Service Tip #2: Don't Forget Accessories When Replacing Inverters

This post was originally published in 2012. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

SMA has a large product range and offers the right inverter for every plant. That’s why it makes sense to familiarize yourself with the device type and conditions of the PV plant before each inverter replacement: Does the defective inverter have optional accessories that must be carried over to the replacement inverter? Do parameter changes have to be made to comply with the regulations of the energy suppliers?

Together with Marco Flatzek, customer consultant in our SMA Service Line, I have created an overview as a reminder for installers when replacing different inverter types.

 

Sunny Tripower: Carry-over of Surge Arresters

Please note that no type 2 surge arresters are enclosed with our 
Sunny Tripower replacement devices. For this reason, it is important that you remove the surge arresters – if present – from the defective device before it is collected or sent back. Then, please install the surge arresters in the replacement device.

Überspannungsableiter

Type 2 surge arresters may be ordered as an option for Sunny Tripower inverters. They must be carried over upon inverter replacement.

Sunny Mini Central: String Fuses Must Be Carried Over

When replacing a Sunny Mini Central inverter (9000TL (RP)/10000TL (RP)/11000TL (RP)), it is necessary to carry over the string fuses and jumpers to the replacement inverter (see cover image). Please remember to check the condition of the fuses. Defective fuses must always be replaced.
The SMA Power Balancer should also always be activated and correctly cabled to prevent an unbalanced load.
It is also important that the correct “PowerBalancer” parameter is configured for all inverters. There are four different configuration options for this parameter. Please refer to the installation manual of the Sunny Mini Central inverter (Section 5.6) to determine which configuration is correct for your customer’s inverter.

 

Inverter with Transformer: Do Not Forget the Grounding Set

If the inverter with transformer is equipped with a grounding set, please carry it over to the replacement inverter. Make sure of the grounding set type (positive or negative) and how it must be installed. For example, for HF-30 devices (Sunny Boy 2000 HF/2500 HF and 3000 HF), it is inserted on the bottom of the inverter. For inverters without a graphical display and without an integrated Bluetooth® interface, you have to install it directly in the inverter.
The position of the grounding set can vary from inverter type to inverter type. Please look in the installation manual of the set.

An additional property of the HF-30 inverter series is the communication module (Quick Module), installed on the bottom of the inverter. This must also be carried over to the replacement inverter.

 

Set the Parameters Correctly

Due to the new provisions for the medium and low-voltage grid, it is increasingly important for installers to be familiar with the details of the PV plant of their customer. Which standards must be considered and fulfilled? Does the plant have to be limited to 70 percent active power in the future?
Solar power professionals have the task of setting required parameters for their customers. This generally involves setting the correct country standard or grid parameters such as reactive and active power.
By the way: SMA replacement devices are generally delivered with the same settings as the originally delivered device. If parameters were changed on the device in the mean time, these changes must then also be made to the replacement device.

 

Observe Safety Precautions

For all work on the inverter as well as for parameter settings and the carry-over of accessories, the following applies: Please always follow the information in the installation manual and always observe the safety precautions.

Additional advice on replacing inverters can be found in our Service tip 1 .

 

All work on the inverter and the cabling of the PV array must be carried out by an electrically skilled person. SMA shall bear no liability for damage caused by disregarding these safety messages.

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