In Blog, Inverters, Micro Inverters & Optimisers, Solar for Beginners

SolarEdge HQ Israel

It’s been a couple of years since I first wrote this SolarEdge inverter review. It started out nice. We installed over 3000 SolarEdge optimisers, and I had a tour of the SolarEdge HQ in Israel and had meetings with some of SolarEdge’s founders. But, as time went on, significant problems started appearing so I changed this SolarEdge review to voice my concerns with SolarEdge.

Since then SolarEdge lawyers have sent me threats on two occasions about this blog.

Part one and two are a condensed version of my original review. In part one, I explain the SolarEdge inverter theoretical advantages. In part two, I pull apart SolarEdge’s newest model, the SolarEdge HD Wave.

Part three is where I address the five significant problems I have discovered with SolarEdge: failure rates, monitoring, alerts, underperformance and blocking.

The SolarEdge threats

On Christmas Eve of 2018 at 3:15 pm, I received a letter from SolarEdge lawyers. The letter demanded I remove Part Three of this post. Instead, I amended Part Three to address their concerns, and I added lots of bonus updates. Then on the day before Good Friday 2019, I received further threats from SolarEdge. I’m in the process of updating this blog to removed some, arguably cheap-shots and irrelevant arguments in order to negotiate a truce. I will update here when SolarEdge agrees to withdraw all future threats.

 

Part One: Why SolarEdge optimisers?

SolarEdge is a huge player in today’s solar inverter market. Compared to their competitors, they are the new kids on the block. They only kicked off in 2006 with the first inverter sales in 2010. Today they are second only to SMA for the number of residential inverters they are moving, and the way I read it, they have been successful are making money hand over fist. So what are they doing right?

Optimisation

To step back a bit, let’s look at one of the key components of any solar inverter: the Maximum Power Point Tracker (or MPPT). Standard string inverters have two MPPT’s. The panels on a house are divided into two groups (or strings) and connected to the two MPPT’s in the inverter. As the sun’s intensity changes throughout the day, the two MPPT’s will continually adjust the voltage and the current from the panels to achieve maximum power.

The potential problem with standard string inverters is that a string of panels works kind of like old school Christmas tree lights: if one panel is affected by shade, then all the panels in the string are affected. The SolarEdge Inverter offers one solution to this problem. It takes the MPPT’s out of the inverter and effectively puts one MPPT (or optimiser) behind every panel.  So if one panel is shaded, it does not drag down the performance of the next.

 

Rapid Shutdown

I deliberately didn’t call this section “enhanced safety” or “SafeDC” as SolarEdge brand it, because that infers other solar systems are not safe. If solar systems are installed by electricians who follow today’s standards, your solar is arguably as safe as the rest of the electrical wiring in your home.

SolarEdge Safe shutdownThe nature of electricity is that it is not 100 per cent safe, but we can put measures in place to make it safer.

Optimizers and microinverters offer a solution that brings another level of safety. SolarEdge’s optimisers require communication with the inverter in order for them to operate. If the SolarEdge inverter is turned off, the optimised panels will produce a safe 1 volt each. This would prevent solar contributing to your house fire, and the firefighters will appreciate that you used a solar solution that enables rapid shutdown.

 

SolarEdge Inverter Monitoring

SolarEdge panel level monitoring

Every system we install today has an in-depth level of monitoring. SolarEdge is one option that allows you to monitor every single panel’s production. Seems overkill? Here’s why you may think you want individual panel monitoring.

i) To identify shading for tree growth and soiling,
ii) to identify panel degradation, (this point is dampened in Part Three under “can optimisers underperform”).
iii) to identify bypass diode failure, and,
iv) education. Because there is always more to learn about solar.

In the earlier version of this post, I rabbited on about each of those points. However, while all these features are available on SolarEdge inverter monitoring, I now question their accessibility and their reliability. I discuss that in Part Three. But for now, let’s look at the positive and check out the HD Wave Inverter.

 

Part Two – The revolutionary new SolarEdge inverter

SolarEdge inverter specifications

In the early days, inverters used a heavy copper-wound transformer. Over the last ten years, inverters became “transformerless” which made them heaps lighter and more efficient. All inverter manufacturers today use SMA’s H5 Bridge technology – all except … the new SolarEdge inverter.
SolarEdge claims to have lifted the bar. They have replaced electrolytic capacitors with film capacitors and heavy magnetics with digital processing. There are three claims that SolarEdge makes that I’ll examine. In this updated version of my blog, I have abbreviated my original findings.

Fronius and SolarEdge

 

 

i) The HD Wave is more efficient.

In theory, I proved this to be correct in my original testing. But, read on to Part Three. It’s a bit more complicated than I understood in my original tests.

 

 

 

SolarEdge Vs Fronius

ii)The HD Wave produces less heat and requires less cooling.

Again, this was proven correct by my original testing. However, in my experience, this hasn’t necessarily translated into longevity compared to Fronius.

iii) Film capacitors last longer than electrolytic capacitors.

SolarEdge has claimed electrolytics only last an average of 10 years, and by using film capacitors they significantly increase the expected life of the inverter. I consulted leading inverter manufacturers.

 

An anonymous comment from a well-respected figure was pertinent:

If correctly specified and chosen, and an inverter’s internal heat dissipation properly designed and tested, electrolytic capacitors have no problem to continue to operate for a product design life of 20-25 years. But the same is of course true for ANY component within an inverter.

I contacted SMA, ABB, Sungrow and Fronius. Each had similar statements.

 

The ugly inbuilt DC Isolator

SolarEdge inverter

The Dream

SolarEdge inverter dream

Design counts. The version of the SolarEdge inverter that was on display at Intersolar in Germany looked small and schmicko. Australia, however, has this stupid regulation about inbuilt DC isolators that made SolarEdge feel obliged to favour function over form.

The isolator works fine and I’m not doubting that it is ‘fit for purpose’. It just feels flimsy. You get the vibe that the engineers snuck it past the design department to get it to market in a hurry.

But good looks is the least of SolarEdges‘ problems

 

 

Part Three – The problems with SolarEdge

SolarEdge lawyers suggested some of my headlines such as this are misleading and inaccurate. I don’t agree. Having discussed some of the good aspects of SolarEdge, I now want to discuss some of the not so good aspects. Accordingly, I think the headline is fair and reflects the content of this section.  I believe the content is accurate (otherwise I wouldn’t include it) and of significant interest to consumers and installers.

SolarEdge are charging ahead with their ambition to be a one-stop-shop for solar. Their product line up will soon include:

  • Inverters
  • Optimisers
  • Home Automation using the wireless ZigBee controllers
  • An “Immersion Heater Controller” or a hot water diverter.
  • Solar panels with integrated optimisers (made by Jinergy in China).
  • A SolarEdge battery
  • Electric Vehicle Chargers
  • Popcorn makers (just kidding).

I could philosophise about the approach SolarEdge take to developing their business, but I’ll resist and just state some facts as I understand them.

As always, I am happy to correct or update facts if things change or further information is available.

SolarEdge facts

As best as I can ascertain.

  • SolarEdge manufactures nothing. They outsource their manufacturing to other companies in China (by Flextronics), Hungary and Romania. They place their own staff in these factories for Quality Control.
  • Every other major solar manufacturer has chosen to collaborate under the Sunspec Alliance and enable “plug & play” system inter-operability, promote technology innovation, and accelerate Solar industry growth. SolarEdge has chosen to pull out of the Sunspec Alliance and go it alone. (Their lawyers took exception to this point as misleading. I fact-checked this point with people involved in the SunSpec Alliance and they confirmed my comments are reasonable and true.)
  • SolarEdge is at the eve of offering a whole new swag of technically complex products. That is good news as I am always happy to see technological advancements (and, hopefully, improvements). However, in my opinion, after 8 years of sales, Solaredge have not yet proven to the market that their main product has a level of reliability that consumers should be entitled to expect.

It’s this reliability that is my biggest concern, so last month I went to Israel on a “business trip” to investigate.

 

My tour of SolarEdge Israel

Visting SolarEdge israel

I lived in the north of Israel for several months in 1999. Israel is a fascinatingly complicated country steeped in history, so when SolarEdge invited me, I initially jumped at the opportunity to get back and hang out in Jerusalem.

SolarEdge was well aware of my reservations. At one point I turned down the invitation saying that we had decided not to use SolarEdge optimisers (at least for now) because the issues we had experienced were too significant. SolarEdge convinced me to go, so I went as a sceptic willing and wanting to be convinced. There were two significant issues I wanted to address.

 

  1. SolarEdge optimiser failure rate.
  2. Performance issues due to design restrictions.

 

SolarEdge optimiser failures

Here are MC Electrical’s updated SolarEdge failures. It has been 4 years since our first install.

  • 130 SolarEdge systems installed since Nov 2015
  • 138 inverters installed
  • 3293 optimisers installed
  • 57 approved optimiser warranties
  • 1 pending optimiser warranty
  • At least 3 “DOA” optimisers (not counted in percentages below)
  • 15 approved inverter warranties
  • 1 rejected inverter warranty (SE claimed lightning with no evidence).
  • 44 jobs we have returned to check and replace. Several multiple times

I’m confident the “1 pending optimiser warranty” are indeed faulty. So percentages work out as a whopping…

  • 36% of our SE jobs have had at least one fault related to production.
  • 1.7% optimiser failure rate
  • 11% inverter failure rate

Is that bad?

Under 1 % is considered an acceptable failure rate for inverters. It could be debated if that is 1% in 5 years or 1 percent for the 12 year warranty period. Our SolarEdge inverter failure rate is eleven times that, and it’s only 4 years since our first SolarEdge install. I know installation companies that claim a far worse SolarEdge inverter failure rates than mine.

What about an acceptable optimiser failure rate? An average string inverter system has 1 part: the inverter. A common residential SolarEdge system has over 20 optimisers and an inverter. Logically, the SolarEdge failure rate should be at very least twenty times less, or .05%. That’s being generous. But we’re looking at a 1.7 per cent optimiser failure rate!!

That’s at least 34 times worse than I think it should be.

And keep in mind that replacing an optimiser isn’t as safe and easy as replacing a string inverter. It can be costly to safely get on a roof and remove multiple panels to get to the failed optimiser. While SolarEdge currently has an agreement with installers to pay a small labour component to replace faulty optimisers, their SolarEdge warranty explicitly states otherwise. I’ve asked SolarEdge to change this in their terms and conditions, but they say it’s a standard term. Indeed it is, as my Enphase Warranty document also has this as a “standard term” they are unwilling to change. That doesn’t make it right.

These optimisers are warranted to last 25 years. That’s what they call a “business liability”.

 

_______________________________________

The tour of SolarEdge

During our tour of SolarEdge, we visited their R&D testing labs…..

SolarEdge threat

Before publishing this post in July 2018, I sent it to SolarEdge for feedback. I gave them 4 days to respond. I told them repeatedly that I am open for corrections or omissions and I was willing to delete sensitive information. I also did the same when I reviewed SMA, ABB and Fronius. This time instead of a “thanks for the courtesy, can you change …”, I was threatened with legal action and was given very little feedback. It wasn’t until Christmas Eve 3.15pm that I got a five-page letter from SolarEdge lawyers. I was threatened the second time in the afternoon on the day before Easter holidays 2019.

While I deleted this section about the “tour of SolarEdge” their Christmas Eve legal letter still asserts that the blog still breaks a confidentiality agreement, but they did not state which part they believe is in breach.

I certainly don’t believe I have included anything in this blog which is confidential. If I did, I wouldn’t have included it, to begin with. I take those obligations seriously. If SolarEdge identifies something which they feel was told to me in confidence, I will certainly look at whether it should be removed.

_______________________________________

 

SolarEdge changes their tune

Both leading up to my Israel trip and after it, I had multiple conversations with SolarEdge Australia. Their tune has now changed and they now admit they have high optimiser failure rates across the board. They made two claims that I want to discuss. Edit, their lawyers deny SolarEdge have changed their tune or that they have a high optimiser failure rate.

  1. SolarEdge’s optimiser problem was mainly “infant mortality”. Optimisers were failing within the first few months of install. Infant mortality usually occurs because of faulty components (like capacitors) and at the manufacturing process level rather than an inherent design fault.
  2. The “Generation 4”  SolarEdge optimiser solution.

 

SolarEdge optimiser failure

Infant mortality?

SolarEdge had reviewed our optimiser failures and said they were mostly infant mortality issues, which SolarEdge defines as failures within two months. Anecdotally, this didn’t seem right to me, so we checked as much data as we were able to and found that more than half of our faulty optimisers failed after 12 months. Many failed after 20 months. Contrary to what SolarEdge specifically told me, the main problem we have with optimisers is not infant mortality.

 

Generation 4 optimiser

The hope of Generation 4?

In an earlier version of this blog, I referred to a “Gen 4” optimiser manufactured in February 2017. I suggested Gen 4 may have solved the reliability issues.

While I have written correspondence with SolarEdge about Generation 4 optimisers, their lawyers tell me that “SolarEdge has never marketed, nor sold, a fourth generation of its product”. 

So I’ve removed any further reference to Generation 4 optimisers and until there is a new release or something else changes, any inference to hope for improvement in optimiser reliability in the short term.

 

 

Why doesn’t everyone complain about SolarEdge optimiser failures?

SolarEdge is a polarising product. While the majority of solar companies I’ve spoken to complain of numerous optimiser failures; some claim no failures.

But why do some installers claim very few failures while SolarEdge themselves admit there has been an unreasonably high failure rate. Do some installers just have good luck? I have two theories.

1. The average failure time

An interesting although relatively anecdotal observation that an industry friend recently made: the companies that defend SolarEdge reliability have often been installing them for less than two years. I could list numerous companies that have done large numbers of SolarEdge systems over a long period of time. They will no longer install SolarEdge because of the failure rates that some claim is much worse than mine.

The companies that defend SolarEdge reliability have often been installing them for less than 2 years.

Arrhenius

Svante Arrhenius

2. Temperature-related optimiser failures

After talking with so many installers across Australia, it seems to me there is a strong correlation between the location of the installation and the reported optimiser failure rate. For example, a friend in Darwin has a significantly worse failure rate than mine. Another good friend in Melbourne assures me his optimiser failure rates are fairly reasonable.

The Arrhenius equation is a rule of thumb that asserts every 10°C increase in temperature reduces component life by half. While I hope it isn’t the case, if the Arrhenius equation can be applied to SolarEdge components, then my friend in Melbourne may be subject to the “Pantene Promise” :

Pantene Promise “It won’t happen overnight but it will happen”.

 

 

3. Restricted SolarEdge inverter monitoring

My second theory relates to monitoring. The SolarEdge inverter monitoring platform has three levels of accessibility. While the full view gives individual panel monitoring and alerts, the most basic view does not allow the customer to view “alerts” or “layout”. Most companies I talk to only give the customer the most basic access when they set up the SolarEdge inverter monitoring portal. This is obviously unfortunate as panel level monitoring is half the reason to buy a SolarEdge inverter.

SolarEdge monitoring platform

SolarEdge basic view. No panel monitoring.

Solaredge problems

SolarEdge full access. Great for when alerts don’t work and you want to see if an optimizer has failed.

 

The Devil’s advocate

But let’s play devils advocate and suggest that as long as the installation company closely monitors all of their SolarEdge systems, a restricted customer view would work, assuming:

  1. The installation company remain in business for the next 25 years.
  2. They give a rats about their past customers – for the next 25 years
  3. Busyness does not get in the way of them making your failed optimiser high on their priority list – for the next 25 years.
  4. SolarEdge remains on their product line up and they regularly log into their monitoring platform – for the next 25 years.
  5. The alerts actually work for the next 25 years.

 

Alerts don’t always work

Let’s assume an exceptional company like MC Electrical installs your SolarEdge inverter, and we adhere to all of the above points for the next 25 years. I call it my “Platinum-Gold-Ironclad 25-year Exceptional Customer Service Guarantee”.

All we need to do is regularly check the alerts of the 2000+ system we would have installed, and repair the failures that are likely to happen.

The problem is the alerts don’t necessarily work.

Over half of our failures have been picked up because our customer looked at the individual panel monitoring, or we have happened to stumble across it. Clearly, not all customers bother to check their monitoring so we regularly check all 130 systems manually.

Can optimisers underperform?

A few months ago, a diligent customer called us insisting that some of his Sunpower panels were underperforming by around 5 per cent. Given the system was installed in the shade, it seemed like an unlikely story, but we took the time to look into it. The short of a very long story is that the panels were not underperforming nor was it a shading issue. We spent countless hours identifying that 3 SolarEdge optimisers were underperforming. SolarEdge told us they could see these optimisers were running hot. They eventually replaced all three optimisers, (albeit one by one).

