More Inverter Cover Choices For Australian Solar Owners

FC Inverter Covers

If your solar inverter is installed in direct sunlight, its performance, longevity and warranty may be at risk. It needs to be shaded.

When we think about solar power systems, usually the first component that springs to mind are solar panels. But solar inverters deserve an equal star billing as all the electricity generated by all the panels passes through this device, which converts it from DC to AC current suitable for use in your home and exporting to the mains grid. This is a function a good inverter should perform reliably day in, day out for many years under all sorts of environmental conditions.

But as robust as these devices can and should be, a solar inverter should never be mounted on a wall where it will be in full sun, as a hot inverter won’t perform as well and it can shorten the unit’s lifespan. Furthermore, installing an inverter where it will be subject to direct sunlight can void the warranty.

If there’s not a naturally shady spot, a wall with enough eave overhang to cast sufficient shade or garage where the inverter can be installed, up until relatively recently there weren’t a lot of options aside from cheap plastic covers and custom made/DIY solutions.

That began to change with the introduction of inverter shading devices such as the Newcastle-made Sunny Covers we mentioned last year. But Sunny Covers isn’t the only show in town for heavy-duty inverter shade protection.

FC Inverter Covers

Veteran solar installer Matt McKinley, whose company has completed more than 10,000 solar installations during the past decade, came up with his own product after seeing many inverters dying before their warranty period had expired due to the impact of direct sunlight.

Designed and manufactured on Queensland’s Gold Coast (Burleigh Heads), FC Inverter Covers enable optimum airflow to prevent overheating and maintain accessibility to screen displays.

“The protection provided by FC Inverter Covers minimises an external solar inverter’s exposure to the elements, greatly increases their life and ensures the likelihood of maintaining one’s warranty,” said Mr. McKinley.

Mr. McKinley says he has received written approval from Fronius, Sungrow and GoodWe stating FC Inverter Covers comply with their installation requirements and can be installed, and is working on approval from SMA. There’s also a range of “universal” covers available for other brands, but these have no display screen cut-out.

The covers, which weigh between 2.8kg and 3.1kg depending on the model, are made with a single 2mm aluminium sheet that is laser-cut and folded, and powder-coated to provide additional corrosion resistance and keep the covers looking good. There are two colours available, Woodland Grey or Surfmist. Custom sizes and colours are also available on request.

Further information on FC Inverter Covers can be found here. The shade protection can purchased from wholesaler Greentech Gold Coast  and online retail outlet CoverMyInverter. Retail pricing currently varies from $299 to $389.

Note: I originally stated the pricing included delivery, but this was incorrect – I didn’t run through the checkout process properly and failed to check the shipping page. Delivery charges vary with model, delivery location and choice of courier (if a choice is available), and will be displayed once you have entered your address on the checkout page. My apologies.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Douglas Hendry says

    Hi. After reading your article, I went online to buy one of the covers from Cover My Invertor. The price did NOT include delivery to Cairns, despite what you say above. This is an additional $64-98. Why do folk constantly want to rip us off up here just because we are at the end of the line? Disappointed!

    • Michael Bloch says

      Hi Douglas, my apologies – this was my fault. I didn’t run through the checkout process properly originally and I can now see freight varies with location/model/choice of courier. I’ve updated the article. Thank you for flagging this.

      • Douglas Hendry says

        No worries Michael. I went ahead and bought one with a 2-3 day delivery. I’ll give you further feedback when I get it. Be safe

      • I made my own cover, for a fraction of that. Main reason originally was our house has no eves so the inverter was fully exposed.
        Allows significantly more airflow that the ones shown here and keeps weather of it.
        Think a timber frame awning with poly carb sheet roof over inverter

  2. Dave Stanton says

    I purchased one of these and will fit when the rain buggers off!! It also stops pine needles and other leaves from clogging the cooling fins. Mount above head height and get the dark polycarbonate version.

  3. Kai Wakefield says

    Thanks Michael, inverters are definitely worth protecting.

    Instead of using a cover, could the inverter and/or battery just be installed in the garage to negate the requirement for a cover?

    Cheers!

  4. John Rogers says

    Although my inverter is in my garage, a cheaper option that a specialist item is a “polycarbonate awning” as found on eBay. I bought one last year to protect a door for $65 delivered.

Speak Your Mind

Please keep the SolarQuotes blog constructive and useful with these 5 rules:

1. Real names are preferred - you should be happy to put your name to your comments.
2. Put down your weapons.
3. Assume positive intention.
4. If you are in the solar industry - try to get to the truth, not the sale.
5. Please stay on topic.

Get The SolarQuotes Weekly Newsletter