing happened. No juice, just an error message. 
We made a call to the contractor who sold us the system, and the next morning we had help. He opened up the Fronius and found an exploded capacitor.
It blew off its base and caused a bit of collateral damage.
The repairman called Fronius, sent them some photos, and did some diagnostic checks on the wiring behind this panel, and they said they will send a new panel right away to install in the case. It is still in warranty! I just hope that they have parts in the country and we won't have to wait on a boat to cross the Pacific. 

Enough Excitement. Back To The Old Grind!


Merle said...

Good luck!

tsquared said...

Capacitors blow when the dielectric strength brakes down or if a voltage higher than it's rated capacity hits it. There has been a lot of crap bulk components coming out of China the past few years. Some capacitors are just made from sub-standard raw materials and burn out. Others are just mislabeled.

The last place I worked at had switched to all mil standard components because of the low quality components we were getting.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Thanks to both! TSquared, that is good information, and we sort of suspected that!