Are you among those homeowners or Business Owners who have Installed a solar system? By now, you are already enjoying the wonderful benefits it brings to your life, such as cutting your carbon emissions and saving on energy bills, But how will you deal with things when suddenly one day it just stops working? It could be very inconvenient.
This guide provides some of the reasons why your solar system fails or gives poor performance so that problem issues can be identified and efforts do not go to waste. Here we will inform these factors so that your solar energy system is well-optimised. Whether it is installed on your rooftop or if you are a business owner using large-scale solar installations.
Now let us quickly know some reasons behind an underperforming solar system.
|Turn to Halcol Energy for top-tier solutions when your solar system needs a boost.|
Major Solar System Problems and Their Remedies
Solar systems have become very popular as one of the cleanest sources to generate energy. However, like any modern-day technology, solar systems also face problems from time to time.
Here are some typical issues faced by a solar system owner, along with their remedial measures.
1. Issues with the inverter
Problem: Your inverter is not producing any power.
Solution: Check that the inverter display is on. If not, ensure that it’s properly connected to the DC power source and that the DC isolator switch is turned on. If the display is on but there’s still no power output, contact your solar installer to assess and repair the inverter.
Problem: Error codes or warning messages appear on the inverter.
Solution: Your user manual for the inverter should have a listing of all of the various error codes and what they mean. Most of these are related to particular issues, such as grid connection problems or internal faults. If this information isn’t useful enough to help fix the problem, then contact your solar system provider.
Read also: Solar Inverters: A Comprehensive Guide
Problem: Solar power is not synchronising on the grid.
Solution: Verify if the inverter settings are tuned to compatible local grid voltage and frequency specifications. If it continues, speak with your solar installer about whether the configuration for the inverter was done properly at installation time.
Problem: The inverter detects a fault on its ground.
Solution: Grounding faults can be caused by loose cables or incorrect installation. The power system of the entire solar system shuts down in an instant, then consults with an expert for suggestions pertaining to finding and repairing any grounded fault issue.
2. Solar metre malfunction
Problem: Your metre reads zero, i.e., nothing appears at all within its readout.
Solution: Check the wiring and connection of your solar metre. Ensure that the metre is properly connected to your grid as well as your solar system. If all connections are tight and the problem still persists, have this checked with your provider of solar for replacement.
Problem: Your solar metre is giving incorrect or inconsistent readings, overestimating or underestimating your energy production.
Solution: Check first for any shading present that might be affecting the output of your panels. If it’s not a shading issue, inspect for physical damage and/or blockages on the sensors of your solar metre. Clean its sensors as needed. If it still doesn’t work properly, contact your solar provider to have the metre recalibrated or replaced.
Problem: There is no data received by your monitoring app or system from your solar metre.
Solution: Ensure the communication cables and links between the metre and monitoring system are good. Check for any network or connectivity issues that may be causing a hindrance to data transmission. If this problem persists, contact your solar system provider for help on how to troubleshoot or re-establish the communication link.
Problem: You get a notification telling you there is an update required in the firmware of your solar metre.
Solution: Firmware is very important as it corrects abnormal calculations when making readings from the metre. Use instructions provided by your solar system provider to make updates accordingly. This can ideally be done remotely, but at times, expert assistance may also be needed.
Problem: The solar metre display is stuck or not responding to input.
Solution: If a breaker reset does nothing to reset it, try this more drastic fix. Disconnect the power supply connection to the metre for several minutes before reconnecting it again. If that doesn’t work either, then get in touch with your solar system provider concerning repairs or replacements.
3. Traces left by snails on the panels
One of the issues that most solar system owners report is finding their panels covered with snails. Snails are known to leave slimy trails wherever they go, and your solar panel might not be an exception. These slimy trails may hinder sunlight from reaching the photovoltaic cells in your solar panel, hence impairing its effectiveness.
Solution: Some of the remedies for solving this issue include removing them physically with a sponge or a soft cloth. While doing this, make sure you do it gently, since rough handling can lead to damaging some functioning elements of the panels. Secondly, you can erect a barrier around the panels to prevent snails from crawling in. You may use copper tape or even fit an aluminium mesh running on the periphery of the panel. Snails are deterred by an electric charge that is built up each time they crawl over copper tape or come into contact with it.
4. Dirt and dust accumulation
Another challenge owners may face with their solar systems is dirt and dust accumulation on the panel’s face. This will slow down the amount of sunlight being absorbed by the panel as time goes on, thus reducing efficiency.
