JFY Solar Inverter Fails CEC Testing (Again)

JFY inverter fails CEC re-testing

The JFY solar inverter saga continues, with latest testing performed by the Clean Energy Council at the manufacturer’s request resulting in another failure.

Just to recap, back in February we reported a Shenzhen JingFuYuan Tech Co Ltd (JFY) inverter model (Sunleaf 3000TL) failed Clean Energy Council testing against AS 4777-2 (Passive Anti-islanding test and other issues). The CEC considered this result indicative of all JFY solar inverters and as a consequence, all were de-listed from the Approved Products List on March 2.

JFY appealed the decision, saying the wrong settings were used on the inverter during the testing process. The CEC’s Product Listing Review Panel denied the appeal, stating this was due to the inverters being imported into Australia without instructions to installers that they must re-set the inverters to the correct settings.

The CEC reported yesterday JFY recently paid for re-testing of the inverter after inputting the correct parameter for AS 4777.2 passive anti-islanding settings, “AS4777AU”. However, the inverter failed the re-testing.

“Therefore, existing inverters in the field cannot be made to comply simply by being reprogrammed to the recommended setting. Likewise, units that were programmed correctly at installation will not comply,” states a CEC Member Update. “These inverters will shut down at a local mains voltage of 247.8V, meaning that the solar system will not perform as expected for many customers.”

Currently, local mains voltage in Australia can reach as high as 253 – 254.4V (depending on the state) and still be considered within acceptable operating range. This means some solar power systems with affected JFY inverters may shut down far more often than they should under “normal” local mains voltage conditions, which can vary from area to area. In regions where voltages are regularly above the acceptable range for whatever reason, the issue will be even more pronounced.

Inverters that may have this fault were installed from 19 October 2016 to 2 March 2018 and the CEC has suggested these units should be replaced under warranty. However, it also says the inverters may be able to be manually reprogrammed according to manufacturer’s instructions to individually input the correct AS4777.2 settings.

With regard to warranty or repair, the CEC states:

“If JFY do not agree to repair or replacement, this responsibility rests with the retailer and the importer/responsible supplier E1488, GPower Pty Ltd.”

Removal from the Approved Products List means new system installations with JFY solar inverters, and those installed since March 2, are not eligible for Australia’s major solar subsidy.

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. How can they replace them under warranty if they have still failed the test and still not on the approved list

    • JFY just sent their engineer to Australia to figure out the reason. Now they’re working hard to recover their listing. The JFY clients sitll need a bit patience for good news. There are not a few supplier who exists in the AU market for more than 8 years. What we know is that JFY is still offering the service. For the service respond the client can send their request to [email protected]

    • mark Norman says

      We have a 2500 watt JFY inverter fail in the UK. In warranty and after 25 days no joy from them. Nothing. warranty is meaningless

      • Jason Muscat says

        I have been waiting for 3 months now!!!! The company that installed the system told me that I have to deal directly with JFY. Absolutely useless!!!

  2. I am an unfortunate owner of a JFY inverter.Actually I have been the unfortunate owner of not 1,not 2,but 3 JFY inverters!It appears the 3rd one has now also failed after less than 2 years.The company I purchased the system from went into liquidation while the first inverter was still under warranty.I then had to deal with JFY directly,and they have been a dreadful company to get a resolution from.The first inverter was only replaced after Consumer and Business Affairs pursued them relentlessly on my behalf.When inverter number 3 was installed,the electrician sent by JFY refused to give me a certificate of compliance.I am now faced with the “here we go again”scenario.Has anyone else had a similar experience with this company?

    • ashley weymouth says

      i have currently got 2 jfy inverters not working can’t find anyone to repair them

      • Ronald Brakels says

        Hi Ashley

        If the inverters are within warranty then JFY have a responsibility to repair or replace them or provide a refund. If the installer you used is no longer around you can contact JFY directly.

        If the inverters are out of warranty then you want to replace them rather than repair them. We can put you in contact with someone willing to do that. Just go to our home page:

        https://www.solarquotes.com.au/

        And enter your postcode in the space at the upper right. Then click on “Maintenance or upgrade of an existing system” and then “Repair / Maintenance”. Then answer the questions that appear as best you can.

        Replacing your old system with a new one is also something you may wish to consider.

  3. JFY Stop screwing over the end users who purchased your equipment in good faith. Own up and pay up it’s your lawful and moral obligation.

