What are Common Solar Panel Problems and How to Fix Them
Environmental issues have become the main topic on everyone’s minds, with many getting interested in the zero waste lifestyle and adopting green initiatives. Power seems to present the most significant and most pressing problem. Without electricity, the world can keep turning, but it will be doing it in darkness.
Australia is a prime spot for setting up infrastructure for solar energy as the continent receives the most solar energy in the world.
As such, more people are taking it upon themselves to get with the times and do their part in trying to save the world—by installing solar panels in their homes.
While more people are getting solar panels to join in the renewable energy revolution, Australia’s solar energy usage is almost negligible compared to its consumption.
Part of the reason may be that this technology is seen as high-maintenance and requires a lot of money for upkeep.
This article will help those with solar panels and new users looking to learn more before jumping on the bandwagon.
Like all technology, solar panels encounter some kinks on occasion and need to be fixed. Some problems you can handle on your own, but others may need a solar repair service.
The key is to identify your issue and determine what you should do with it. Thus, here is a guide for the common problems you might encounter with solar panels and how to fix them.
One of the primary functions of a solar panel is to convert solar energy in the form of direct current into usable electrical energy that we have in our homes in the form of alternating current. These parts come in the form of a box that is typically stored on the upper floor.
While solar panels can last up to 20 years, inverters need to be replaced more often, as they are usually effective for only about 10-15 years.
Without a working inverter, your solar panels won’t be helpful at all. As such, it’s best to get it fixed as soon as possible.
Luckily, some of the problems are easy to handle. Should it not be working after a blackout, check whether the breaker is in the right (on/up) position and turn it on if it isn’t.
Inverters are very handy and display error messages that you can cross-reference with your user manual.
Dirt and Pests
The accumulation of dirt on solar panels isn’t too big of a problem, as rain will usually wash it away.
However, if the panels get too dirty, it will affect the efficacy of your electricity production, albeit mildly. If this becomes a bother to you, you can clean it as often as you deem necessary.
A bigger problem is the local wildlife. Having birds nesting under your solar panels is a common issue that may seem harmless and only contribute to a bit of mess but can be more troublesome than expected.
The wiring may be damaged, or the surface scratched should pests be meddling about near your solar panels.
Getting roof-integrated panels will solve this issue from the get-go. Otherwise, you should consider roofing solutions such as installing mesh wire or plastic strips to prevent access.
The installation of solar panels should not severely damage the roof underneath. Instead, they sometimes even provide some defence for the materials underneath.
However, loose or damaged tiles can still occur, so it’s best to check that your roof is doing fine every once in a while. Should there be a problem, the ideal solution is to call your PV system installers.
There are several reasons why your solar panels are not producing electricity as they should. One of these is Potential Induced Degradation.
There is a voltage difference between the earthing and the solar panel, which results in a partial voltage discharge.
This problem not only lowers the efficiency of your solar panels but also reduces their lifespan. As such, it is critical to contact a professional to look at the situation.
Solar power is forever, or it is for a mortal’s definition of it, but solar panels themselves don’t last nearly as long. They experience various issues that will need to be addressed for prolonged usage.
Micro-cracks are the deadliest of solar panel problems. Nearly invisible to the naked eye, they can grow due to changes in weather and cause your PV system to deteriorate and break down.
These cracks can be created during the manufacturing process or shipping or installation. Therefore, it’s imperative that you purchase from a trusted company.
Another significant issue is snail trails. These are build-ups of moisture on solar panels that look like the glistening residue left by wandering snails.
Such an issue may crop up after a few years of usage due to defective silver paste in the panels and can ruin your system’s performance and the system itself.
The best thing to do is inspect your panels every few years and call in professionals for maintenance.