Solar Guppy - All Things Solar Forum

It is currently Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:55 pm GMT EthGMT

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Kyocera KC-120 panel failure?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:38 pm GMT EthGMT 
Offline
Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 2:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 14
Location: La Mirada, CA
I have an array of 24 KC-120's with a manufacture date of 10/2000, installed 1/2001. Last summer two panels failed (each panel has two sections internally connected in series, one section in each panel failed, so the panel produced only half its rated voltage). This year I have four panels that failed.

Anyone have experience with KC panel failure? Am I an isolated situation? How can I get on Kyocera's case about this 25% panel failure rate?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Kyocera kc120 failure
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 5:39 pm GMT EthGMT 
Its funny you should ask! I haven't been to solar guppy in months, but I just discovered that one of my 24 KC120s was not producing and its
failure mode was that 1/2 of the two sections in series is open circuit.
The bypass diodes were therefore forward biased an dropped 1 volt.

I have just emailed Arizona wind and Sun to ask about how to
return the panel under warranty. The fact that it has happened
to you many times is not good news. I bought my panels approx
3 years ago (summer 2001) and did not have any problems with them until now. I hope this is not as bad as the Xantrax Sun tie fiasco, where
I had to install the sun-tie 2500 4 times!

John Vallerga
Oakland, CA


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 1:52 am GMT EndGMT 
Offline
Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 2:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 14
Location: La Mirada, CA
Here's what I just wrote to Henry:

After reporting to Kyocera that five of my panels were producing half-voltage this summer, and the problem is not by-pass diode failure, Kyocera contacted me and is replacing all of the panels (i.e., 17 have not appeared to fail yet). Apparently I had gotten panels from a production run in 1999/2000 where bad solder was used, and it developed a high resistance and often failed. Unfortunately, this defect could not be tracked through panel serial numbers.

I removed the old panels (and re-shingled the roof while I was at it), and installed the new ones this weekend. The difference in performance with the new panels is phenomenal…. The peak output from the old array and inverter was around 1600 W AC (with all old panels functional!), the new array and inverter put out 2150 W AC. This is about a 30% improvement in output, and much more in line with the performance that I was expecting to receive from the system when I engineered it. Clearly, even though these old panels "worked," they did not produce their rated/warranted output.

My thanks for Kyocera for replacing the whole set, but clearly I was having problems with the whole array. I am wondering if Kyocera has issued a product recall, or has a formal plan to track down registered owners and report the (possible) problem to them. I don't think that I sent in my warranty registration and panel serial number list to Kyocera, so I can't fault them for not contacting me, but I would hope that they are proactive in alerting known owners of the potential KC-120 problems.

Henry, I just thought I'd bring you up to date, and inform Lisa and Michelle of the incredible improvement the new panels are giving. I will connect the solar-guppy software to the inverter soon and get some performance data for the system. Fun!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>

In talking to the Kyocera rep, having a single panel fail is not cause for panic; that can/does happen. However, if you lose more, or if your system is somehow not producing close to what you would expect (ie., 1600 W instead of the 2100+W I had engineered it for), then it may be worth pursuing.

I would suggest contacting Kyocera directly. The key person there is Michelle Rabieh, (800) 544-6466.

john


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:15 pm GMT EthGMT 
I installed two banks of Kc-120, 20 each, with Sunnyboys and have been operating since April 2002. Last September the output powers began to drop. You can see the effects on the FSEC site - Lary Home Homestead. The voltages are getting so low on lne of the banks that the Sunnyboy is dropping out. FSEC is going to take a couple of suspect panels back with them and anlyze the problems. Has anyone heard of more issues like this besides the ones already on this site?


Top
  
 
 Post subject: KC 120 Panel Failures and Replacements
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:27 pm GMT EthGMT 
Offline
Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 2:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 16
My underperforming (30%+) KC 120 panels finally failed and were replaced free of charge by Kyocera.

I had one complete failure and 3 half failures out of a lot of 20 panels that were manufactured and purchased in September 2001. Serial numbers for this lot was 01932B0626 through 01932B0645.

I found that the only way to measure the failures were under load conditions - the panels connect to the inverter and under sun. I found that if I measure the panels disconnected from the inverter the voltage could float up and the panels would measure OK.

The measure voltage of these failures under load conditions were less than one volt.

As posted by John_Bloom, I followed his recommendation to contact Kyocera directly - namely Michelle Rabieh (800) 544-6466 ext. 7726 - she was very helpful!

I have 72 KC 120/125 panels - now all three arrays of 24 panels are performing the same - yes, yes,yes!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:51 pm GMT EthGMT 
Offline
Fish Eggs
Fish Eggs

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:41 pm GMT EthGMT
Posts: 8
Location: Ridgecrest, CA 117.65W 35.58N
I had the same failure occur on 3 KC120 modules in January 2005. I had failed module on two different dates in 2004 and after paying for shipping replacement modules I finally asked to talk to a technical rep, hoping to find out how many times I was going to have to ship the panels, two at a time. I was contacted and my remaining 30 panels were replaced, shipping pre-paid. I did send in the warranty information and Kyocera was not pro-active in solving their problem. I found the service section at Kyocera was more concerned with who was the original seller of the panels and having them handle the problem than with supporting the user. I'm not sure why they wanted the original seller to handle the replacement, except their return 'policy' seemed designed to insure Kyocera was never at risk in shipping a replacement before they had the failed unit in hand. As expected, no offer was made to compensate for repair cost. The new modules do indeed perform better; I measured a 20% improvement.

