NWT Energy were successful in the tender process and following the instruction to proceed with the installation of the new system, were also asked to inspect the existing systems in order to check for any issues and to ensure that they were operating effectively. Following the inspection there were a number of issues to address.
PV string issue
One string of the 22 kW array, an estimated 24 panels (approximately a third of the total), was not producing any power. The DC cables from the arrays had not been terminated in to the ‘Sunclix’ inverter plugs correctly. This led to overheating of the connections during times of high production. One of the plugs had failed as a result of this and needed to be replaced. The tarnished appearance of the conductors at the point of failure suggested this string has been out of action for some considerable time.
In addition to this NWT identified that the inverter firmware was out of date. Updating to a newer version could improve inverter efficiency.
The remaining existing plugs also needed to be terminated correctly to negate the risk of any more plugs overheating. This work had the added benefit of reducing system losses slightly. All of this remedial work was carried out at a low cost, which will certainly pay for itself in a matter of months and continue to increase revenues and optimise performance in the future.