Solar panels offer a wide range of benefits, such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions, lower electricity bills, and minimal maintenance costs. However, solar systems don’t come without their own set of risks. From weather-related problems to wiring issues, there are various complications that may target your solar panel system.
Regardless of what issues you’re experiencing, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of a problem. That way, you can find a solution before the damage starts to spread. Let’s explore some of the most common solar panel problems and how to fix them:
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Many homeowners opt for solar panels to save money on electricity bills. But while it’s normal for panel efficiency to decline somewhat over the years, if your panels are only producing a fraction of what they used to, it’s important to investigate why. There could be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
How to Fix
There are several ways to improve the efficiency of your solar panels:
- Clean your panels regularly: Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on the surface of solar panels and reduce their efficiency. Cleaning them regularly will ensure that they are working at their maximum capacity.
- Install your panels in the optimal location: Panels should be installed in a location that receives the most sunlight possible. This means avoiding shaded areas and ensuring that the panels are facing the right direction.
- Use high-quality components: High-quality components, such as inverters and cables, can help to increase the efficiency of your solar system.
- Optimize your system design: Working with a professional solar installer can help you optimize the design of your solar system for maximum efficiency.
- Monitor your system performance: Regularly monitoring the performance of your solar system can help you identify any issues or inefficiencies and take corrective action to improve its efficiency.
- Consider adding energy storage: Adding an energy storage system, such as a battery, can help you store excess energy generated by your solar panels and use it when your panels aren’t producing enough energy. This can help to increase the overall efficiency of your system.
Severe weather can negatively impact the performance of your solar panels. Most solar systems are built to withstand high winds and other forms of inclement weather. That said, it isn’t unheard of for harsh weather to damage solar panels. Lightning, hail, and strong winds can all have an adverse effect on your solar system, especially over a longer period of time.
How to Fix
Solar panels are designed to withstand a wide range of weather conditions, but there are still steps you can take to protect them from damage:
- Choose a durable and weather-resistant panel: When selecting solar panels, look for models that are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, such as hail, heavy rain, and strong winds.
- Ensure proper installation: Make sure that your solar panels are installed by a professional installer who follows the manufacturer’s installation guidelines. This will help to ensure that the panels are securely mounted and properly sealed against the elements.
- Regularly inspect and maintain your panels: Inspect your solar panels regularly to ensure that they are in good condition and free from damage. Keep them clean and clear of debris, and check for any signs of wear and tear that could lead to weather damage.
- Install protective covers: You can install protective covers, such as hail guards or bird netting, to help protect your solar panels from damage caused by hail, birds, or other outdoor elements.
- Consider adding a lightning protection system: Lightning strikes can cause significant damage to solar panels. Installing a lightning protection system can help to minimize the risk of damage caused by lightning strikes.
Faulty wiring is the most common issue that affects solar panel systems. If you have outdated electrical wiring, it may reduce the energy efficiency of your panels. Other common causes of wiring problems include corrosion, oxidation, and loose connections.
How to Fix
We recommend contacting a solar professional to repair any faulty wiring in your solar panel system. Here are several reasons why:
- Expertise: Solar professionals have the training, knowledge, and experience to diagnose and repair faulty wiring in solar panel systems. They are familiar with the complex wiring and electrical components used in solar panel systems and can quickly identify and fix any issues.
- Safety: Working with electrical components can be dangerous, especially if you’re not trained or experienced in the field. Solar professionals have the tools and equipment to safely repair faulty wiring and protect themselves from electrical shock or other hazards.
- Efficiency: Solar professionals can diagnose and repair faulty wiring in solar panel systems quickly and efficiently, minimizing downtime and ensuring that your system is back up and running as soon as possible.
- Quality assurance: When you hire a solar professional to repair faulty wiring in your solar panel system, you can be confident that the repair work is done to the highest standards. Solar professionals are committed to quality assurance and will ensure that your system is working at its best.
- Warranty protection: Many solar panel systems come with warranties that cover the cost of repairs for a certain period of time. If you attempt to repair faulty wiring yourself or hire an unqualified contractor, you may void your warranty. Working with a solar professional ensures that your repairs are covered by your warranty and that your system is protected.
Problem with the Inverter
Your solar system’s inverter is responsible for converting direct current electricity into alternating current electricity. In layman’s terms, this means it transforms sunlight into the energy that you and your family use every day. Unfortunately, most inverters don’t last as long as the typical solar panel system. This means you’ll likely need to replace this device every 10 to 15 years on average.
How to Fix
- Get a replacement: If you’re facing costly issues with your inverter, it’s probably more cost-effective to replace it rather than have it repaired. Be sure to consult a professional who can examine the inverter to determine the best course of action. In some cases, it may simply need to be cleaned. But if it’s well beyond repair, you’ll do your solar system a huge favor by swapping out the inverter.
- Hire a top-tier solar installer: At Photon Brothers, we offer a 25-year production guarantee. This means that if you see a decline in performance or a part fails, we’ll make it right at no cost to you!
If birds are drawn to your solar panel system, you’re not alone. Nesting birds may seem innocuous, but they can actually pose a serious risk to solar panels. By nesting underneath the panels, they may disrupt the normal functioning of your entire solar system. This can lead to costly repairs and other headaches further down the road.
How to Fix
- Install bird netting: Installing bird netting around your solar panels can help to keep birds from nesting underneath them. Make sure that the netting is securely fastened and does not pose a safety hazard.
- Use bird spikes: Bird spikes are a simple and effective way to prevent birds from landing on or near your solar panels. They are made of plastic or metal and can be installed on the edges of solar panels or nearby structures.
- Place decoys: Placing decoys of natural predators, such as owls or hawks, near your solar panels can help to deter birds from nesting in the area.
- Trim nearby trees: Trees and other vegetation can provide a nesting habitat for birds. Trimming nearby trees can reduce the likelihood of birds nesting in the area.
- Clean regularly: Keeping your solar panels clean can help discourage birds from nesting underneath them. Birds are attracted to debris and clutter, so regularly cleaning your solar panels can help to keep them away.
By taking these steps, you can help prevent nesting birds in your solar panels and protect your investment in renewable energy.
Get expert advice straight from the pros. Call Photon Brothers today!
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