We have identified several other jobs that appear to have underperforming optimisers. Some of these are pending optimiser warranties listed above.

 

Are we aware of the full extent of SolarEdge failures?

Now think of all the companies that report a low optimiser failure rate, but don’t give their customers access to panel level monitoring. Think of all the underperforming optimisers that are almost impossible to identify. Do we really know the full extent of the problem?

SolarEdge tells me they are working on updating the alerts in their portal. If this is applied retrospectively, will we see a massive glut of optimiser warranty claims? SolarEdge lawyers did not comment on this section.

 

Production Loss and “Blocking”

Designing a SolarEdge system on a residential home is far more complicated than keeping the stringing rules and using the SolarEdge design tool. Consider this install we did earlier this year. This installation is in full sun, in two strings of 10 panels. However, four of the northern panels are producing significantly less than the other ten. What’s going on?

Solaredge Failures

Optimisers work on a string level by increasing or decreasing the voltage on individual panels so that the current in each panel in that string is the same. To complicate this even more, the SolarEdge inverter needs optimiser voltages to add up to ≈380 volts. A P500 optimiser boosts to a maximum of 60 volts. In this example, the voltage and current figures of the red string look like this:

  • The four northern panels boost the voltage to their maximum of 60 volts and 2.2 amps (≅132 watts).
  • The six western panels buck the voltage to about 24 volts and 2.2 amps (≅52 Watts).
  • The voltage of all the panels add up to ≅380 volts and 2.2amps.

However, if the four northern panels were not “blocked” by the 60 volts limit, they could have produced the same power as the other group of 10 panels. We worked out the production due to blocking to between $6 and $9 per quarter.

 

SolarEdge’s response

Voltage blocking

SolarEdge lawyers pointed out that this situation is rare. I looked at the “charts” and the “optimiser voltage” on the SolarEdge monitoring platform for many of our more complicated roof layouts. It takes some time. You need to select all the optimisers and zoom into day view. Winter often has the worst results.
I found many of our complicated layouts had some degree of blocking. Adjacent is one of the worst examples. (The panel stringing we used is recommended by the SolarEdge site designer.)

 

It gets worse

SolarEdge optimisers is a product we were recommending for shaded situations. However, if we have a string with 6 or fewer panels in the sun, the system will suffer voltage blocking at best, or it will just shut down at worst. This is even when the electrician installs to SolarEdge guidelines.

Unless a shaded SolarEdge optimiser system is very thoughtfully designed by someone experienced in the intricacies of SolarEdge optimisers, it is highly likely that performance will be restricted due to voltage blocking.

(SolarEdges lawyers commented on this section stating that I  “wrongly imply that a string of 6 or less [sic] panels is permissible in accordance with SolarEdge’s installation guidelines”.  To be clear, I was not saying that. I bolded “in the sun” for clarification.)

 

Solution 1 – Long strings

There is a simple way to solve this. In the example above, if all 20 panels were in one string, then the average panel would run at 19 volts. Lowering the average voltage of an optimiser would give it more room to boost and less chance to clip.  But lowering the voltage, in turn, increases the current, and we could end up with a problem by limiting the current at the optimiser’s maximum current of 15 amps. Panel currents are fast approaching 10 amps. I’ll leave the solar installers to chew over that little mathematical nugget.

However, assuming current limiting will not occur with the design, long strings are a great idea. That’s assuming you don’t care about your 25-year SolarEdge optimiser warranty. But if you want your warranty intact, SolarEdge inverter design guidelines allow a maximum of 5.7kW of panels per string. If we exceed 5.7kW, we may put undue stress on the optimiser, and your warranty may be void.

 

The loophole – if SolarEdge trusts you.

Fortunately, SolarEdge trusts MC Electrical’s ability to design correctly because they gave us a waiver to install up to 25 panels in a string. 

Now that’s a strange suggestion from SolarEdge because if we connected just 22 x 330W panels (keeping it to 6.6kW) in one string, our average voltage would be: 380volts/22panels =17.3volts.  

 If a 300W panel was running at 17.3 volts, it would need to run at: 300w/17.3v=17.3 amps.

But the maximum an optimizer can run at is 15amps. So we would just be replacing the voltage blocking problem to a current blocking problem.

Incidentally, the below SolarEdge Waiver debunks any suggestion that our high optimiser failure rates are because we don’t know how to design SolarEdge systems properly. 

Solution 2 – Larger SolarEdge optimisers

A second option is to install an optimiser with a higher voltage. The P404 has a maximum voltage of 85 volts. This means it needs fewer panels operating in full sun to reach the 380 volts required by the inverter. Still, if you have shading or split orientations, you will need much longer strings than the minimum. 

Either way, a combination of longer strings and larger optimisers and less shade is an ideal way of reducing optimiser blocking.

 

Solution 3- Smaller panels

This isn’t really a solution. It’s a problem I dressed up as a solution. The problem is that panels are getting bigger and bigger. The standard panels we install in 2019 are 330W, 350W and 360W panels.

Let’s say you choose a 350w panel and you want to install 6.48kW of panels. You can’t do a long string of 18 panels (unless SolarEdge gives you a waiver) so you do 2 strings of 9 and 10 panels. If the 9 panels are on different orientations or have significant shade issues, you may be prone to blocking. If you get some clearance stock 275W panels for a bargain, you could have 2 strings of 12. Problem solved!

A word from SolarEdge

Finally, SolarEdge insists that there is no flaw in the way they have designed their system to operate. They say that, to ensure optimum performance, any solar panel system must be thoughtfully designed and installed in accordance with the applicable manufacturer’s instructions and that SolarEdge is no different.

Additionally, they say I have relied on some specific and rare situations and that there are no inherent design defects in its general application. (I’d suggest a good example of a “general application” may be one orientation per string with minimal shade.)

As indicated previously, I have no issue with SolarEdge. If my experience demonstrated to me that their products were performing without problems arising, I would say so. If things improve, I will report that. I will continue to engage with SolarEdge on these issues in the hope of a better outcome for everyone.

 

Conclusion

The SolarEdge optimiser solution has, in theory, some technical advantages: optimisation in the shade, rapid shutdown, panel level monitoring.

The new HD Wave is a redesigned and in theory more efficient.  SolarEdge believes they have solved a significant problem by replacing electrolytic with film capacitors. However, the industry does not entirely agree this problem needed to be solved. SolarEdge does not admit the optimiser failures is bad. But the failure rate I have seen is worse than bad. I also suspect the full extent of failures has not been reported as a result of restricted access to monitoring and an alert system that is not fully working.

SolarEdge has an inherent design problem in many applications because of a fixed string voltage and low SolarEdge optimiser voltage. We can sometimes solve this with longer strings, more expensive optimisers, and an experienced SolarEdge designer.

Mark Cavanagh

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209 Comments on SolarEdge Inverter and Optimiser Review

Mark C said : administrator Report 14 hrs ago

Hi John, No, unfortunately all optimiser will have to be removed. It is also likely that new cable will need to be installed to the inverter.

    John said : Guest Report 5 days ago

    Mark, friend already has SE system installed. He wants a regular string inverter instead. Can he leave the optimizers in place and just swap out the old SE with a new SMA?

    • 95006
    Sher Copp said : Guest Report 6 days ago

    My inverter stopped communicating and producing new system paid $17,000 to own get no alerts no access. Takes 2 weeks to notice and 3 weeks to address. So july I got inverter Aug stopped working sept new inverter NOV 28 stopped working Dec 3 I noticed and here we go again. I’m ready to cry.

    • 07731
    Brian Ostrom said : Guest Report a week ago

    Bought Sun Valley Solar system 5kw plus LG battery with SolarEdge products. Less than 6-months of use, 5-weeks of no monitoring recorded. Installers says it’s the Cat-5 connection. Not a peep out of SolarEdge or SVS until I contacted them. BTW, no battery discharge level visible from SE app, website only. During faulty period, power bills skyrocketed. SVS said it’s inverter. No word from SE. Then without consultation battery discharge went from once per day ( peak 5p-8p) to twice per day to include morning before panels start producing. Would be nice to know what broke, how they want to fix and why beforehand. Zero communication from SE. Simply not going to sit by and allow SE to experiment or change settings without consulting the owner of the equipment, me. If this stuff breaks within first six months, what does next 24.5 years look like. Can I really expect SE to monitor my system, when I didn’t hear a word during 5-weeks of no data? The final straw was a power outage during a storm on Thanksgiving holiday and no battery backup. I Advised SVS and SE that not happy with system and to pull all of equipment off of my roof. Amazingly I heard from SE, unfortunately excuses started flowing. It was a bad communication connection but rest assured system operated normally, despite rising electricity bills. Then it was an installer issue with an improper neutral wire and switches not set properly. Regardless, the system doesn’t work as designed, and they can’t show that it was working nor explain the high bills. Regional manager called and wanted me to take down his email and explain what I was looking for. I indicated that I was repairing a neighbors fountain and unable. I asked him to text it to me. He was busy with his kids at Disneyland, and I never received a text message. I will wait for his promise to set up a meeting with regional Arizona and California managers as well as SVS to discuss options. Concerns; 1. Reliability 2. Monitoring more often than 5 weeks 3. Recouping losses when system failed 4. Cost for system, $30,000 for 5kw + 1 battery when Tesla offers system plus 3 power walls for $32k. 5. Costs associated with repairs to home after removing equipment 6. Adding battery monitoring to app not just webpage. 7. BBB rating of F? 8. Inverter failures 9. How soon can we get equipment removed? 10. Refund check in hand within 24-hours of equipment removal

    • 85140
    Mark C said : administrator Report 2 weeks ago

    Hi Robert, yes what they are saying is I can put 25 panels in a string instead of 5700W. We generally oversize to 33 per cent.

      Mark Cavanagh said : administrator Report 2 weeks ago

      Hi Robert, good point. In my example, I was more than 33 per cent oversizing the inverter which would be uncommon (unless we installed a battery). I've changed the figures and we still get to 17.3 amps an optimiser. The point is you need to be careful about blocking both with current and voltage, and as panels get higher in wattage, the problem is more pronounced.

        Robert Pearse said : Guest Report 3 weeks ago

        Mark, Great write up in general. But I think you missed the point of the waiver SE gave you. Notice that it is only for systems 5000W or below. Since there systems never draw more than 5000W (give or take a few 100W), you will never exceed 5700W on a string. And thus, never exceed the current limits for the optimizers. So really nothing special or dangerous in what they are allowing. I just wish SE would allow this for everyone using SE5000H or lower. I put in a ticket with them requesting to use 6000W of panels in a single string on an SE5000H and they turned me down. I am trying to avoid the same voltage blocking issue are you have.

        • 95070
        Donna said : Guest Report 4 weeks ago

        I can safely say at least 20 % + of the time my system is not working properly.

        • 32707
        Sandy Marwick said : Guest Report 4 weeks ago

        We've just had our solar system reinstalled on our new house ( knock-down rebuild) Since it was reinstalled we've had nothing but problems. Production is substantially down on previous generation, and if the day gets sunny (like today), the whole system shuts down a little after noon. We have 12 panels installed in 2 strings - one of 8 (west facing) and one of 4 (north facing), although we seem to have one panel that isn't working at all (inverter reports 11 of 12 panels generating at best). The whole system is only 3 years old. If I'm reading your article correctly, it sounds like we have a couple of potential issues. I think our dud panel is down to an optimiser failure. But it sounds like we also have a severe blocking issue that's causing the shutdowns. Techs are coming back out again next week so hopefully we'll be able to resolve it.

        • 3167
        Robert P said : Guest Report a month ago

        Mark, The letter SolarEdge gave you saying you can use 25 optimizers on a single string does not say explicitly that you can go over 5700W total. It just says you can use 25 if you follow all other rules. Am I reading that right? If so, then they are really not saying anything since they already allow up to 25 per string. If, on the other hand, they are saying you can go over 5700W with an inverter up to 5000W, then that makes sense. An SE5000H will limit power to 5000W anyway, so I am not sure why they even have the 5700W string limit for those inverters!

        • 95070
        Eol said : Guest Report a month ago

        Just had a local company install an 8kW system with a SolarEdge 7600 wave inverter and 22 of their 370 power optimizers. One string of 10 and one of 12. Right away I’ve been getting RCD errors and panel shutdowns. Likely looking at replacing the inverter, hasn’t even been a week!!

        • 98033
        Mark C said : administrator Report a month ago

        Hi Andrew, SolarEdge inverters need SolarEdge optimisers. I suggest you read this blog before going ahead with SolarEdge. There are many other (single-phase) inverters that are larger and so much more reliable.

          sam nickels said : Guest Report a month ago

          I too have experience an inverter failure on a 40 panel system that was less than 1 year old. Has anyone considered a class action suite?

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          Mark Pavs said : Guest Report 2 months ago

          My SE5000 worked for 3 weeks then died. No notification. Good thing I check my APP. My Dad is on his second SE5000 as well. We both used a very reputable 80 year old electrical company with over 8k installs.

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          John said : Guest Report 2 months ago

          Hi Mark, Just wanted to lend my support for your efforts dealing with the legal threats from an apparently silly company trying to bolster its reputation buy silencing valid criticism. Please keep up your educational posts. They're so helpful to us newbies trying to grapple with solar choices.

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          Bjørn said : Guest Report 2 months ago

          Well done for the courage to write and keep this online. This is important information!! My first Solar Edge inverter failed after 11 months and have just had the new one that was replaced under warranty fail a couple of days ago after 10 months. On my previous house I have a fronius that's lasted 8 years so far with no performance issues whatsoever. For a system that's designed in the Mediterranean, it seems odd that the inverters can't cope with warm weather. The first one failed around noon on a 34 degree day one day after a 38 degree day, the hottest day that year. The current one failed on a 33 degree day... Can't say I'm very impressed with the reliability of these inverters...

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          Peter Blake said : Guest Report 2 months ago

          My solaredge inverter went bad 6mos after installation which was may 2017. I didn't discover this until June 2019. I contacted my installer Main Street Solar in Fincastle Virginia. I purchased the extended 25yr warranty. Too make make a long story short, I am getting a RECORD runaround from Solaredge. I am still without a working inverter. I have been lied to over and over. Do you have any suggestions.

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          Andrew Moore said : Guest Report 2 months ago

          I am looking at a Solaredge 8kw system, do I need optimiser on my panels or can I run staight through with MPPT leads. Looking at installing 8kw solar panels. Does this system need optimisers. At present Solaredge have the biggest inverters to run 7kw +

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          Mark said : Guest Report 2 months ago

          Unfortunately, in engineering, if you go from a centralised system do a distributed one with the same (per unit) reliability, the total incidence of failure increases. Going from MPPT units to 20 MPPT units will increase the instance of "faults" 10-fold. However in a properly executed distributed system, the total system should contiunue operating with the fault in place, while for a centralised system, the whole thing shudders to a halt with a single failure. Solaredge have gone the route (like Enphase) of a distributed system. So a single instance of optimiser failure, or pannel shading shouldn't take the whole system down. (NB, Always put at least 10 panels on a string to allow for >=7 including a shading event / fault) Another "interesting" thing with solaredge is how the system manages power from multiple substrings for an "oversized array", how does the system decide which optimisers to switch off once the maximum output of the inverter is reached?? (I have examples of sub-strings in the same orientation and sun exposure generating vastly different power output, presumably due to the fact that the inverter is maxed out (system with standby battery, and array sized to produce reliable minimum power throughout the year - including winter) also- anecdotally - the inverter / system seem to have a fairly slow response with an inability to "power track" to maximum inverter output consistently throughout the day - even in system(s) where they definitely have sufficient sun.

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          Mark C said : administrator Report 2 months ago

          Hi Harry, that's a newer model.

            Mark C said : administrator Report 2 months ago

            Noted. Apologies James :(

              Harry W Chapman said : Guest Report 2 months ago

              Mark, I have a question, Trinity came out and replaced my inverter with one that doesn't have the monitoring panel on the fron, just a plain faceplate. Is that a new design or an older unit? Thanks Harry.

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              James said : Guest Report 2 months ago

              Add one more SE inverter replacement to your total Mark. My HDWave 5000 died less than 16 months after install. Replacement approved Friday

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              Geo said : Guest Report 2 months ago

              "However, if the four northern panels were not “blocked” by the 60 volts limit, they could have produced the same power as the other group of 10 panels. We worked out the production due to blocking to between $6 and $9 per quarter." I am curious why the western panels would not drop to a lower voltage? If they dropped to 12V, the amps would jump to 4.4 for the string, and the northern panels would be operating correctly? So either the setup was done badly, or the software for the inverter was done badly? Unless there is a minimum voltage for each optimiser?

