Solar? Not yet…

Ok, following up on yesterday’s post about the solar pv installation. Houston, we have a problem.

Solar Panels
Solar Panels

In the dim but ever welcome (and potentially profitable) light of an autumn morning, it was clear something was amiss. The only power to be seen was on the red error LED on the inverter and the alarm text “No Utility”! Checking all the trips were in, and all the isolators closed, nothing seemed to improve things.

Scaffolded house showing panels
Scaffolded house showing panels

There’s a call in with the installation company. Waiting is.

Still, never overlook the possibility for a silver lining… the guttering on the rear of the roof has now had a damned good clearing out;  half a pound of good black organic compost went tumbling down to the garden! And now, in the cloudy light of Friday afternoon, you can see the layout of the panels more clearly; two runs of six panels topped by a run of eight, making twenty in all. I admit the empty spaces are gently whispering solar thermal at me. But not today.

IMG_0050aSo, looking at the installation in the garage, we have two strings of panels coming to Isolators and thence to a Solar River 440TL grid inverter. Outputting from the inverter is the ac, which runs through a Landis & Gyr E110 kWh meter to the consumer unit (top of picture and via a Safety Isolator and RCD protected MCB). It all looks pretty good and well installed – shame it doesn’t actually work…

The tatty white lead above the inverter is the incoming mains CT connection to the now redundant and removed The Owl energy meter. That will be replaced with a new Owl Intuition PV which will talk to an Internet server and produce all sorts of happy little graphs and pie charts [/geek] and more importantly inform me as to whether this was a good investment or not (and you too).

But for now, let’s look on it as an art installation… heck, there’s probably a grant for that too.

2 responses to “Solar? Not yet…”

  1. The red error light on my inverters show when the light isn’t good enough to produce a charge, but not so dark as to have stopped complete production (think trickle charge) and there have been cloudy days up here that have resulted in that very thing for the whole day


  2. No, the red LED is a general error, but there’s an LCD screen with the alarm text… But the installers have just come back and found the inverter ac plug mis-wired… easily done, I guess, and it was too dark to commission it fully last night. So tomorrow, before I nip up to the Bike Show, I’ll find time to see if that’s fixed it! 😉


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