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Author Topic: Proven 6kw Inverter problems.  (Read 948 times)
rodb
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« on: October 25, 2020, 11:39:01 AM »

 Hi .
I have a 6kw Proven turbine connected to a 6Kw SMA Sunny Central ( WB 6000A) grid tied inverter. This installation was commissioned in 2006 and  has worked well until this month when I had to get the turbine fixed for the first time since 2008. Back then it had a new generator fitted as the magnets disintegrated and gouged out the coils. These are sturdy beasts. However the SMA inverter has now failed with a " Disturbance  , Shutdown " fault  indicated on the front display. From the manuals I have, it says that this means " a temporary Inverter fault"  I have checked the mains input voltage to the inverter and that is normal and done the usual switch on and off routine with no success . Has anybody had experience of this fault and is it something that can be fixed onsite or is it a new unit.  I don't have leads for a PC to connect to the inverter as all the software parameters were set up by the installer who unfortunately is no longer available. The turbine is situated in the NE of Scotland. Any help would be very much appreciated. 
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kdmnx
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2020, 12:52:45 PM »

If your inverter was installed in 2006 then it is probably time to buy a new inverter. It is standard to expect a 10 year lifespan so you’ve done well to squeeze 14 years out of yours.
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rodb
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2020, 02:56:36 PM »

 Thanks for that. I know you are right but as the wind turbine and inverter have been running with virtually no input from me for close on 14 years it has paid for itself so I should not grudge getting a new inverter. That however brings me to the argument on whether it is cost effective. The turbine needs new blades £ 5000, ( I was told they only have about a 7 year lifespan?)and bearings, slip rings etc with the total cost nearing 7 grand. I do not have the equipment or the expertise to do it myself so would have to get a contractor. I am however reluctant to let it pass onto the scrapheap just yet so if I can find an inverter at a reasonable cost I will probably go ahead so if anybody knows of a good 6Kw inverter for sale even if it was second hand within warranty I would be interested. Thanks     
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Alan D
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2020, 04:02:23 PM »

If an operational fault develops. The display immediately switches to Disturbance.

The cause of the fault is displayed for five seconds. In the second line of the display. Does it display any data.

The three L.E.D. Indicate fault conditions.

If the Green L.E.D blinks once per second and the Red L.E.D. is continuously on it indicates a ground fault / Generator winding fault.

Is there any burning / carbon smells.

Have you removed the front cover and looked inside.

Bad news. The inverter is no longer available.
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camillitech
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2020, 08:09:44 AM »

If an operational fault develops. The display immediately switches to Disturbance.



Bad news. The inverter is no longer available.

Are you certain this is the case Alan  Huh Many SMA inverters and their WBPB are 'no longer available'  but if you contact them giving the serial number they will supply you an exchange unit at a fixed cost that includes delivery to your door and courier collection of the old unit. I have used this several times for 'obsolete' SMA equipment (including a WB6000) and have always received what appears to be a brand new unit in return. Having said that, the last WB6000 I returned was replaced with a yellow SB6000 but I just changed the parameters to the WB ones though it did seem to work OK with the settings already installed. Definitely worth speaking to them but have the serial number at hand.
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 9kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
kdmnx
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2020, 08:18:58 AM »

Thanks for that. I know you are right but as the wind turbine and inverter have been running with virtually no input from me for close on 14 years it has paid for itself so I should not grudge getting a new inverter. That however brings me to the argument on whether it is cost effective. The turbine needs new blades £ 5000, ( I was told they only have about a 7 year lifespan?)and bearings, slip rings etc with the total cost nearing 7 grand. I do not have the equipment or the expertise to do it myself so would have to get a contractor. I am however reluctant to let it pass onto the scrapheap just yet so if I can find an inverter at a reasonable cost I will probably go ahead so if anybody knows of a good 6Kw inverter for sale even if it was second hand within warranty I would be interested. Thanks     

I fully appreciate your "better to repair something than buy new" mentality. However you should really consider investing in a new installation. It sounds like it has lived a productive life, earned its keep, and now is time to say goodbye and welcome a new WT into your life. 
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rodb
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2020, 10:06:16 AM »

 Thanks for the info.
Alan, I have not yet looked inside but I shall do it . There is no sign from the outside of any burning etc.

