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Articles: Further Information, Calculators & Inverter Fault Codes

Lots of articles, calculators and technical information including links for further reading. Covering a range of topics related to the installation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic and electrical systems in the UK.

About In Balance Energy

Solar PV System Diagram

 

Solar PV Cell Types - Monocrystalline / Polycrystalline

 

Solar PV System design

Types of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System

Introduction to the different types of Photovoltaic (PV) System available including Grid Tied, Off-Grid, Hybrid and Batteryless solar PV systems.

Solar PV System Components

Overview of the basic components needed to install a complete solar PV system. Introduction to solar PV panels. power inverters, AC & DC isolators and mounting systems.

Evaluating Solar PV Panels - Which panels to buy?

What to look for when evaluating and selecting solar PV panels for UK installations. Electrical characteristics of solar PV arrays and the safety factors used for selecting BoS equipment, also mounting options.

Free Solar PV Calculators

A list of free solar PV calculators, solar design tools and software, Use to calculate solar yields and the Return on Investment (ROI) for solar PV systems.

Solar Electricity - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to size a system?, What is kWp?, What is the difference between a kilowatt (kW) and a kilowatt hour ( kWh)?, How does a solar PV system work?

Solar PV Information Articles

 

Solar PV Information Articles

 

Solar PV Information Articles

Preparing for a Solar Panel Installation

As with any construction project the success and efficiency of a solar PV panel installation comes down to good planning. Some advice for potential system owners preparing for a new solar panel installation.

Engineering Recommendation G98

Grid Connections for Micro-Generators including Solar PV Systems and Elecricity Storage Systems in the UK. Under 16Amps Per Phase, grid synchronised.

Solar PV, Safety & The Building Regulations

Residential PV systems notifiable under Part P. Special consideration needed for Part A. A combination of serious risks for solar PV installers.

Planning Permission for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

A solar PV installation can be classed as 'permitted development' subject to conditions and when not located within a conservation area, AONB or world heritage site.

Solar Panels - PV Array Calculator

Solar Panels: Solar PV System sizing and power yield calculator. Use to work out roof layouts, PV array sizes, No. of panels and power yields. Based on MCS irradiance datasets.

Flat Roof: Solar PV Array Spacing / Shade Calculator

The minimum required space between parallel rows to avoid shading is decided by the height of the array immediately in front, the slope of the roof and the lattitude of the installation site. This table illustrates the different row spacings required for optimum positioning in different locations.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) & Electrical Glossary of Terms

An alphabetical list of many of the industry and technical terms you are likely to come across when installing a solar PV system. The glossary also defines terms that are used in roofing and electrical work as well as in solar PV installation and solar manufacturing.

Backup Generator

 

Electricity mains supply meter

 

Solar PV Roof Hook

 

Cleaning Solar PV Panels

 

TT Earthing System

 

Danger 400V

How to provide power to a house using a portable generator

In this article we show you how to power your home using a portable diesel, petrol or LPG generator. We look at changeover switches, the importance of earthing, generator loadings, how to isolate non essential loads. We ask where to locate the generator when it's in operation, how best to safely isolate the mains supply and switch to a generator supply.

Surge Protection for UK Solar PV Systems

Recent changes to the BS7671 UK Wiring Regulations 18th Edition in the form of amendment 2 have introduced requirements and considerations for surge protection on both the AC and DC side of a solar PV System. In this article we take a look at surge protection, particularly in the context of the updated UK wiring regulations and how surge protection could best be incorporated into new and existing solar PV systems installed in the UK

Mains Power Supplies & Earthing Systems

Mains Supply and Earthing Systems: Location & accessability, supply systems, earthing, bonding, labelling, installing RCDs.

Solar PV: Smart Export Guarantee

The Smart Export Guarantee came into affect in January 2020. The Smart Export Guarantee is an obligation set by the government for licensed electricity suppliers to offer a tariff and to pay small-scale low carbon Generators and Micro-generators for any electricity that they export to the National Grid.

Safely Retrofitting Solar PV Roof Mounts

The things to consider before installing a retrofited solar PV system on a roof and an introduction to the type of equipment used to secure an on-roof solar PV system.

Cleaning Solar PV Panels

If the recent awful weather including storms, driving rain and powerful winds haven't cleaned your solar panels yet, then it's time to face some hard facts ... we suspect, having found this article, as you might already know, these so called 'self cleaning' solar panels are sometimes nothing of the sort!

Smart Switching / Solar PV Power Switching

Available as an addition to existing solar PV systems or installed as a package alongside a new system, Smart switching puts full control of a solar PV system's power output firmly in the hands of the system owner.

