Solar Power System Failures: Considerations and Solutions

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Once operating stably, the solar power system can operate for many years with almost no problems; But we cannot neglect periodic maintenance of the system to find problems, causes, and timely remedies.

So what should you pay attention to? How to handle solar power system problems? Let’s find out with VREnergy!

Note on SAFETY when troubleshooting solar power systems

Surely we must agree that SAFETY IS FIRST!

You need to remember, solar batteries always generate electricity during the day and battery storage systems always have electricity. Therefore, all safety regulations applicable to solar power systems, when installed and when operating, must be carefully observed during inspection, maintenance and troubleshooting of solar power systems.

Common solar power system problems

Unless you regularly keep an eye on your solar power system, many problems can occur and go undetected for several months. With an independent solar power system, you only notice a problem with the system when the power source is lost.

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Problems often occur in the form of:

  • Excessive use of electricity – greater than the capacity of the solar power system
  • The power generated is not enough – the power generated is lower than expected.
  • The wire is damaged, the connection point is broken.
  • Weak storage battery.
  • Obstacles and shadows.
  • Ground fault (grounding).
  • Solar inverter problems .
  • Obstructions to solar power (shade and shade).

Let’s start learning about each solar power system problem!

Excessive power usage

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This is the most common reason why solar power systems fail: initial studies and surveys estimated the power consumption to be lower than the actual demand.

Reason

Almost every solar power system controller provides basic information on an LCD screen, telling you how much power is being produced by the solar power system and how much charge is being stored in the battery bank. Some solar controllers also provide detailed information, allowing you to monitor the amount of power generated versus consumed on a daily basis.

Using this information, you will easily check and determine whether your daily power level is higher or lower than expected, from which you can make appropriate adjustments.

Solution

If you determine that the power consumption is higher than the standard level of the solar power system, VREnergy proposes 3 solutions for you to choose from:

  • Reduce electrical load.
  • Increase solar battery array capacity.
  • Add another power source to the solar power system (if necessary).

Not generating enough power

Reason

If you use electricity responsibly, the problem of not having enough power probably won’t occur when the solar power system is relatively new.

However, after a few years of use, solar panels and storage batteries can degrade, their performance gradually decreasing; The possibility of the battery degrading will be faster than the solar panels. At the same time, new obstacles may appear (growing trees, newly built houses, etc.), blocking sunlight. Therefore, the power level will also gradually decrease.

Power generation efficiency from panel arrays can also decrease over time due to dirt accumulation on the panel surface. Usually caused by birds, cats, dust and pollutants in the air and rainwater.

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In addition, when surveying the location, you may have overlooked or not paid attention to a few obstacles. This is often a common mistake made by people who have no experience installing solar power systems and is also a problem that can cost a lot of money to solve. Therefore, you need to be clearly aware of the importance of the process of researching and surveying the location.

To determine whether your solar power system can produce the required power, you should check the controller input measurements on a daily basis. If the controller does not provide this information, use a VOM device with a data logging feature to measure and record the amount of electricity generated by the solar panels over a three to five day period.

Solution

If you determine that the system is not generating enough power as it was initially, start by checking the solar array. Check for damage, scratches, cracks on the solar panel array, clean the battery array with warm water with appropriate detergent and polish with wax or glass powder against dust and water.

Check all electrical wiring, making sure there is no unusually high resistance in any panels or on the lines. The cause may be due to improper or loose connections, damaged electrical wires, peeling or scratched insulation.

Check the location again, ensuring the optimal orientation and angle between the solar panel and the sunlight direction .

If the problem of power loss only occurs at certain times of the year, you should adjust the sun angle to provide the highest power during those times, even though this angle may reduce power. capacity of the solar power system in other months.

If the above measures still do not solve the problem, VREnergy offers you 3 options:

  • Reduce total electrical load.
  • Increase panel array size.
  • Add another power source.

The wire is damaged, the connection point is broken.

If the power cord is damaged or the electrical connection is loose, your system will not operate properly. If you notice unusual symptoms, the cause may be a connection or electrical problem.

Reason

Some typical symptoms that may be caused by the connection or wire:

  • Solar power drops suddenly on days when the weather is too hot or too cold. This is often caused by loose connections or damaged wiring in the battery array or between the battery array and the controller.
  • Power is lost suddenly, intermittently or intermittently, when running high loads. The cause could be loose connections in the battery array, damaged batteries or high resistance wires.
  • The battery array produces lower power than normal, possibly due to loose wire connections or short circuits between panels in the array.
  • The voltage drops clearly on the wire connecting the panel array to the controller, mainly because the wire is damaged or the wire size is too small.

Similarly, there is a noticeable voltage drop on the line between the controller and the electrical equipment, possibly due to insufficient wiring.

If the wire is too hot to the touch, the internal resistance of this wire is too high, to avoid problems, which can sometimes lead to a fire, you need to replace the wire as soon as possible.

Solution

Accurately diagnosing the problem and its cause is often time-consuming and requires extensive experience in O&M operations and maintenance . You can refer to the following solar power system troubleshooting solutions:

Your first task is to determine which part of the system is at fault. The solar power system controller can indicate parameters ( voltage and current intensity…) input and output.

After knowing the part where the problem occurs, focus on that part, measure the resistance of each wire, using the resistance measurement mode on the VOM meter. If the internal resistance is unusually high, replace that wire. If the power cord gets too hot, you must also replace it with a new one. The problem could be caused by an undersized wire or damage inside the wire.

Next, check all the connections in the part that is believed to have a problem, making sure these connections are good and not waterproof.

Weak batteries

Reason

In case the battery is weak, the system usually does not provide enough power according to the norm, and the electricity is flickering or interrupted when you operate electrical equipment.

