Immediately following the installation of the Solar System, issues were being experienced with the ‘Solar Relay Protection Switch’ being engaged on numerous occasions. This Relay Switch forces the Solar System into a protection mode when detecting any anomalies within the power system and automatically switches off to basically protect itself from any damage. Whilst in protection mode, the solar system has now stopped generating electricity and requires a licensed technician to re-engage the system and bring it back on line.
Solar System shutdowns became a constantly occurring problem with blame being shifted between Building Management and the Installer over several months whilst the true issues affecting the system were going undetected and unresolved. Various forms of investigations into the ‘relay tripping’ issues were carried out however, the underlying cause was not identified.
Mike Broad, our MD here at Enersec, was engaged to perform investigations into the issues causing the constant shutdown of the Solar System.
Comprehensive energy analysis and power quality monitoring of the whole building was scheduled over a 7 Day period to monitor energy behaviour and identify any potential power quality issues causing problems to the electrical system and/ or Solar System.
Once analysis data was extracted and reviewed by our engineers, we could immediately identify where the potential issues were coming from. As suspected, the on-site distribution of electricity, that is electricity supplied via the grid through the main switchboard supply, had various distributed power imbalances with things like Load Switching, Harmonics (THD’s) and a High Average Incoming Voltage read/score over the analysis period. These are just some of the imbalances identified within the electrical supply and were found to be the major cause of the ‘Solar Relay Protection Switch’ tripping or being engaged on a constant basis.