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              Gail Langer said : Guest Report 2 months ago

              I have a SolarEdge system that malfunctioned five months after installation. The company has denied any problem with their equipment and So Cal Edison has done likewise. Unfortunately, I did not discover the problem until I received the end of the year bill from SCE, so I lost $4500 in energy that was not transmitted. Can you provide any information about filing a claim under the warranty? Thank you.

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              Doug said : Guest Report 2 months ago

              Hello. I just wanted to confirm that optimizer failure is real and significant. I have a 56 panel ground installation each with individual optimizer. In 3 1/2 years I have had 4 optimizers fail that's nearly a 10% failure rate. I am trying to see what my installers are going to do about it.

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              David Blum said : Guest Report 2 months ago

              I have had a SE 5000 installed about 19 july this year. Today it has been removed and replaced with another manufacturers model. The problem was that the unit shut down on sunny clear days when the temp. got over 18c. I am fortunate enough to have a older 18 panel system that works fine and does not shut down. The SE inverter reached 253 volts and then shut down, I believe the unit to be faulty, and will be pressuring them for a full refund.

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              David Johnstone said : Guest Report 2 months ago

              Hi Mark, great article on Solaredge inverters and very timely for me. I'm getting quotes for Solar power, and a few companies are listing Solaredge inverters 3Ph. After reading your articles I am more inclined to ask for a Fronius Sumo inverter. Choosing panels (you get what you pay for?) Is also a challenge. LG, Sunpower (expensive) or Trina, CanadianSolar? Cheers, David

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              Mark C said : administrator Report 2 months ago

              Hi Leo, yes that's correct, our last SolarEdge install was in November 2018 and we had an optimisr failure with that job already. I seem to have a clear memory of SolarEdge telling me at one point that they fixed the issues with a "gen 4" manufactured in February 2017 from memory. But they have since told me that didnt tell me that. All very confusing. Either way, we are still seeing failures from the batch of optimisers manufactured with the particular week number written on it. Are they telling you they have now fixed the issue?

                Leo said : Guest Report 2 months ago

                Hi Mark! One question regarding the failure rates: you posted an optimizer failure rate of 1,64%. Could you tell me in which period of time? 2015-2018?

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                Charles Paul Highfill said : Guest Report 3 months ago

                Since my system (HD Wave) was installed on my roof starting in April, there have been multiple optimizer replacements and at least two inverter replacements. The system was finally approved by the city inspector and the switch was turned on at the first of September (5 months later). I am still paying the same electric bill that was before the system was installed. The installers keep troubleshooting the system and can not explain why we are not supplying electricity to even power our house. We have contacted Curtis Development/Home Smart Solutions on this situation, but there is no remedial solutions on their part.

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                Mark C said : administrator Report 3 months ago

                Hi Harry, that sounds right. Most inverter manufacturers will replace your faulty inverter with a refurbished one. Some state the time period until they can use a refurbished instead of new. I can't blame SE for that one.

                  Harry W Chapman said : Guest Report 3 months ago

                  My Solaredge HD 5000 became defective after 3 months. My install company Trinity Solar said they needed to order a new unit. I asked why they don't have replacements in stock and their rep told me that each install needs a different inverter to which I cried BS, as the are programable. I hope this isn't going to be an ongoing problem.

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                  Mark C said : administrator Report 3 months ago

                  Hi Pete, Am i missing something? Why did they say it's not covered by warranty? If the cables are fried I'm guessing you had a lighting strike?

                    Nicolas Verrier said : Guest Report 3 months ago

                    Good day, Not sure whether i shall be sad reading this post or happy to finally see i am not the only one. We installed only 2 systems with Solar Edge: one for R&D purpose and a second system comprising two inverters on behalf of an other EPC company. On the three inverters installed none are working correctly. On the R&D project we use a Carlo gavazzi datalogger to gather all data from the site (several installations mixing multiple inverters brands). The Solar Edge is the last one still not able to communicate over RS485 Modbus despite trying everything. Moreover the inverter trips from time to time: disconnect from the grid then reconnect right after. So far we have been disappointed by the support received - we however are ready to change or correct this statement shall any new development occur. On the second site, we installed two three phases inverters and face the same issue of disconnect/reconnect since commissioning was done two weeks ago. This is a recent event and we are still expecting feedback from the technical support team. Our experience with Solar Edge so far: Positive points: the inverters are nice and compact, easy to install thanks to a reduced weight, efficiency appears high thanks to the optimisation on each module/pair of modules. However: on 3 inverters installed on two different sites, none are working properly due to the disconnect/reconnect, and it is currently impossible to get the SE-6000HD to communicate over Modbus RS485 while the Solar Edge documentation states it is possible and the datalogger used on site can connect to te other inverters easily.

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                    Pete Senchyshak said : Guest Report 3 months ago

                    Mark, I have a 9.4kW solar roof system installed by Solar Source here in SW Florida. I also had a 7.2 kW ground array installed this January 2019 and in mid August 2019, my Solar Edge inverter fried. I have SolarEdge optimizers attached to 360watt Mission Solar panels. There are 20 panels on the ground mount. Solar Source sent out their technicians a few days after I called alerting them my ground array wasn’t producing any electricity. They inspected the inverter, a SolarEdge single phase inverter with HD-Wave technology for North America, model number SE6000H-US. So, we’re talking about 8 months or less of use before the inverter fried out, and, according to Solar Source, the 20 panels they tried to do tests on, etc. had “some of the craziest readings” they had ever seen. The head electrician will try to make it to my house to personally take a look at the system so he can figure out what is going on. The inverter got replaced under warranty, but he said the optimizers and cables and perhaps even some of the panels may need replaced and may not be under warranty. Then, he mentioned the optimizers are $60 each to replace, labor is $179 the first hour, $80 for each hour after that, and I may have to pay that to get the ball rolling if it isn’t covered under warranty..... this system was installed 8 months ago!!! My Solar Source contract/paperwork states the Solar Source non-transferable warranty includes: 5 years full labor warranty, 10 years workmanship warranty and 10 years roof penetration warranty. Thoughts? Advice? Another statistic in Solar Edge’s “infant mortality” of shoddy manufacturing and R & D. (At least their lawyers can’t threaten me for telling the truth behind their questionable “quality products”.) Solar Source got 10 of the 20 panels up and running again (pretty sure the cables got replaced as did the optimizers. I know the inverter got replaced). Pete Senchyshak

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                    Toddman said : Guest Report 3 months ago

                    Hey Mark, I'm just adding to the chorus by letting you know that your hard work and putting up with legal threats is helping so many people all over the world. This is a big investment so anxiety is high, your efforts mean a lot. I live in Arizona, USA and I want to thank you for helping me make informed choices. No need to reply, you're clearly a busy man!

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                    Mark C said : administrator Report 3 months ago

                    Hi Maz. SolarEdge says the heat is not an issue but I believe heat is the after talking with installers around Australia. My concern is, if products are failing because of heat after 1 or 2 years in Brisbane, they are likely to fail after 3 or 4 years in Sydney. I explain in the blog "The Arrhenius equation is a rule of thumb that asserts every 10°C increase in temperature reduces component life by half." I would also suggest if MPV tediously looked at every panel's production (not just alerts), they would find failed optimisers.

                      Maz said : Guest Report 3 months ago

                      I have read blog and all the Comments, Just checking if the heat has a big impact on the SE optimizer failure rate..I called Matte Vella from MPV Solar base in Sydney ...seems no issue with his 98 installation since last 3 years. worth a survey as SE has some cost effective solutions for some designs specially with adding battery storage. thanks again

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                      Wilf Lahring said : Guest Report 3 months ago

                      We installed a 24kw SolarEdge system for our business in 2014 in Darwin. Your blog was recommended by our installer, Country Solar. We have had no Comms since 2016. Early on Solar edge replaced the Comms board once and one of two inverters on warranty. When the Comms unit quit a second time support ended and we haven’t had any since. If it’s a surge issue (and we get plenty here in the wet season) I’d accept the cost of replacement. The problem is that our installer hasn’t been able to get any to provide us, so we have had to install a Solar Analytics monitoring system at our own cost. It works well, but doesn’t give us the panel by panel monitoring which is why we chose Solar Edge in the first place. We have tried putting in a claim directly to Solar Edge on a couple of occasions and got pawned off back to our installer. I know we have four panels not working out of 96, which might not be too bad, but we should have been able to identify them and do the repair on the optimisers. As a customer in this part of the country, I would warn everyone off of Solar Edge. I am looking for a communication board to buy. Then I’ll be putting some good surge protection before the next wet/build up. I’m guessing I’ve got about four weeks before the storms start. Is there a class action suit against Solar Edge? No company should be allowed to shirk their warranty responsibilities so blatantly.

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                      Jay Glick said : Guest Report 4 months ago

                      We operate outside of Los Angeles and I really appreciate your blog. We have used SolarEdge for about 3 years and it has been a disaster. We have had only 2 optimizer failures but half of our inverters have failed and had to be replaced under warranty. Getting paid a small stipend for the work adds another Level of insult to the process and it takes them 2-3 months to reimburse at that. Until they can improve reliability, I will not be using them.

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                      Henk Pasma said : Guest Report 4 months ago

                      We have only been installing , and recommending Solaredge for the perceived advantages of 1V safety, individual monitoring etc for the last 3.5 years thou we have been in the industry for nearly 40 years. Albeit now Solar is a relatively small part of our business these days as we offer long term support which does come at a cost. We thought, wrongly, that SE could have given us reliability and less component failures with subsequent adequate profits for our efforts. LOL. SE phone support is broadly OK if you can get thru. The ring back works OK. However for some reason the phone support always appears to have LOOOOOONG queues no matter what time of day. Suffice to say they either don't have anywhere near enough support personnel or have a huge demand for support. Forget about creating a support case online as it can take weeks for a reply if you get any response at all. usually not! A support phone call needs to be made if you want action at all. Usually having to go to site at your own cost also. This is the expensive part as distances can be long. 1/. The web interface is so slow it is almost a waste of time. Poorly thought out and certainly not modern or even accurate for that matter. many times it doesnt even load. They obviously have not spent any money on R&D on this part of their business to see what works or doesn't. Maybe that is the key so one doesn't see any faults or failures. 2/. Warranty can be a long drawn out affair costing trips to site to do measurements that clearly as an experienced installer and electrician shows the device has failed yet they want you to go thru hoops to try to discredit your findings. They don't trust installers to actually identify failures. 3/. Optimiser failures are very common. We always allow for extra optimsisers in our quotes as the time it takes to claim warranty is MORE expensive. I have given up on claiming optimiser warranties. 4/. Inverter failures are common also and in this regard you need to be prepared to go to Consumer Affairs (Fair trading) to get a resolution. Here again we keep in stock one of all models we install so at least we can keep the customer happy when a failure occurs. They cant even get a link to attend a training seminar application to work so what hope have you got to to get a quality reliable product. I could go on some more but then I would be accused of being too negative. Solaredge could be a real solution if only they would listen, and fix the problems they have. Certainly would not recommend them if you want long term reliability without call backs. You would never consider a SE product for a customer that requires traveling some distances to attend to a problem as you will go broke! Especially considering it is somewhat more expensive than more reliable alternatives. I have not seen too many systems that last longer than 7 years without failures. The original MLine product, now rebranded has not changed its spots. Solaredge has a loooong way to go if they want to be a market leader, and at current quality and support rates will never get there as more and more unsatisfied people are willing to comment. Bad news travels fast, far and wide.

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                      Mark C said : administrator Report 4 months ago

                      Hi Matt, Yes in Australia we are limited to 600v for residential and 100volts for Commercial. Our three-phase SolarEdge inverters also operate at 750volts. Either way, having a fixed string voltage means there will always be the same fight between voltage wanting to buck higher than it can voltage bucking so current operates higher than the optimiser can. This is why SolarEdge has issues with medium shade and split orientations.

                        Mark C said : administrator Report 4 months ago

                        Hi Tin, SolarEdge MNicros only work with SolarEdge inverters. Best try Tigo optimisers. (read my blog on Tigo)

                          Jaco said : Guest Report 4 months ago

                          I can cofirm the voltage blocking with my SE8K E series. Have in one string with p500 optimizers: 8 Panasonic HIT N330 panels at orientation 45 degrees, elvation 12.5 degrees 8 Panasonic HIT N330 panels at orientation 225 degrees, elevation 12.5 degrees 7 Sunpower X21-350 panels at orientation 225 degrees, elevation 60 degrees, shaded I see voltage blocking 2 times a day: - morning - evening the sunpowers when they come into the sun end of the day have their optimizers at 60 volt (minus one partly shaded) and outputting just the double power of the same orientation panasonics (at 30 volt) and 4 times the other orientation panasonics (15 volt) so 5x60 + 1x 30 + 8x30 + 8x15 = 750 volts. The sunpower does 300 watt, the same orientation HIT does 150 and the other orientation HIT does 75 watts. So the shaded panels limit the max performance of the non shaded panel as the current needs to be equal in the whole string. There is always a relation and it is not so that every panel performs at its maximum. I live in Netherlands, Europe, so not one of your customers, but was just looking for some issues i see when i have shading. I tend to believe i need to say goodbye to the 3 phase unit and split the system up into 3 different 1 phase inverters. I can than hook up my current orientations and elevations to each his own inverter and add expantion as additional string to a unit which does not see light at the same time (our east side produces to 12:00 am) and than west is beginning, so these kind of strings on one hdwave 3680 (max 16 amps at 230 volts here)

                          • 1336 DZ
                          Mats Persson said : Guest Report 4 months ago

                          380 V DC to SolarEdge inverter. Is that an Australian regulation limit? I have found out that I have 750 V DC to my SE17K inverter in Sweden with 3 phase system. Is 380 V on extra design problem with a smaller design window than with 750 V for voltage/current limit problems and so on? My system is just started up with 40 280W panels in one string and 2*14 panels in parallel in East and West. P300 optimizers. I try to find out if my supplier has designed it right.

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                          Mark C said : administrator Report 4 months ago

                          Hi Todd. Probably not. It would be expensive to change from SolarEdge to a string system. You would probably have to lift every panel, change a lot of wiring and replace the inverter. I would just keep hassling your installer for warranty. If the delay is too long, report your installer to Fairtrade. It may not be their fault but that's a good way to get action.

                            John T said : Guest Report 4 months ago

                            Hi Mark, Thanks for a very informative article. I hope SolarEdge (the company) are not giving you further grief! I think I have a similar blocking problem. My system has 20 Sunpower 327 W panels, with SE P500 optimisers and HD Wave inverter. String 1 has 3 N(orth facing) + 8 W, string 2 has 4 E + 5 W. Production per panel over 14 months from string 1 ranged from 260 to 311 kWh. String 2 ranged from 183 to 197 kWh per panel, i.e. only 64% of string 1. Interestingly there is no significant difference between panels within a string according to orientation, just between strings. The W panels in string 2 also produce 64% of those in string 1. It seems the combination of W and E in string 2 makes the panels work against each other. Is there a way of wiring the panels to reduce this effect? Would stringing all 13 W panels together help?

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                            Christopher Torre said : Guest Report 4 months ago

                            Mark, great info on Solaredge and I completely agree with all of your points. We switched from installing Enphase products because their Micro-Inverter failure rate is upwards of 10%, however over the last few years, we're seeing our install base's optimizer and inverter failure rate on the rise. The one issue I'm most frustrated with is with "Firmware" updates. We've had way too many problems with failed Forced Firmware update attempts which have disabled communications completely or caused intermittent problems that require a 'Onsite Visit" by the installer to manually update the firmware. My gripe? No labor compensation for these trips!! It's despicable they expect the installer to fix issues caused by their firmware bugs. To add salt to the wound, when we initially started installing the New NO LCD HD waves, there ware several several cases requiring us to return to the sites 2 or3 times to get the inverter operational. Once again, no labor compensation! We have also seen a rise in what SolarEdge considers to be a "Thermal Event" requiring an initial site visit to document that some part of the inverter has "fried". This means two trips. One to document what I believe they already know and then a return trip to replace the inverter. That's a whopping $75 a trip for 5-6 hours of total travel and labor. It's sad these companies are OK with biting the hand that feeds them.

