Understanding Solar Inverter and its warranty

Tania Tahseen

Tania Tahseen

Solar Performance Specialist

Solar inverter, warranty of solar inverter, Optimizer warranty, microinverter warranty
Solar Inverter and it's warranty

One of the most important components of a solar PV system that differentiate it from other solar systems is the inverter. Your solar installation company must have shared with you the details of the inverter and panel that they will be using at your plant. The cost that you have been charged by your solar installer company is also based on the inverter. The one thing that you have to take care of before installing any product at your home is the warranty of that product. In case of a solar PV system, the installers must have promised you that your system will run for 25 years and more. But do you know that this is the warranty of solar PV modules only. What about the warranty of other components of the solar PV system? Inverter warranties differ quite a bit from one company to another, so just comparing the length of one warranty with another does not give you the full picture. Since your solar inverter plays a significant role in the performance of your system, you want to be covered in case anything goes wrong.

In this article we will review the warranty of solar inverters.

Warranty for solar PV modules remains upto 25 years. For solar inverters the warranty will vary depending on the type of inverter. A normal string inverter comes with a warranty of 7-12 years. Here is a list of inverter warranty of commonly used solar Inverters.

What is covered in the warranty and what is not?

What is covered in the warranty and what is not?

1. Material

Generally, every manufacturer’s warranty covers the cost of the materials required to get your inverter functioning. Sometimes the problem can be fixed with a simple firmware upgrade while other times components will need to be replaced. Manufacturers may, at their own discretion, opt to replace the entire inverter.

2. Labor

Some manufacturer warranties (such as Fronius) will cover the labor required to effect a repair, while many will not. In the event that labor is not covered by the warranty you, as the system owner, are responsible for paying your solar service provider to install the new components/inverter.

3. Travel

Most service providers have a travel charge for service calls outside their immediate service area and no warranties cover this amount. The system owner will be responsible for these charges.

4. Shipping/handling/customs charges

As many inverter replacements/materials need to be shipped from international destinations, there may be shipping and or customs/duties charges associated with getting the required materials. If these amounts are not paid by the manufacturer (and sometimes they are not), the charges will be the responsibility of the system owner.

Given the great variety in warranty terms, it is important to understand your warranty and any costs that you may incur when having warranty work performed by a service provider.

Limitations & exceptions

Every inverter warranty comes with limitations and exceptions and this varies from inverter to inverter. There are few limitations and exceptions that you must know.

  • Transferring: Does the warranty transfer if you sell your home to someone else? Is there a fee for transferring the warranty?
  • Re-installing equipment: Are you moving, and wish to take your solar panel system with you? If you move your equipment and re-install solar inverters in a new location, your warranty may be voided.
  • Coverage of wires and cables: Make sure your terms mention wires and cables. The equipment supplied by many companies is not covered by a warranty - even if the company supplied it!
  • Natural disasters: Most inverter manufacturers will not cover damages caused by extreme weather events outside their control, such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. In most cases, solar panel systems can withstand most storms without any additional protection. Furthermore, many homeowner insurance policies cover solar panels and inverters in the event of damage during a storm.

Throughout this article, we have discussed warranties for power optimizers and inverters; however, you may receive some additional equipment with your inverter package, such as a monitoring system and smart energy products. You should review warranty coverage terms carefully to ensure that these are not different from the main inverter product. Do let us know if you want to know more about different types of inverter and their warranties.

Tania Tahseen

Tania Tahseen

Solar Performance Specialist

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