Solar PV: UK Feed in Tariffs

The solar PV Feed in Tariff (FIT) came to a close for new applicants on 31st March 2019. The FIT was a tremendously successful government backed incentive administered and regulated by OFGEM that was designed to promote the uptake of renewables in the UK

Solar Thermal System Design

Overview of solar water heating system types and system components. Useful background for those considering the installation of a solar thermal hot water system.

Wind Turbine Basics

An introduction to wind turbines and a look at the components that make up a wind energy system.

The effects damp can have on buildings

It is important to be aware that there are different types of dampness with each having a different solution.

Electrical Warning Signs & Labelling

A quick overview of some common electrical warning signs and labels that you might find attached to electrical equipment.

 

Solar Inverter Faults and Repairs

 

ABB / PowerOne Aurora Solar PV Inverter

 

Afore Anyhome Solar PV Inverter

 

Fronius IG Solar PV Inverter

 

Growatt Solar PV Inverter

 

 

Kaco Powador Solar PV Inverter

 

Mastervolt Solar PV Inverter

 

SMA SunnyBoy Solar PV Inverter

 

Solax Power Hybrid Solar PV Inverter

 

Solis Solar PV Inverter

 

Trannergy Solar PV Inverter

ABB / Power One Aurora Inverter Faults and Repairs

Power One, at one point were the second ranked inverter manufacturer in the world and there are many Power One Aurora Inverters installed in the UK. The most popular models being the Uno PVI-3.0-TL-OUTD and the Uno PVI-3.6-TL-OUTD.

Afore Inverter Faults and Repairs

Established in 2010 in Shanghai, China, Afore's 'Anyhome' series of solar inverters began to be installed in the UK from 2012-2013. Popular models include the HNS1500TL, HNS2000TL, HNS2500TL, HNS3000TL and the HNS3600TL.

Fronius IG / IG Plus Inverter Faults and Repairs

Fronius IG and IG Plus series inverters have LCD displays on the front of the chassis that providing it's working, will highlight any errors with the inverter or the solar PV system that it runs.

Fronius Primo Inverter Faults and Repairs

Fronius Primo inverters have LCD displays on the front of the chassis that providing it's working, will highlight any errors with the inverter or the solar PV system that it runs, we have listed and described common faults with Fronius Primo inverters and what action to take to resolve them.

Growatt AC Coupled Inverter Faults and Repairs

Growatt AC Coupled Battery Storage inverters are supplied with a 10 year manufacturers warranty so even if your initial installer is no longer trading then there is a good chance that if there is found to be a fault with the inverter that it can be repaired/replaced under the manufacturer's warranty.

Growatt Inverter Faults and Repairs

Established in 2011 in Shenzen, China, Growatt launched it's first products for the UK market in 2013. Growatt is now one of the top 4 solar inverter manufacturers in the world. The MTL-S Series inverters were widely installed in the UK from 2013 through to 2019.

Kaco Powador Inverter Faults and Repairs

Kaco New Energy's Powador inverters were widely installed in the UK up to 2016. Kaco New Energy was purchased by equipment manufacturing giants Siemans AG in 2019. Popular models included the Powador 2002, the powerdor 3002 and the Powador 4202.

Kostal Piko Inverter Faults and Repairs

Kostal Solar Electric was established in 2006 and is part of the Kostal Group. A family owned business, the Kostal group have been industry pioneers in automotive components for over 100 years. Kostal Solar Electric's development and manufacturing is carried out in Germany and they launched their first single phase 3.0 and 3.6 Piko inverters in 2009.

Mastervolt Inverter Faults and Repairs

Mastervolt Sunmaster and the smaller Soladin ranges of inverters were widely installed in the UK between 2011 and 2014. Popular Sunmaster models being the Sunmaster XS2000, Sunmaster XS3200 and the Sunmaster XS4300.

Samil Power Inverter Faults and Repairs

Founded in 2008, a fair number of Samilm Power's 'Solar Pond' 'Solar Lake and particularly their 'Solar River' inverters were installed in the UK before they ceased trading in 2017. Here we list and describe common faults with Samil Power inverters and what action to take to resolve them.

SMA Sunnyboy Inverter Faults and Repairs

SMA Sunnyboy Inverters have been widely installed in the UK, some of the most popular being the SB1200, SB2000 and SB3000. High frequency models include the SB2000HF, SB2500HF, and SB3000HF. Transformerless models include the SB3000TL and the SB3600TL.

SMA Tripower Inverter Faults and Repairs

German inverter specialists SMA have been a leading manufacturer in renewable energy technologies for the last 35 years. SMA's three phase Tripower Inverters come in a range of power ratings and have been widely installed in the UK for many years, some of the most popular being the transformerless STP-10000TL, STP-12000TL, STP-15000TL and the STP-17000TL.

