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Issues with Solar PV install

  • 30-11-2021 3:49pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,540 ✭✭✭ tnegun


    I had a 4kWp system installed at the beginning of November split across two roofs. 2.8kWp on the southeast aspect and the 1.2kWp on the southwest aspect. The install was completed but I noticed I only had one string/feed and got on to the company. They apologised and sent the roofer to sort it and a few other snags with the panel install. Fair enough no arguing but I was a bit let down that if I hadn't noticed or had limited knowledge it would have been left as was. Now the sparks just called to arrange to reconnect both strings and I asked about a second DC switch and fireman switch for the second string and he said he wouldn't need it that he would join them prior to entering those and use a single feed to the inverter. Doesn't this just cause the same issue as having all the panels on a single string or if connected in parallel two unmatched stings are being joined together? I'm going to get back on to the supplier to make sure it's done right but want to be armed with facts before I do.

    Thanks in advance!



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,621 ✭✭✭ bullit_dodger


    Hard to say for sure without seeing it. Take a picture of your inverter panel and switches. You probably do have 2xDC PV switches already and an AC isolator switch too (it's typically red colored). If you have a battery, you probably additionally have a battery circuit breaker as well, so 4 switches in total. And then of course the fireman switch which as I recall has to be within 1.5 meters of where the wires enter your roof.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,540 ✭✭✭ tnegun


    I'll grab a picture, no battery and only one black DC switch and one AC isolator. I queried specifically would more wiring and a second DC switch be needed but the sparks seemed happy he could do it at or before the fireman switch. Is the fireman switch the Givenergy PV Protect?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,971 ✭✭✭ graememk


    The DC isolators are usually 4 pole so it can switch the 2 strings.


    The same for the fireman switch, they are usually 4 pole too.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,621 ✭✭✭ bullit_dodger




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,540 ✭✭✭ tnegun


    Pics attached, am I right in thinking that the Givenergy switch is the fireman. Thanks bulit_dodger & graememk. Sounds like it should be ok with the existing hardware and some minimal extra wiring runs?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,971 ✭✭✭ graememk


    Yeah there should be another 2 plugs on the givenergy box and another 2 on the solis box (beside the black wires on the left for your second string)

    Shocking that the second string was never connected though.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,540 ✭✭✭ tnegun


    There was only one string as all the panels had been wired together into a single string. The roofers actually tried to tell me that wasn't an issue when they came back to resolve it despite them facing in different directions so that has me double checking everything now.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,540 ✭✭✭ tnegun


    Still waiting here for the electrician to come back and reconnect the strings, I got on the roof today and there's now a cracked tile right at support for one panel and some of the end stops for the mounting rails are smashed/cracked. Do I give them another chance to make this right or how would you proceed? I'm thinking of asking for a different roofing crew to come back and make this right?



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,097 ✭✭✭ freddyuk


    If the Solis is single tracker then you may as well join the strings however with two different arrays you need two trackers to allow the MPPT to be found for each string. Without the twin DC inputs for each string a) it is a single tracker and b) you will not get the most efficient power generation.

    All cables should be clipped and not left waving around the attic.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,540 ✭✭✭ tnegun


    The inverter has 2 inputs and both are connected now, the wiring has been tidied up from what I can see and the tile repaired with flashing tape/band. I need to get up on the roof this weekend to investigate as they're looking for the balance of the invoice. I paid most as they need but held back €500 until I get to inspect for myself and have the BER and other documents.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 14 ticktock


    As part of Seai Grant approval and payment the installer is supposed to supply you with your warranty certs , Ber and all other paperwork. Also the earth on the Givenergy box under a woodscrew is not good enough this needs to be rectified . 👍️



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,412 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    Installer has no obligation relating to BER cert



  • Registered Users Posts: 666 ✭✭✭ buzz11


    If your tiles are not interlocking then it would be easy to slide out the broken one and replace it -- they should do that.

    But if they are interlocking then that's another storey because its possible that a whole row needs to be lifted and possibly up to the ridge - in order to replace 1 tile so the logic would be that mastic and repair tape is sufficient repair. So a lot depends on your situation.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,540 ✭✭✭ tnegun


    They do if it's included in their price!

    They've said the paperwork will follow once the BER is done and issued, I'll check that earth screw now can I refer them to anything to show it's not suitable?

    Yeah, the tiles are interlocking the issue I suspect was that this tile is half under a panel and inclose proximity to a roof hook so it would have taken a while to replace which I why I suspect they said nothing when it was broken hoping it would go unnoticed.



  • Registered Users Posts: 666 ✭✭✭ buzz11


    I've re-read your post and see that they'd left the broken tile 'unfixed' and only patched it when you spotted it - thats p***poor, theres sloppy work and then theres not giving a damn and leaving a roof damaged for someone to sort in the future. There could be other broken tiles under the panels, depending on the layout you may be able to visually check them all.



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