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Thread: intermittent buzzing in electrical panel

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Clark County, NV
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    1,098
    Just insert wooden wedges between all the breakers!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Mesa Arizona
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    268
    [QUOTE=ggunn;1881955]
    Quote Originally Posted by bbartmasse r View Post

    At night there is (of course) no current in the conductors associated with the PV system, and that includes the PV production meter if there is one. The fact that whatever is causing the buzz started when the PV was installed is, IMO, either a coincidence or due to some other wiring or breaker that was disturbed when the system was put in.
    There is no power flow at night, but there may be current flow due to the filter capacitors in the inverter. I monitor many PV systems with data acquisition using separate power meters and they usually show zero power at night but some AC current (0.3A on an SMA 10KW inverter is typical, higher currents on some Fronius). Real power is zero, but reactive power is present. If the residence has some non-linear AC loads, either highly inductive or high harmonics such as from dimmers, the inverter can draw reactive current and this may cause the buzzing.
    If the circuit breaker is turned off when this happens and the buzzing does not stop, the problem is not due to the inverter.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NE Nebraska
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    37,903
    OP hasn't even verified the PV system is related to the problem, only that it was presumably noticed after the PV installation.

    Sounds very possible that it is something that happens every time HVAC compressor starts up or something like that. PV install could have moved/disrupted something allowing it to move/vibrate more easily then before the PV install but the condition was always there. Just one possibility of many.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Washington State
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    78
    The reason I posed the question is because it has been noticed enough time directly after a PV install that it makes me believe it is associated with the PV.

    3 different customers not including myself have noticed the same buzzing and described it in the same way. One of those three I heard myself and could confirm it was the same sound that comes from my panel.

    The other two are in my opinion credible sources, one of them even works for our local utility.

    The sound is elusive, when I hear it at my house I have only a few seconds to run over and investigate before it stops. The biggest loads I have in my house are a small water heater, small mini split heat pump (sound happened before I installed this), and a fridge.

    Interesting that nobody has come across this. thanks

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NE Nebraska
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbartmasse r View Post
    The reason I posed the question is because it has been noticed enough time directly after a PV install that it makes me believe it is associated with the PV.

    3 different customers not including myself have noticed the same buzzing and described it in the same way. One of those three I heard myself and could confirm it was the same sound that comes from my panel.

    The other two are in my opinion credible sources, one of them even works for our local utility.

    The sound is elusive, when I hear it at my house I have only a few seconds to run over and investigate before it stops. The biggest loads I have in my house are a small water heater, small mini split heat pump (sound happened before I installed this), and a fridge.

    Interesting that nobody has come across this. thanks
    Ok, fishing a bit here but maybe non true sinusoidal wave form from inverter output is contributing to that sound?

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    4,554
    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Ok, fishing a bit here but maybe non true sinusoidal wave form from inverter output is contributing to that sound?
    Seems to me it could even be the opposite; better quality wave from the inverter than utility. In either case I could see non-congruent waveforms perhaps leading to something. But personally I think the more likely explanation is just something getting disturbed or noticed due to work being done.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    LA basin, CA
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    1,821
    Quote Originally Posted by bbartmasse r View Post
    ..Interesting that nobody has come across this. thanks
    Did you read the attached letter in post #5 ?

    People have seen and diagnosed similar issues with SMA inverters & Siemens breakers.
    Roger Ramjet NoFixNoPay

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    4,554
    Quote Originally Posted by ramsy View Post
    Did you read the attached letter in post #5 ?

    People have seen and diagnosed similar issues with SMA inverters & Siemens breakers.
    I saw that post and decided not to comment because a) it was not necessarily on topic, and b) seems implausible. There's no sensible reason why Seimens breakers should be susceptible to problems when other brands of breakers are not, and that's just one example of a detail that makes little sense. I for one, would need to a quantification of the word 'numerous' in that letter before taking it seriously. It could just be a bad run of breakers from the factory, and it happened to be a solar installer who uses SMA who reported the problem. We solar guys do tend to use a lot of quads because we deal with existing panels instead of planning out enough spaces for new installs.

  9. #19
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    Dec 2007
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    NE Nebraska
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggedben View Post
    I saw that post and decided not to comment because a) it was not necessarily on topic, and b) seems implausible. There's no sensible reason why Seimens breakers should be susceptible to problems when other brands of breakers are not, and that's just one example of a detail that makes little sense. I for one, would need to a quantification of the word 'numerous' in that letter before taking it seriously. It could just be a bad run of breakers from the factory, and it happened to be a solar installer who uses SMA who reported the problem. We solar guys do tend to use a lot of quads because we deal with existing panels instead of planning out enough spaces for new installs.
    How is that not related enough to at least consider there might be a problem with at least one of Siemens products? Even if it is just one bad production run of product?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    4,554
    As I said, not necessarily in topic. The OP said nothing about Siemens or SMA, and the letter about Siemens failures said nothing about buzzing. We should have more info to connect the two before discussing them in the same thread.

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