Gippsland Solar Service

Hello and welcome to the Gippsland Solar Service Page.

To provide the best possible service to our customers and the fastest resolution to any issues you may be experiencing with a system we have installed at your premises, please explore the information we have complied on this page.

What is the nature of the fault as far as you can tell?

A part of my system is sparking, smoking or on fire – if safe to do so, shut down the system. If not, call 000 immediately.
Note: This is an exceptionally rare occurrence although it has happened before in Australia.
Electricians are generally not trained to handle those kinds of emergency situations so calling 000 is recommended.

CAUTION: when turning on or off a solar system including the inverter you must pay close attention to the shut down / start up procedures as per the system owner’s manual provided upon installation. If you are unsure of how to do this please find and carefully read the manual. Not following the instructions can damage your system.

Note that in order to diagnose a fault the following information is usually needed:

  1. Type of inverter – most important. Make and model is required information
  2. Any error codes or other information on the problem
  3. Type of solar panels
  4. Type battery (if relevant)
  5. Approximate date of installation

Where can I find this information?

STEP ONE – Identify the type of inverter installed at your property

The inverter is often considered the ‘brain’ of your solar system because it controls the output of the solar panels connected to it and makes the power usable in your home. The invoice and other paperwork we provided to you at the time of the installation would be great places to find this information, but the make and model number should also be shown on the site of the inverter itself.

(Note: if you have microinverters please don’t get on the roof to look as this is not necessary).

STEP TWO – identify other components installed and date of installation

The best way to find this information is by looking at the invoice and / or paperwork we provided.

Caution: when turning on or off a solar system including the inverter you must pay close attention to the shut down/start up procedures as per the systems owner’s manual provided upon installation. If you are unsure of how to do this please find and carefully read the manual. Not following the instructions can damage your system.

Once you have followed the correct process according to the manual, check for successful start-up:

  • Lights on
  • Numbers on the screen
  • Start-up will take approximately a minute to carry out self-tests
  • Followed up by some ‘clicking sounds’
  • After the ‘clicks’ the inverter should be producing
  • Check screen for any error messages

Unfortunately high voltages (also known as ‘grid over-voltage’) can result in your system periodically switching off and on to protect itself, your property and the grid. They tend to occur in the summer months but can occur at other times too.

If grid over-voltage occurs there are usually specific error codes displayed on your inverter or monitoring portal that are useful to diagnose the issue.

This is usually due to the local grid voltage being too high (on your street or group of houses connected to the nearest transformer). Please contact your Electricity Distributor (e.g. Ausnet) to alert them of this and request an investigation to be done to assess the voltage. If deemed to be too high, they may reduce grid voltages in the local area for you.

In some instances where a particular brand of solar monitoring device was installed and is correctly reporting, Gippsland Solar can remotely check on the voltage for you.

Otherwise we can send an electrician to assess it and provide the evidence of the high voltage for you to present to the Distributor. However, because grid voltages are entirely managed by the Distributor and are therefore beyond our control, we may need to charge a call out fee to do so.

Please contact us to help diagnose and resolve the issue

Important: At this stage we have no reason to believe that your solar system is not working efficiently or correctly. It is most likely just an issue with the quality of your internet connection such as low wi-fi signal strength from your router, a reset password or perhaps a loose data cable connection. These are the most common causes – please check on these before proceeding.

Step 1 – is the inverter switched on?

If no, please see our other help topics.

Step 2 – what type of data connection do you have?

  1. Hard-wired data cable between inverter (or monitoring device) and modem/router:
    If hard-wired, check internet connection and ensure the ethernet cable is plugged into the router.
  2. Dongle with sim card plugged into the inverter (or monitoring device):
    If you have a sim dongle, make sure it is still plugged in and that the data plan is still active. Usually Gippsland Solar pays for the first 12 months data subscription and then the customer pays for this after the first 12 months. If the data subscription was inactive for an extended period, we may need to charge a call out fee to refresh the settings on-site or even replace the sim card, before it can start collecting data again.
  3. If you have a wi-fi connection between your inverter (or monitoring device) and modem/router:
    Please attempt to reconfigure the wi-fi connection on your own first as it is not possible for our team to know how your home internet is currently configured or how to reconfigure it.If you are still having problems please check the inverter for error codes (if any) are displaying.

