SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

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raysun
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SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by raysun » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:03 am

I have been looking into Lithium batteries to replace my aging VRLA bank. After a good deal of research, I've settled on SimpliPhi-48-3.8 blocks.

A sticking point, for me at least, is the language in their warranty. A lot of it is technical system requirements, which are fine, and easy to meet. The rub lies in their requirement that the deployment must be done by a "licensed installer". I'm not sure what an installation license for Phi batteries entails, but I had a hard time tracking someone down who has one. ;)

I wrote to their sales team this morning and received, in part, this reply:

"As luck would have it, we are removing the requirement for a "licensed" professional as it states in our warranty. We have softened the language to read "qualified installer." Look for that updated warranty document to appear on our website within the coming days. I have attached a pdf copy here. Depending on who performs the installation, please be sure you or your installer fully understand our installation requirements. All the documentation you will need is on our product documentation page."

I haven't cracked open the new language, and the devil is always in the details, but the salesguy talk is heartening.

fcwlp
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by fcwlp » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:31 pm

raysun wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:03 am
"As luck would have it, we are removing the requirement for a "licensed" professional as it states in our warranty. We have softened the language to read "qualified installer."
Interesting. A "licensed electrician" means someone passed a state administered test at some point in time, could read the NEC and now has a piece of paper. Does not mean that they know anything about solar, batteries or DC power circuits but it is easier to point to and say, "yep he had a license."

A "qualified installer" has the big undefined adjective "qualified." I feel that I am qualified but in the eyes of SimpliPhi, am I qualified.

Actually their original "licensed professional" is kind of funny. My wife who is a nurse and is a "licensed professional" meets the requirement while I being an engineer (worked in industry and never got my PE) do not. FYI, she is very good with humans but not electrical or mechanical things.

raysun
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Posts: 2917
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
SimpliPhi 48-3.8 (6 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by raysun » Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:13 am

Had they said "Licensed Electrician", I'd be good. Anything that is AC, and fixed wiring, I have our licensed electrician do, anyway. It would be no heartburn for either of us to have him look over my battery connections, and say: "Installed to specification". However, the registration process asks for "Licensed Installer". Some nebulous entity not defined in their warranty document.

Now, it would appear they want to imply "proper installation", but can't bring themselves to say it. They are good, so far, about walking through the technical requirements with one of their "applications engineers", and document their recommendations via email.

I'm going to submit my exact wiring and configuration plan, along with all electrical measurements, torque specifications, system parameter settings, test results, commissioning information, and "as built" images to them, and ask: "Is this sufficient to satisfy installation requirements as specified in the warranty/registration documents?" If i get back "Yes" in an email, we're good to go. If not, then we continue the dialog until we get there. I'm hoping it goes smoothly.

The 10%/year pro-rating on the battery replacement costs, still favors them.

pss
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by pss » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:31 am

Guys, you are all over reacting.
Solar panels from China have a 25 year rated out put warranty. Read the warranty. It almost always says obtain an RMA from the company and then ship the suspect panels back to them in China where they will test them and let you know if there is any coverage. Well what about that?
My 2.5 year old solar pool heater system that I spent thousands to have installed has a 10 year parts and labor warranty. When it leaked the first time, I had to send the contract back to the company to prove I had a warranty, then fight them about "travel charges" to my home separate from the parts and labor. Then it leaked a second time, they came out and fixed it again. Now a big pipe break and still waiting for even a date to repair. Warranty only good in front of a judge, nothing else.

And lets not forget Pentair, the giant swimming pool and spa company that's everywhere in the USA. Their warranty almost always says the warranty only applied if the products were installed by a "pool professional". But what is a "pool professional"? There are no high school classes, trade schools for pool, college degrees or specific license exams to be a pool professional. Totally bogus and undefined. So I purchase the things myself and do the proper installs.

Don't buy a product for the warranty coverage unless you are willing to go to court over a dispute (or in many cases, you gave up your right to sue and have to go to arbitration). And read the fine print very closely for the venue clause, ie. where any legal actions must occur or be tossed out.

In the end, remember to decide of the product meets your quality specifications and needs after you have done your homework, then if you are unlucky, try to come out the best you can.

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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by provo » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:28 am

pss wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:31 am

Don't buy a product for the warranty coverage unless you are willing to go to court over a dispute (or in many cases, you gave up your right to sue and have to go to arbitration). And read the fine print very closely for the venue clause, ie. where any legal actions must occur or be tossed out.
I'd be interested in any stories from the many SimpliPhi users on the forum, whether they have ever used their warranty successfully.

raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2917
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
SimpliPhi 48-3.8 (6 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by raysun » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:33 am

pss wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:31 am
Guys, you are all over reacting.
Solar panels from China have a 25 year rated out put warranty. Read the warranty. It almost always says obtain an RMA from the company and then ship the suspect panels back to them in China where they will test them and let you know if there is any coverage. Well what about that?
My 2.5 year old solar pool heater system that I spent thousands to have installed has a 10 year parts and labor warranty. When it leaked the first time, I had to send the contract back to the company to prove I had a warranty, then fight them about "travel charges" to my home separate from the parts and labor. Then it leaked a second time, they came out and fixed it again. Now a big pipe break and still waiting for even a date to repair. Warranty only good in front of a judge, nothing else.

And lets not forget Pentair, the giant swimming pool and spa company that's everywhere in the USA. Their warranty almost always says the warranty only applied if the products were installed by a "pool professional". But what is a "pool professional"? There are no high school classes, trade schools for pool, college degrees or specific license exams to be a pool professional. Totally bogus and undefined. So I purchase the things myself and do the proper installs.

Don't buy a product for the warranty coverage unless you are willing to go to court over a dispute (or in many cases, you gave up your right to sue and have to go to arbitration). And read the fine print very closely for the venue clause, ie. where any legal actions must occur or be tossed out.

In the end, remember to decide of the product meets your quality specifications and needs after you have done your homework, then if you are unlucky, try to come out the best you can.
I'll be sure to stay out of Chinese swimming pools. Thanks for the heads-up! 🤣🤣

JRHill
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by JRHill » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:06 pm

When I dove into the warranty earlier this year there was also a requirement that the system was 'professionally' designed. Also required were full schematics and detailed pictures. Licensure of the installer is easy enough if it was indeed done with that professional. The design? What do they want (not spelled out)? A PE specializing in solar? If the electrician suffices I've seen a few posts about licensed electricians putting in a really screwed up systems.

Because of the current problem of getting batteries I've kicked around SimpliPhi again. But really, just kicking around.... Still, gasoline for the generator to charge end-of-life batteries is cheaper than a bad decision. Not to say SimpliPhi is a bad decision its just that the technology is changing quickly. Heck, even their warranty is changing.

pss
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by pss » Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:32 pm

I must be stupid. I hired a solar engineer who came to my property, made measurements, looked at loads, looked at hardware with me and then drew out plans for the physical construction of the mounts, panels, electrical wirings, Outback components and batteries and load centers. All was drafted on the big sheets. He took it to county building department and got a building permit. I hired a master electrician and together the plans were followed and system built. County building inspectors came twice, to make certain concrete was properly to depth and trenches deep enough to code. Then they came again for final wiring inspection.
I thought this is how you do it so insurance companies, real estate transactions, injury protection and liability reduction all occur as well as adding property value. If I install simpliphi batteries I would have a solid breach of warranty case if they failed.
If others are cobbling together systems as do it yourself projects that's one thing, but simpliphi probably is concerned with improper installation, charging and use of the product. I think if you document your work and can hire a good attorney for several thousands of dollars they will eventually honor their warranty.

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