Renewable EnergyWhy my panels are underperforming shortly after installation?

You’ve recently got solar panel system for your house, and strangely, you are noticing they aren’t performing as expected?

Well, it’s not uncommon for sure. However, finding out the cause and fixing it is equally important. Today, we will make you familiar with the problems that are likely to slow down the performance of a solar system and ways to resolve them.

Let’s get on with it.

Possible reasons why your PV system is underperforming:

There is a range of factors that play a crucial role in delivering the desired power output from the photovoltaic system, and there is a series of possibilities that affect the same. Some are internal problems, while some are external ones.

Internal problems that cause solar panels underperforming:

  1. damaged inverter
  2. faulty charge controller
  3. defect in the solar panel
  4. system heating

External common solar panel problems that cause poor performance

  1. dirt
  2. shade
  3. cloudy atmosphere
  4. Solar panel orientation

Let’s learn about all of them one by one.

Internal problems:

  1. Damaged inverter: Check whether your inverter is working just fine. If the indicator flashes a red light and you encounter an error message on the screen, means either your inverter is switched off or may have disconnected from the gird. If you happen to have microinverters or power optimizers, it makes sense to quickly run a troubleshooting effort. Trade the microinverter/optimizer with any other panel and observe if the issue persists. If it does, you need to repair or replace that optimizer/microinverter.
  2. Faulty charge controller: If you have an off-grid solar system with batteries, you might want to take a look at the charge controller. It’s pretty easy to troubleshoot a charge controller. It can be a battery problem. Faulty system wiring could be another probable reason, and wrong solar charge controller settings could also cause conflict charging the batteries.
  3. Panel defect: A solar panel or panels might also underperform. If the module is not physically damaged, your inverter works fine then chances are, the solar panel has a manufacturing defect. Replacing the same will help in restoring the PV system performance.
  4. System overheating: high temperature is a cause of reduced panel efficiency. The more heat solar system absorbs, the less will be the power output. If your system is overheating, it will reflect in power generation.

External problems:

If it’s not the internal factors, external ones could be causing solar panels underperforming.

  1. Dirt: Check your panels once in a while. Check whether they have accumulated excessive bird droppings, dirt, grime or dry leaves. All these potentially reduce the output of the system.
  2. Overcast: do trees surround your house? Are they casting a shadow on your solar panels? Or your chimney is putting shadow on some panels at certain hours of the day? Well, trees can be cleared to minimize the shadow effect. It will help in boosting energy production.
  3. Cloudy atmosphere: on cloudy days, sun rays don’t directly shine on the solar panels, resulting in less energy production. The overcast atmosphere doesn’t entirely stop energy production. However, it limits the rate of power generation.
  4. Solar panel orientation: orientation of the panels is too significant to avoid. It’s an effort that has to be addressed at the installation phase. If your panels are facing east or west direction, they will generate less power than those that face north direction.

You may encounter common solar problems as you go, and you can fix most of them voluntarily. If you find dirt being the reason for less output, you can schedule solar panel check-up after every few days to ensure they are clean. If your inverter posing problems seek the advice of your installer, they will come up with a solution. On top of all, periodic inspection of your system for any possible loopholes is advisable. Contact your solar installer if the need be.

Vista Electrical Controls facilitates its customers with full assistance they ever need. VEC troubleshoot the photovoltaic solar panel power system against all the mentioned internal and external factors to reveal the root cause and fix it permanently. By offering resilient solar systems with competitive prices and prompt customer services, Vista EC has become one of the best solar installers in Perth.

If you haven’t got a solar system yet, please get in touch with Vista Electrical Controls today!

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