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PV System Failure

PV System Failure

PV System Failure

In a few days, I will be performing a forensic inspection of a PV system at a residential property. It was installed 12 to 18 months ago. The power production data of each panel is accessible by both the homeowner and the contractor who installed the system, which leads me to believe that a microinverter is installed at each panel.

According to the homeowner, a panel failed back in January. By March, nearly half of the panels had failed. (I am assuming that "failure" corresponds to a cessation of power production.) The PV contractor performed their own inspection and alleged that the panels and/or the microinverters failed due to lightning activity or a utility-generated surge. They do not intend to perform warranty repairs.

A lot of my work involves lightning damage and surge claims, but I don't have much experience in terms of PV systems. I found a very informative paper on PV panel failure modes, but it specifically excludes lightning activity and other force majeure events. Does anyone have any experience with PV system failures such as these? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

RE: PV System Failure

Was it this one?


Blaming it on grid power is the easiest cop out available.
Lightning in January? Where is this place located. There are archives for past lightning strike locations all over the country.

RE: PV System Failure

It wasn't that one. The paper that I found was in PDF format. I believe it was dated 2014. I'll try to dig it up on my work laptop.

The property is located in the southeast United States. It's in a high lightning activity region. We are required to pull lightning activity and weather data reports for these types of incidents.

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