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                            TIN said : Guest Report 4 months ago

                            Dear Marc! Thanks for your great article! Does SolarEdge Optimizer work with third party brand inverters? Can you recommend the optimizer brands flexible and reliable to use for different brand inverter with or without panel monitoring option? Do I need to consider over rating them for lower operating temp possible for longer life? I'm considering to use SUNGROW SH6.0RS new Residental Hybride Inverter (20% over rated). The reason choosing it is: it has battery and second AC power source input backup in case main power grid fails. I believe it is very flexible system except not best in built quality.

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                            Steven Haffner said : Guest Report 4 months ago

                            Thank you for your research and informative article. Over the past two years, by neighbor and I had Sun Bug Solar install large dual trackers and both of us have experienced frequent monitoring alerts and inverter failures.

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                            Todd Williamson said : Guest Report 4 months ago

                            We went live in Jan 2019 and Inverter quit mid July 2019. Waiting patiently for replacement (its not 8/7/19). Sounds like this may be the first of many problems we could anticipate. Do you recommend we ask our installer to do something different? Thanks, for your helpful post. - Todd

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                            kevin Baldwin said : Guest Report 4 months ago

                            Solar edge sucks. Installed system Oct 2017, the inverter (SE6000H) went out July 11th and still waiting for them to ship the new inverter. In the meantime I am eating a huge electric bill running my air in the hottest part of the year. I called just today to be on hold for 45 minutes before being hung up on. Called again, was on hold for about 35 minutes and hung up on again. Thinking of suing. Customers with the same situation as me starting at about mid 2017: https://www.solarreviews.com/manufacturers/solar-edge/#readreviews. Question: my neighbors is installed on the wall and sits in the shade generally. Mine sits directly in the sun. Would it make sense to put a box around it to keep the sun off it when I do finally get a new one installed?

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                            Mark C said : administrator Report 4 months ago

                            Hi Andras, Maxim had issues with TV reception and pulled out of Australia a few years ago. We installed the first shipment of Jinko/Maxim in Australia and had heaps of tv reception issues. Recently they have handed over their optimiser to JBox manufacturer Zerun. I'm not sure what Maxim integrated panels are currently on the market. But yes I prefer maxim technology in theory to any other optimiser - we just need reliability and to stop the interference issues.

                              Anthony Hoving said : Guest Report 5 months ago

                              Hi, I am having major dramas for 2 years now with my solar from solaredge is there someone I can talk to to help?

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                              Aaron said : Guest Report 5 months ago

                              We have installed over 60 commercial SolarEdge 3phase Inverters along with over 4000 optimizers across six different sites. Most of the inverters were 33.3kW. We have had a terrible experience. 12% inverter failure rate and 2% optimizer failure rate. Their customer service is awful, with over 1 hour wait times. Their monitoring platform is awful and slow. Compared to the detail and accuracy of Tigo's platform there is no comparison. They are very quick to issue you an RMA. Which proves to me that they know their product is bad. The time it takes to diagnose a faulty inverter, go out and test and replace it is very expensive. These issues may sink our company... We have stopped using them. All of our SolarEdge projects were installed within a couple of years so we did not have time to see their problems. I am writing this while on hold with their customer support... We like Tigo much better.

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                              András Naszály said : Guest Report 5 months ago

                              Hi Marc! Thanks for this great article! I live in Hungary, plan to install my solar system at the moment, but it was really hard to find reliable info on the more advanced solutions. I was thinking about solaredge, but now decided against it. Shading is not an issue, so i guess i will skip tigo also, for now. But im thinking about getting maxim panels, seem to be in the same price range than normal ones. Would You recommend them? Do You have some field experience with them? Regards, András

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                              Mark C said : administrator Report 6 months ago

                              Hi Gergely, It's a good question. No solarEdge don't have bypass diodes. But from testing I did a while ago if the panel is optimised, the diodes will not activate until a lot more shade is on the panel. This is why LG solar panels state in their warranty that panels are not covered if installed in the shade UNLESS the panels are optimised.

                                Mark C said : administrator Report 6 months ago

                                Good question Marc. This is one of the problems with SolarEdge. If you went solarEdge you will need to remove every solarEdge optimiser if you want to change brands. But if you don't have shading, it may be worth doing that. I'd go with Fronius - and match it with Tigo if you have partial shading. I've done reviews on both of these - just use the search function at the top of this page.

                                  Mark C said : administrator Report 6 months ago

                                  Hi Ollie, While Enphase has proven really reliable, I'd go with Fronius. I think for best reliability, we shouldn't be putting "Module level power electronics" (Micro's or optimisers) on the roof unless we absolutely need to.

                                    Marc R said : Guest Report 6 months ago

                                    After one year of a successful solar system install, my Solar Edge inverter failed. It was replaced in February, 2019 with a Solar Edge HD Wave inverter. As of June 3, 2019 this inverter has failed and I have not received help from installer as of June 16th. What other inverter options are out there?

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                                    Chris said : Guest Report 6 months ago

                                    Wow what a read! We’re finally taking the plunge after years of ‘yeah we’ll get solar soon’. We are looking at the maxeon 360 panels - 5 facing east, 5 facing west and 9 facing north (5 on one north facing section, and 4 on the north facing section). We have zero shade problems. A lovely lady came today and recommended solar edge with optimisers...... I wasn’t aware of the optimiser option until they were recommended. I mentioned I’d look into them and now have serious doubts. My original plan was to go with Enphase and am now looking at this option again. I really feel for some of the people here and appreciate their input. These systems cost a huge amount of money and the last thing that should be happening is faults with optimisers that have 25 yr warranties. Terrible. Was I originally on the right track Mark going with Sunpower and Enphase or should I be looking at another set up. Thanks again for the info, very much appreciated! Chris - Nowra NSW 2541

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                                    Gergely Pongrácz said : Guest Report 6 months ago

                                    Time to time I came back to this post to see what happens. Let me allow to say that we also have a system with blocking issue, so in my oppinion its not rare a case... We made everything correct in their designer tool but one string loses power when in heavy shade. SolarEdge says that we need to follow their instructions, meanwhile we made their extended training too and there is no example when a shade can cause blocking. What I learned is when you design SolarEdge, you must take attention on the minimum optimizer rule. Not writen anywhere, but for example you want a small system with 8 x 280W panels and an SE2200H inverter. The 8 panel is the minimum for an SE 1 ph HD inverter. But MAYBE you choose SolarEdge because YOU HAVE SHADE AND YOU READ THAT THIS PRODUCT IS GOOD AGAINST IT. So what will happen? Yes, you install minimum one panel in shade, so you will have a minimum of 7 panels on sun and 1 in shade, and at this point your system may lose perfomance. I learned that the minimum optimizer is a rule for minimum sun affected panels. My problem with SolarEdge that they dont write it down to the datasheet, that this minimum value is for this, not for any shaded situation... The other problem is that they have 100 kind of optimizers ... and some of them seems to me useless. For example you try to avoid the limitation and use P404 optimizers because its for short string and it has a bit bigger VOC. Yes. It has, but it also has lower Isc value than for example P370. But it can work with bigger watts! Holy sh*t, thats cool, but you cannot attach a Canadian CS3W 400W to P404, because of the Isc value, nor Q Cells DUO 325W, because of this. So P404 what would help to solve this problem is completley useless because of its lower Isc value ..... Why, why we need P300 ; P370 ; P404 ; P500 ; and now the newest P505 ? Why they dont make for example a P600 version with an Isc of 20 amp and 150V VOC ? Is it worth it? Wouldnt it be simplier and these high perfomance optimizers would be able to handle any shaded scenario? I also have saved old .sesd files where the designer offers string solution WHICH IS NOT POSSIBLE BY THE DATASHEET: https://imgur.com/a/K2f0eK5 You cannot put 12 kW in one string only 11,25 kW, but the design tool offers it to you. I use the two following rules to avoid the crap: 1., minimum optimizer number is the number of minimum sunny panels on the roof (despite of none mentioned this before to me) 2., use their new online designer tool to avoid bad system design Sorry for the angry comment.

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                                    audrey said : Guest Report 6 months ago

                                    Hi mark, we purchased LG panels (16) and have a solar edge inverter. The system was installed Nov 2017, started off well.but in April this yr, It effective shut down. Electrician/installer claim that the power coming into property from transformer at road was too high a voltage, causing the investor to shut down for safety reasons(went into night mode). The lines company came out spent a day checking systems, say there is possibly an issue as old transformer, but not likely to to updated anytime soon. However 2 weeks ago the invertor was replaced ( we only found out after the fact) seemed to work for a while and now back to switching off, and restarting. been in contact with installer about , wants us to follow up lines company re transformer. does this sound like or do we have crap and need to chase supplier/installer. Thanks in advance ( NZ)

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                                    Pam said : Guest Report 6 months ago

                                    Thanks Mark for your hard work and experience, it is good to be able to go to a site for info on Solar. I am going to build a house and looking into different things I need to set up ready for Solar, I will be putting 3 phase on to give more flexibility. I was told by an installer over the phone that I should consider going to 8kw as I was trying to get a quote for 6.5kw and to go all electric. I am looking at getting refrigerated ducted heating and cooling and he said to go Solar electric boosted hot water as we were going to have gas Solar, and he also suggested to go induction cooktop. Would this be a good idea or should we stay with gas? I was looking at putting a Solar Edge system on, but with what I have read I think I might skip it. I am thinking of an LG Neon R 365w or a LG Neon 2 335w, I am not sure which one to choose and on the price but I was hoping to save up and pay for it. If I cant afford the above which one closest would you recommend? I was thinking of a Fronius to back it up, thanks in advance, Pam

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                                    Ollie said : Guest Report 6 months ago

                                    Hi Mark. Thanks for the write up. I am just in the process of purchasing solar for my home and SolarEdge is being presented by one supplier. I think you have helped me decide the best option is not going to be SolarEdge bit I am still stuck with so many options being offered. One of the other option I have is for a 12.6Kw system that has 36 x REC twinpeak 350w panels with a Fronious Symo 10Kw inverter or a 10.44kW Emphase IQ7+ with the same panels. I was actually edging towards enphase but I don't have shading so it it worth the extra expenditure for what I am going to get? I note you saying in one of the earlier posts that there is no point putting MLPE on the roof unless you really need it. Make me wonder why such a solution is even being offered to me. It really is a mine field with everybody telling you that their system is the best system. Any advise is welcome. Thanks!

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                                    marc tancrell said : Guest Report 7 months ago

                                    my system was installed 12 months ago. on original installation on inverter would not power up.........replace with another one 3 weeks later. 1month goes by an inverter has no display and stopped reporting....techs out replaced a week later 3 months go by an the other inverter does the same thing ...no display , tech needs to replace....down again during peak months 5 days ago noticed a drop in production on one of the inverters checked the inverters and guess what no display on the inverter replaced 10 months ago. Solar Edge has either no quality control or something is drastically designed wrong. I have an EE background and have started researching this my self. FYI- my system has 2 arrays - one with 30 panels rated at 310w ea. and one with 27 on the other. Its a purchased system(60k) which I was hoping for a faster payback

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                                    Gergely said : Guest Report 7 months ago

                                    Dear Mark, SolarEdge answer was "dont know" to my question, "does the optimizers use the bypass diodes?" I think its a realy important question, because if in shaded scenario the optimizers everyday use the bypass diode - which I think sure they use - then an optimized system will also cause bypass diode failure and this can lead to problems. What is your oppinion or knowledge about my question? Thank you.

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                                    Mark C said : administrator Report 7 months ago

                                    Hi Lawrence. I see! We don't sell a lot of Enphase, but we do use it in the right situation. If you need significant a shading solution, if you prioritise safety to the Nth degree, or if you just really want panel monitoring and have the cash: then go Enphase, it's a great product. I tend to avoid MLPE (power electronics) on the roof unless it is necessary because I'm concerned about reliability in 10 and 20 years. But Enphase has proven particularly reliable so far. (Check out the jump in Enphase share prices recently, the company has had an exciting road map of future products!)

                                      Lawrence said : Guest Report 7 months ago

                                      Hi Mark .... Yep I read the every word (even the posts people put up) and was grateful for what you said .... I was going more in favour with Solaredge before I find your blog which I am happy I did. I have been searching about solar for months now and as I said everyone talk there systems up and put the others down, you talked about facts and didn't try to sell another system. I was told the Enphase was old technology by the Solaredge sales man which them made me second guess Enphase technology.. but was lucky to find this blog so again thanks for your great help .

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                                      Mark C said : administrator Report 7 months ago

                                      Hi Lawrence. I'm guessing you didnt read the blog if you are considering SolarEdge! Also, I don't know what an "Australian Green Energy accredited electrician" is. Did you mean CEC accredited electrician? Anyone who installs must be CEC accredited. Go Enphase. Both panels are good. Also, look up my blog about "Solar Company Background checks".

                                        lawrence said : Guest Report 7 months ago

                                        Hi Mark ,,, thank you for the info here ... it is hard for people who don't know much about solar to get the info to make the right decision because everyone has there own opinion ... I have been looking at solar and have come down to three system that look to be ok , but would like your opinion if you can ... • Install a Solahart / Solar Edge Battery Ready 6.6kW photovoltaic solar power system onto the property’s roof see Nearmap report. • System comprises of 22 x 300W Solahart Black panels and 1 x SolarEdge inverter SE-5000H with Optimisers, plus all ancillary components to complete the installation to your main board, with an Australian Green Energy accredited electrician. • System will also be supplied with SolarEdge Meter and a CT’s on all phases to allow full system LG NeON 2 panels and Enphase micro-inverters system or a Installation of 5.1 kilowatt Enphase REC Solar System .. any help would be appreciate........ thank you

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                                        Mark Cavanagh said : administrator Report 7 months ago

                                        Hi Craig. Enphase is a good option. I would just make sure your panels are not too much bigger than the maximum output of the micro-inverter. If you don't need to optimise every panel, then I often suggest Fronius and Tigo. Read my blog on Tigo if you haven't looked into that already.

                                          Mark Cavanagh said : administrator Report 7 months ago

                                          Hi Jose. Interesting one. Oversizing by 30 per cent should not be a problem. Neither should long strings be a problem (960 volts). What have SolarEdge said about the issue? I'd be curious if more people have had this issue. If you are on Facebook, you could post the question on a group called "crap solar". There is a lot of knowledge in that group.

                                            Jack Frost said : Guest Report 7 months ago

                                            I have 41 300W panels with a Solaredge SE 10000HJ-US inverter unshaded in so CA. I suspect the inverter is over stressed by input current or system is very non optimum. I am retired EE, MSEE with extensive design experience in high rel military and space work. DE rating components and Hermetic sealing are KEY to reliability. I am concerned about plastic encapsulated components failing in less than 20 years, and junction temperatures over 110 C. none of that info available. I have designed equipment to operate in un inhabited -55C to 125C with extreme vibrations, sand dust humidity.....also some experience in ham radio design (Swan Radios). I am aware of consumer design standards and they do not apply to 25 year lifetimes. Whats your impression of this inverter in a 41X300W system?

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                                            Ace said : Guest Report 7 months ago

                                            I'm no solar expert, but an enthusiast. Here is a comparison of Enpahse IQ7 6.30kW vs SolarEdge 7.800kW - 6km apart. https://pvoutput.org/compare.jsp?sid=66948&sid1=66686&c=1 The two systems are not quite the same but very close. SolarEdge setup - 7.800kW Panels: 18x300W (North) + 8x300W (West) SolarEdge PV300-60MMJ Inverter: SolarEdge SE6000H Orientation: 18 panels North 0.0° / 8 panels West 270.0° Array Tilt: 25.0° Enpahse IQ7 setup - 6.30kW Panels: 21x300W - JKM300M-60 Jinko Inverter: 21 x Enphase IQ7 - Total invert 5.04kW Orientation: 21 panels North 12.0° Array Tilt: 22.0° I know that it's not an apples for apples comparison, but looking at data the Enphase 6.30kW system is more efficient and generally produces more power than larger 7.80kW SolarEdge system.

