How to reduce the negative impact of extreme heat on solar inverters?

· About Solar Panels,PV Industry News
average daily maximum temperature in southern Europe

The best time of year to use solar energy is during the summer. It could also be a hard time for solar converters. Parts of southern Europe are in the middle of a heatwave, and temperatures could break records in the next few days. In parts of Spain, France, Greece, Croatia, and Turkey, the temperature is likely to go above 40C (104F). Temperatures could get as high as 48.8C (119.8F) in Italy. Ten towns, like Rome, Bologna, and Florence, have been given a red alert warning. Experts say that there are more and more times when it is very hot, and because of climate change, it is now normal to have temperatures that break records (BBC Weather, July 2023). In this blog post, we'll talk about how to keep your solar generator cool this summer, even though it's very hot. If you follow these tips, you can rest assured that it will run easily the whole season.

residential solar panels connected to the grid

How do inverters function?

An inverter is one of the most important parts of a solar energy system. It is a machine that changes the direct current (DC) electricity that solar panels make into the alternating current (AC) electricity that the electrical grid needs. DC keeps the electricity's voltage the same in one way. In an AC circuit, electricity moves in both ways as the voltage changes from positive to negative. Inverters are a type of power electronics, which is a group of devices that control the flow of electricity.

In effect, an inverter changes the direction of a DC input quickly so that it becomes an AC input. In the end, a DC input turns into an AC output. Using filters and other circuits, you can also make a clean, repeating sine wave that changes in voltage and can be added to the power grid. The sine wave is the shape or pattern that the voltage takes over time. It is the type of power that the grid can use without hurting electrical equipment that is made to work at specific frequencies and voltages.

If your home is powered by solar energy, your transformer probably does more than one thing. In addition to turning your solar energy into AC electricity, it can also watch the system and act as a way for computers to talk to each other. Solar-plus-battery storage systems can work without help from the grid if they are built to do so. They do this with the help of high-tech transformers.

How do inverters function?

High temperature's effects on solar inverters

1. Solar inverters can only work in a certain range of temperatures. If these temperatures are passed, the inverter will not work as well.

In photovoltaic power plants, electronics like inverters are used. Inverters have a lot of common electrical parts, integrated circuits, and high-power switching transistors. Most electrical parts made for human use can work in temperatures between -35°C and 70°C, and most solar inverters can work in temperatures between -30°C and 60°C. Both standard electronic circuits and integrated circuits will become unstable when they go outside of this range. This is a minor state that will cause equipment to go offline, but a more serious state will damage equipment.

2. The temperature has a big effect on the capacitors in solar inverters, and high temperatures can even cause them to break.

Solar inverters have a lot of electrolytic capacitors, and they usually have a mix of large-capacity electrolytic capacitors to keep the voltage of the PV input stable and stop disturbance. High temperatures are bad for these capacitors because they cause the electrolyte inside to slowly drain, which can make the capacitor less effective or even cause it to break.

3. The high power thyristor in the solar generator will burn if the temperature is too high.

The high power thyristor in the solar generator is a part that is very sensitive to temperature. High temperatures will affect how well the high power thyristor works and how long it lasts. High temperatures will also cause the high power thyristor to burn.

4. If it gets too hot, the materials in the solar generator can get damaged, and it will work much less well.

Semiconductors used in solar generators are pretty strong and can handle high temperatures to a certain degree. The heat made by an inverter when it changes DC power to AC power raises the temperature of the room where the inverter is. Fans and/or heat sinks in the cover of the inverter get rid of the heat, which is then turned up. The amount of heat shouldn't be too high, because that would cause the materials in the inverter to break down. In capacitors, the metal parts can wear out, the solder can grow and crack, and the insulation can become hard. Once the temperature hits a set point, the inverter will stop making power or reduce its output by "derating" in order to keep the heat level steady.

solar panels

Cooling types of inverters

First of all, we need to know that radiators, cooling fans, and thermal grease are the main parts of the inverter cooling system. There are two major ways to cool solar inverters at the moment: active cooling and passive cooling. Active cooling is the process of letting heat from local heating devices escape into the surroundings to control the temperature without using any extra energy from the outside. Passive cooling is mostly a way to get rid of the heat a device gives off by making the air around it move around it with fans or other tools.

Active Cooling

The heat is moved away from the inverter by its cooling fins without the help of a fan. The hotspots of warm air that form when air doesn't move around the solar generator shorten its life. There are usually three main ways for heat to move: conduction, convection, and radiation. Of these, natural convection is the most important form of convection.

