How to tell if your solar panels are working effectively - thumbnail image

How to tell if your solar panels are working effectively

If you’ve recently had a solar PV installation, or are considering hiring a solar PV installer, you’ll want to know that your installation will be working to its optimum. While solar panels are durable and designed to give you years of worry-free performance, we’re here to provide you with the signs that show you that your solar panels are working effectively. 

Check Your Generation Meter

Just as an electricity meter checks how much electricity your house has consumed, a solar meter will confirm how much energy your solar system has generated. Pay particular attention to the screen on your solar meter that shows you how many kilowatt-hours your solar panels are generating. As long as your kilowatt-hours are going up, your solar panels are working effectively. 

What signs are you looking for? 

When checking a generation meter, you should keep an eye out for the indicator light and make sure it is flashing. The more the indicator light is flashing, the more electricity your system is generating. If the generation amount is not increasing as much as you would expect, or the LED light is permanently lit during the day, chances are your system is not working properly. 

Compare your Generation Figure to your Electricity Bill

While your electricity bill is not the most accurate indicator of how well your system is working, it can give you an indicator of how well your system is working. If you begin to see a large, unexpected increase in your electricity costs, it could indicate a reduction in solar power. On top of this, be sure to compare your generation figure from this year to that of last year. If there is a significant difference, you will be able to see that there is a problem. 

Use an App 

The techniques we’ve already highlighted are made much easier when you don’t have to do them manually, and you can track your solar generation on your mobile, your tablet or computer without even being in the house. You’ll even be able to see your generation in real time, making it easy to keep an eye on your output, saving you plenty of time.

Check the Weather

Perhaps the most simple of all tips, make sure you keep checking the weather. On an overcast day, your solar panels will operate at between 10% and 25% of their rated capacity. However, these should not affect your overall return on investment. If you start to see a significant drop in the production of your solar panels on a rainy or cloudy day, it’s an indicator that something isn’t right with your solar pv system. 

Of course, if you do notice any issues with your solar panel system, be sure to call out the Thrift Energy team as soon as possible. We will be able to perform a few maintenance checks to diagnose the issue, and rectify it to ensure you maximise your systems output for as long as possible. 

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