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                                            Jose Quiros said : Guest Report 7 months ago

                                            Hello Mark. My installation consists of 712 solar panels, each panel with a peak power of 365 Wp. All of them connected to 2 x SE100K SolarEdge Inverters. So I have a peak DC power of 259.88 KW at the roof and an A.C Inverter Maximum output power of 200 KW. Every 2 panels are connected to a SolarEdge P730 Optimizer. Every SE100K Inverter consists of 3 x 33.3 KW Inverters. So each 33.3 KW inverters has 3 strings connected to it, most strings are 20 optimizers long (40 solar panels). Under optimal solar conditions my Inverters produce 200 KW but cannot sustain it. All of a sudden, their output power drops considerably, most of the times down to half power (100 kW). The power recovers in a few minutes but continues happening. If I look into the Software Power Curve, it looks as if the whole power drop from 200kw to 100kw happened on a 30 minutes time lapse. I also measured the incoming D.C voltage from each string and it is around 960 Volts. I would like to know if the sudden power drop could be explained by the fact that D.C Installed Power is around 30% higher than the A.C Inverter Installed power? Could it also be explained by the fact that the nominal D.C voltage indicated by the Solaredge Inverters is 850 Vd.c (Maximum 1000 Vd.c) but the actual incoming D.C voltage is 960 V?

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                                            Mark C said : administrator Report 7 months ago

                                            Hi Rob, Thanks. That's an easy one. The Fronius and LG option is miles ahead and should be more expensive than the other quotes. Don't use optimizers if you don't have shade. Putting power electronics on your roof for 25 years when you don't need to is asking for trouble. If you need optimizers I would suggest selectively optimising Tigo. One of the better companies in Victoria is Gippsland solar. (I believe they do most of Victoria). Good luck!

                                              Rob Pettit said : Guest Report 8 months ago

                                              Hi Mark, what a relief to find a source of objective information. We are lucky enough to have a very large clean north-facing roofline (23 deg tilt, newly tiled), not shade affected. Our brief to potential installers has been that we want a quality 6kW system, backed up by quality installation and an EFFECTIVE minimum 25yrs warranty on panels and 10yrs on inverter (with option for battery and EV in future). However, we have received very conflicting recommendations on our quotes - some using optimisers. Is a string system sufficient and what would your preference be - 1. SUNTECH 275W STP275-20/WFW panels with GOODWE 5KW 2MMPT 1PH inverter 2. Solar Edge inverter with an option for either Canadian / REC / LG Solar panels 3. Fronius inverter and LG Neon 2 panels If you operated in Victoria, we'd be getting a quote from you guys, or alternatively if you know someone reputable here in Victoria? Thanks.

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                                              Craig said : Guest Report 8 months ago

                                              Hi Mark. Thanks for the blog and opportunity to ask questions. Only new to looking for solar for our house. We have shading issues from 2pm onwards. Most available space on east side, and some north. I’ve had quotes and positive advice on production for string systems with inverters. Then someone took the time and suggested Enphase micro inverters. Then today came the Solar Edge quote and confidence from them in reliability and production. I’ve read about poly, mono, PERC, split cells, various wattages, sizes, even colours. Most from China, some US, some EU, other Asian. It’s got to be the biggest can of worms on the planet. I’ve become quite cynical at an industry that is tripping over itself to sell me whatever, with absolutely no consideration for my circumstances or needs. My very lay thoughts, given our future expected increase in daily usage, suggest the Enphase micro inverters over optimisers and string inverter. I have 3 phase to the meter box which increases the single inverter cost so in terms of cost I have to consider that as well. I’ll be giving SE a wide berth but any advice you can offer given my shading issues would be appreciated. Thanks Mark

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                                              Mark Cavanagh said : administrator Report 8 months ago

                                              FAR OUT ROB!!!! that's extreme. I have heard of a few explosions where the cover damaged the ceiling, but that's another level!!! What did SolarEdge have to say about that?

                                                Mark C said : administrator Report 8 months ago

                                                Hi Shahar, last we checked we had failures in that batch, but considering our average failure time is about 22 months, we really would need to wait another 6 or 12 months to see if the pattern continues.

                                                  Mark C said : administrator Report 8 months ago

                                                  Hi Stephen, the Jury is currently out on the Sunpower P Series. We won't install them until we are satisfied with their independent test results. Our recent blog titled "PERC SOLAR PANELS – DEGRADATION THROUGH LETID" explains the problem. As a result of that blog, Sunpower put their panels through independent LETID testing. Preliminary results are ok and we should hear back from the full accelerated testing results soon. Either way, I would recommend E-Series panels (327W).

                                                    Richard said : Guest Report 8 months ago

                                                    Just a follow up from my previous posting, I have 3 HD wave inverters installed now, 2 were warranty replacements for older failed inverters. All 3 HD wave inverters have failed, all less than 1 year old. One required a new dig board, one was replaced complete, and the other is failed and after 2 weeks still had no response from tech support on the case raised. I saw an email saying they ( solaredge ) are moving away from having a display. This will be a problem for the customers I have with no internet connection on site when their older inverters fail. I am just about to go to site and replace the third panel integrated optimizer at a site 3 years old with 20 optimizers. Of interest is that solar edge only started potting their optimizers with the latest versions, all the earlier types totally rely on the cable glands for ingress protection, many of which I have found loose out of the box and have had to tighten on instalation. I also noticed most of the guys not having problems with solar edge have only been using them for a couple of years. After installing their gear for 8 years I wish I had never heard of them. Tech support is still hopeless and we are not alone, from looking at some other blogs support in the USA is the same.

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                                                    Belay T said : Guest Report 8 months ago

                                                    I have solar edge system with optimizers installed in 2017. Since then so many of the optimizers failed . The inverter failed and they replaced a board. Soon after that solar breaker failed. They changed the breaker and after one week the new breaker failed again . Now the whole system is not working. Both invertors aren't working. I spent a lot of money on this system.what is my course of action? What about the lost opportunity is solar production? Do I get to recover those lost opportunity? If I read this article before I installed my system using solaredge , I wouldn't have picked solaredge.

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                                                    Stephen said : Guest Report 8 months ago

                                                    Hi Mark, What do you think of Sunpower Series P (E18) panels compared to E20, E22? If roof space is not a problem, do you think it is more cost effective to buy E18 as they are all from the same manufacturer and have the same warranty? Do you install E18? How does E18 compare to LG NeON panel which also has 25 years product warranty and similar dimension? Regards Stephen

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                                                    Rob said : Guest Report 8 months ago

                                                    I just had a 10kw solar edge inverter blow up in my face. It was functioning fine for a couple years but was called to site because the breaker tripped. I checked for wire issues, turned the breaker on went to the inverter to see the screen. My face was 1’ away from the inverter when it exploded. A capacitor blew off the board like a canon which ripped the cover right off smashed me in the face and I went flying about 10’. I had to go to emergency and was there 6 hours getting scans and 12 stitches on my forehead, face and lips. Now what! I don’t want to go near a SE inverter again!

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                                                    Shahar said : Guest Report 9 months ago

                                                    Thanks Mark for the enlightening article, Did you see improvements in last few month when it comes to the new optimizers shipped from H2/2018 onwards?

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                                                    Shahar said : Guest Report 9 months ago

                                                    Hi Mark Kudos for doing for the general, do you know if the so called gen4 solved the reliability problems you mentioned? How do i know my optimizers are from the new gen?

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                                                    Mark C said : administrator Report 9 months ago

                                                    Hi Heshy, Thanks. I've found Enphase to be really reliable - and I don't know of anyone who would dispute that. I do prefer using Tigo with Fronius in most situations though.

                                                      Heshy said : Guest Report 9 months ago

                                                      Hi Mark, If only everyone would leave reviews of their life experiences, the world would be a better place. I sell solar and am trying to figure out the truth about inverters. Unfortunately there isn't much information out there yet. I would like to know If you would recommend Enphase micro inverters 1Q7 and 1Q7+ over Solar Edge?

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                                                      Mark C said : administrator Report 9 months ago

                                                      Hi Pia, It sounds like you are having problems with your installer! Your installer can't pass the buck to SolarEdge, they have to get the system working regardless.

                                                        pia mckeown said : Guest Report 9 months ago

                                                        Hi We have had solar installed 3 years ago and have received very little savings. Solaredge invertor melted internally within 6 months and we are still having issues in getting this system to work like we were promised. If anyone is purchasing a system stay away from solaredge. We got a lemon and solaredge not interested in fixing this and now costing us our business

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                                                        J Norfolk said : Guest Report 9 months ago

                                                        I'm in the UK and am experiencing terrible service from Solar Edge. An Optimiser failed in October last year and despite numerous phone calls I'm still waiting for it to be fixed. They sent me the Optimiser on 22nd January but apparently they are unable to agree labour and scaffolding costs with the company they have chosen to fit it. Yet again, today I'm waiting for a call back as the one promised two days ago didn't happen. Appalling service I'm sorry to say!

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                                                        Eric said : Guest Report 9 months ago

                                                        Hi Mark, I have a SE15K with 315 watt panels with SE optimizers. On the first day of install the production was great. Since then my production has decreased about 30%. Until I read this blog I had not considered that the optimizers could be the source of the problem. I have panels facing east, south, and west. What would you consider to be a possible solution to the above problem? I am disappointed to learn that SE has sent lawyers to you. I hope you will have an opportunity to be heard and present your case in court. It is a pity when a company’s response is to send the lawyer team. It shows a company with a dissapointing reaction to customer’s problems. For your information quality control at the assembly level from the same line has variations, and when the engineering is watered down to lower costs issues arise and compounds the problems. You should seek an expert in manufacturing and quality control issues to prove your point. You might need to open up a few products to show assembly differences and quality of components.

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                                                        Mark C said : administrator Report 9 months ago

                                                        Hi Zeus. If roof space is not a limitation, I would go with E20. E22 is normally what we suggest when roof space is limited, or money is not the problem. The small improvement in temp co-efficiency is not worth the cost.

                                                          Christopher Gill said : Guest Report 9 months ago

                                                          I have a 22 Kw install with 33 SolarEdge P700 Optimizers (1:2) serving 65 LG 335 watt panels. We went live last April (10 months ago). I had 3 optimizers fail while I was in out of the country for 7 weeks in July (90 days after installation). They were replaced under warranty but 3 of my 4 strings turned themselves off for 7 weeks. Costly. Last month I had a 4th inverter fail. It hard shorted to ground and turned off the entire Inverter with a ground fault notice. I was able to figure it out and replace it the following day (snap, snap, snap is not a sound you expect to hear on your roof - so easy to find it - the 1 volt being produced by the other 7 optimizers in the string kept jumping to ground inside the failed optimizer). So, 4 failures out of 33 optimizers. Far too many and far too expensive if you don't have a spare on hand (I now keep 2) and if you aren't in the country to fix them (this is a self-install). This is in the Cayman Islands where the weather is 29 degrees C every day of the year.

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                                                          Zeus said : Guest Report 9 months ago

                                                          Hi Mark, If you were to choose, which one are you going to buy, sunpower e20 or x22 with enough roof space? Cheera

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                                                          Mark C said : administrator Report 10 months ago

                                                          Hi Zeus, If you really like the individual panel monitoring, go Enphase instead of Fronius. In my experience and the general consensus from the industry is that Enphase is really reliable. But if you are looking for a string inverter like Fronius - a distant second would be SMA. The problem with SMA I think is the cost and complexity of consumption monitoring and rumours of reliability issues. The plus for SMA is that the fan is quiet.

                                                            Zeus said : Guest Report 10 months ago

                                                            Hi Mark, Thank you for the reply. No partial shading as far as I know but not sure if there’s a possibility of shading depending on the position of the panels. Hopefully the design will be ok. At first I’m leaning towards the solaredge due to the technology but if it’s not that reliable even with 12yrs warranty, the problem will be the downtime and I’ll just get the most reliable one. Are there anybother inverter that you can suggest aside from fronius? I really want the most reliable one. Thank you again. Cheers

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                                                            Mark C said : administrator Report 10 months ago

                                                            Hi Marcus, My experience would make me steer away from using SolarEdge until I see an approvement in reliability.

                                                              Mark C said : administrator Report 10 months ago

                                                              Hi Zeus, I always recommend Fronius as the first option. If you have shading issues, I would couple Fronius with Tigo.

                                                                Zeus said : Guest Report 10 months ago

                                                                Hi Mark, Which is better to pair with 18x sunpower X-22 360W? Fronius primo or solaredge hd wave 5KW inverter? I’m planning to get a system but undecided on which inverter to get. Cheers

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                                                                Zeus said : Guest Report 10 months ago

                                                                Hi Mark, I’m planning to get a 6.48KW Sunpower X22 system with solaredge 5KW hd wave with p500 optimisers. Just saw your review and now I’m worried that the system will cause me problems when claiming warranty and reliability issues along the way. Is it best to just get fronius? Please advise which is the best inverter to get with the sunpower x22 series. Regards, Zeus

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                                                                Mark C said : administrator Report 10 months ago

                                                                Hi Geoff, I haven't had many issues with SolarEdge inverters, but I know other companies that have had many issues. They seem to be prone to failing with surges, so if you use it, a surge diverter would be recommended. The inverter won't work without optimisers, so it's a whole package deal - maybe you need to go out and by optimisers anyway.

                                                                  Mark C said : administrator Report 10 months ago

                                                                  Hi Gergely, Interesting. I thought the bypass diodes would engage if the panel was fully shaded, regardless of the particular optimiser. If that's not the case, that would be a huge concern.

                                                                    Adrian said : Guest Report 10 months ago

                                                                    Hi Mark, I wish you all the best in your fight with Solar Edge and hope you beat them. It is amazingly refreshing to find someone who has tons of real world installation experience sharing their views. This is much better than an internet warrior smashing the keys. If you are being honest and factual, the law should be on your side. Your blog was instrumental in me better understanding shading issues with SolarEdge and choosing the right optimisers. My installer had no idea about the issue and I had to provide him the info on how to do it right. In the end we ended up going with Enphase to avoid the issue altogether. Keep up the good reviews.

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                                                                    Chris said : Guest Report 10 months ago

                                                                    Thanks for a great post, as I am considering installing a SolarEdge inverter. While the lawyer response seems a bit heavy handed, I don't think listing the cons will necessarily put me off purchasing one, but it's good to go in with both eyes open, as now I know what to look out for.

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                                                                    Mark Wade said : Guest Report 10 months ago

                                                                    Hi Mark, thanks for your review and do allow me to share my experience with you. As it turns out I am also having a similarly disappointing experience so far with SolarEdge at my residence in Sydney. First, an 8kW HD wave inverter failed within 24 hours of installation, then took weeks to have it replaced by a representative of my installer, Soltek. Second, one particular string began underperforming many months after installation. SolarEdge’s technical support team maintain the design is compliant with their standards – a split orientation with three 335w panels on the north and five others on the east – yet concede afternoon shading on the east-facing panels is causing the remaining north-facing panels to underperform relative to adjacent north-facing panels that belong to a separate string. Daily production of the affected panels is reduced by around one-third or 1.5kWh in total, which is material. I have been in regular contact with Soltek the installer and SolarEdge since October 2018 to resolve the matter (it’s now February 2019), given the apparent breach of Australian Consumer Law. Thankfully SolarEdge’s Australian country head Gavin Merchant has just now agreed to investigate after previous attempts to reach a solution became futile. Gavin assures me that SolarEdge products are indeed fit for purpose, and specifically suitable for shaded conditions including split orientation strings such as mine, consistent with claims in SolarEdge’s published advertising material and documentation. The odd part is that the particular string worked fine at first (May to August 2018), but has since underperformed from September 2018 onwards. Meanwhile the two other split-orientation strings and another single orientation string remain fine; all very perplexing. Wish I knew about this “blocking” effect you have coined before installation as I would have insisted on an alternative design (both panel layout and optimiser model) and potentially avoided SolarEdge products altogether. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that SolarEdge and Soltek elect to amicably rectify my matter in a timely manner. Likewise, that the seemingly vexatious claims directed at you are swiftly resolved. Regards, Mark

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                                                                    Randy Dunton said : Guest Report 10 months ago

                                                                    thanks for supporting the solar industry, you are putting a lot of work into this and taking a risk for what I imagine you are feeling is an important task; to make sure we are all successful in our energy transition. We have no time and place for gimmicks and unnecessary features. I have always felt that less is more, simplicity, when it comes to longevity and reliability. Sometimes marketing and engineering just has the urge to create a solution - and look for a problem to fix. The SolarEdge story is such a story, it is academic and not practical. Living in Arizona and designing solar power plants now for 10 years has only confirmed my feeling that less is more, and only companies with a deep understanding of the aging of electronics have a chance of delivering inverters to the market that will last. The effects of temperature are non linear, and the more parts you have the more failures you will have. Keep up the great work you are doing.

