How to Troubleshoot Concerns with your Solar Panels

A guide to optimising your solar panels performance...
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Are you concerned with the performance of your solar

Solar panels are relatively low-maintenance and once installed, require very little upkeep to ensure optimum performance and efficiency. In saying that, problems can always arise especially when exposing advanced technology to extreme external factors such as; high humidity, wind, rain, hail, etc. If you are concerned about your systems performance and overall health there are a few proactive steps that you can take to troubleshoot your system.

While reviewing and comparing your energy bill may seem like the most effective and straightforward method to test your panel's performance, it can actually be an expensive mistake. If your solar system is malfunctioning, waiting to receive your next energy bill can take weeks and can be costly if your panels have not been functioning for some time. Additionally, the solar electricity that you do send to the grid isn’t always itemised which can make analysing the true health of your PV system difficult. Even the most detailed and optimised energy statement cannot tell you what your solar production should be so basing your production goals and expectations around this can be counterproductive.

Steps to diagnose issues with your solar system

Fortunately, there are some steps that allow you to take a lot of the guesswork out of your system's performance. The first, and seemingly most insultingly obvious suggestion, is to check your breaker switches. Surges, electrical faults and general damages to your system can trip these switches and is one of the most common issues that affect the flow of solar electricity to your home or business. By ensuring these are switched back to their proper state, any fault should fix itself. Nobody is ever continuously watching their breaker switches and anything can happen to cause your breaker switch to go off so regularly checking this can save a lot of hassle and money.

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If your breaker switches look to be in the correct position but your system's performance still seems to be compromised, the next step is to check for panel obstructions. Many external factors can hinder your system's performance. Over time panels gather dust, dirt, foliage or even bird poo, so ensuring your panels are clean and able to take advantage of direct sunlight is vital for your PV systems performance. As solar panels need direct sunlight to generate power, make sure no new growth from surrounding trees is impeding on the panels too.

If all the above checkboxes have been taken care of, then you need to proceed to your inverter. The inverter is responsible for converting DC electricity from your panels to useable AC electricity to power your home – without this functioning properly the whole system is rendered obsolete. It can be fairly apparent to diagnose any issues with your inverter from the configuration of lights displayed. Yellow or red flashing lights is usually an indication of something being out of order, in which case, it is best to have a technician come to rectify any issues. At Springers Solar we provide dedicated after-sales care and are committed to ensuring you get the most out of your system. If you are unsure about the status of your inverter or panels, you can call us at (07) 3184 4673 to troubleshoot any issues.

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Perhaps the most effective and worthwhile way to monitor the performance of your system is to ensure you have the appropriate solar monitoring system installed. Most inverter manufacturers now supply a solar monitoring system (some offer it as an add-on) that connects to an app on your smart device or through a website to supply you with an in-depth analysis of your systems health, production and performance. These comprehensive tracking systems give users access to real-time performance data, local neighbourhood production averages and can even alert the manufacturer/installer when your PV system strays from its typical performance standard. By making sure your monitoring is always running silently in the background, you can ensure you are able to intervene and optimise your system before issues arise, or before they can affect you financially.  

These steps, along with appropriate measures to service your system, can ensure you get the best return on investment and performance/production from your solar system. It is a good idea to periodically check over these steps since issues with breaker switches, general obstructions or your inverter are almost inevitable over the lifetime of your system. For the most optimised and trouble-free approach, ensuring you have installed the appropriate monitoring system can make diagnosing issues easy. To find out more about your inverters monitoring capabilities, you can visit our inverters page here.

We can help!

As a trusted name in the solar industry, the team at Springers Solar is dedicated to powering energy independence and expanding the industry by providing necessary resources and support for those looking to convert their home or business to clean, reliable solar power. As one of Australia’s oldest and most experienced solar companies with a team of in-house solar experts, accredited installers, engineers and project managers, our industry knowledge and advice is second to none. If you would like to speak to our team of dedicated solar experts about your system’s performance or general troubleshooting concerns, you can call us today!  

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