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Read Your Solar Inverter Display
Solar energy is a well-known concept now because it's the most common renewable and clean energy source. The solar energy system is installed to provide homes and businesses with their energy needs. Solar inverters are a significant part of a solar energy system as they convert alternating current into direct current and make energy available for different residential and commercial solar energy purposes.
In addition, solar inverters are eco-friendly and help with monitoring your solar energy system performance. Solar inverters detect any change in your solar system's operation so you can fix it as soon as possible. All the solar energy system information is displayed openly, and it is essential to be able to understand the basics of how it works.
If you don't know how to read solar inverter displays, we have got you covered. This article will surmise how to read a solar inverter display and what to do about detected issues. So, let's dig further!
Solar Inverter Display Terms
If you can't understand the terms written on your solar inverter display, you won't be able to detect when something is wrong. Below are explanations of these terms so you can scan the display and take action in case of any malfunction.
This term indicates that the solar inverter is yet to receive sufficient DC voltage from the PV source or battery. You will see this when the radiation from the sun doesn't reach the solar inverter and it's not working.
As the name suggests, fault tells us that there's some malfunction in your solar inverter, and you need to fix it. Otherwise, the solar inverter will stop working, resulting in an energy blackout.
This happens when the inverter's software or firmware is suddenly upgraded. As soon as you go for an upgrade, the inverter shifts to flash mode. Here are the two common ways of doing this:
- Go for local firmware upgrading through any communication connection.
- Upgrade using a wireless communication module of connected servers.
PV grid on
When this sign appears, you shouldn't worry about anything because this just shows the normal on-grid working of a solar inverter. The power produced by the PV source is wholly exported to the AC grid centre and through it to your local grid station.
All the power generated by the PV is in the normal range and is being utilised in charging the inverter's battery. There's no energy left for on-grid work and output. AC grid and UPS connection are also deprived of energy.
PV charge + grid on
PV Charge + Grid On display means a good PV source is exported to the AC grid centre. Also, there's still power available to charge the inverter's battery. Hence, you will either extract energy from the PV or the grid.
Battery grid on
This display shows when the solar inverter runs without any PV source as input and enough energy in the battery. It provides power to your solar system via an AC (Alternating Current) connection.
PV and battery grid-on
This also shows that the solar inverter is running without any PV (Photovoltaic) source, with sufficient energy supplied to the system through an AC connection. The inverter discharges from the battery and exports power to your system.
The AC charge on display shows the inverter is working normally on-grid without any specific power source. Instead, it takes power from the AC connection to fully charge the battery.
PV and AC charge
The inverter display is normal on-grid and running with limited PV power and low battery. If the inverter charges the battery from the PV power or the AC, the solar inverter display will be shown on the status.
Battery grid off
The solar display typically runs off-grid without any input PV power, and there's sufficient battery available. When this status appears, the battery discharges as output via a UPS (Universal Power Supply) connection.
PV charge grid off
In this case, everything is working correctly, but there's a low battery in the inverter. The inverter charges the battery from the PV source, and there's still power available to give it to the output via a UPS connection.
Reading The Solar Inverter Display
If you've successfully understood the basic terms and statuses displayed on the inverter, let's dig into the details of how to read the display on solar inverters practically.
- Click any of the four buttons a little below the inverter display. Once you do, the inverter's backlight will turn, and the display screen will appear.
- Afterward, go to the main menu by clicking on the "Main Menu" button on the display screen.
- Then, click the total button on the right of the display to get information about all the display statuses. However, you must click the button numerous times until a complete report is available.
- Lastly, press the enter key, and you will see some values that tell you about the energy generated since the solar inverter was installed.