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                                                                    Margot Kiesskalt said : Guest Report 11 months ago

                                                                    A quick note to express support for your position and very edifying blog. Doing the testing, analysis and research to make this information available to peers and consumers must involves a significant investment of time and money, so a big thank you for doing what you do. My Frankston Vic solar system was installed at the end of May 2018 with 16 x LG Neon R 360W panels, 16 SolarEdge DC Optimizers and 6kW SolarEdge HD Wave. I had previously left a comment on this blog advise that one DC optimiser failed within around a fortnight of installation; the replacement part was provided and installed under warranty. I now have a 2nd panel showing very little output (the maximum is around 34W). The SolarEdge monitoring portal hasn't detected the failure, even though more than a week has elapsed since the problem first manifested - the Alerts page on the portal shows no events. Hopefully my installer can resolve this quickly.

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                                                                    Patrick McKune said : Guest Report 11 months ago

                                                                    Thanks for a very interesting SolarEdge article - I have a 4.62 kWp First Solar FS-4110 x 42 module system with an SE5000-ZAS Solaredge inverter + BCU-1PH-RWS StorEdge Backup (no battery yet). I have long suspected, and have prev reported energy mismatches on my modules (and been told that performance is normal). Having seen yr article I ran a +-2hr test on my system today – I pushed it to it’s max and maintained a draw of no less than 2.5kW from the grid above the PV System output… this was at peak sun position – the sky was clear and cloudless during the 2 hr test (I have a weather station that I monitored the Solar radiation & UV curves from to ensure that I was measuring at the daily peak, and a Efergy meter to monitor grid draw to ensure that I was well above the max that my system is capable of). The Helioscope for my system shows that in Jan we are at the max power generation stage for the year. The max output that I managed to achieve (constantly reading from the inverter screen) was 4.028kW . The system is 2.5 yrs old - from the First Solar warranty sheet I should have a minimum output of 96% = 105.6 W per module (my test showed that I am getting ave 87% = 95.9 W per module). My modules are connected in 3’s per optimiser (14 SE optimisers) – The best gave an output of 106.9 W and the worst 98.3 W (this from the SE on-line monitoring screen which showed a max of 4.116kW, but at the same time as taht reading my inverter screen photos recorded 3.983kW). I have taken photo records through the test and will be communicating to SolarEdge on the issue. They have been very helpful in the past and I am hoping that they will assess fairly and correct the problem.

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                                                                    Marcus said : Guest Report 11 months ago

                                                                    Mark, I just received a quote on a new solar install that is using Solaredge products. The install is on my horsebarn in full sunlight and is a 24.82 kW(DC)/22.8 kW(AC) system. They plan to install 68 Mission Solar 365W modules (MSE Perc 72) with 68 Solar Edge P400 Power Optimizers. The system will have 2 Solaredge 11.4 kW HD Wave Inverters. Should I be concerned about this system? I found that Solaredge has both the HD Wave Inverters (SE11400H-US), as well as, a 11.4 kW Inverter (SE11400A-US) that is not HD. Which one would be preferred? I am about to make my decision, but wanted to get your thoughts first.

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                                                                    geoff said : Guest Report 11 months ago

                                                                    i understand your aversion to solaredge optimizers. i have a new install in an unshaded location in the bahamas, about 22 degrees north so i wouldn't use optimizers. i have one year old "excess" solaredge 5kw inverter from a system that was upsized which would fit this new system. does your aversion extend to solaredge inverters and you would just keep it "on the shelf" and buy fronius or would you use it?

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                                                                    Gergely Pongrácz said : Guest Report 11 months ago

                                                                    Dear Mark, We have the same issue with solaredge, as you explained ahead. They said, that the P300 and P370 optimizers cannot bypass panels, that means, if there is heavy shade, than P300 and P370 optimizers suffer a huge drop, due to the inverter fixed voltage. The system would work fine, if the optimizers would be able to bypass "dead" panels. But they cant. The datasheet, and the extended training not includes this information, what in my oppinion is highly important. They told us that P404 and P500 are able to bypass not working panels. If you design solaredge, its not just easy to make a site designer with their program. You need to simulate in mind what will happen with those shades. I think solaredge made a mistake when they dont tell their clients that P300 and P370 are unable to bypass panels. Thats their fault, they should notice installers that this can occur. (I can show the system and explain exactly how it should work and how faulty it is because of this missing infromation.) Gergely

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                                                                    Jim Jenal said : Guest Report 11 months ago

                                                                    Hi Mark -- Great blog post, and sad that SE had their lawyers contact you instead of a tech person. To me the most startling thing is the N panel/West panel blocking -- good grief! We install Enphase only, and frankly, the only install consideration is to keep the strings w/in the current limit for each 20A branch circuit. Doesn't get any simpler. As to Enphase reliability - one thing we've discovered is that many "failures" are actually communications issues. We have seen "orphan" sites where the original installer replaced as many as half of the micros - when the real problem was interference with comms that made the micros appear to be dead. Keep up the good work! Jim Jenal, Run on Sun

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                                                                    Mark C said : administrator Report 11 months ago

                                                                    I am always open to reviewing and updating blogs as further information is received or things change. After I received legal letters from SolarEdge on Christmas Eve 2018, I edited the blog to deal with and respond to the issues they raised. The updated blog is currently with SolarEdge's lawyers after which it will be reposted on this page.

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                                                                    Mark C said : administrator Report 11 months ago

                                                                    Hi Chris, I have the perfect solution for you. Read my blog on Tigo! https://mcelectrical.com.au/blog/tigo-energy-solar-panel-optimisers/ If you are looking for another solar review site, try solarquotes.com.au

                                                                      Mark C said : administrator Report 11 months ago

                                                                      Hi Ralph. In your case, I don't think you have much to be concerned about. Monitoring always means the software monitors it, not an employee. Unfortunately, SolarEdge monitoring does not automatically alert you in many cases, so you may need to learn how to look at individual panel production. You have long strings, so voltage blocking as I described it shouldn't be an issue. Although I have a seen Photo of SolarEdge inverter with the lid that blew off it with such force that it dug into the ceiling ... I believe it's very unusual - possibly a one-off. So you are safe with the inverter in your house!

                                                                        Chris said : Guest Report 12 months ago

                                                                        Hi, thanks for your interesting article. I'm in the early stages of researching solar with the intention of purchasing a solution in 2019. I had already heard many negative comments about Solaredge optimiser reliability from solaredge customers in the Swedish language "solenergi & solceller småskalig" facebook group, so your comments do ring true and the response you've described from Solaredge does not, unfortunately, indicate a manufacturer with an ethical approach. Brushing problems under the carpet doesn't really work in the long term. For my part, I'm done, and won't include solaredge products in the solutions I'll consider for my roof - however, this does give me a problem - how to find an efficient and reliable solution for a roof which is partially shaded. What would you recommend for a south facing 70 square metre roof which is shaded from an adjacent house? Every part of the roof probably gets shaded at some part of the day, but the central part of the roof would get the shade at high noon, so maybe I just omit panels there. We use around 7,500kWh of electricity per year, most in the winter months and least in the summer when solar panels are producing most. I would have thought an installation with an optimiser per panel might be ideal for such a situation, but then I read your blog post! Thanks for any advice - also follow on question, where are the best sites for customers to research the basics so we can evaluate and understand offers from installers?

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                                                                        Ralph Hertlein said : Guest Report 12 months ago

                                                                        Afraid I found your web site a year and a half too late... I have a 40 panel system (LG "R" 350 panels) in two strings, one 22 and one 18. They feed into two SE7600H Solar Edge inverters which feed both the grid and Sonnen battery pack. Positives To date, have not had an electric bill (other than the obligatory "connection fee here in the US) since the system came live in late December 2016. Have had phone apps to monitor the systems and have only had two issues where the system "died," one a Sonnen battery update that shut the system down and another where the system went dead for 6 hours and since I monitor once per week (try for once every other day but...), both have been resolved. Negative Was promised a monitoring system that would cover both and have neither. If I don't monitor, neither the installer nor Sonnen or Solar Edge appear to check anything. Very disappointing. I am a bit older and I come from an era of your word is your bond. Seems that is now old fashioned... My Concern Since the two strings feed into the two Solar Edge inverters and they are now 13+ months old, should I be concerned? AND since they are mounted in my garage, is there a concern if they "pop?" When they fail, other than the system stopping production, what is the result of failure? Based on my understanding of the system, I can isolate each "strin/inverter" by turning off a breaker. I was advised to go with the Solar Edge almost at the last minute due to a "supposed clipping issue" by my installer, so we went Solar Edge. Based on your comments, should I be looking into replacements and what? Disclaimer - I am in the US - south east. Would be happy to share data and experience if that would be of any value to you. We have had days of 90+ kWh all the way down to 4.5 kWh and the system to date has produced 23.4 MWh to date (based on Solar Edge app reporting). I am reasonably happy with everything but realize that this is still "not for everyone." Stay safe, Ralph

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                                                                        Rudy said : Guest Report 12 months ago

                                                                        Intrestring article. Reading it here in Holland. I received many quotations for my solar system. I need 6 panels (that's all the place I have) and there's no shadow. half of the quotations are with SMA (or simular string options with Chinees brands) and the other half is with SolarEdge. My doubt ... 6 more parts on the roof (optimizers) can be defect. Costing money to repair. While the SMA solution has nothing, but the panels, on the roof. More over, I cant find any article on the internet with a comparisson woth the two options working in real life. help!! Any suggestioins what option to choose? SMA (or simular) or SolarEdge for this small installation.

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                                                                        Mark C said : administrator Report 12 months ago

                                                                        Hi Sam, in my opinion, you would be much better with Tigo. Consider mixing it with a split cell (half cell) panel like QCell duo, or a shingle panel like SunPower p19. This breaks up the panel stringing further and increases the chance of the panel staying online in heavy shade.

                                                                          Sam said : Guest Report 12 months ago

                                                                          Thanks for this good blog Mark! I'm designing a PV set for my East (10x300Wp) and West roof (17x300Wp). Unfortunately my roofs are shaded. The East roof heavily and the West roof less heavily. Optimizers are a must in my opinion. My initial plan was applying Tigo Duo optimizers for at most all panels. Unfortunately the Duo optimizers aren't available any more as stated by my installer. Because of the higher price of a single Tigo optimizer, I'm looking for a SolarEdge solution. Due to the configuration of my east roof (2 rows of 5 panels each) and the shading (leaving in a top down and left right direction) I'm afraid for the blocking issue as described above. Therefore I like to apply P404 optimizers so the upper row of 5 panels can achieve the ~380V voltage on the string. But SolarEdge designer gives me no option for the P404 optimizer. Only P300, P370 and P505 are available. I think the reason is the Short Circuit Current (Isc). My panels have an Isc of 9.86A. while SE designer states 10.11A, thats a very little bit more than the max of 10.1A. Because of the orientation of the panels and the heavy shading STC values won't be reached in practice. Is this a really risk from technical perspective? Due to possible warranty claims in the future maybe it isn't wise choosing this optimizer, is it? I'm not sure choosing for the cheapest option (SE) or paying a few 100 euro's/dollars more for Tigo....

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                                                                          Andrew said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                          Hi, Is the Inverter able to be fitted to the Qcell and LG battery ? Was looking at the 10KW Single phase inverter has your opinion changed on this matter or are you still seeing a abnormally high failure rate thank you : )

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                                                                          Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                          Thanks Peter. I'm surprised at your experience to be honest. Maybe the earlier models were unreliable. Everyone I know in the industry swears by the reliability of Enphase. We've had one fail out of about 1500 in 4 years or so. I think they are doing the right thing by not shipping it to the customer. However, I would have thought Enphase would have had to pay the installer. I'll ask Enphase to respond on that one.

                                                                            Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                            Hi Shane, you are closer to correct. You can put up to 5.7kW in one string according to SolarEdge data sheet. If your installers don't know this, I'd be pretty concerned. SolarEdge is difficult to design well. Here's a bit of the relevant standards................................. AS5033 clause 2.1.5.......... Strings constructed using d.c. conditioning units ................. In some array designs, d.c. conditioning units may be connected to individual PV modules or small groups of PV modules to allow d.c. conditioning of the PV output or allow for automatic shutdown of the output under certain defined conditions. The output circuits of the d.c. conditioning units are arranged in series to form a string. .................................................... In this case, for the purposes of this Standard, the following applies: 2.1.6 PV array maximum voltage = PCE maximum rated input voltage.

                                                                              Shane said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                              Hi Mark, I'm from Victoria. I am about to install a Solaredge system. My solar installer is saying they are limited to putting 13 panels on a single string due to the 600V string limits regs, however my understanding is they have it wrong, as the panels are not being connected in series, but rather the optimisers. Therefore you should be able to connect about 20 panels on a single string without exceeding the 600V string limit regs for a domestic install. Who is correct?

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                                                                              Peter said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                              I don't know how you folks can consider Enphase "reliable", unless you mean reliably crappy. I've had a 70% failure rate in just 8 years. It wasn't so bad at first when I could get enphase to ship me a replacement in a month or two, but now they won't even talk to consumers anymore. They insist replacements have to be done by "Professional Installers" but since enphase won't pay the installers to replace the inverters most installer won't do it any more. It took me 9 month last year to get the installer to replace a failed inverter. I had two more fail 3 months ago and NONE of the installers in my area will even return my phone calls. A warranty aint worst shit if the company won't honor it. WIth their crappy customer support and all the financial problems I keep reading about, it wouldn't surprise me if they went out of business soon. For anyone considering enphase, run away from them as fast as you can.

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                                                                              Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                              Hi Peter, thanks. It is correct that it needs to be installed in strings of 8 minimum -but I questioned SolarEdge about this recently. If you have strings of 8 and you shade 1 panel, it is the same as a string of seven. Does this reduce the life of the optimisers? NO!!! at least that is what I was told. Your inverter will just turn off if there is a shade on too many panels.

                                                                                Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                Thanks, Richard, that's interesting. I've heard investors talk about reports of 10 to 16 per cent failure rate of optimisers across the board. What's concerning is, if you didn't proactively monitor (and if you were not given access), you would have not of know about the failures.

                                                                                  Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                  Hi Susan, Thanks. That sounds possible - SunPower has a similar warranty. Just check the Panasonic spec sheet online. I would say LG is probably better than Panasonic. LG (panels) has a much bigger presence in Australia

                                                                                    Susan said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                    Hi Mark, I salute you for being a man of honor and not selling out to Solar Edge or other corporations! I'm sure you get many offers to become a puppet! Keep up the good work and thank you again for your blog! I have one more day to go with Panasonic Enphase IQ7x microinverter that produces 330 watts. I was told that in 25 yrs, I will still get 91% performance.. do you agree? Is this a highly recommended system over the LG 360's?

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                                                                                    Richard said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                    Great article. I have a 24-panel Solar Edge system installed 3.5 years ago. Mostly I've been pleased, and I love the ability to monitor the overall system and the individual panels. However, I've just had my second optimizer failure. The first failure was within 5 months of installation. So, my overall optimizer failure rate to date is 8.3%, or 2.4% per year. The failures were discovered by my periodic review of the panel layout screen. Oh, my SE inverter had to be replaced during the first week after installation.

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                                                                                    Peter Clark said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                    Hi Mark, interesting and sadly relevant post for my SolarEdge inverter installation. My 4kw system was installed in 2016. It performed very well in the first year. I stopped monitoring it last year and received a call from my FIT provider last month who told me the system had stopped generating. The installer of the system went bust last year so I contacted solaredge to look into it. They have closed the incident saying that the system was incorrectly installed as 2 strings of 7 optimizers and my system requires a minimum of 8 optimizers per string. They are saying 2 optimizers are damaged because of this. I'm now stuck with a broken 2 year old system that has no warranty. I am shocked by this - the whole thing seems more like a scam than a serious solar energy system. Does this explanation of what's happened seem a likely reason for the optimizers to fail ? I'm pretty sure the installers fitted the system according to procedure available at the time.

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                                                                                    Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                    Hey Antonio. In my opinion, Fronius is heaps better. Even before I realised all the issues with SolarEdge, I advised Fronius over SolarEdge if there was no shade. If you can avoid putting power electronics on your roof, then do! They are just a weak point.

                                                                                      Antonio said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                      Hi Mark I should not have shades on my roof and maybe is small 3.6 KWh for Australia but I am in UK :-) Do you really think that Fronius works better then solaredge? My system will be on 2 different sides of roof ( south east and south west). Thanks

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                                                                                      Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                      Hi Antonio, I don't know about sapphire, so they mustn't be a big player. 3.6kW is a small system! Do you not have more roof space? We wouldn't normally quote on such a small system. If I were you I would consider asking your installer to upgrade you to Fronius with more panels (should be the same price). If you have shade, just add Tigo!