Sofar Solar Mass Energy Storage Inverter Faults and Repairs

Established in 2013 Sofar Solar launched the ME3000SP Energy Storage Inverter in the UK in 2015. The ME3000SP proved to be a very succesful add on for new systems but proved to be particularly popular with those looking to add energy storage to existing solar PV systems.

SolarEdge Inverter and Optimser Faults and Repairs

The SolarEdge system is unique and in our opinion unrivalled in terms of it's ability to monitor system performance down to panel level. This is achieved through the installation of a small unit called an optimiser.

Solarmax S Series Inverter Faults and Repairs

The Solarmax S Series range of solar PV inverters were manufactured by Swiss company Sputnik Engineering AG. Unfortunately Sputnik Engineering ceased trading in 2014. The Solarmax brand and assets were sold to Renervest, a German photovoltaics company in 2015. The S series range of Solarmax inverters was launched and installed in the UK from 2010. Popular models included the 2000S, 3000S and 4200S.

Solax Hybrid Inverter Faults and Repairs

Most Solax Power hybrid inverters were provided with a 10 year manufacturer's warranty, so even if the initial installer is no longer trading, if there is found to be a fault with the inverter then Solax will cover the cost of a repair/replacement. Popular early UK models of Solax hybrid invertes include the SK-SU3000, SK-SU-3700 and the SK-SU5000.

Solax Inverter Faults and Repairs

Founded in 2010, Solax launched it's first solar inverters for the UK market in 2015. Most Solax Power inverters were provided with a 10 year manufacturer's warranty, so even if the initial installer is no longer trading, if there is found to be a fault with the inverter then Solax will cover the cost of a repair/replacement.

Solis AC Coupled Inverter Faults and Repairs

The most popular Solis AC Coupled Battery Storage inverter model in the UK is the RAI-3K-48ES-5G. Solis AC coupled storage inverters have an LCD display on the front of the chassis, which providing it's working, will highlight any errors with the inverter or the batteries that it runs. Here we have listed and described common faults with Solis battery storage inverters and what action to take to resolve them.

Solis Hybrid Inverter Faults and Repairs

Arriving relatively late to the UK, since the launch of their Series 2 (2G) inverters to the UK they've since grown from strength to strength, achieving the No1 spot for distributed solar in the UK in 2019. The most popular Solis hybrid inverter models in the UK are the the RHI-3K-48ES-5G, RHI-3.6K-48ES-5G, RH!-4.6K-48ES-5G and the RHI-5K-48ES-5G.

Solis Inverter Faults and Repairs

Solis inverters have an LCD display on the front of the chassis, which providing it's working, will highlight any errors with the inverter or the solar PV system that it runs. We have listed and described common faults with Solis inverters and what action to take to resolve them.

Sonnen Macht Inverter Faults and Repairs

The problem we often find with these inverters are damaged relays, the tell tale sign of a relay failure is an Error 19: Relay or Error 19: Relay Fault warning displayed on the inverter's display.

Trannergy Inverter Faults and Repairs

Founded in 2010 and introduced to the UK in 2012 a fair number of Trannergy's SGN Series inverters were installed in the UK up to 2016. Popular models include the SGN1300TL, SGN2300TL, SGN3000TL and the SGN4000TL.

External Documents

Referenced guides, documents and further reading. NB: This list is not regularly maintained or updated, many of these references and guides are likely to be out of date and are provided only as source references for the data and information found in the articles on this website that were written at the time.

Current users should ensure that the latest document version is being used by checking to see if a later version is available from the original source.

External documents will open in a new tab/window

Solar PV System Owners

Good Practice Guide - Managing the Installation of PV Systems (BERR)

RECC Consumer Code (Apr 2013)

Landlords Guide to Electrical Safety (Electrical Safety Council)

 

Solar PV Installers

Photovoltaics in Buildings - Guide to the installation of PV Systems 2nd Edition (DTI 2006)

Photovoltaics in Buildings - Safety & the CDM Regulations (DTI)

Health & Safety in Roof Work (HSE)

Five Steps to Risk Assesment (HSE)

Safe Isolation Procedure (Select)

Getting to Grips with Manual Handling (HSE)

Guide to Construction (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1996 (HSE)

Working on Roofs (HSE)

Work at Heights - The Basics (HSE)

Using Electric Storage Batteries Safely (HSE)

Guidance to the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (HSE)

Electrical Installations and their Effect on the Fire Performance of Buildings (ESC)

Guidance Notes on the UK Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 (DTI)

Earthing: Your Questions Answered (IEE, 2005)

