Whether you’ve just installed solar panels on your property or you’ve been benefiting from solar energy for years, regular inspections are crucial to ensure their optimal performance and longevity.
However, what’s most important is passing the very first one. After all, it’s what allows for your system to be approved by your local utility company to power on for the first time. Not only that, but by having a solar panel inspection done right, you’ll avoid problems with efficiency down the line and optimize your system for maximum ROI.
To further explain, in this blog we’ll explore:
- Why solar panel inspections are necessary
- Overview of what’s typically covered in a checklist
- The importance of working with trustworthy installers
Trust Photon Brothers for 5‑star solar panel installations done right.
Our highly-trained and experienced technicians work entirely in-house, which means you’ll never have to worry about mistakes due to inexperienced third-party laborers. We’re also proud to have a perfect safety record, so you can trust that you’ll always pass an inspection with flying colors. To learn more, click below to get your free solar estimate today.
Why Solar Panel Inspections Are Necessary
If you’re thinking about buying a house that has a solar system, it’s important to get a solar panel inspection before you make an offer. Although these systems are sturdy, they’re regularly exposed to wind and rain, which may cause some of their components to wear out. If the current homeowners didn’t protect their solar panels against animal activity, it’s also possible that birds, squirrels, and other critters have damaged part of the system.
A thorough solar panel inspection verifies that a solar system is working correctly and doesn’t need any critical repairs. Getting one of these inspections can help you avoid buying a home and then finding out that you need to spend a lot of money on solar system repairs or replacement.
It’s also important to request a performance evaluation if you’re having problems with your existing system. Compare your solar panel system’s energy production to the expected output. Look for any sudden drops or fluctuations that may require attention. If there is a significant dip, it could indicate a problem with the panels, inverter, or other components.
Overview of What’s Typically Covered in the Checklist
When you request a solar panel inspection, a trained technician checks the general quality of the installation and performs a thorough review of each system component. An inspection uncovers potential safety issues, identifies necessary repairs and ensures that your solar system continues to reduce your utility bills. Here’s a sampling of what’s included.
First, the inspector checks to make sure the system was installed by a qualified technician. They also review permits, electrical drawings, and other documents to ensure that the original installer complied with all relevant regulations. Finally, the inspector checks to make sure you have permission from your local utility provider to connect the solar system to its equipment.
Photovoltaic Modules and Array
Photovoltaic modules contain chains of individual cells used to convert sunlight into electricity. A group of these modules is known as an array. Since the modules and the array are directly responsible for producing solar energy, it’s important to have a qualified electrician inspect them thoroughly. Here’s what an inspector looks for when examining the PV modules and array:
- Are the modules installed according to the original plans?
- Is the array installed neatly?
- Are there any trees blocking sunlight from reaching the modules?
- Are there any loose module connectors?
- Do circuit breakers and string fuses have the right ratings?
- Do the PV modules have an extended warranty?
- Are any of the conductors in contact with the surface of the roof?
Solar systems produce direct current electricity, which only flows in one direction. The electrical grid uses alternating current electricity, which flows in two directions, so you need some way to convert the DC energy into AC energy. That’s why your solar system has an inverter. During a solar panel inspection, the technician pays close attention to the inverter, looking for the following:
- Is the inverter installed correctly?
- Does the inverter have a warranty lasting at least 10 years?
- Is the inverter installed neatly?
- Does the model number on the inverter match the model number listed in the system plans?
- Is the inverter approved by the California Energy Commission?
- Is the utility power connected?
It’s rare for a solar system to cause a fire, but it does happen from time to time. These fires usually occur due to faulty installations or manufacturing defects. As long as you have your solar system installed by a qualified technician, the risk of a fire is extremely low, but an experienced inspector knows to look for potential fire hazards anyway.
The Importance of Working with Trusted Solar Installers
Whether you need to replace your existing system or install a solar system for the first time, it’s important to work with a trusted installer. Solar systems are expensive, so they need to be handled with the utmost care. If the system isn’t installed correctly, it can also damage your roof or cause serious electrical problems, leaving you with thousands of dollars in repair bills. Working with a trusted installer reduces these risks.
Photon Brothers has a team of master electricians with a perfect safety record, plus a 25-year warranty on all labor and parts. We also create custom solar panel designs to ensure that you can take advantage of the money-saving benefits of solar power without putting your family at risk.
Need solar panel repairs, maintenance, or a new installation?
Photon Brothers has you covered! Call us at (720) 370‑3344 (Colorado) or (805) 351‑3371 (California) or click below to get a free instant solar estimate. We proudly install the highest-quality products backed by a 25-year production guarantee. We also back up our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, as proven by our growing list of 5‑star reviews!