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4 Reasons Your Solar System Could Need Maintenance

January 25, 2018

With no moving parts, solar arrays are low maintenance, long-lasting investments. However, just like any other item that is exposed to the weather, issues can occasional pop-up. The most obvious sign equipment isn’t functioning properly is an unexpected or sudden increase in your electric bill. If you find yourself in this scenario, these are four issues that could be the cause.

Note: All systems installed by Paradise Energy are backed by our Triple Ten Guarantee. That means we will monitor your solar system and fix any issues within the first 10 years of installation.

1. Physical Damage

There could be a damaged panel. Solar panels are made with a protective glass cover, much like a car windshield. They are proven to withstand hail or even bike tricks (not recommended).

However, occasionally a stone or some other particle can hit the panel just right and cause damage.

Source: Solar-Power-Made-Affordable.com

 

2. Dirty Panels

Being exposed to the environment can allow for dirt, pollen, etc to affect the efficiency of solar panels. In most cases, the rain will rinse away these items, but there are times a cleaning could be needed. 

DO NOT use a power washer to wash your panels. Doing so can damage the panel’s seals and allow moisture to work its way into the inner parts of the panel. If the panels are located in an area that you can safely reach, it is okay to use a garden hose, a long-handled brush, and a bucket of soapy water to clean the modules. Avoid walking on the modules.

We strongly discourage climbing or working on your roof without approved safety equipment.

Source: blog.yellowhaze.in/solar-panel-cleaning-guidelines

 

3. Arc Faults

Arc faults can be caused by loose electrical connections within the system. Inverters are now built with arc fault protection which will cause the inverter to shut down as soon as it senses anything it interprets to be an arc fault.

Typically your inverter will show some kind of error on the display to indicate that the inverter is in fault mode.

Picture shows the result of an arc fault

 

4. GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interruption)

If the electrical current finds a path to ground it will trigger a ground fault alert. Inverters are designed to shut down when such an incident occurs.

Some inverters have an internal fuse that is blown whenever a ground fault occurs, others will reset themselves and begin to produce again after the cause of the fault is cleared.

Faults can be caused by:

  • Moisture inside a junction box or other type of electrical enclosure
  • Broken panels
  • Squirrels or other rodents causing damage to wiring

 

Our Maintenance Team is Here to Help!

Is your solar system experiencing one of these issues, and it’s not under warranty? Let our certified team of solar technicians examine your system. Give us a call at 877-851-9269 or click to complete a contact form.

 

 

Andy Schell

Andy is the Marketing Manager at Paradise Energy Solutions, working from our corporate headquarters in Paradise, PA.

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