Solution: To keep your solar panel at optimal performance, regular cleaning is what it takes. Your cleaning period might be every few months or more frequently, depending on your environment. Water first to wash off loose dirt or debris from the panel surface. After that, gently wipe the surface of your panel with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth and a solution using some mild detergent. You should not try to use abrasives like brushes or harsh chemicals, which may result in scratching and damaging your panels. Rinse them clean afterwards with plenty of water and air-dry them. Squeezing out excess water can be another option. In case you cannot manage to clean solar panels on your own, take the risk of climbing onto your roof to clean the solar panel power system yourself. Contact such professionals; they have all the right equipment and are also highly skilled in the safe but effective cleaning of solar panels.
5. The Potential-Induced Degradation (PID) effect
This is a phenomenon that reduces the power output of solar panels, hence making them less effective at producing electricity. High voltages translate to leakage currents between the ground and the solar cells, thus causing losses in power. This effect can be caused by lots of issues, such as high humidity, temperature, voltage, and improper installation.
To fix PID, follow these steps:
- Engage an accredited solar installer with relevant skill sets to ascertain if your system indeed suffers from this condition.
- If so established, then consider installing a PID box, which acts as a voltage stabiliser, preventing electrical leakage currents.
- Clean your solar panels regularly in order to get rid of dust, dirt, or debris that can enhance the PID effect.
- While buying, choose anti-PID-featured solar panels, as they are designed specially so as not to be influenced by this issue.
6. Small cracks at a microscopic level
Just like any other, solar panels can get micro-sized cracks from the usual wear and tear as well as temperature changes. The problem here is just that such small cracks, as we’re speaking of, can greatly dent their lifespan and effectiveness.
Here’s how to fix small cracks:
- Go closer to your own solar panel and see if there are indeed some little cracks or damage to it. You don’t have to smush your face on it; just look closer.
- If you see something wrong, then call professional help right away and let them do the rest.
- There are instances where the said problem can be fixed through certain sealants or adhesives made specifically for these problems alone.
- But there are times when replacements just cannot be avoided. In which case, have an expert advise you on the best move to make.
Prevention is always better than cure. To minimise the risk of small cracks:
- Before we even get into concentrating on the solution, ensure your solar panels are installed by people who know a good deal about it.
- Also, procure yourself some high-quality solar panels that are not known for easily cracking and breaking down.
- Dust them off every now and then so dirt won’t pile up too much.
|Trust Halcol Energy to bring your solar system back to life.|
7. Panels that are broken or damaged
Due to one reason or another, they will break or get damaged eventually. Whether it’s harsh weather conditions, accidental impacts, or manufacturing problems, when they do break, their productivity goes down considerably. Here is what you can do about this problem:
- Visual inspection: Spare some time from your day on a regular basis to give solar panels an inspection. Look for things such as chips, discoloration, and, worst of all, cracks. If you see something, call someone immediately.
- Professional assessment: Contact a qualified solar service provider to assess the extent of the damage. They will provide expert guidance on whether the panel needs repair or replacement.
- Repair or replacement: Depending on the severity of the damage, they may recommend repairing the panel or replacing it altogether. Follow their recommendations to ensure the panel functions optimally.
8. Subpar craftsmanship
When installing a solar system, it is essential to choose a reputable and experienced solar installation company. Subpar craftsmanship during installation can lead to various problems that may affect the overall performance of your solar system. Here’s how to rectify this issue:
- Identify the problem: In the event you have a problem with your solar system and feel poor workmanship is its cause, seek the opinion of several solar experts over the same. They will identify any error or insufficiency in the installation.
- Seek professional assistance: Seek out a certified solar installer to troubleshoot such issues if they are connected to installations. They should pay visits, fix things up for you, and ensure that your solar is running optimally.
- Regular maintenance: Avoid such problems in the future caused by bad workmanship, make regular visits from solar experts who do system checks, effect changes where necessary, and provide support services as well.
9. Breaker switches not working properly
One of the problems that the owners may encounter with their solar system is the improper functioning of its breaker switches. These are important because they are the ones who prevent short circuits and overloads from happening. When your solar system fails to work or you just can’t complete the job, it’s probably these little guys.
