- Solar panels are made to last, but sometimes they malfunction.
- They rely on sunlight to generate power, so they will only work correctly if they get enough light.
- Faulty solar meters are a significant cause of “malfunctions” in PV systems. The panels are functional; however, the meter cannot accurately assess solar energy production.
- A faulty inverter due to overheating or improper installation can stop your panel from working.
- Dirty solar panels are one of the most common problems. Solar panels need to be cleaned regularly to stay effective.
- Solar panel problems can be fixed, but it’s essential to have a professional solar contractor look at your system if you need help with what to do.
It’s a sunny day, and you’re expecting your solar panels to do their job, generating electricity for your home. But when you go outside to check on them, you notice that they’re not producing anything! What gives? If your solar panels have stopped working, there can be several potential issues. This blog by RKG Roofing and Construction discusses typical solar panel problems and how to solve them.
Typical Solar Panel Problems and Their Solutions
Problem 01: Solar Meter Failure
Solar meters are in charge of logging the energy generated by your PV system in real time. This helps you to discover abnormalities by comparing historical production data to present data. Solar meters are often the first (and only) line of defense against lost savings for many households.
Faulty solar meters are a significant cause of “malfunctions” in PV systems. The panels are functional; however, the meter cannot accurately assess solar energy production.
- One reason for this is that solar meters degrade with time. They are built with cutting-edge cellular technology, but telecom operators frequently scale down support as newer protocols emerge. For example, many solar meters constructed to the 2G standard may soon cease functioning in today’s 4G/5G environment.
- Furthermore, some solar meters rely on your home’s Internet, which can quickly get disconnected due to signal loss or service provider changes. Sometimes it’s just faulty software or hardware that has to be replaced.
The solution is to install a new solar meter compatible with the most recent cellular standards. If the meter is malfunctioning, a solar contractor will collaborate with the meter reporting firm to identify whether the issue is software or hardware-related.
Problem 02: Inverter Issue
Almost every PV system contains an inverter, which transforms your solar panels’ direct current (DC) power into alternating (AC) electricity that your home’s appliances can utilize.
- Solar inverters are developed to resist problems since they are intended to give years of trouble-free service. This is true only if installed correctly, with no poor connections or yields. Consequently, most internal problems with solar inverters result from poor installation.
- Overheating is a common issue with solar inverters. The high temperature of the inverter may have an adverse effect on overall service and energy production.
- However, if your inverter is only beeping, then it means that you have run off battery power and overloaded your inverter.
Before you hire someone to install or repair the inverter, be sure they are professionals with the necessary knowledge.
- Examine to ensure that everything is running at the correct power level, as indicated by the manufacturer.
- The first step is to unplug or switch off devices, not in use! Then, if your gadget has a reset button, press it or disconnect and reconnect the power.
- The easiest way to deal with the temperature issue is to check for ventilation regularly.
Problem 03: Breaker Switches
The fuses that govern the electrical flow in your home might occasionally trip. Surges, glitches, and overloads can cause these switches to trigger, preventing solar energy from charging appliances or entering the grid. However, returning them to their original form is frequently sufficient to resolve the problem.
To check if there is an issue with your circuit breaker box, open it and inspect all the breakers inside it. If one of the breakers has tripped, reset it and close the circuit breaker box again.
Problem 04: Dirt Build-Up on Panels
Solar PV panels deteriorate with time, losing roughly 1% to 2% efficiency yearly. This applies to all solar panels, regardless of manufacturer. This linear deterioration is already accounted for in the warranty coverage for the panels.
However, significant year-to-year performance drops are not typical. If this is happening with your installation, dust build-up is most likely to blame. As dirt and debris accumulate, they obstruct sunlight, reducing solar power generation.
Regular panel cleaning is the best way to safeguard your solar savings. You can do it yourself with a garden hose. However, for the best outcomes, we recommend the following:
- To avoid streaking, use a purified water solution.
- To avoid splotching, time each washing during cooler hours.
- Taking care to avoid injury or damage
Problem 05: Obstructed Panels
Solar panels need sunlight directly on them to work correctly. If something is blocking the sun from hitting your panels (e.g., trees, buildings, etc.), then they won’t be able to generate electricity.
You’ll need to figure out what’s obstructing your panels and take steps to remove the obstruction. Make sure there are no trees nearby and that the solar panels are not shaded at any time of day. Remember that a solar system may survive for more than 25 years and that trees grow with time. It is wise to do a bi-annual survey of the installation location.
Problem 06: Solar Panel Defects
Over time, the series resistance of the solar cells in a panel may have risen. This might be the outcome of a hotspot caused by small cell cracks. As a result, the panel voltage falls, lowering the overall voltage of the solar panel.
A resistance rise is also expected in a junction box exposed to dampness. Quality junction boxes are now IP67 certified, indicating they are entirely waterproof. The PV business has had multiple recalls due to the poor junction box design. The good news is that junction boxes can be replaced.
If your solar panels have stopped working, don’t panic! In most cases, it’s a quick and easy fix.
Trust RKG Roofing and Construction serving Lake Worth with all your solar needs! Our dedication to exceptional customer service extends beyond solar panel installation to energy efficiency. Our staff will design and install a turnkey system utilizing only high-quality equipment/components that fit your demands!Please chat with us or get a free estimate today!