Expert interview with Philipp Braß, head of ADLER Solar Inverter Services and the Test and Repair Center for PV modules. The mechatronics engineer has been working for ADLER Solar in the PV industry since 2011. In addition to projects on new measurement methods and test automation of PV modules, Philipp Braß has been working on the repair of inverters for almost two years.
In your experience, how long are inverters functional?
As a rule, the devices last for eight to ten years of operation. Then the first age-related damage often occurs. However, there are exceptions in both directions: we already had equipment in our Service Center that was over 15 years old and failed for the first time. Conversely, we also repeatedly repair inverters whose warranty period has only just expired.
What is the main damage?
The range is wide. The most common age-related damage is relay or sensor failure, followed by defective communication equipment, power IGBTs and electrolytic capacitors. Software errors are rather the exception. And then, of course, there is the damage caused by external influences, such as overvoltage caused by storms.
Is on-site repair possible?
A short-term repair of inverter devices on site is only possible if the cause has already been identified in advance and the fault can be rectified without the inverter having to be removed. Experience has shown that this is possible in 3 to 5% of cases. In most cases it is necessary to inspect and analyse the inverter concerned in detail in the testing and repair laboratory. The appropriate repair of the device will then also be carried out there. Experience shows that in many cases a repair is cheaper than the purchase of a new device – so it is worth it!
How long is a device functional after repair?
To ensure that the inverter will continue to operate for many years after repair, we also offer our customers a general overhaul: In these cases, we not only replace the defective components, but also those that are affected by wear. We replace all components that have to switch high powers and withstand numerous switching cycles, such as power IGBTs, current sensors and relays. After a general overhaul, it is quite realistic to operate the inverter for another six to eight years.
As a manufacturer-independent technical service provider with 10 years of experience in the solar industry, we offer a high-quality inverter repair service.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Philipp Braß, Head of Inverter Services
firstname.lastname@example.org |+49 421 83 57 01 00