Step 3 – troubleshooting

Please watch the following video that is relevant to the inverter you have installed at your property

SolarEdge HD Wave (residential):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZGCZW4Ydxs

Fronius Inverters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKdXLEbyNRI

Soltaro Inverter with Dongle:

The wi-fi stick will perform a self-check for roughly 30 seconds on power up.

After this we can connect a wi-fi enabled device. To do this open up the wi-fi menu on your device.

Select the wireless network of the data logging module, no passwords are required as default. The network name consists of AP and the serial number of the product (eg. AP_611490333). Connect to this network.
See picture below:

image1

If still experiencing issues, or your inverter brand is not listed above, proceed to Step 4.

Step 4 – if still experiencing issues

Please call us to help diagnose the issue. We will attempt to fix the issue remotely if possible.

As a last resort we can book you in for a service call to attend to the issue. The call out fee is $264 inc. GST (includes first hour) plus $88 per hour after the first hour. If our technician reveals that the issue is a legitimate fault rather than an issue with the internet/wi-fi connection, the call out fee will be waived if the respective system component(s) are still under warranty.

Note that for the time being we will need to remove the system alerts from our monitoring platform until you are able to re-establish your connection. But please remember to contact us to confirm it has been re-established so we can reassign the alerts to our system again an we can resume monitoring it for you.

They are a variety of reasons this could be the case.

  1. Ensure the system is operational by checking the inverter is on and monitoring system (if installed) is operational
  2. Check that your Electricity Retailer hasn’t increased your electricity rates. Some electricity companies tend to ‘punish’ their customers for getting solar power by increasing their rates post-installation. Our advice is to shop around because there are plenty of companies that don’t play that game.
  3. Check your monitoring system (if installed) to see how much solar you’ve produced
  4. Check your bill to see how much solar power you’ve exported to the grid, even though this is a minor proportion of your system savings. This will show you that it is operational.
  5. Think about when you are using power and how much. It could be the case that you have installed new appliances or equipment since installation which has increased your consumption of power. Or perhaps an appliance is operating inefficiently due to old age or malfunction.
  6. To save the most from a solar power system, try to use more of your electricity through the day, rather than running appliances at night – such as dishwashers, driers, washing machines, heating/cooling, pumps and so on. Generally, the more you shift your consumption to the day light hours, the more you will save with a solar power system.

Please note that it can take some months before formal ‘grid-connection’ is achieved for your newly installed solar system.  You can only start receiving a feed-in tariff credit once ‘grid-connection’ has been approved.

Sometimes on your bill it is listed as “feed-in credit”, “solar contribution”, “solar feed-in” or similar.

IMPORTANT: please note that if your solar system is switched on you are still receiving the vast majority of the benefits of your system, but just not receiving the (relatively small) feed-in tariff contribution of your system’s benefits for excess solar power you feed back to the grid.

Gippsland Solar always endeavours to submit the necessary documentation as soon as possible on your behalf.  Sometimes there can be delays for various reasons and primarily due to a large back log in approvals with your Electricity Distributor and / or Electricity Retailer.

If it has been more than 3 months since your installation date, please do the following:

  1. Double check you haven’t missed an email or letter from your Electricity Distributor or Electricity Retailer regarding signing a ‘feed-in tariff’ agreement or other instructions. A formal agreement needs to be signed before you can start earning feed-in tariff credits.
  2. Call Gippsland Solar to check on the status of the grid connection paperwork and when it was submitted
  3. Call your Electricity Retailer to check on the status of the paperwork and approval process at their end.

Unfortunately, most solar systems won’t work in the event of a power outage. These is required by law, to protect line workers and property from electricity sent back to the grid from any rooftop solar generators.

Only a system with a battery system that is capable of emergency power back up can operate in a black out. Only some battery systems have black out power protection as it is an added feature for additional costs to install. In other words most battery systems also turn off during a black out, unless they are equipped with extra hardware and electrical switchboard modifications. Make sure you are aware of the type of system you have installed and its capabilities.

Call our consultants at Gippsland Solar if you’d like to get complete protection from black outs.