Camilltech , Can you provide a contact number at SMA . I have been through their website but  all the options are for PV systems and their phone lines say they only want to talk to professional installers , which I am not. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks

kdmnx , Yes it certainly has . I used to keep a record of generation but gave that up many years ago. Back then its Capacity factor was very low (below 10%) even though the site was on a hillside with very few trees around. I have attached a picture of the turbine just after it was installed.

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camillitech
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2020, 03:39:12 PM »



Camilltech , Can you provide a contact number at SMA . I have been through their website but  all the options are for PV systems and their phone lines say they only want to talk to professional installers , which I am not. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks




Hi Rob, I just phoned up the Milton Keynes number and said I was after an exchange inverter or WBPB and was directed accordingly. Having said that, the last thing I bought was a WBPB and that came from Germany, it was priced in Euro's and they never asked for the old one back. They were all supposed to be 'service exchange' units but I swear they were all brand new, including the WBPB which had been out of production and no longer sold for years.

Good luck, Paul
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 9kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
rodb
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2020, 03:52:05 PM »

 Hi Paul
  Thank you for that , I shall give it a try. Since my last post I opened up the WB6000A and found the problem. The main inverter module ( igbt)  which is a ceramic module hidden at the back of the circuit boards had got very hot and cracked with scorch marks on the Pc board. I looked up the manufacture of the item (Semikron) and I could buy a replacement for around £60 but whether the failure is due just to age or there is collateral damage I am not sure so I think I will still look for a replacement.
  Thank you again for going to trouble of phoning.
                   Rod   
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rodb
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2020, 12:11:45 PM »

 Hi Paul
 I phoned  the Milton Keynes number  for SMA service and spoke to a service engineer but they just told me to contact an installer so I shall have to look elsewhere. For a bit of light relief I found some pictures of my damaged generator from a Proven 6kw in 2012 . Loosing magnets does some damage. I even found a bit of the magnet stuck to my tractor cab the other day !



 Rod
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floydy
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2020, 12:55:07 AM »

I'd have a pop at changing the IGBT module if I were you. It's not a massive expense and may well do the trick, especially as the control side electronics seem ok still. You can get hold of early SB3000 inverters easily enough, and reprogram two in parallel to do the job of the 6000. PM me if you need any help. As for the blades, they'll continue to work for a lot longer than 7 years, unless they're de-laminating or obviously cracked or floppy! In my experience the springs seem to make a lot of  difference to performance. Even if they look OK post rebuild with new rods etc, they seem to become less strong over time

Cheers,
Andy
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rodb
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2020, 03:08:58 PM »

 Andy .
 Thank you for your offer of help which I may take up. On checking up the price of a replacement igbt module I found  that there was a minimum order of 72!!! so I shall have to look elsewhere. Also as I feared there is collateral  damage to the PC board . See picture. Do you know anybody with a non working WB6000A that I could scavenge a new board from. 

I have however managed to persuade SMA to look at my request again  for a replacement and am waiting for a response so I am holding off doing anything to the board until I hear from them.
 Sorry I don't seem to be able to add a picture but if I work out what's wrong I shall send it on later. ( website postimage.org does not want to connect for some reason when I use the " Add image to post")
  Thanks again
      Rod   
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rodb
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2020, 06:56:16 PM »

 Hi Andy
  I can now post the picture of my WB6000A damaged board

  Rod
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floydy
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2020, 10:10:13 PM »

Hi Rod,
I've one of the older ones in the parts pile that has about 6 individual IGBTs, not one that type. I do have another 6000 here, which I could measure any mystery components on. I reckon you'd find it easier to pick up a couple of 3000s, I'll pm you in a min.

Andy
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