Site Name

Ballarat Solar Farm

System Information

320.4 kW, 1780 Panels

Service Performed

Fault Finding and Reactive Maintenance

Description

Inconsistent operation and maintenance at this site caused several inverter errors. Multiple error codes relating to physical components in the inverter were noted and brought forward to SSG. A brief analysis of the situation revealed that more information was required to confirm the specific issue. As a result of this, a field technician and engineering team was sent to site to further investigate the error codes to gain a resolution.

Issues identified

During the fault-finding operation, it was observed that two specific central inverters were intermittently going into a state of error. Monitoring the status of each inverter over a measured period allowed the field technician to start isolating the issues causing the errors for each inverter. During the isolation process it was found that each inverter had a separate issue, thus requiring different methods of further troubleshooting. As a result, it was found that the system was outdated and required a product specialists assistance to help resolve the issues. For the first faulty inverter, it was quickly found that the cooling fan within the inverter were malfunctioning combined with a malfunctioning room air conditioning unit causing an overheating error within the inverter. The second faulty inverter showed several error codes intermittently, further testing revealed component level issues with varistors within the inverter.

How we fixed it

With the technical assistance of the overseas manufacturer, the field technician was able to apply a high level of product specific knowledge to gain a resolution. Swapping out interchangeable cooling fan units and clean of the air filters for the first inverter combined with performing a well needed aircon service, alleviated the overheating issues it was experiencing.

Solving the issues relating to the second inverter was conducted by a product specialist with the assistance of our field technician. To perform the repair works on the central inverter, the team were required to disassemble the inverter to be able to safely perform the rectification works on the varistors. In conclusion, the rectification works were successful and the recommendation to the client was that a component replacement strategy was required for the aging system.