In the case of a weak battery, it often occurs in cold weather or when the battery discharges below 50 – 60% of the nominal capacity. In warm weather, or when fully charged, a weak battery can still work normally for months or even years.

Solution

If the solar power system controller indicates that you are only receiving enough power from the solar battery array to supply the loads, there may be a weak battery in the battery wire, or a loose connection between the two batteries.

Let’s start with the simplest and easiest method to implement. Clean all battery electrodes (battery terminals), check the wires connecting the batteries, make sure the wire ends are tight on the battery, apply a thin layer of lubricant to each wire end to ensure conductivity and resistance. wet.

Next, check the water level (acid solution) in the battery. If it is a “wet” battery, add more as required.

Check and measure the voltage of each battery, ensuring all batteries in the series have the same voltage value. If there is a difference of more than 0.7V, you need to balance the batteries.

However, if there is a difference on a battery of 2V or higher, a cell in that battery is damaged. The most obvious sign is that the battery is abnormally hot, please replace it with a new one .

If your solar power system controller has a battery balancing feature, use that feature. If not, recharge the weak batteries, using appropriate charging equipment, until all batteries have similar voltage values.

If after performing the above checks and solutions, the problems are still not resolved, you should conduct a load test of each battery in turn. To improve this, make sure all batteries are fully charged, disconnect each battery to check. This device allows easy identification of weak batteries in a battery bank.

Replace battery

Reason

If the solar power system problem is related to batteries that have been used for a long time and have degraded, you should consider the possibility of replacing the entire battery bank with new batteries. Old, used batteries are almost impossible to operate with new batteries, due to voltage differences. If old and new batteries are used together in the same bank, there will be some days when the batteries are never fully charged.

Solution

If you have a bank of batteries that are starting to deteriorate, including one that fails prematurely, to save money, you should probably look for used batteries of the same brand and model as the damaged battery. Many battery suppliers can supply used batteries, which are not only much cheaper than new batteries, but the batteries are also degraded and have charge-discharge characteristics similar to existing batteries in the range. your battery. Do not use batteries of different types, different suppliers and different models in the series, because they have different characteristics.

If a new battery is installed in an existing battery bank, it is possible that the battery life will also be significantly reduced. So you should label the new battery and the old battery for easy distinction. This is also quite useful when checking, maintaining and replacing batteries later.

Solar inverter problems

Reason

Solar power system problems related to solar inverters include:

  • Electronic devices make buzzing or howling sounds when receiving power from the inverter.
  • Some devices cannot be operated from the inverter.
  • The circuit is often interrupted, the relay jumps.
  • Sudden power outage.

If electronic devices make strange sounds when powered by the inverter or the electronic devices do not operate at all, it may be because the inverter is not producing pure AC sine waves. If there is a solar power system connected to the national grid. This may be due to poor quality AC power from the grid, grounding problems or a faulty inverter.

If you have a stand-alone solar power system and you have purchased a corrected sine wave (or close to sine wave) type inverter, the above problems may not be completely resolved without replacing the inverter. new. 

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If the circuit is suddenly released, for unknown reasons, when operating from an inverter or there is a sudden loss of power, ask these questions and find the answers:

  • The circuit is suddenly released when you turn on or off a high-power electrical device, such as a high-power factory pump system.
  • A sudden trip occurs when the inverter is turned on in the early morning or when the inverter is turned off at the end of the day.
  • The circuit is released often on hot days or after heavy rain.

The phenomenon of circuit release and sudden power loss usually only appears when a group of events occurs, requires a lot of time to diagnose and is a bit difficult to solve.

The main causes of circuit discharge and sudden power loss are often related to temperature. The inverter may arise with temperature. Inverters can generate quite a bit of heat. The hotter the unit, the lower the power produced. If the inverter overheats during operation, a sudden increase in power demand may be enough to temporarily de-energize the inverter. If it gets hot for a long time, the inverter will automatically turn off to cool down.

Solution

If the inverter gets hot during operation, you should take additional measures to ventilate and cool the inverter. Keeping the inverter sufficiently cool during operation can significantly improve performance.

If the problem occurs during heavy rain or on hot days, the cause of the problem is probably the ground connection. Use the PAT kit to check the inverter, protect the inverter from electrical leakage and check all connections from the DC input on the inverter.

VREnergy – Professional O&M operation and maintenance unit for solar power EPC general contractor projects

VREnergy always designs SEPARATE solutions for businesses looking for a professional O&M solar power system operation & maintenance unit & optimization of solar power capacity!

VREnergy always brings your business the most optimal energy solutions specifically for each project – Drawing from 5+ years of experience and 120+ successfully operated projects. We focus on:

  1.  Quality of products & technology, this is the most core thing in pump product solutions from project initiation to operation and maintenance in the smoothest and most effective way.
  2.  The specialized technical team is the key to optimizing performance, ensuring the most effective, sustainable & economical use of the solar power system.
  3.  After-sales, warranty, and maintenance provide customers with absolute satisfaction in the service of all VREnergy employees. This is the solid foundation that creates value for our customers.

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Besides, we also pay attention to the detailed problems you are facing:

  • The overall cost for a solar power system operation project is consistent with the customer’s characteristics.
  • Timeliness with all issues affecting the conversion efficiency of customers’ solar power systems.
  • Flexibility in all support and warranty work for customers.

Or simply: Optimize the benefits from the solar power system producing electricity.

Let VREnergy accompany you to provide O&M operation and maintenance solutions to help improve the performance of your solar power system.

At VREnery, we are always progressive in understanding the problems our customers are facing and providing appropriate solutions. So we understand what you need during the operation of the system.

Please contact VREnergy to allow us to send you the most complete O&M operations and maintenance plans for you!