Too much sun and everything can’t cope: more than 5,000 complaints about failing solar panel inverters | Domestic

Too much sun and everything can’t cope: more than 5,000 complaints about failing solar panel inverters | Domestic
Too much sun and everything can’t cope: more than 5,000 complaints about failing solar panel inverters | Domestic
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In 2023, Fluvius has received more than two-thirds more complaints about failed inverters of solar panel installations. The Flemish power grid operator announced this on Wednesday. Too much sun is not always good, as it turns out.

At times when there is a lot of sunshine, the electricity grid can temporarily become overloaded locally, causing inverters to fail. “As a result, the solar panels no longer generate energy for a while,” Fluvius explains. “The phenomenon exists especially in rural areas.”

Significantly more complaints

The grid operator ultimately received 5,042 complaints about this last year, significantly more than the 2,991 complaints in 2022. In the meantime, the number of solar panel installations in Flanders increased by 160,000 to 925,000. Fluvius emphasizes that this concerns a share of only 0.55 percent.

But Fluvius takes every complaint “very seriously” and the grid operator is expanding its action plan this spring. “We realize that the problems will not go away tomorrow,” he said. “Unfortunately, that will take some patience.”

Initially minor interventions

In the short term, Fluvius is trying to see whether it can solve problems with minor interventions in the electricity grid and will carry out additional studies and measurements if necessary. The grid operator is switching to a thicker above-ground cable type and is also testing advanced voltage regulators.

An inverter of a solar panel installation in Lierde, for illustration. © BELGA

In the medium term (1 to 2 years), Fluvius will also carry out structural works on the grid and install new distribution cabins. Permits and material orders, among other things, delay these interventions.

Finally, Fluvius is also investing an additional 4 billion euros in the distribution network between 2023 and 2032 due to increasing electrification – such as electric cars, heat pumps and solar panel installations. It’s becoming more and more. “That should also solve the problems with failing inverters in their entirety,” it said.

Right to compensation

Victims are entitled to compensation as long as the problems persist. In 2023, this amounted to 10.6 euros per kilovolt-ampere of inverter power. The Flemish government has yet to determine the amount for this year.

WATCH ALSO. It was already clear at the end of last year: the number of complaints about failing solar panels is increasing sharply

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: sun cope complaints failing solar panel inverters Domestic

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