EEVblog #1217 – My Home Solar Power System FAILED!


After 6 years my home solar power installation failed!
But *what* component failed? let’s find out..

FYI: The isolator is a Bendict LS25 PFLH4

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Solar Analytics monitoring system:


#SolarPower #FAIL

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30 replies
  1. Magnus Brynhagen
    Magnus Brynhagen says:

    I'm no expert in solar panels but, they produce electricity instantly when light hits them and the are no way to turn that process off. If You need to service or replace one panel, its a good thing if You could break connection to the other panels, else I guess You have to cover them all some how to block the light or do the work at night to avoid electrocution. For that reason, the individual service breakers is good/needed.

  2. HaydenHatTrick
    HaydenHatTrick says:

    The reason I know about for having an Isolation switch on the roof is apparently to help fire fighters disable the system before they fight a fire.
    They are instructed to not go on the roof or even fight a fire if the solar system is still active throughout the call.

  3. bkubicek
    bkubicek says:

    There was a discussion in Germany a few years ago, where one opinion was that these emergency switches might cause more fire hazard then they could do good in case of fire shutdown.

  4. movax20h
    movax20h says:

    High current DC switches and isolators are not easy to design. I always I am afraid they will fail.

    As of the box, well, it looks like a shitty material. Good quality box even plastic one should survive much longer than 6 years.

  5. Matt Elder
    Matt Elder says:

    The purpose of having dual isolator switches is for safety if someone is working on it. If you only have one switch, with no way to positively lock it out, and it isn't where you have control over it while working, then you run the risk of someone else accidentally turning it on while you are working on the equipment. That is (or SHOULD BE) standard procedure in any type of high voltage system like this.

  6. Nicola Lardo
    Nicola Lardo says:

    Who set up this FTV array? Putting an isolator DC switch out in the open without proper protection from elements with a plastic probably not even resistant to UAV rays means disaster

  7. Bob Lewis
    Bob Lewis says:

    WHAT kind of demented dufus brained drongo places an isolator switch on the OUTSIDE of the panel edge when there is space underneath that will provide that additional bit of weather protection? Besides which, even if an isolator is required up there and even IF it's IP 65 rated itself, it should STILL be fitted into a full IP 65, grounded, steel enclosure (with door and or window). A GOOD system would also have both input and output power visual indications to obviate the need to open up the contactor JUST to check!

    It's about time that the electrical industry globally woke up to the multitude of shortcomings they have in so many areas that should be blatantly obvious!

    BTW I bet that contactor housing was not made using UV rated fibreglass filled plastic, SURELY a MUST-HAVE in Oz. In the UK now they would not be allowed, it would HAVE to be a grounded steel enclosure.

  8. Liam
    Liam says:

    Built a rig (700 volt lab power supply, resistor and inductor, high-voltage and current probes) to test those switches once, most of them failed to meet their ratings. The roof-mounted switch used to be a requirement, as I understand it is no longer recommended.


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