How to tell if your solar panels have been installed correctly - thumbnail image

How to tell if your solar panels have been installed correctly

Once you’ve had your solar panels installed all you want to do is reap the benefits of them. Although solar panels have a reputation for being easy to leave to their own devices, issues can still occur, whether that’s with the way they’ve been installed or just their general functioning over time. Keep reading for advice on how to tell if your solar panels have been installed correctly and are functioning properly.

Check your energy production

The best way to check whether or not your solar panels are performing the way they should be is to check how much power they’re producing per month. Compare this information with the information in the manual you were given at the time of installation to get a general idea of how they’re performing.

By checking and evaluating your energy production you’ll also be able to notice faults over time as the kWh produced each day changes.

Check for visible damage or obstruction

The first step to checking if the solar panels are installed correctly is to check for damage or faults.

If there is any shade on your panels for example, the power output will be heavily affected.

When checking for visible damage, keep an eye out for any cracks, peeling or misalignment. Make sure you have the installer’s number on hand to discuss the issue if you find one.

Light obstructions from bird droppings, tree sap or nature in general can provide an issue, too. Whilst this isn’t an installation issue, you still need to resolve the issue to ensure you’re getting the most out of your solar panels.

Check your solar inverter for system errors

Most inverters will have a lighting system to easily enable you to see any issues. Green or blue would signify it’s working whilst red, yellow or a flashing light may mean there’s a problem. If you can’t see any issues with the light, move onto the screen and check for an error code. Your solar PV installer should have a website where you could conduct some research on the problem, or again you could contact your installer directly to ask for some advice.

Once you’ve checked these steps and haven’t found an issue, it’s safe to say there probably isn’t an issue. There are a range of factors to take into consideration when thinking about the output of your solar panels, including the heat of the day, the seasonal variations and time of the day, as well as general system and power loss.

You might think that checking your power bills sis a good way to analyse how well your system’s performing, but the only information they’ll give is how much power was unused and sent back to the grid, making this an unreliable diagnostic tool. Also note that solar panels won’t operate at 100% efficiency or even relatively close to that except for on a really good day, so don’t be down heartened if you see that your panels are operating at 70% efficiency.

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