                                                                                        Antonio said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                        Hi Mark, very interesting this update, I have ordered a system for my house with Solaredge HD wave before to read your update. The system will be of 3.6 kWh with 12 Sapphire solar panels. Hopefully I will be happy with the system. I have been looking into your blog about the sapphire panels that are australian owned but I couldn't find anything. Do you have experience of them?

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                                                                                        Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                        Hi Phill, this could be anything, and possibly not a SolarEdge issue. Best call SolarService guys if you are in SouthEast Qld. Let us know how you go if it is A SolarEdge issue and how they went with honouring their warranty.

                                                                                          Phill said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                          Hi Mark Very interesting read. I have a 21 panel system on my roof with a Solar Edge SE 4000 inverter. I work away all week and when I got home last week there was no display on the inverter no matter how many times I pushed the green button and the solar supply breaker in the power box had tripped. I tried turning the breaker back on but no difference. The system is 6 yrs old with a 12 yr warranty , the company that it was purchased from no longer exists and the installer has retired with a bad back. Do you have any idea whether it's the inverter or the panels? Any idea on how to contact Solar Edge as I can't find anywhere on the web?

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                                                                                          Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                          Hi John, I'll say that our experience with SolarEdge tech support is actually pretty good. (they have had heaps of experience solving issues). The problem is you also need a good sparkle on the roof to fix the problem. If they mapped the panels on the monitoring platform properly, you could usually tell which one failed. Since there is a string down.... that's a different problem. Who knows. Sounds like an install issue - but then SolarEdge have so many types of tech issues, it would be impossible to guess.

                                                                                            Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                            I'm surprised Greg, but I really shouldn't be.

                                                                                              Greg said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                              Installed I think around 3748 optimisers on one job at the start of the year, big job. A bit over 450 failed and still having problems.. At least 150 -300 still down maybe more.. every time we replace them and more fail. Solar edge guys haven’t sorted the problems yet. They can’t even figure out why, they say bad batch ect but it’s happening on all our jobs at the moment.. Steer clear

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                                                                                              John said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                              Great article - wish I had known this before I installed my system. I am hoping for some ideas on how to resolve what appears to be an optimizer failure on our roof mounted system. Having problems with my SolarEdge system (33 panels, 2 strings). I installed it in June, ran well for the first month but in July the second string was not being recognized by the inverter. Solar Edge says that perhaps an optimizer failed or there is a wiring problem (the customer support rep says he doesn't envy my situation!). At the rooftop combiner box we get a little over 16 volts of safety current, which seems correct as there are 16 panels on that string. The same reading is evident at the inverter. I had installed the optimizers because they claim that you can monitor each panel's performance. However, when one optimizer fails you cannot see which one failed - a rather inconvenient problem with a roof mounted system! Any clever ideas on how to solve this with the least amount of trouble?

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                                                                                              Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                              Thanks for your comments Philippe! You have summed up my main concerns with SolarEdge perfectly. Having 2 failures in 3 years is really very bad for a product with a 25-year warranty. What is worse is that you have to rely on the installer to tell you about that. I hope you insisted on getting full access now! I think 25 days is actually a good effort by the installer, given the may not have had an alert - and given the reality that business gets busy sometimes. The chances of the installer giving you the same type of service for the next 22 years is slim. I too love the concept - the concept is easy to sell - but.....

                                                                                                Philippe H. said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                Excellent Article. Thank you Mark. I'm a residential Solar Edge user and I have 33 Suniva 280W panels on the roof, two streams (18+15). Solar Edge Se7600 . After 18 months one Optimizer died taking with it half of a stream. And just last August (33 months after installation) another optimizer kicked the bucket taking the entire stream with it. As you highlighted very well, the Installer gave us very basic access to the monitoring system but also took more than 25 days to inform us that our system had a failure. So, two problems: bad equipment and bad monitoring. I love the concept of optimizers, but I have to admit that I have been extremely disappointed by the implementation.

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                                                                                                Guus Lambalk said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                The main reason I don not like use SolarEdge is that the optimizers don not work without a SolarEdge inverter. Without a SolarEdge inverter your complete system is worthless. From a business point of few I realy do not understand the risk thats been taken to rely on one inverter company.

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                                                                                                leon said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                hi Mark yes neither had we and we had already pulled out the p700 and replaced and solaredge happy to pay the standard $150 for our efforts but said in future call them first before replacing to see if they can wake up?

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                                                                                                Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                Interesting Leon. I hadn't heard of that.

                                                                                                  Leon said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                  have completed a 25kW install with p700s and had one faulty optimiser mick. friend did a 40kW system and had also a faulty p700. solaredge are saying to call them before pulling out and replacing as optimisers get "sleepy" and they can tweak them remotely and sometimes wake them up. so to me at least in p700 case its a software problem?

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                                                                                                  Frank Cellini said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                  I believe SolarEdge are working on a S series optimiser... this could be a more reliable design? Maybe available later this year? I have 10 SunPower 318W panels in place and I am waiting for the new optimiser to fit on these panels and then get a HD Wave inverter installed with LG Chem battery. There is a setup that allows use of your own battery if the grid power drops out OR where you can't use your own battery power. I don't know how the first setup works but clearly you have to disconnect from grid in case you send mains voltage 240VAC up the grid and possibly electrocute someone.

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                                                                                                  Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                  Hi Tim, Interesting. When I was in Israel, I spoke to one of the SE founders about it, and he explained why they left Sunspec. You'll note that in my updated post, I have confirmed they have left Sunspec.

                                                                                                    Richard Henderson said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                    G'day Mark, Good to see someone is telling the truth about solaredge. I have about 30 sites installed and started from when they first came into Australia in 2012. I have about 50 cases with failures most of these are with one or more optimizers failed. If an inverter fails its like pulling teeth to get Solaredge to admit there is a fault and get a replacement inverter in a reasonable time. I was sucked in with the Solaredge marketing of increased performance. But it reality the opt can still only perform with bypass doides conducting or not with wafer shade. The same as with a string inverter. They gain some increased eff with panel miss-match, but not with wafer shading. A good string inverter with good mpp tracking operates the same way, if a bypass diode conducts there is no energy from that string of wafers. Solaredge support is hopeless, I am always having to lead them through the fault to prove it is an issue with their equipment. I have still never had a problem with a panel, it has always been a fault with Solaredge gear. I was using Solaredge almost exclusively, but not anymore, the frustration of dealing with support staff who know nothing, the amount of time spent on emails and raising cases and going to site to check things that to me are obviously a solaredge problem has cost far more that any margin I made on their gear. I just use Fronius now, fantastic product and support. As an example of Solaredge crap support: I have a customer with a 6kw inverter that was faulting out through the day. The monitoring portal showed it slowly failing over several days due to a mains over voltage alarm. ( I have other inverters on the same site and they were fine and the customer was reading the inverter display which showed mains volatge at 246 volts so not a valid fault).The inverter was still working for maybe an hour a day. I contacted solaredge and raised the case. The tech's first response was to update the firmware ( as this is their first response to any inverter fault, does this mean their firm ware is easily corrupted?) The firmware update resulted in total failure of the inverter, it wouldn't even startup at all. The tech support then said to go on site and megger the mains cables, this makes no sense at all as a low insulation on the mains would give a low voltage not a high voltage. This customer is on a high feedin tarrif not that Solaredge care. I chased Solaredge every week for some action and after 5 weeks they finally came back with the digital board needs to be changed as there is a compatablity problem with a display board that was replaced 2 years earlier ( had no problems for those 2 years). So they sent a new board to be fitted. I replaced the dig board and the inverter still didn't even start up. Solaredge then said they will have to find another solution. The customer by this stage is furious with them and was calling them himself, the support tech then told the customer that I had installed the board incorrectly which is not the case at all. ( Is this a case for libel against solaredge??) After another couple of weeks they finally sent up a new inverter, but not the type existing but the new HD wave type so heaps more work to fit that inverter for the same bargain price that Solaredge pay, they refused to pay for the trip to site for the boards swap. The customer was down about $600 income from the fault and the time it took them to fix it. So what I have learned over the years of dealing with them is : they don't keep any warranty stock, everything is supposed to be back compatible but that is rubbish. They don't know what versions of boards are in what inverters, if there is a board problem they always want a photo of the board, even the board serial numbers and version numbers don't seem to be enough. They do remote updates on the firmware with no notification, I have many inverters now with totaly different setups to what was installed, the -0.9 power factor has gone back to unity, the inverter size has been changed for example a 4kw inverter now has 5.2 showing on the display, others just have a mess of ascii letters. As you state the alerts don't work, you always have to check the layout of every site for optimizer problems. There is way more I could go on about but I have to go and do some work. Regards, Richard.

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                                                                                                    Tim said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                    Hi Mark - Very interesting read. Thanks for sharing. I'm on the point of investing a lump of cash in a panel (storage?) system in the UK. SolarEdge ticks a number of the boxes I'm looking for, especially the small size of the inverter. With an eye on the future I'm particularly concerned about the lack of interoperability. You mentioned SolarEdge have withdrawn from the Sunspec alliance but when I go to their website and view their contributing members list they show up https://sunspec.org/portfolio-type/contributing-members/. What's your source for this statement ?

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                                                                                                    John said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                    Thanks Mark for a fascinating read. Very glad I recently chose a Fronius polystring installation over SolarEdge optimizers (to handle our 3-orientations with limited roof space) - which I did mainly because putting lots of complex electronics in a harsh, remote location (second story roof) just didn't seem wise. Dodged a bullet perhaps!

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                                                                                                    menno said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                    I had the same issue with one string losing almost all power in the afternoon. my panels are place in a vary sub optimal placement but with a bigger system i can still generate enough to make it worth while. i had to combine the two stings into one to get them all to work the whole day. Thanks to this blog i understand the issue. I am adding three more panels and will connect them to the sting that cuts out and see if this way i can have two stings working and maintaining a high enough voltage. thanks. overall I am happy with the system also because i need to control the panels induvidually because of shading. I am In Amsterdam the Netherlands. I also had a DOA P300 optimizer. 1 out of 30 but had to get back on the roof and move some panels to replace it. SolarEdge then told me I had to connect it so they could see it is faulty before i could send it back. this 40 euro was not worth for me to get on the roof again.

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                                                                                                    Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                    Hey Ethan, Enphase is the goods - really reliable. The problem with Enphase for us is Energex regulations and the future prospect of a battery. We are limited to a total inverter capacity of 10Kw, this includes an AC coupled battery. If in the future we want to install a decent size AC coupled battery, we would install a Tesla with a 5kW internal inverter. Then we can install a maximum 5kW of Enphase micro inverters, and oversized panels to a total of 6.6kW if we choose the right panel. 6.6kW of panels is not enough on a 5kW battery. A string inverter, on the other hand, can be oversized retrospectively, and with split orientations, it can work with that oversize much better. That's probably a bit confusing - it's a future blog in one paragraph!

                                                                                                      Ethan said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                      Thanks for blogging. Very informative! Curious why the new Enphase IQ series or AC modules would not be the ticket to avoid Solaredge issues all together. Looking at the whole package with envoy and their software, as I look to add solar it just appears to be the premium package. My thought it keeping this for 10+ years even if its 5% more, over time thats miniscule. Would think that would be true for most but I don't know the market from an installer point of view.

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                                                                                                      Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                      Hi Leon. First, if you are limited by space you would want to go a more efficient panel (or a higher wattage panel that is the same size). I recommend SunPower E series 327w panels, but you could go a bit cheaper and get the soon to be released SunPower p series 320W, or more expensive and go with SunPower 360W panels. We almost always recommend Fronius inverters (I've recently blogged on Fronius) and if you have shade issues, you could use Tigo instead of SolarEdge. But a lot depends on the exact roof layout. If you would like a quote, hit the "get a quote" button top right of this page (or just reply to this).

                                                                                                        Leon Balym said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                        Hi Mark I live on the Gold Coast and considering installing solar Power however due to the roof design I am restricted to approx 14 panels. What sort of system would you recommend?

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                                                                                                        Rod Grono said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                        I have also had 8 optimised fail out of about 10 systems. It is a worry

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                                                                                                        Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                        Thanks for the update. The "SJ5117" makes it week December 2017 manufacture, so it is a "Gen 4". Hopefully, it's a once off! (see the amended blog, I am told Gen 4 was never sold or marketed)

                                                                                                          Margot Kiesskalt said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                          Hi Mark. An update on my situation. This week, the installer came out, went onto the roof and concluded yesterday that there was only ever one faulty optimiser. He advised that, when the panels were "flipped the serials didn't adjust". I presume this explanation refers to configuration in the monitoring portal which supports the panel schematic. Until yesterday, the monitoring portal showed an alert and 0 kWh generation for the impacted panel. Yesterday, it showed output from every panel, with the overall system production for the day being reported as 23 kWh. Incidentally, when the 2nd fault originally manifested, I checked the Modbus E-meter (behind-the-meter) export figures against the electricity distributor's meter export figures and they tallied. The installer sent me a photo of the first - and only, as it transpired - failed optimiser and the serial number is: SJ5117A-011285650-DF, part number: P370-5RM4MRM MM25 A. According to a site commissioning report that I ran this morning, there are 14 x P370-5RM4MRM-MM23 and 2 x P370-5RM4MRM-MM26 optimizers on the roof currently. So, based on the information I've been given, the optimiser attrition rate so far is 1 in 16. It was not an optimal customer experience but better than a poke in the eye! Regards, Margot

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                                                                                                          Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                          Ok, my misunderstanding Benn, I thought you were suggesting a string of 6. The problem is we can't mix p404's with 500's or 370's. So it's a $60 fix but you have a valid point. Confirmed, Kranich has some but don't move many at all. So yeh, wholesalers should stock up and we should all more often use 404's for $5 more.

                                                                                                            Benn Masters said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                            I haven't misunderstood the problem at all Mark - I was simply suggesting that the way you fix the problem you have outlined in your blog is to spend $30 on P404 optimizers and fit them to the 6 panels you have facing west (there was no mention of shade in your example, you specifically said they are in full sun). Give Krannich a call if you or anyone needs P404's - I just called them and they have plenty in stock.

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                                                                                                            Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                            Hi Benn, I think you have misunderstood the issue. If you are thinking of installing as per the spec with 6 panels in the string, then you are back at square 1. You will likely have blocking if you have shading or split orientations, even in a string of 9 with p404 optimisers. I suggested P505 because of availability, not panel choice. We called around suppliers and most of them have never supplied the p404, and the main one now says they only stock and sell limited P505's. But if we can get in the 404 for an extra $5, that would be the way to go for sure. No, it's not a big problem at all, as long as installers are using the correct optimiser, which it seems they generally are not.

                                                                                                              Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                              Hi Matt Vella. Thanks. If in 12 months you haven't had many failures, I'm not totally surprised. The majority of failures for us started happening after 12 months and closer to the 20 months. Hopefully, for you and the industry, SolarEdge has solved the issues with Gen 4. I'm just saying I'd be cautious for the next 12 months. Remeber we hold a 25-year warranty on these optimisers. I could summarise like this: 1) Be very careful with SolarEdge design, 2) Do the right thing and give your customers full access, 3) Hopefully, Gen 4 [EDIT THERE IS NO GEN ] has solved the issue and they will last 25 years, but I'm not confident.

                                                                                                                Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                Thanks Jim. Yeh, I like Enphase and it had a great track record for reliability. We use it sometimes. The only issue is with our regulations. 1- We can only install a maximum of 10kW on 1 phase and are export limited to 5kW. 2- We can only oversize and an inverter by 33% of it's nominal UNLESS we have a battery. ... So we can only install 5kw of micro's, maybe 6kW of panels, and a 5kW AC Tesla battery. In that case, we don't have enough PV to charge the battery. If we did a 5kW string inverter with a Tesla battery, we can oversize the PV (say 9kW) and still have a 5kW battery.

                                                                                                                  Jim Jenal said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                  Hi Mark - greetings from sunny Southern California. This is a great post, well thought out, researched, and written. My company, Run on Sun, has been installing Enphase exclusively since 2009. (We used SMA before that.) We have never installed SE, largely because of the single point of failure back on the ground. I was not aware of the voltage "blocking" issue, but that is even more of a reason to avoid SE. You mentioned that you preferred Tigo to Enphase and I'm curious as to why. (Tigo has pretty much zero traction here.) Our failure rate with Enphase is very low - but we started with the M210 and never installed the more problematic M190s. In any event, as one solar blogger to another, keep up the good work! Best regards... Jim Jenal, Founder & CEO, Run on Sun

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                                                                                                                  Benn Masterrs said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                  With regards to "blocking", one of our engineers pointed out that you are using the P505 optimizer when the P404 might suffice. The P404 optimizer is the one to use when you have 6 panels in a string, not sure why you are using the P505? Perhaps this problem is isolated to SunPower panels only? The P404 is about $5 more expensive that the P370. $30 and some upfront design, avoids the blocking issue entirely in the scenario you put forward for nearly all the panel brands on the market - hardly a big problem is it?

