Product Recall – Shenzhen Sofarsolar Mass Energy Inverters

Shenzhen Sofarsolar (Sofar Solar) Mass Energy Inverter Recall

After being de-listed from the Clean Energy Council’s Approved Products List, certain Mass Energy solar inverters from Shenzhen Sofarsolar are now subject to a recall notice.

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UPDATE June 5, 2018: A statement from Sofar Solar Australia says the company has “flown a large team of factory-trained engineers” to Australia to work with local installers to install the latest firmware update to all affected inverters, a task the company says is being completed “very efficiently”. The firmware update automatically sets the country code and the company says it improves the efficiency of the inverter.

Sofar Solar has also confirmed its inverters are back on the CEC Approved Products list.

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Nearly two months ago we reported on the de-listing, which was based on one model failing CEC testing for compliance with AS 4777-2 – specifically the Passive Anti-islanding test.

The Clean Energy Council de-listed all Shenzhen Sofarsolar (Mass Energy) inverters, stating it considered the result as representative of all models. These inverters remain off the list today.

Last week, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission published a recall notice on the Product Safety Australia website relating to all Shenzhen Sofar Solar Mass Energy inverters with the following serial numbers:

“1st and 2nd digits include SA/SB/SC/SD/SG. 9th and 10th digits include G8/G9/GA/GB/GC/H1 to H9/HA/HB/HC/J1/J2/J3”

The serial number can be located on the left- hand side of single phase inverters and right- hand side of 3-phase models. These inverters were sold throughout Australia between 1 July 2016 and 21 February 2018.

The notice says the inverters can exceed voltage limits and may not switch off when required. There’s also an issue with the inverter not being labelled to warn of a hot surface.

“If the inverter continues operating in the event of variations in the power grid voltage, there is small risk that electrical products in the premises could fail in an unsafe manner resulting in electric shock and/or fire. Contact with hot surfaces of the inverter may cause burns.”

To remedy the situation, new firmware will need to be installed by a technician (on-site), who will also check settings are correct for use in Australian electricity networks. A hot surface warning label will also be applied.

The recall notice can be viewed here, along with instructions for owners of Shenzhen Sofar Solar Mass Energy inverters for redress.

Choosing A Solar Inverter

While solar panels tend to be a focus when buying a solar power system, inverter choice also needs to be given special attention. A solar inverter is a crucial component, converting the direct current (DC) produced by solar panels into alternating 240V current (AC).

Pick up some tips on choosing a good solar inverter or view a chart of what SolarQuotes considers to be trusted solar inverter brands. Australians in the process of going solar should also check the CEC’s Approved Products List to ensure that inverters and solar panels specified in a quote are currently listed. Besides potential quality and safety issues, grid-connect inverters not listed won’t be eligible for Australia’s solar subsidy and grid connection may be refused.

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. It’s great to see the full sofar solar range of reliable inverters have already been approved and relisted on the CEC. It seems Sofar Solar like all respectable manufacturers that have recently had recall notices like BMW, Mercedes and Tesla have stepped up to the plate and has fulfilled its responsibility in updating the firmware on all affected inverters.
    Well done Sofar for showing your commitment and respect to your customers and the Australian market.

  2. Hi Michael
    I would be interested in your thoughts on country code settings.
    I’m a manager of a large solar installation company in QLD. The power network in Queensland is rife with high voltage issues. We are very aware that it is important to set the correct country code settings on the inverters but despite this the standard response/advise from some of the large inverters manufacturer’s has been (if you have high voltage problems try changing the country code to Europe which is a higher setting) My thoughts are this recall is going to open a can of worms of bad practice and poor advise from some of the largest inverter manufacturer’s.

  3. How is ot that i had a quote yestetday and i was quoted for a 6kw mass energy inverter. How can it be that they can do thos when on recall?

    • Hi Kelly all the MASS Energy inverters are CEC approved, the recall only effected installed inverters that never had the latest firmware update. all those installed inverters are now having a firmware update on site by the Manufacturer.

  4. David Behrens says

    In May, 2018, I had a Sorfar Inverter installed (Model ME3000SP – Serial No. SE1ES330J2U412) by a UK company and I am now seeking an App that I can download to my Android mobile phone.for external monitring. Can you advise?
    Also can you confirm that this item does not appear in the recall list.
    I understand that the inverter could have been provided by Midsummer Home Sale to the UK company (Renewable Lifestyles).
    Thank you!