    P. S. – Do the right thing before you end up with a class action being brought against you in the Australian law court system.

  4. Hello Michael and Finn, I am in a difficult situation, can I ask some advice please? I have been supplied a JFY inverter model TL12000, but the CEC failure was announced before the unit could be installed. This is not the model that failed, but the CEC finding has been expanded to cover the entire JFY range without proof testing. I lost my patience waiting for a resolution, and bought a Goodwe inverter to replace it. My solar system is working fine, I now have free power (yay). I have the JFY inverter sitting in my garage in its original packaging, no longer needed. Are JFY inverters the subject of a recall, or pending a recall? If so, how do I participate in the recall? I have read of several people wanting JFY models to replace same items returned to China under warranty, that are taking for ever to be returned from China. If there is no recall at this time, is it lawful to sell this brand new unit (never powered up) as a second hand replacement? If lawful, what is my best option to identify it as a replacement so that it goes to someone who has the greatest need, so a system designed and built to use it is returned to power production? I am sure other readers will want these answer soon too. Thanks for your help, all of Australia appreciates it. Matthew.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hello Matthew, Ronald here

      According to Australian consumer guarantees, which you can find here:

      https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/consumer-guarantees

      Products must:

      “Be fit for the purpose the business told you it would be fit for and for any purpose that you made known to the business before purchasing.”

      In my opinion I would say the recall would have made the unit unsuitable for its purpose and it was reasonable for you to use a different inverter. So I think you can claim a refund under Australian consumer law. But I’m not a lawyer, so I recommend contacting a consumer affairs organization in your state.

  5. Rod Taverner says

    We had our solar installed 2015 using a JSI=2000TL which is unusable. Still has two years of warranty. The solar company thad did the installation are preposing to replace the unit with a refurbished one of the same. We do not want this, in view of all of the adverse findings.
    We are unsure what steps to take next.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hello Rob

      Under Australian consumer law faulty items can be replaced with used or refurbished items. However, Consumer Guarantees still apply:

      https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/consumer-guarantees

      And it must function as it is supposed to and you can even insist that its appearance be satisfactory, which can be an issue if it’s where people can see it.

      But as you are not happy with a refurbished inverter I suggest contacting a consumer affairs organization in your state and talking to them about what can be done. It’s possible you may be able to come to another arrangement. Even a refurbished unit is going to cost the manufacturer money and so they may be willing to make a partial refund instead, but I’m not a lawyer so I couldn’t guess what the chances are.

  6. Jason Muscat says

    Hi there,

    I have a JFY Suntree 10000TL inverter that was installed in 2014. All was working well until I received my latest bill two days again. It now appears my feed in back to the grid is average 5 kwH per day were three months earlier, it was averaging 23 kwH per day. You can imagine my surprise at the size of the bill!!!

    Called the electricity company and they offered to send a technician at my cost to diagnose but suggested that seeing that it is still under warranty, I should call the solar company that installed the unit. The problem is that the ownership has changed hands and they seem unwilling to help.

    1. Does it sound like the inverter is stuffed (note that there are no error and fault messages on the inverter)
    2. What steps can I take to get the issue fixed?

    Thanks,
    Jason

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hello Jason

      If the installation business changed hands but still has the same name they are responsible for warranties for systems the previous owner installed. If they have a new name and it is legally a new business they don’t have a responsibility.

      It is possible there is a problem with your inverter but most of the time they tend to either throw up an error message or completely fail to work at all so my guess is it’s not an inverter problem. But JFY have an office in Australia so if the inverter is faulty they are responsible for providing a repair or replacement or potentially a refund as it’s still under warranty.

      But first I’d check how much the power the inverter is putting out on a clear day when the sun is almost directly overhead. If it is around 80% of your panel capacity or reasonably close to it there is probably no problem with your system.

      If your system is clearly under performing and you can see it from the ground you can do a visual inspection to see if there is any obvious damage or a dirt problem. (I don’t recommend people climb ladders to inspect systems in case they fall off.)

      Unless the problem is obvious, such as a load of pelican poop, you can contact an installer to arrange an inspection to find out what the problem is. While it could be the inverter you may have one or more problem panels that are dragging down performance. If you need help finding an installer you can go to our home page here:

      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/

      Then enter your postcode in the space at the top right and then click on “Maintenance or upgrade of existing system”.

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