If you are replacing your older solar power inverter with a new inverter a common issue that makes the changeover a little less straight forward is that most of the newer solar power inverters available are “transformerless” inverters.
Transformerless inverters are very efficient inverters however they can lead to an issue with solar panels and solar panel mounting systems on older solar power systems that haven’t been earthed as required in the latest Australian Standards.
Electric Shocks From Solar Panels With Transformerless Inverters
Most older solar power inverters such as SMA (not TL models), Delta, Fronius IG series, AeroSharp, Latronics, Sharp and Xantrex inverters among others were transformer inverters whereas a lot of the new solar inverters have a different design or topology; they are transformerless inverters.
Transformerless inverters require the solar panels on the roof and the framing system they are installed on to be earthed. This is due to the fact that tranformerless inverters can potentially allow some AC voltage to the DC side (the solar panel side) of the solar power system with respect to ground. If the solar panels and the solar panel mounting system are not correctly earthed they could potentially give an electric shock if touched. This type of an electric shock wouldn’t kill someone but would certainly shock you – and up on a roof is not a good place to get shocked! Being startled by an electric shock on a roof could make someone fall off the roof – and that’s not good!
How to Avoid Electric Shocks With Transformerless Inverters – Earthing
To remove the risk of electric shocks from solar panels connected to transformerless inverters the solar panels and solar mounting system needs to be earthed. If you are getting your inverter replaced with a transformerless inverter it’s very important that your solar panels and solar panel mounting system is earthed; or another option is to replace your inverter with a transformer model such as the Fronius Galvo series of inverter; however the Fronius Galvo are only available in 1.5kW, 2kW, 2.5kW and 3kW sizes.
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