T

he story began back in 2014 when the Swiss tech giant ABB acquired a small solar company named Power One, which was renowned for manufacturing top-quality residential inverters. Their most popular product was called the Aurora, which many considered to be one of the best in the world.

How Aurora solar inverter fell short: a retrospective

That's when everything started going downhill. The Aurora solar inverter seemed to be a well-designed product, but its internal components were unreliable. The device began failing at an alarming rate,  with the EO31 fault being the main issue. Due to technical glitches and inadequate customer support, ABB's inverter faced a decline in reputation as customers filed complaints. As a result, ABB made the decision to leave the business in July 2019, and by 2020, they had successfully sold their inverter business to FIMER, a leading Italian-based solar inverter distributor.

Top problems with Aurora solar inverters

Many customers have experienced various issues with Aurora equipment, and one of the most common is the E031 error. To put it simply, if your Aurora Power One/ABB solar inverter is showing an E031 message, it means that the device has a relay failure and cannot read incoming voltage. This is a critical issue that requires the inverter to be replaced. Since this error is generally caused by an internal component malfunction, it is unlikely that home and contents insurance will cover it. Benefit from solar tax credit: Save money while investing in renewable energy. Go green, save green!

Some of the other problems reported by customers include communication errors, DC input overvoltage shutdowns, ground faults, and issues with the fan. In some cases, customers have reported difficulties obtaining technical support or replacements for faulty equipment.

If you're facing issues with your Aurora inverter, you might be wondering what to do next. Unfortunately, these inverters don't have many repairable parts, so you may need to replace the whole unit. However, before you do that, it's worth checking to see if the issue is actually with the inverter itself. Faulty wiring or DC isolators can sometimes be the culprit, so consider getting a diagnosis from a reputable repair service to help identify the cause of the problem.

FIMER takes the lead after Aurora's failure

ABB's exit from the inverter sector after the Aurora failure provided an opportunity for FIMER to acquire the company's manufacturing and R&D centers in Finland, India, and Italy, which employ a staff of 800 people spanning 26 countries. They took over the production under their own brand and improved the reliability of the inverters.

Today, FIMER offers both single-phase and three-phase string inverters for photovoltaic systems. Among their most sought-after products is the UNO-DM series, available in different capacities ranging from 3.3 kW to 6.0 kW. They have an operating efficiency rate of 97% to 97.4%, which is on par with the industry standard. Generally, a UNO-DM string model is an affordable and dependable choice for residential installations. It features smart monitoring, which makes it easy to keep track of, and comes with a standard five-year warranty that can be extended to 10 years.

Conclusion

To sum up, the Aurora story is a cautionary example of how a highly respected product can lose its shine rapidly when faced with reliability concerns and inadequate customer support. Despite its initially promising design, Aurora's inner workings proved to be unreliable, causing significant harm to ABB's reputation.

ABB eventually decided to leave the PV inverter business, and FIMER took over, improving the reliability of the inverters and offering an affordable and dependable choice for residential installations with their UNO-DM series string inverters. Overall, the Aurora solar inverter serves as a reminder of the importance of reliable components and strong customer support in the renewable energy industry.

Posted 
Apr 25, 2023
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