October 23, 2023

What to expect for SA solar customers in the wake of extreme weather events

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If your home or power has been affected by the extreme weather events unfolding in SA, here’s what you need to know about your solar system!

  • Your solar is likely to experience dropouts over the next few days, as SAPN make repairs to the grid and restore power to homes
  • This is a standard feature and perfectly normal function when the grid is unstable
  • The system is designed to self-protect against voltage spikes
  • Your system will turn itself back on when it is safe for it to operate
  • Sit tight for a few days, don’t stress and stay safe
  • If any serious issue persists after grid power is restored, you are covered by our warranties and support.

Please see our FAQ page for more related questions.

Just touching base with some updates for anyone noticing or experiencing power outages or solar system faults - as a result of the heavy storm experienced throughout SA and metro Adelaide.

Many of our customers have reported once in a generation weather damage from high winds, flood rains and hail showers and are possibly several days or weeks even away still from having their home’s back to something recognisable as normal again.

You may be experiencing some temporary complications or troubles, we will try to help you navigate and understand what is happening.

The latest on the grid

The big interconnector, between the national electricity grid interstate and most of our local network (grid), is currently down. This interconnector usually acts as our emergency safety blanket that manages the power supply levels on a large scale.

The interconnector  was damaged in the storm. In response, SAPN is artificially pumping voltage into the grid from the battery banks in Pt. Wakefield to keep the network balanced at 50 Hertz and supply maximum households - as core infrastructure is repaired at the source.

This means voltage drops and spikes, can present as an issue for solar equipment (regardless of what system size, brand, type, age).

What am I looking for?

Thousands of solar systems across SA will be struggling to work and behave as expected. What might this look like on your end?  

  • Solar shutdowns, dropouts or short failures
  • Error codes
  • Warning lights
  • Phone app alerts & notifications
  • Utility loss messages

What is going on with my system when these things happen?

Your system is automatically protecting itself and only operating within a voltage range that won't allow harm to the inverter or panels. It’s basically your system’s immune system in fight or flight mode, blocking your panels from making power or sending it back into an unstable grid. Your inverter may keep shutting down, then will want to test or check if it is safe to cycle back into operation and do its job as per usual.

When will things be back to normal?

This may be constant, intermittent or no issue at all, but is certainly only a temporary situation. Rest assured this is completely normal and safe, it is actually a practice that is by design to protect your systems’ lifespan, and the technicians repairing the grid (who need safe environments in order to return power everywhere ASAP). Your system isn’t broken or going to suffer any permanent effects beyond potentially requiring a simple reconnection to WIFI.

We expect that some homes may see symptoms still for the next few days depending on the impact on your area. Once SAPN has completed work to get the grid back up and running,

If for any reason your system is still acting up once power has been restored to most nearby neighbourhoods then after a reasonable time, we can look to investigate and troubleshoot further on a case-by-case basis, For now - the vast majority of solar systems will simply correct themselves automatically.

What should I expect?

Before expecting to get full utilisation of your system again, we recommend leaving it for a few days before re-assessing if there are still any issues that might require extra attention. It really is a complete case-by-case basis that is out of both our hands.

Either way, we have your back!

We will be here to support you and are committed to the short and long-term success of your solar package from hello to handover. If needed, we will act quickly to minimise any downtime, complications or concerns.

Everyone here is in the same boat together, and SAPN is working full-tilt to get us all back to normal.

In the very rare and unlikely scenario, you still need assistance for a serious or persistent complication. You are still fully covered under our warranty umbrella, for all parts and labour, relevant to the system’s operational success (10 years+ from the date of installation).

Don’t stress, we’re all working together in the background

SAPNs number one priority is restoring power to all homes or stabilising power for as many as possible as it can be very dangerous for vulnerable members of the community. Go Sunny’s priority is ensuring the best outcomes for customers, within the constraints of the wider network and infrastructure.

Bonus Tip!

Your home and contents insurance is an area you can review as an avenue to cover any weather/storm/roof/home damage.

What Next?!

1. If you have noticed no change for your home or solar, that's great news! No need to fix it, if it ain’t broken.

2. If you are noticing shutdowns or underperformance, give it a few days' time as SAPN catch up. Then, Re-assess your monitoring or inverter screen for any lingering issues.

Who can I contact?

Firstly, most of the impacts will be widespread across the network. SAPN is best to try contact on 13 13 66 by phone, or updates are regularly displayed on their outage map.

The local news, social media and your energy retailer may be able to shed more light on progress, should you need to be in touch with the latest developments.

Go Sunny Team

Keep the lines of communication open, reach out to our team if you have power restored to normal and still find any concerns with your system, so we can make sure everything is all how it should be.

Here are all the best people to contact, and their best contact methods for safekeeping.

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