Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Solar Panels Tripping Out Inverter

Over the last few weeks we've found that the inverter for our solar panels has been tripping out meaning that the solar panels no longer were generating electricity.

I had an electrician round at the weekend to investigate and was massively glad I did. When he opened the fuse box to check the wiring he found this!
Solar Panels Tripping Out Inverter
Solar Panels Tripping Out Inverter

It appears that the wires weren't fully tightened so we arcing and ended up melting the live and neutral wires together. Fortunately it's happened in winter, in summer with 3kW feeding through it may have been a far worse outcome and ended without the house.

Fortunately the solar panels are now working fine and have been stable with no trip out since the work was done.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Solar Panels Inverter tripping RCD

Frustratingly I found out at the end of the month that our solar panels/inverter had tripped out the RCD in the consumer unit for the panels so had lost a few days electricity generation in January.

It appears that something between the consumer unit and the inverter is tripping out the RCD which in turn then switches off the inverter for safety as it detects no grid voltage. After it repeatedly tripping out again over the next couple of days it's now remained on for 2 days. 

Electrician is booked for Saturday so hopefully we'll get a solution. I'm just fortunate that it's happened in Jan/Feb rather than the peak summer months when it would be costing vastly more in terms of lost FIT income.

Solar Panels Inverter tripping RCD
Solar Panels Inverter tripping RCD

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Cloudy December gives Poor Solar Generation

With the full data set now loaded it's clear why December 2015 was so bad for solar panels.

The number of days below 2kWh generated was 23, compared to around 14 for previous years. In addition the maximum peak output was only 7.6kW compared to over 9kW previously.

Hopefully this won't be the pattern set by global warming with warmer, wetter, cloudier winters that hit solar panel generation, although the winter numbers are small so it would be far more drastic if the summers became cloudier!

December 2015 compared to previous years - almost half the electricity generated compared to 2014!

MonthEarliest Start TimeLatest End TimeMax Peak Output kWTotal Monthly OutputTotal Generation Time (hours)Min Daily Generation kWhMax Daily Generation kWh
12/2015 08:0015:451.95668.3512050.3817.61
12/2014 08:0515:552.124123.872080.0778.837
12/2013 08:1015:502.412100.5462040.1459.015
12/2012 08:0515:451.99290.8642010.2378.324
12/2011 08:0015:552.136103.372120.3598.542

Friday, 8 January 2016

Rainy December & November 2015 Reduces Solar Panel Output

The final months of 2015 have been exceptionally poor for our solar panels with both November and December 2015 recording the worst generation figures in the whole 4 years since our panels were installed.

The wet cloudy weather that caused severe flooding across the UK also mean that the sun was rarely seen and very little electricity was generated giving only 81kWh for November and a paltry 69kWh for December compared to previous historical lows of 112kWh for November and 91kWh for December.

The full comparison is available on the site

November compared to previous years
MonthEarliest Start TimeLatest End TimeMax Peak Output kWTotal Monthly OutputTotal Generation Time (hours)Min Daily Generation kWhMax Daily Generation kWh
11/2015 07:2016:052.30481.3412310.697.004
11/2014 07:1016:202.460112.4112240.08810.07
11/2013 07:2016:202.640126.8152310.25611.073
11/2012 07:1516:202.580150.3732330.46910.988
11/2011 07:1515:502.11251.508880.9798.176

Rainy December November 2015 reduces Solar Panel Output
Rainy December November 2015 reduces Solar Panel Output

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Solar PV Data View on Phone

Since we got our panels in 2011 I've been looking for a way to be able to monitor them easily using a mobile phone. Initially I had an iPhone which appeared to be very limited in the way that it could use Bluetooth to communicate.

I now have a Google Nexus Android phone and finally have found an app that allows me to view Solar PV data on my phone. The Oxley Solar app is a great way to be able to view your solar panel performance data on your phone and check how they are generating. The only thing the app can't do is to export data but that's not a major problem.

If you have a solar panel inverter with Bluetooth such as the Sunny Boy range then give the app a go if you want to view the data more easily than using a PC.


Monday, 30 November 2015

Poor November for Solar Power UK

November 2015 has been the worst month for solar power generation since we got our panels installed in 2011 with a paltry total of under 90kWh.

However the year as a whole is still going well with over 3100kWh generated from January to November 2015. With a reasonable December we should still hit over 3200 kWh for the year.

Fortunately we don't have the shading issues experienced by the solar panels below which probably generated virtually nothing over the month.