Why is a microinverter producing less than expected?

Step 1:Identify a production issue

We will check the microinverter’s behaviour and correct functioning by looking at the PV array.Click on the View tab to see the microinverter layout.

A production issue will be shown either by a black panel or by important differences in production values.Select Energy > Past 7 Days for a better overview.

Example of a microinverter producing significantly less than the others.

Another way to identify a production issue is to click on the Devices tab and check for error messages in the Status column:

Step 2:Determine the pattern

First, check if the underproduction is an isolated incident, a permanent issue or a recurring event.On the View tab, select the option Power > Past 7 days from the drop-down menu. This will allow you to browse through the production from the last seven days by moving the cursor below the PV array or by clicking on the Play button.

- Is only one microinverter affected?
- Are multiple microinverters affected?
- Is it a repetitive pattern?Does it happen every day at the same time?
- Is it always under-producing or do they all produce the same power at a specific time?

Step 3:Determine the cause

If the underproduction is affecting a specific microinverter, checking the voltages, frequencies and currents will give you important information about the possible cause of underproduction.

- To do so, click on the affected micro-inverter on the PV array.
- A pop-up appears.
- Click on the graph icon to open the microinverter’s data.

- Select the curves you want to display by clicking under the graph.The non-displayed curves are in grey.Hover above the curves to display the values.

If it is only affecting a specific microinverter, you can also compare these values with an adjacent microinverter which is not showing underproduction for comparison.

You can download the information in the desired format by clicking the three bars on the top-right corner.

Possible causes:

– Shade.Repetitive pattern across multiple days. If we see a repetitive pattern and the microinverter is producing less at a specific time, but also at some point produces the same power as the rest of the group, a shade is causing the underproduction of that specific microinverter. Please note: Shades are not the same in winter when the sun is much lower.

– PV module issue.The DC voltage of that microinverter is low. If the DC voltage is lower than the adjacent microinverter;the problem is coming from the PV module.

– AC values out of range.Voltage too high or low. Most grid profiles set the AC voltage limit up to 253 V (+10V in UK). If the AC voltage exceeds this limit, the system might slow down or shut down the production to protect the microinverters.Most of the time, high AC voltages are caused by the local electrical grid.Please note: It won’t necessarily affect all the microinverters in the same way.Not all of them might be disconnecting.

– PLC communication issue. The microinverter is grey sometimes and/or shows a tiny flag on it:this indicates a communication issue.Some of the data sent by the microinverter can’t reach the gateway.The “Average real power” curve will show 0W when data is not transmitted.This doesn’t necessarily mean that the microinverters don’t produce but that their data is not uploaded correctly. On the “Power:Past 7 days” view, we will see an average being uploaded (production value stuck for longer period of time instead of the usual 15-minute update)

– Grid profile.Power exportation limit. A power export limiting grid profile might limit the microinverters’ maximum power at a specific moment. Correct installation of the CT is very important for it to work correctly.

– “Production below threshold” error message: It doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem with the microinverters.It means that you chose to be warned if the global production falls below a certain threshold.The estimation might not have been set correctly or the system might have been expanded recently.

This feature can be disabled here, after clicking on the Settings tab

– Maximum output of the microinverter vs PV module maximum output power.It is the microinverter that determines the maximum output power. For example: An IQ7+ installed with a 375W panel will produce 295W at the maximum power.(link to data sheets)

– Not finding a case that applies?>Submit a warranty request(link to how to SOTG)