Active cooling is often good for low-power devices and components that don't need to control temperature very well and don't have a lot of heat flowing through them. Other cooling methods aren't good for devices that are sealed or packed together tightly.

Passive Cooling

After using active cooling, the next choice is to use passive cooling. Passive cooling lowers the temperature and gets rid of hot spots by cooling all the electrical parts and heat sinks quickly. By reducing the stress on components, the life of solar generator parts is lengthened. Since how well heat is removed affects how much power is made, the inverter's cooling fan is very important.

This method is a way to get rid of heat that is easy to use and has a clear effect. This way of cooling can be used as much as possible if there is enough room between the parts of the part for air to flow or for heat sinks or fans to be put in place for cooling.

how solar works

How can we keep the solar inverter cool when it's hot outside?

1. Put the transformers in cool places, like on a shaded wall instead of the roof.

Make sure that your solar generator is first installed in a cool, shady place. This will help bring the inverter's temperature down and keep it from getting too hot.

Some technicians put enough computer cooling fans around the inverter to keep it at the right temperature.

Check the temperature of your solar generator. Cool it down if it gets too hot. The sun can help. Solar fans move air around the generator to keep it cool. If you don't have a solar fan, you can point a normal fan at the inverter. Don't blow trash onto the inverter from the solar panel to keep it from getting too hot.

2. Choose places that have enough airflow. Make sure you know when more airflow is needed.

You must make sure that there is enough air flow around your solar generator. If the inverter is set up in a small space, the temperature may rise, which could cause damage to the solar inverter.

Leave at least 30 cm of room on all sides of the solar inverter to make sure it can breathe well. Also, make sure that the solar charger is not close to anything that makes heat, like a stove or dryer.

Most inverters have holes on the bottom or sides that let hot air escape. To make sure the solar generator works well, these must be kept clear.

If you live in a hot area, it's especially important to make sure your solar inverter has good air.

Improving wind means:

Enhancing airflow involves:

  • Installing a solar inverter in an open space, such as next to a window or door or on a wall
  • Making cross ventilation with a desk fan
  • Letting in cool air by opening windows and doors

3. Don't put inverters in the full sunlight.Use existing inverter shadows or covers for outdoor installations.

Many people don't know that putting their inverter where it will get direct sunlight is not a good plan. In the instructions, many makers say that the inverter should be put "where it is not exposed to direct sunlight." Whether it's the morning sun or the afternoon heat, you should always take steps to avoid strong sunlight and high temperatures.

If your home or business doesn't have a good shaded area and you're good at DIY, you can also make your own shade cloth box that goes over the inverter and is attached to the wall.

As shown in the picture below, you could also install some shade fabric to make a cover that looks like an umbrella.

broken image

4. Keep the minimum distance from other inverters or nearby items that is suggested in the installation guide.

If there are more than one transformer, make sure there is enough space between them.

Make sure that heat doesn't move from one battery to another because of where they are placed. Offset passively cooled inverters let heat from the heat sinks rise up and escape.

When you think the temperature could be higher at the installation spot, you should increase the clearance.

5. After putting in an inverter, it's important to keep up with its upkeep.

Keep the inverter cool and able to get rid of heat by cleaning the fan, fan cover, or heat sink regularly. Most of the time, the inverter uses advanced air-cooling technology to get rid of heat, and the fan will change its speed based on the temperature inside the inverter. While the fan is going steadily, the inverter can also make it last longer. The inverter also has a fan failure alarm function, which allows operation and maintenance staff to receive alarm information in the background while monitoring, quickly and accurately find the fault, and help operation and maintenance staff fix the fan failure in a timely manner to minimize power generation loss and ensure power generation revenue.

In Europe, there ave been more heat waves and very hot days in the last few years because of global warming. The higher temperatures of the sun on a hot day can sometimes put stress on the inverter in your solar power system. With these tips, you can keep your solar generator cool and running well all summer. Take advantage of the sun's energy by powering your home with solar energy right now.

Maysun Solar has been making high-quality solar panels since 2008. Choose from our wide range of solar panels, which come in full black, black frame, silver, and glass-glass styles and use half-cut, MBB, IBC, and Shingled technologies. These panels look great and work very well. They are also easy to install on any building. Maysun Solar has built offices, warehouses, and long-term relationships with the best installers in several countries. If you have any questions about PV or want the most up-to-date prices for solar panels, please feel free to get in touch with us. Maysun can also help you if you need advice on how to set up a solar system. We are eager to help you.

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