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi David, Ronald here.

      According to the recall notice it applies to:

      “1st and 2nd digits include SA/SB/SC/SD/SG. 9th and 10th digits include G8/G9/GA/GB/GC/H1 to H9/HA/HB/HC/J1/J2/J3”

      So your ME3000SP looks unaffected.

      I’m afraid I don’t know anything about apps for it. If you contact Sofar they may be able to help.

  5. In oct 2017 I had two sofar inverter installed for a 6w panel, model ( 300TL) serial no.SA1ES030H32130 and .SA1ES030H32131, Can everyone tell me if my inverter is good, am living in Australia Melbourne

  6. Ok thanks for your help Ronald….

  7. Hi its nathan can you help please as been qouted a price on a sofar 6ktlm g2 with 320w panelsby 22 canadian mono perc and wondering if they are any good as its going to be a 7.4kw system but limited at 5kw back into the grid is that possible . And i can get a 6.6kw system with 22 300 watt mono perc hyundai panels or longi panelswith either a fronious sma or abb 5kw inverter and its a $1000 cheaper than the top one installed can you help please thanks . And live in queensland australia and we get frost a d hail

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Nathan

      If you get 22 Canadian panels at 320 watts each that will be 7.04 kilowatts. Most homes have single phase power and are only permitted to export a maximum of 5 kilowatts so you can install that many panels with a 6 kilowatt inverter but it will need to be export limited so it won’t send more than 5 kilowatts into the grid. This is apparently easy to do with a Sofar inverter. You are likely to lose a small amount of power from this it won’t be much, especially if people are at home during the day and consuming electricity.

      With your other option of a 6.6 kilowatt system I’d recommend Longi panels over Hyundai. A Fronius inverters have a good reputation for reliability. I would recommend it over a Sofar inverter.

      The 7 kilowatt system is only likely to produce about 6% more output than the 6.6 kilowatt system.

      Frost is not problem for solar panels as they handle conditions that are far frostier than Queensland. Hail is a concern so it is best to put your solar system on your home and contents insurance immediately. Solar panels will withstand normal sized hail but they can’t stand the fist sized hail that sometimes occurs. (While the panel may not survive, it should at least protect your roof from harm.) My parents in Queensland have only had perhaps one hailstorm that was definitely bad enough to destroy solar panels, so the odds should be good hail won’t wreck them.

  8. Hi, I have ‘Solar Power Nation’ Quoting me $2,299 to install a 6.6KW system which includes 20 X 330w Mono Half Cut Panels ZNSHine with Sofar Premium Inverter Fully Installed. I would like your opinion on this as i’m getting this for my folks in Adelaide and would like something decent that would last.

  9. Who would of thought getting a reliable and cheap solar system is that difficult. I guess you can’t have the cheap price with a reliable company. All the other high ranking solar companies are way overpriced. I am pretty much looking for the same quality product at a reasonable price.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      If you’d like to get quotes through us, go to our homepage:

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

      And enter the postcode in the space at the top right. The people we put you in touch with won’t be the cheapest installers around, but they have all been personally vetted by us so we know they do good work.

  10. Peter Terzis says

    Hello Michael,
    I have received a quote for my Solar System package. Can you give me any feedback on it whether it is suitable for residential home,, which last quarter the bill came to $745.00. That’s on a 17% discount plan from my provider.
    Package, 9.9kw Solar System, 30 – 330 Watts Suntech Half Cells Mono Tier 1
    panels, and 7.5kw Sofar Inverter.
    Is this suitable and safe for my home?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Peter, Ronald here.

      While I don’t know your location I can see your electricity consumption is higher than the average for Australia, so you should definitely benefit from a large system, provided your roof doesn’t suffer from significant shading.

      Suntech panels are a low cost but reliable brand. Sofar is a low is a low cost inverter. It’s not one we currently recommend because we don’t have good information on how long they tend to last. Hopefully, it will operate long enough without problem to make it good value for money. There are no current recalls or other issues for Sofar inverters at the moment that I’m aware of.

      To get an idea of if the installer does good work I recommend checking online reviews. If you use our review pages I suggest clicking on “Aus Ranking” to see how they compare to other installers.

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