MCS 001 Installer Certification Scheme Requirements v2.0

MCS 002 Information on Building Directives and European Regulations v1.5

MIS 3002 Requirements for contractors undertaking the supply, design, set to work, commissioning and handover of solar photovoltaic (PV) microgeneration systems v2.1

SAP 2009 v9.90 The Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings

Managing Health and Safety i Construction - Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

 

MCS Standards (Updated January 2024)

MIS 3002 v5.0 - Issued: 23.05.23 - The Solar PV Standard (Installation)

MGD 005 v1.0 - Issued: 16.09.24 - Solar PV Shade Evaluation Procedure - A method to determine Shade Factor

MGD 003 v2.0 - Issued: 27.04.22 - Solar PV Self Consumption - A method to determine the Electrical Self-Consumption of Domestic Solar PV Installations with and without Storage.

MGD 003 Lookup Tables - Issued: 27.04.22

Irradiance Datasets v2 - Issued: 24.07.13

RC62 v2 - Issued: 23.02.23 - Recommendations for Fire Safety with PV Panel Installations The Joint Code of Practice for fire safety with photovoltaic panel installations, with focus on commercial rooftop mounted systems.

MIS 3012 v1.0 - Issued: 22.11.21 - The Battery Standard (Installation).

MCS 017 v1.3 - Issued: 01.12.19 - MCS Product Certification Scheme Requirements: Bespoke Building Integrated Photovoltaic Products

MCS 005 v1.3 - Issued: 01.12.19 - MCS Product Certification Scheme Requirements: Solar Photovoltaic Modules

MCS 012 v3.0 - Issued: 16.05.23 - MCS Product Certification Scheme Requirements: Solar Mounting Kits

 

Building Regulations (Updated January 2024)

The Merged Approved Documents (March 2023)

Approved Document A - Structure (2004 edition inc 2004, 2010 and 2013 amendments)

Approved Document B1 - Fire Safety - Dwellings - (2019 edition inc 2020 and 2022 amendments)

Approved Document B2 - Fire Safety - Building other than Dwellings - (2019 edition inc 2020 and 2022 amendments)

Approved Document C - Moisture (2004 edition inc 2010 and 2013 amendments)

Approved Document E - Resistance to Sound - (2003 edition inc 2013, 2013 and 2015 amendments)

Approved Document F1 - Ventilation: Dwellings (2021 edition)

Approved Document F2 - Ventilation: Building other than Dwellings (2021 edition)

Approved Document K - Protection from Falling (2013 edition)

Approved Document L1 - Conservation of Fuel and Power - Dwellings (2021 edition inc 2023 amendments)

Approved Document L2 - Conservation of Fuel and Power - Buildings other than Dwellings (2021 edition inc 2023 amendments)

Approved Document M - Access & Use of Buildings (2015 edition inc 2016 amendments)

Approved Document P - Electrical Safety in Dwellings (2013 edition)

 

Planning Permission

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2012

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (amendment) (England) Order 2008

Planning Policy Guidance 2 (PPG2): Green Belts

Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS7): Sustainable Development in Rural Areas

By Design: Urban Design in the planning system towards better practice

Planning Policy Statement 22 (PPS22): Renewable Energy

Planning practice guidance for renewable and low carbon energy (July 2013)

 

Grid Connections

Engineering Recomendation G98 - Updated 16th June 2019

List of DNOs - Updated April 2019

Guide to Engineering Recommendation G98

About In Balance Energy

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We are located in Wanborough, very close to Swindon in Wiltshire, Southern England, UK. From here we service clients within a 90 minute driving radius including the towns, cities and regions below:

Swindon: Abingdon, Aldbourne, Andover, Banbury, Basingstoke, Bath, Berkshire, Bicester, Blunsdon, Box, Bracknell, Bradford on Avon, Bristol, Burford, Calne, Camberley, Carterton, Cheltenham, Chippenham, Chipping Norton, Chipping Sodbury, Cirencester, Corsham, Cricklade, Devizes, Didcot, Evesham, Faringdon, Fleet, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Henley-on-Thames, Highclere, Highworth, Hook, Hungerford, Keynsham, Kingsclere, Lambourn, Lechlade, Lyneham, Maidenhead, Malmesbury, Marlborough, Marshfield, Melksham, Minety, Newbury, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Pewsey, Purton, Ramsbury, Reading, Royal Wootton Bassett, Salisbury, Shalbourne, Slough, Stow, Swindon, Tewkesbury, Thatcham, Trowbridge, Wanborough, Wantage, Warminster, Wiltshire, Winchester, Windsor, Witney, Wokingham, Worcester, Wroughton and Yate.

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