_________________
36 KC-120's on 3 WattSun AzEl Trackers into 2 SunTie 2500's


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: KC-120's Failure
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 2:29 pm GMT EthGMT 
Offline
Fish Eggs
Fish Eggs

Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 5:37 pm GMT EthGMT
Posts: 3
So I was performing system battery maintenance yesterday when I happened to get my electric bill for the month. Low and behold I've used 300kwh? How could that be since this is the time of year where I generate more than I use.

I also notice that my C60 is showing very low numbers...and start the whole investigation process ... I discover that I've got 7 dead panels out of a total array of 24. But, upon closer inspection, I notice that if I push on the backside of the panel I actually can get a connection of the cells. Bad solder joints I ask myself?

I call my good friends at Carlson Solar and ask Mary if there is a known problem regarding this and she replied that, yes, there is but only a certain date codes...which I happen to have for my panels (2001.4) and that they will come out and replace them with KC130GT's at no charge to me!...and they will replace ALL the panels not just the dead ones now!

I am glad Kyocera did this as I wonder for how long my system has been under performing...

System currently is 24x KC120, Trace SW4024, a C60 and C40 but will be going away to become an SMA4000U with the new panels. When I put it in it was the ONLY inverter that was allowed for grid tied applications at the time.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 2:30 am GMT EthGMT 
Offline
Guppy
Guppy
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:58 pm GMT EthGMT
Posts: 214
Location: pittsburgh
you're getting a bonus with the replacement of those pvs with an extra 10 watts per pv. let's see 24x10=240w. it's like you'll have the equivalent of 26 good kc120s now with the implementation of the 24 kc130s.


Last edited by niel on Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:41 am GMT EthGMT, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: I know the extra wattage is great!!!
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:22 pm GMT EthGMT 
Offline
Fish Eggs
Fish Eggs

Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 5:37 pm GMT EthGMT
Posts: 3
...and I'm going to add a a whole new inverter setup with a west/southwest array of 10x 175w's to cover all the usage...now with solar radiant floor heating from the hot water and all the other things I'm completely off grid right in the middle of San Diego. SDG&E showed up about my gas uasge a few months ago. Seems, that they thought I had a "leak" since I use so little....service person had never seen a house that was so hi-tech (Crestron automation system) and so efficent.

Like to "sneak" a wind system in just to play with it so so if I could harness the morning and evenings winds down the valley. My neighbors get a kick out of me...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm GMT EthGMT 
Offline
Guppy
Guppy
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:58 pm GMT EthGMT
Posts: 214
Location: pittsburgh
in the future they may be coming to you for advice on how they can do it too. :o :o :P


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kyocera KC-120 panel failure?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:08 pm GMT EthGMT 
Offline
Fish Eggs
Fish Eggs

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:52 pm GMT EthGMT
Posts: 6
I found this thread via Google while looking for information about KC 120s failing in the field. After performing fine since mid-2001, 2 of my 24 KC 120s failed this spring when their output fell to one-half of normal. Kyocera told me that they would replace the 2 failed modules with brand-new KC 130s under warranty, but I was surprised when they shipped me 24 replacement modules rather than the 2 that I had requested. When I told Kyocera that I only needed 2 replacement modules, they told me that if I was to hire someone to replace all 24 modules, they would reimburse me for the expense. Since I wasn't in a position to replace all of my PV modules, I declined Kyocera's offer, but it makes me wonder if they're having reliability issues with KC 120s in the field.

_________________
Kenji


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:15 am GMT EthGMT 
Offline
Guppy
Guppy
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:58 pm GMT EthGMT
Posts: 214
Location: pittsburgh
yes, they had some problems with some of the kc120s and if they sent you 24 pvs it is to replace all of your kc120s as sooner or later the rest will go and kyocera is being great about it owning up to the problem and their willingness to honor warantys. :o :D accept the kc130 pvs from them to replace your kc120s.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:45 pm GMT EstGMT 
Offline
Catfish
Catfish
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 5:53 pm GMT EthGMT
Posts: 31
Location: corinna maine
Yes what Neil said take the extra 240 watts and enjoy

_________________
The sun rises every day...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: kc-120 failures
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:41 pm GMT EthGMT 
Offline
Fish Eggs
Fish Eggs

Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 5:37 pm GMT EthGMT
Posts: 3
....plus you've got to remember that those kc-130's that you just installed are now derating to the lowest panels....the other kc-120's.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: My old arrays went south ...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:15 pm GMT EthGMT 
Offline
Red Cobra Delta Guppy
Red Cobra Delta Guppy
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2002 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 1158
Location: Lakeland Florida
Well, my first arrays ( my old house ) have had failures, the owner called two week ago saying the solar system was sick and I went and checked things out, the old Sunties had died, I had them contact Xantrex and they were able to get GT2.5's for the 999.00 price, great deal of them

Today, I went and installed the GT's and then found the KC120's ( may 2001 date codes ) , probably about 30-35% of the panels have issues.

Its the interconnects failing, clear as day, brown spots on the back. I login into MY forum at the owner home and got the contact info, which has changed!

Vicki Myers
Customer Service

KYOCERA Solar, Inc.
7812 East Acoma Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Office: (800) 544-6466
Fax: (800) 523-2329

Vicki.Myers@kyocera.com
http://www.kyocerasolar.com

The owner contacted the above person, and within minutes sent a email with a claim form, which I helped fill out and we emailed it back. To Kyocera's credit, they were very prompt and willing to swap the array.

Lucky me, I get to do the swap of the 48 panels ... :shock: , I'll get paid and the home owners are happy that the system was warranted! , the cost to them will be about 2500 for a complete replacement of dual 2880 arrays after 6 years of service, thank god its ground mounted!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Powered by phpBB © 2000 - 2020 phpBB Group

phpBB SEO

© SGT 2002 - 2020 Solar Guppy