To fix this problem, Find out where the breaker switches are before anything else. There will be instances of tripping of these breakers sometimes because of an electrical surge or any other challenge related to electricity. And when you’re dealing with situations like these, flipping them back should fix everything. But if that doesn’t happen, then you’ll need to call in an expert installer who knows about fixing and diagnosing these problems.
10. Changes in seasonal weather conditions
Solar systems use sunlight in order to generate electricity, but this is subject to variations brought on by the different seasons of weather. Such as during the winter months when days are shorter and become less sunny or light intensity decreases altogether. This will greatly affect your solar system’s capacity to yield energy, causing higher electric bills.
To overcome this issue, the solution to all your woes is to invest in a solar system design. Having high-quality panels and inverters ensures that your solar system produces an adequate amount of energy even on cloudy or rainy days. Moreover, cleaning them occasionally will further make them work at their optimal efficiency levels.
11. Faulty wiring connections
The wiring is usually a problem with the owners of the solar panels. This is a direct connection that passes electricity from your solar panels to your home’s electrical system. When these wires are cut or they’re loose, there will be an energy decline and safety issues.
Whenever you identify wire damage, contact a solar service provider. They can fix and identify all malfunctions associated with the wire connections. Regular checks and maintenance go a long way towards preventing such issues.
12. Suboptimal battery performance
Batteries in solar systems are designed to store more energy for cloudy days or at night when there’s no sunshine. But if you feel that your battery isn’t performing as well as it should, then a problem may lie with one of three things: improper charging, sulfation, or just general ageing.
- Look over the solar panels to see that they aren’t shaded and dirty so that the battery can charge.
- Clean both terminals of the battery so that electricity can flow through them unobstructed.
- And if you see that they’ve reached their end-of-life cycle, then maybe replacing those old components with new ones might be necessary..
13. Problems with grid connectivity
It’s common for solar systems to be hooked up to the grid. It lets electricity flow smoothly. However, there are times when that connection can be disrupted, causing a loss in power supply. Follow these steps to troubleshoot this issue:
- First, check the grid connection cables and make sure they’re properly connected and undamaged.
- After that, verify if the inverter is working properly. If not, call a professional and have them repair or replace it.
- Installing a backup power source like a generator or another battery could help keep your electricity flowing during grid outages.
14. Components reaching the end of their life cycle
Solar systems are composed of a lot of things. However, inverters, charge controllers, and batteries all have limited lifespans. As time goes by, their performances deteriorate, resulting in inefficiency for the system as a whole. So to solve this problem:
- Develop a habit of monitoring how well your solar system performs along with each of its components’ lifetimes.
- Plan for replacements or upgrades before they start bugging you.
- Consult an expert installer who will determine what type of action needs to be taken based on what your system specifically needs.
|Get the Most From Your Solar System with Our Expert Maintenance Services.|
There are several reasons why your solar system might stop working, including issues with solar panels, installation, battery packages, and general maintenance. To ensure your solar system continues to perform efficiently, it’s crucial to address these issues promptly.
From anything from inherent problems with the panels themselves right through installation glitches and battery packs to general maintenance, the solar system can fail for any number of reasons. If your solar is going to continue working at optimal efficiency, these potential issues must be identified.
If you’re on the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane area and need assistance with your solar system, give Halcol Energy a call. As experts in everything, from installation to the ongoing maintenance and service of solar systems, we’ll help make sure that your solar continues to serve you effectively and efficiently. Contact us today and get great advice and quality solutions.
Several factors can cause this, including shading, dirt or debris on the panels, a malfunctioning inverter, or a fault in the system’s wiring.
Shading occurs when objects like trees, buildings, or even dirt partially block sunlight from reaching your solar panels. This reduces their efficiency and can lead to decreased energy production.
Yes, severe weather like heavy snow, hail, or storms can damage solar panels or the wiring, leading to a decrease in energy production. However, most solar panels are designed to withstand typical weather conditions.
Yes, dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate on solar panels and reduce their efficiency. Regular cleaning with water and a soft brush or squeegee can help maintain optimal performance.
Most grid-tied solar systems are designed to shut down automatically during power outages to protect utility workers. However, systems with battery storage can continue to provide power during outages.
It’s recommended to have your solar system inspected annually to ensure it’s functioning correctly and efficiently. Regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your system.
Solar panels can degrade over time due to exposure to sunlight, temperature fluctuations, and other environmental factors. This degradation is usually slow and factored into the panel’s expected lifespan.