How to know if your solar panels are working properly
Think of your solar panels like you would your car. You’ve signed the papers and you’re now the brand new owner of a shiny new car or a solar PV system.
What happens now? With your car you'll have to service it regularly to maintain optimum performance.
When something goes wrong with your car you generally notice instantly and take it to the mechanic to have it checked out.
Unfortunately that’s not so true with your solar panels. In most cases you won’t actually know until you get your electricity bill - your expensive electricity bill!
So how do you know if your solar panels are working properly?
First, it’s essential to know some basics about how your solar PV system works and the common issues that can arise.
There are two important components to your solar PV system:
1. Solar panels
Which can be polycrystalline or monocrystalline panels.
Which can be either a central inverter (around the size of a briefcase), or a microinverter, which is approximately the size of a paperback book.
The inverter works the hardest - it’s job is to convert the DC electricity that the solar panels produce into 240V AC electricity, which is what everything in your home uses.
- Extreme weather events (like hail etc)
- Manufacturer defects
- Inverter issues
- Panel fractures or breaks
But how do you know there is a problem in the first place?
Without getting on the roof and actually looking at your panels - the easiest way to know if your solar panels are working properly and at their most efficient is via the inverter's screen or interface, or via a monitoring app for the inverter.
- Monitor your solar system’s performance
- See your energy usage in real time
- Audit your power bills
Solar monitoring gives you visibility over your panels and your household’s energy consumption to help you make the best choices to lower your bills. More importantly however it will help you Identify and detect issues from your solar panels before you get a hefty electricity bill, if they haven't been working for a few weeks or months.
Checking in with your solar monitoring system regularly is the best way for you to know your solar setup is working at optimum performance.