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nr16apple

Inverter cutting out in hot weather

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nr16apple

Have had Sunny Boy 4000TL installed for six years with absolutely no problems .. until the last few very hot days.  Output cuts out for periods of about 20 minutes (then comes on again) from about 11 am to 2 pm (peak time).  Inverter is in attic - gets hot!  I've monitored closely and by opening access door and getting a breeze through attic it seems to be able to cope.  Today I've helped it with a subsidiary fan and all seems well, even though it's hot and still outside.  There is a fan installed in the inverter but I wonder if it, or its controller, has partly failed.  I seem to think, in the past, I've heard quite a bit of noise from the fan as it worked hard.  Now it is still making a small sound but not blowing very hard.  I know it's a 12v DC fan but is it supposed to come on gradually or should it be 'all or nothing' if the temperature sensor calls for it come on?   I've checked for cobwebs etc - nothing.  Youtube videos show cleaning etc, but, understandably nothing more.  Are we the only ones with problems?  

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Andy™

would you work very well if you were stuck in a hot loft? no? well your inverter feels the same

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binky

now you know why I don't fit inverters in attics unles they are well ventilated, or I have no choice. SMAs work upto 70 0C, beyond that they shut down for self preservation. They will derate themselves as well to become less efficient as another mode of protection, but there is still a limit with regards to the upper temperature they can sustain. I would suggest looking at potential locations to relocate the inverter to, such as an outside wall, or consider having a few roof vents fitted. A cooler location would be my choice, as this will extend it's overall lifespan.

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M107

I dont do PV, but I've always questioned the logic of chucking inverters in the loft spaces?

 

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binky

its easy....

 

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nr16apple

Thanks for all responses.  As I said it's not been an issue before in 6 years, and we certainly have had an incredibly long spell of very hot weather, so hopefully it will not be  a regular issue, but looks like arranging for some extra ventilation, at least, would be a good move.

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Murdoch

Just leave the loft hatch open on these rare occasions the UK has a long hot spell!

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Geoff1946

This string got me concerned about my invertor, cooking away whilst pushing out about 2.5kW most afternoons. It now has a temporary cooling fan to help. It's just on a timeswitch for about 10-30am until  6.30pm. Can't do any harm.

Invertor 001c.jpg

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nr16apple

Update!  Now that the really hot weather has ended and even though I've improved the ventilation and I am still powering the integral cooling fan from a separate source, it still cuts out occasionally.  It's quite happy generating 2.5 to 3 kw in the morning (we face quite a bit east of south), but from about noon on sunny days it begins a cycle of (more or less) one hour on then half an hour off. So today, for example, total generated was 14.9kwh  and I reckon if I fill in the gaps on the Sunny Beam display it would total about 17kwh.  So my conclusion is that the overheating in July (and even more in early August) has damaged something making it more sensitive.  Does anyone test and repair Sunny Boy inverters or is it a case of hang on until I decide I'm losing too much (or it gets progressively worse?) and dump it in favour of a new one?

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binky

might be worth contacting SMA technical help - don't be put off by the German phone number, they speak very good technical English, and they usually have an English fella answer the uk calls anyway. Also worth checkin the disaply for the grid voltage, last time I had a scenario whereby the system was shutting down around mid-day it was due the grid voltage being high and not allowing the inverter to export energy.

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