SMA Says Their Inverter’s ShadeFix Software Reduces Effects Of Shade

SMA ShadeFix review

SMA’s ShadeFix doesn’t fix shade but reduces some of its secondary effects.

A couple of weeks go a reader asked me to write about ShadeFix.  ShadeFix is the software German manufacturer SMA include in their solar inverters.  This request made me feel a bit stupid because I had no idea what ShadeFix was. [Read more…]

Sungrow Crabby With Researcher Over Inverter Security Vulnerability Disclosure

A Brisbane researcher has alleged serious security vulnerabilities in a Sungrow inverter. Sungrow are not happy with him.

Update: patch available – see end of story

A few months after I wrote about security in the home renewables space, a Brisbane engineer bought a Sungrow SH5k-20 inverter, decided to “poke around”, and claims to have turned up a crop of serious security vulnerabilities. [Read more…]

When SMA Inverters Won’t Talk To Tigo TS4 Optimisers: Tales From The Front Line

SMA inverter and Tigo optimisers

How do you get an SMA inverter to talk to Tigo Optimisers? Sometimes with great difficulty it seems.

Update: see SMA response at end of story. It’s time to chase up another customer experience, courtesy of Sharon, who contacted us because her SMA-Tigo installation turned into a saga. [Read more…]

A Tale Of Exploding Isolators: Alliance Solar, Can You Hear Us?

risk of explosion sign

De-energising a solar system can be dangerous if done incorrectly.

Alliance Solar doesn’t seem to have a media manager, and that’s a problem, because we reckon a bit of crisis communications will be in order. SolarQuotes emailed the company at its only public address, the ubiquitous [email protected] format, because its website doesn’t mention a media contact.

Why? Because a solar power system owner has posted tales of exploding kit in their reviews of Alliance Solar. [Read more…]

Grid Voltage Rise Is Getting Worse And That’s A Problem For Solar Owners

Grid voltage rise and solar power systems

If your inverter sees a grid voltage that is too high for too long, Australian Standards mandate it disconnects from the grid. Before the voltage is so high it disconnects, your inverter may also reduce its power output in response to high grid voltages.

There’s a lot of fear-mongering about how the rise of renewables threatens our power grids, but a real problem getting real attention from the industry is how voltage rises on our mostly old and inflexible infrastructure stops customers from getting the most out of their solar PV installations. [Read more…]

New Bluetooth Vulnerability Should Be A Wake-Up Call To Solar Manufacturers

Bluetooth vulnerability and solar components

If you’ve been reading the tech press this week, you’ve probably noticed there’s a lot of noise about a security vulnerability in Bluetooth, known as “KNOB”, and I thought it gives us the chance to discuss Bluetooth security in the solar business. [Read more…]

Security Jitters: Can They Hack My Solar Power System?

Solar power system security and hackers

Is your solar power system at risk of hacking?

Last week’s post about solar inverter security sparked a lot of interest and a few good questions I’d like to answer; starting with one from TJ that reminded me people are justifiably and genuinely worried. [Read more…]

The Standards Gap Holding Back Solar Homes Becoming Smart Homes

inverter wirelessly communicating with smart plugs

Want your inverter to wirelessly control some smart plugs? It ain’t easy…

This week’s post was inspired by a question asked by Malcolm via e-mail:

“Do you know of any ‘Smart” home systems/software that can be used with a Fronius Inverter/Smart Meter to direct surplus solar power to home appliances and/or heaters via smart wifi plugs?”

It’s a good question, and one that doesn’t yet have very many good answers. [Read more…]

Delta and Huawei Commercial Inverters Beat Fronius & SMA In PVEL Testing

PVEL testing - top performing solar inverters

And you thought the election was a shock result…

I have good news.  PVEL —  a standards testing company — has released a solar inverter scorecard.  It describes how a dozen different tests were performed on a variety of inverters and which were the top performers [Read more…]

A Solar Installer Questioned SolarEdge’s Reliability And SolarEdge Is Furious

angry man pointing at review

Spat over inverter review intensifies as SolarEdge go legal.

At 3:15pm on Christmas Eve, when most Australian families were kicking back with a drink and looking forward to at least 2 days with family, friends and no work worries, Mark Cavanagh1, owner of the highly regarded solar installation company, MC Electrical2 received a five page letter from lawyers acting for $1.6 billion Israeli inverter manufacturer, SolarEdge. [Read more…]