Common Solar Inverter Display Errors
A few errors may occur in your solar inverter display due to malfunctioning of any internal tool. You should know them all, and if not all, then at least most of them to keep a check on your solar inverter. Here are a few of the most common error codes and what issue they indicate:
- 01 to 0012: Data logger ID is unavailable
- 107: No AC grid is detected
- 306: Power Low
- 307: DC voltage is very low
- 509: No feed in 24 hours
- 522: DC1 input voltage is low
- 523: DC2 input voltage is low
- 65000: Interruption in the DC connection of the inverter and the battery
- 994: Energy comparison is impossible
- 995: Battery issue warning
How To Restart The Solar Inverter Display
If your solar inverter is showing any error, you must fix it as soon as possible. As the solar inverter functions like a mobile phone, any error will likely have you thinking that restarting the device may remove that error. If you don't know how to restart a solar inverter, here's a step-by-step guide to help you.
Step One: Turn off the AC (Alternating Current)
Look for the AC switch or isolator on your inverter. You can find it on the meter box; in some cases, it's connected to the inverter. This switch can be called an "AC switch" or "Solar Supply Main Switch."
Step Two: Turn the DC (Direct Current) off
After closing the AC switch, the next step is to turn off the DC. For this purpose, turn off the DC switch you will find beneath the solar inverter. When you complete this switch, the screen should go blank, and the lights should be off. Leave the inverter off for five to seven minutes, and then turn it back on.
Step Three: Turn the DC on
You need to turn on the DC switch first because if you turn on the AC switch first, the DC isolated will be under immense load that can cause further problems. For instance, the DC isolator could arc.
Step Four: Turn the AC on
Now, turn on the AC isolator and wait for at least one to two minutes until it gets started properly. You will have different lights flashing as the inverter performs internal self-testing. Besides, there will be a lot of messages on the screen that tell you about the internal settings of the inverter, so don't freak out and read them carefully.
If the issue is minor, there is a high chance that the inverter will work after restarting. However, if the problem persists, you need to get professional help.
The Possible Issues In A Solar Inverter
Good performance of solar inverters is mandatory to ensure the safety of all your appliances and solar energy system. Any issue in the inverter can impact the performance of solar plants. Here are the possible problems to consider if your inverter is not working correctly.
Display screen showing wrong codes
Many times, the display screen shows wrong error codes that are due to a glitch. This happens due to external or internal issues, which means you can expect a disconnected battery or short circuit. If a short circuit occurs within the inverter, take it to the workshop, as a professional can resolve most of the external issues at home.
A prevalent issue in malfunctioning solar inverters is faulty or improper installation. It can be anything from physical misconnection to an error in the inverter's programming. So, ensure the installer you choose is efficient and has expertise in solar inverter installation. After the installation, you can ask him to run the below tests.
- Yield Test
- Remote deactivation and activation of the inverter
- Regulation of the reactive power
If any of the tests aren't satisfying, the solar inverter installation isn't sound.
We all know inverters are made up of electric and solar components like solar PV cells. Thus, they are susceptible to high temperatures, and an increased temperature results in overheating the whole equipment. This overheating can significantly decrease the energy production of the inverter and sometimes result in a complete halt in energy production.
So, to avoid this particular issue, you should ensure maximum ventilation between the switch cabinet and the building housing of the inverter. Check the cooling system during operation to get a good idea about the functionality of the cooling system.
Another commonly occurring problem in solar inverters is isolation issues. The reason behind this fault can be anything, from a short circuit due to moisture and poor connection of DC cables to faulty installation of the inverter. When this happens, the solar inverter stops working, and power loss occurs.
Additionally, the display screen also goes off, showing nothing. To avoid this issue:
- Ensure no moisture around the inverter and that DC cables are high quality.
- Don't forget that the isolation issue could result in fatal voltage leakage, so dealing with it yourself can be risky.
- Always contact professional help for such problems.
Contact A Solar Inverter Professional
The solar inverter display is essential as it conveys information about the functionality of the inverter. You should know all the error codes and statuses of the inverter to read the display properly. Any change in display information or the display screen not turning on can be due to significant errors. For issues with your solar inverter display, don't hesitate to contact a professional solar installer to fix them.