If you are considering having solar panels installed, or live in a dwelling already powered by solar, it is beneficial to consider solar system maintenance to ensure your system is running as effectively and safely as possible, delivering the most effective cost savings.
Solar panels are an incredible investment which are sustainable, cost-effective and capable of powering your home for decades.
These factors have seen more and more people harvest the power of the Australian sun through solar for their homes, with an impressive 21 percent of Australian homes utilising rooftop solar PV. An industry report suggests that this trend is only set to increase, stating that “the Solar Power market in Australia is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.56% during the forecast period of 2020-2025.”
If you are considering having solar panels installed, or live in a dwelling already powered by solar, it is beneficial to consider solar system maintenance to ensure your system is running as effectively and safely as possible, delivering the most effective cost savings. While we’ve previously shared some facts and debunked myths around solar power, in this blog, we’re share the answers to some common questions we hear when it comes to getting the best of your solar system.
When installed correctly, solar panels typically do not require extensive maintenance in order to continue providing power and functioning safely. We recommend a solar system maintenance inspection every 12 to 18 months to ensure everything is running smoothly, which is usually adequate to ensure that solar panels continue doing their job throughout their 25 to 30 year lifespan.
A maintenance inspection typically involves a licensed electrician cleaning the panels, checking for any obstructions, testing all of the connections and switches and generally ensuring your solar system is performing optimally.
It is also worth noting that on occasion solar panels can malfunction without providing any immediate indication of a problem, which can lead to a nasty surprise when the power bill comes.
When it comes to conducting solar system maintenance, these are the main issues we come across that are affecting the performance or safety of the panels:
• Faulty solar meter
• Solar panel positioning (too much shade, or in an awkward position)
• Dirt, dust & debris
• Fractures in solar panels
• Vermin damage from possums, birds or rats.
Too much leaf coverage or shade over the panels can cause panels to not perform optimally.
Having your solar system installed by a professional at the outset should ensure that the panels are placed correctly, and identify areas at risk of leaf coverage. We can advise on trees to keep trimmed regularly, as well as other obstructions that may be restricting the reach of the sun’s rays.
Animals such as birds, possums and rats can sometimes build homes beneath the solar panels themselves, chewing through cords and leaving a build up of bodily deposits.
Over time, solar panels can suffer from a buildup of debris on the panels themselves, which can affect their ability to absorb the sun’s rays. This buildup can be exacerbated by weather conditions such as storms, which may result in leaves building up on the panels. Dirty panels can significantly decrease the efficiency of your panels.
Panels can also experience corrosion as well as gradual deterioration of their insulation, which can cause malfunctions.
These problems are more likely to occur if a poorly-implemented installation has occurred, which is a disturbingly common situation in Australia. In fact, a national audit of the Renewable Energy Target found that between 21 and 26 per cent of all rooftop units inspected since 2011 had faulty wiring and unsecured panels.
For this reason, if you suspect your solar panel may have been installed by a less-than-reputable operator, or you are moving into a new residence which already has a solar panel system set up, it may be worth booking an inspection to ensure that everything is safe.
When booking solar system service maintenance, it’s important to contact an expert to do the job and ensure that you are maximising your solar-related cost-savings as well as creating a safe electrical environment.
Our electricians at Evergreen Electrical are experienced in solar photovoltaic system design installation and maintenance, and can perform detailed inspections as well as check for any ways to increase the performance and resultant cost-saving of your solar pv system.
Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can assist you with solar system maintenance.