How a Cheap Solar Inverter can Cost You More

Cost or quality?

solar inverters
Purchasing a home solar power system can be a very exciting experience, but you should not get carried away by charming salespeople or false advertising. as stated on this article in LinkedIn. You have to be sure to focus on the important aspects of your purchase as it’s a hefty investment and one that you will be living with for a long time. For any solar purchase, you should go for quality. It’s important to stick to your budget, but is it always a good idea to go for the cheapest solution or should you spend a little more to get more quality? 4 years ago, Mr Jones decided to get solar panels installed on his roof so he called a few solar companies for quotes. The prices he received for a 3-kilowatt system ranged from $2,500 to $4,000. Mr Jones got a bit confused with the different prices and the different companies claiming to have the best quality product. So he went for the cheapest and the company’s salesman guaranteed that it was their biggest seller. The price was more affordable because that particular solar inverter was not as expensive as the other European-made inverters on the market. The salesman gave assurance of its performance and assured of the 10-year warranty. He purchased the 3-kilowatt system for $2,500 in 2012, but in late 2015 the system stopped working. To make matters worse, the company that sold him the solar power system went out of business and he has no way to contact the installers. Mr Jones called up an engineer friend and an electrician who checked the system. Later, a repair quote was sent to him and was shocked to find that it would cost $3,400! At this price, Mr Jones could purchase a brand new system. So Mr Jones is in a dilemma because his initial understanding was that only the inverter had to be replaced. The problem is, the inverter manufacturer is also no longer in business now, so, the 10-year warranty is already useless. The same inverter brand and model cannot be sourced thus another inverter needs to be installed. Some important points during the inspections are as follows:
  • The inverter is turned off, it may be a component failure and will not switch on.
  • Poor installation and cable management
  • Installation was done before the AS5033.2012 Standards were implemented
  • The string voltage was in the acceptable range and no panel fault was identified
In the end, Mr Jones decided to pay $3400 and get the repair done instead of buying a new system. By trying to save $1,500 and compromising the quality of the solar power system, he ended up spending a total of $5,900 for his 3-kilowatt system. Click here to read the full story on LinkedIn and here to get tips on getting quality solar power systems on Energy Matters

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Written by Jon Capistrano

Jon specialises in research and content creation for our outreach campaigns. He’s worked as a technical support representative for Dell, America Online, Xbox and Dodo Australia. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.

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