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                                                                                                                  Benn said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                  Hi MC, We have installed over 20,000 optimizers across 1100 systems and our failure rate is considerably lower than the rate you report (about 5 times less). I'm going to collate some data from the various SolarEdge installers I know out there, much like you are doing for your Tigo review, as I think it's only fair to get a bigger and more diverse sample set before drawing such strong conclusions. On the occasion we do get failures SolarEdge have been very quick to respond and in most cases we have the issues fixed in 72 hours. This is rare for a manufacturer and I'm often inclined to judge a company on its support than any other measure, as thats what impacts our ability to solve problems for our customers when they occur. We allow all our customers to have access to the panel level info and audit out systems regularly to make sure we are on top of any issues before our customers are - this is good practice no matter what inverter you use. To suggest the only reason there aren't more failures is because installers aren't monitoring their customers systems is drawing a very long bow. Your missed one very important advantage of the SolarEdge inverters over their competitors and that is how easy and cost-effective it is to add a battery at a later date. While I hate the term battery ready, a SolarEdge inverter is about as close as you can get with only the StorEdge interface (about $550 retail) required to get you up and running with an LG Chem. All the other leading brands require you to either buy a hybrid inverter upfront (waste of money) or add another inverter later that will cost you north of $2k. SolarEdge's ambition to become a one-stop-shop is a good thing and something to be applauded. The sooner the day comes that people have one brand to get their head around and all the various components talk to each other seamlessly, the better. Tesla, LG, Trina, Fronius, SMA are all diversifying and its imperative that SolarEdge diversifies also. Just making a good string inverter won't cut it in a few years time, manufacturers need to be taking their suite of products to the next level to remain competitive.

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                                                                                                                  Matt Vella (MPV Solar, Sydney) said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                  We started installing SolarEdge systems in the Sydney Metro area in March 2017, and since then have just clocked up 98 systems. We chose to go with SolarEdge for their product capabilities, tech support and warranties as we had previously had poor experiences with other hybrid inverters. One brand in particular, where we only installed seven units and have had nothing but trouble with callbacks ever since. I can only speak for our company's experience with SolarEdge and say that it has been outstanding. Your blog prompted us to individually system check all our 98 systems, and the result is as follows; Optimisers - Total number installed, 1743 We currently only have two optimisers that appear to have a problem and have lodged cases with SolarEdge. If these two are determined to be faulty, this will equate to a 0.11% failure rate, which we would happily take, every day of the week. Of the 98 inverters, we have only had one with hardware failure. It was shipped from Melbourne, by SolarEdge the following day and we had it replaced on site within two days. Overall, we and our clients couldn't be more pleased with our decision to focus on offering SolarEdge, with LG modules and batteries.

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                                                                                                                  Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                  Hi Jerry, Thanks for sharing! About the labour cost, it would say you shouldn't have to pay a penny. But that's Australian Consumer Law. You can still tell if there is a significant issue with a string system. The SunnyBoy inverter we have today will send you an email alert in a major failure. Most string inverters today are connected to the internet and allow you to check if production has dropped over time. You can easily hone in on string voltages to pick up small issues if you know how to. As a concept, SolarEdge is much better and gives you more detail. Just in many people's experience, there have been issues.

                                                                                                                    Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                    Wow Margot. That's not good at all. I'm trying to hold on to hope that the issues were solved with Gen 4 optimisers (manufactured since February 2017). There is also a theory that failures rates are higher in hotter climates. (That wouldn't help SolarEdges case, because it would just mean a delay in inevitable failure. I.e. failures in 5 to 10 years instead of our common 10 to 20 months). When they change the second optimiser over, are you able to take down the serial number of the optimiser? I would bet it would be Gen 4, but it would be interesting to confirm.

                                                                                                                      Jerrytaff said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                      Hi, I originally had a Sunny Boy string inverter for my east facing panels which were installed in 2010. A chimney shadow passes across the panels early in the day and they are not in direct sunlight in the afternoon. Also there was one occasion when the inverter tripped, and I did not notice until I went to take a meter reading 3 weeks or so later. I "upgraded" to Solar edge almost 2 years ago thinking that it would reduce the losses due to the shadowing, but was more interested in the peace of mind that the monitoring provides. However, if anything, generation has been reduced - it seems to tail off more rapidly in low light, and I generate less in the winter months. Now one of the optimisers appears to have failed - it appears that it has been failing since April, but the earlier alerts are all labelled as "resolved". My installer is waiting for solar edge to confirm that it is the optimiser that has failed. He says that when it is confirmed, that they will only pay for part of the cost of labour and scaffolding and I will have to pay the rest. I wasn't sure from the blog whether the labour costs should be covered or not by SolarEdge. Could you clarify please? I'm in England btw. From my experience I would recommend thinking long and hard about going for anything other than a string inverter on a new install, - especially if the panels are on the roof of a a 2 (or more) storey building. If the inverter fails, then the cost of the replacement component might be high, but the labour costs will be low - It is a simple job to replace and its under the roof. Trade that with the high likelihood that over the guaranteed lifetime of the solar edge optimisers you are highly to incur the costs of working on the roof several times, and you still have the possibility that the inverter will fail. The only advantage with Solar Edge is that at least you know before you start where the fault lies, and if an optimiser fails at least the rest of the panels will still be generating. That is not the case with a string if a panel or its wiring fails. So, I'd be interested to know whether anyone has any stats on those types of failure - especially with older installations. I imagine that they will be fairly rare but would like to be proved wrong.

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                                                                                                                      Margot Kiesskalt said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                      I am a customer located in Frankston, Victoria, Australia. My system with SolarEdge HD Wave inverter and (according to the invoice) 16 SolarEdge SE P370 optimisers was installed on May 29, 2018. The first optimiser failed on June 16, 2018. It was replaced on July 3, 2018 and the second optimiser (not the replacement component but an opti on another panel) failed on July 4, 2018. The 2nd is yet to be replaced so the system for which I paid an absolute premium in the expectation of high quality has had one panel down continuously for six weeks so far. Not happy! Thanks for your edifying blog - it's very considered, detailed and filled with useful information.

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                                                                                                                      Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                      Thanks for your feedback Leon. Always good to hear both sides.

                                                                                                                        Peter Bell said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                        Performed my first SE installation last week. Finally finished it. Started asking around.....spoke to a colleague who worked with this product until the high failure rate of optimisers sent company under. If it isn't tried and tested and still alive after 5 yrs in Queensland, stay away from it is my advice and the advice pasted on to me from the solar oldies I know and respect.

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                                                                                                                        Leon said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                        Hi Mc we have had a lot of success with solaredge and they are our favourite inverter. We do use p500 optimisers on Resi and also think that a minimum of 10-12 on a string helps to minimise any V issues you highlight this is where we err from solaredge design rules. Besides that we adhere strictly to guidelines and find most outperform our second favourite inverters (fronius). We also give our customers full access (not admin) and don't do installs without the modbus Meter(s). Check out our Twitter page for some of our designs if you are interested. We are about to do our first commercial se install next week so will let you know how it goes. We also find se have amazing support at all levels. Hope this helps. Best wishes.

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                                                                                                                        Terry Wilson said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                        John SMART ENERGY SA - Corporate BS answer which further proves his point, shy away from SolarEdge!

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                                                                                                                        Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                        Hi Daniel (VP Solaredge, Japan & Australia). As you know I gave SolarEdge 4 days to give feedback on this blog before posting. I asked three times for corrections or additions. All I got was legal threats. I still have not had a call or an email explaining where I may be inaccurate, except vague email comments. I find that disappointing. Do you have anything specific? You no doubt would have seen the reaction from installers on the closed Facebook page. I think you should agree I have had overwhelming industry support. I can post those comments if I get permission.

                                                                                                                          Tim said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                          I would suggest switching to Enphase micro inverters.....they almost never fail!

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                                                                                                                          Daniel said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                          I believe this blog has many inaccuracies and is showing a warped picture of reality. Me and the rest of the SolarEdge Australia team will be happy to discuss with anyone points raised here and comment. Please contact us

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                                                                                                                          Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                            Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                            Thanks, Steve. If you subscribe to the blog (a popup window should come up as you scroll) then I'll keep you updated. I'm working on a Tigo blog at the moment.

                                                                                                                              Hans Leijsen - LTS Solar said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                              This is completely consistent with our experience. Thanks for sharing this information. There are actually five reasons for SolarEdge panel monitoring. In my opinion the most important is: 1) Identifying and locate the defect optimiser.

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                                                                                                                              stuart watson said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                              Mark , Thanks for another in depth and honest review I will forward the article to the SEIA members for comment. We have installed now about 250kw of enphase with zero failure excepting 1 device we cooked with 415 volts .

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                                                                                                                              Jeremy said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                              Great work MC. Saw this post on the Quality Solar Facebook group. As in investor in Solaredge this is a bit concerning. I would hope this is just a slight oversight and isn't indicative of their global reputation. Regardless, it would be good to hear a follow-up post for the next generation of optimisers.

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                                                                                                                              Steve said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                              Excellent article and thank you so much for sharing your findings. We have had our sights in solaredge, only reason we haven’t proceeded since getting quotes of your guys is we brought a rental property, so we have been madly saving our penny’s again. Please keeps us informed on any future updates.

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                                                                                                                              REEDAS said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                              Hi Mark, really appreciate all the hard work you put in to give us the facts, as the real world situation has exhibited. Thanks also for being ethical and honest enough to stick your neck out and tell it like it is. Appreciate all your blogs and the time you put in to provide your experiences and passion for the industry. Having installed as many SE systems as you have, I wouldn't be wrong to suggest that you still believe that they are a good system, but like all technologies, they behave differently under different circumstances and you can't, unfortunately, bet your house on the "marketing" blurb.

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                                                                                                                              Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                              Ha, thanks, Pete. Would love to, but carrying those panels on a plane is a bit of a pain :)

                                                                                                                                Peter T said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                Thanks Mark … another no BS / fair dinkum article, which is greatly appreciated! I wish you and your team installed into the ACT/Canberra area because I would have you installing at my place in a heart beat. Maybe that's not out of the question if you and the boys wanted to take the opportunity and go to the snow whilst you were down here. It's only a couple of hours away. In any case, thanks again. Cheers Peter.

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                                                                                                                                Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                Hi Jack. For me they have. In saying that we haven't invoiced for our work yet. Some guys have contacted me since I posted this saying they have had significant issues with claiming warranties.

                                                                                                                                  Jack Castiglione said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                  Has SolarEdge honored their warranty on all the failures?

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                                                                                                                                  Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                  Hey John. Thanks. I probably should add in the number of optimisers we have installed. We have done about 2850 optimisers. If a string inverter has a 1 per cent failure rate, that's fine. I return to 1 job. If a SolarEdge optimiser has a 1 per cent failure rate, I return to 22 jobs (or 22 visits). Solaredge are well aware that optimisers have to have a much much better reliability than a string inverter does. The other point was that we might not know if it has failed. By the way, I like Gavin, the Australia General Manager. It's nothing personal.

                                                                                                                                    Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                    Hi James, we are advising our pending installs that we have concerns. We've stopped recommending them for the last 6 months or so. Some people still want them and I don't mind as long as they are aware of potential issues.

                                                                                                                                      Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                      Hi Garry. A little bit of blocking isn't the worst thing in the world. I'd ask him to use p505 optimisers (pay the extra $15 per optimiser or so) and have a string of 12 minimum and production should be fine. But if you go ahead with it, make sure you get access to full monitoring and have a look every now and then at the individual panel production. My preference would be Tigo over Enphase, but that's a whole other blog!

                                                                                                                                        Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                        Hi Frank, Thanks. Yeh, we use P500 for Sunpower 96 cell. We use P370's (p300's in the past) for 60 cell. The majority of our installs were 60 cell, but the example I used was Sunpower and P500. It makes no difference for the blocking effect.

                                                                                                                                          Mark C said : administrator Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                          Hi Matt, I opened one but its hard to get to with the potting.

                                                                                                                                            James said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                            So $64,000 question are you still selling and installing their products? Ask the man that bought one in May.

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                                                                                                                                            Tony said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                            This is completely consistent with our own experience. We don’t have a single site without at least one failure. We were told it was an aberration and was all in a single production batch. Further, as Mark says, the alert system does not report failed individual optimisers. These can only be found manually.

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                                                                                                                                            Cameron Quin said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                            It really is fantastic to see someone not only testing everything they are recommending to customers, but then passionately educating the industry (and clients) and sharing the information for all. Massive kudos Mark

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                                                                                                                                            Matt said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                            Thanks Mark for the in-depth review. I really appreciate your up-front honesty in these blog posts, even though they have threatened legal action. I am now at ease with my Fronius system, the small gain to have by the optimiser is over-shadowed (pun intended) by the potential for failure, and then in the end your no better off. It would be nice if you opened up one of the failed optimiser and looked at what component is actually dying, is it a capacitor or is it the logic board chip or something else?

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                                                                                                                                            Garry said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                            I just ordered a SolarEdge system. Failure rates have me worried. Regarding the ‘Production Loss and Blocking’ example. In my investigations I came across a similar situation. SolarEdge suggested solution was to balance the strings. In your example: 2 x 7N + 3W strings which would lift the voltage on the original 4N + 6W string. I’d be interested to know if this would solve the issue. In the mean time I’ll discuss with my installer. Maybe it’s not too late to switch to Enphase... BTW: Thanks for these great blog posts. Fantastic stuff!

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                                                                                                                                            Rufaro said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                            Come to South Africa, you will love installing Solar PV and Solar Edge. I guess we are the only ones getting the best service ?

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                                                                                                                                            John SMART ENERGY SA said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                            Hi Mark, I am reading this from Cape Town South Africa from a company called Smart Energy SA. Incidentally this article was forwarded to me by our ABB inverter supplier rep. And I normally don’t read such long blogs, but due to the number the number of Solaredge sites we have and focus we put on marketing Solaredge I had. I know you might not approve my comments but Man I find that your analysis of Solaredge technology absolutely biased and like you have a grudge toward Solaredge. The report is present as facts and scientific but reading it they is no basis or sciefic evidence that Solaredge is bad. You give failure rate of 24 optimizer on 130 sites but carefully omits a very important number ( how many optimizes ? ) have you looked at the environmental factors? We have over 3000 optimizers installed and accredited advanced Solaredge installers - but in the same light - traditionally with SMA AND FRONIUS you have 3 electronic components ( with processor power ) inverter, meter and data logger ) installed and you comparing with a Solaredge site that you have 23 electronic devices ( with processor power ) per site on average residential - so by default and rule of thump you will have more failure rate with Solaredge it’s a fact ???‍♂️ I mean logic. The capacitor Issue is also a non starter and non issue - who cares about capacitors ??‍♂️ We need smaller lighter devices with longer warranties and innovation. About your ugly Ausie DC isolator - it’s a legacy of Australia copying anything American from Dollar to accent. Lobby your governs t and teach them that doesn’t matter whether a DC switch is integrated or added on string does same job. What do you say about SMA copying Solaredge with. “Tigo”? I like Solaredge’s audacity to deal with traditional Solar head on and refuse to join the cartel. We still install SMA, Victron, ABB, Stecca, Solis, Goodwee, and above all Solaredge. Every inverter has its own site and customer and please let’s not crush innovation - Solaredge guys are good and we get great support from them. I wish Solaredge Ausie can look at their quality control and may be fire the country manager??‍♂️ We get best service here from CARLOS and his team. Thanks Mate. Regards from the Springbok country

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                                                                                                                                            Frank M. said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                            Thank you for a well-documented article and for sharing. I'm in California and we installed a lot of them and we had a small failure rate. I was checking the Australia market and looks like P500 is for 96 cells modules, you mention you installed Canadian/Jinko 265 W, for my understanding those are 60 cells modules, maybe you're talking about a different system. We have a couple of system like yours with modules in strings with a different orientation, I will pay attention to see if our systems will have the same issues as yours.

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                                                                                                                                            Jeff said : Guest Report one year ago

                                                                                                                                            At the end of the day, sticking electrical devices on a roof in the Australian climate is just a terrible idea. Of course you'll get failures. These products may suit the European climate, but are they really suited to Australia?

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