Why Has My Solar System Stopped Creating Electricity? | 7 Reasons Why

 

There are many reasons as to why your solar system may not be working. Here are the 7 most common issues that might be causing your solar system to not work as it should.

1. Shade Is Covering Your Solar Panels

Unfortunately, trees grow continuously, and a new formed branch could be enough to shade your panels and drastically reduce their performance.

Check your property for newly formed shaded areas and make cuts where necessary.Cleaning Solar Panels

2. You Have Dirty Solar Panels

Solar panels self-clean when there is sufficient rainfall but if you have been through a dry period your solar panels may be coated in dust, bird droppings, tree sap or leaves.

If you notice that your panels are dull looking and ready for a clean you can call your installer to get a cleaner out to you.

Want to do it yourself? Make sure you gently brush down the grime on your solar panels with cool water and soap. When climbing onto your roof ensure that you take the necessary safety precautions.

3. Solar Inverter Issues

Faults in your solar inverter can lead to many common issues with your solar system. But how can you tell when something has gone wrong?

A simple way of checking how your inverter is performing is by looking at the glowing light during the day. If the light is green it is working as it should. If the light is red or orange something has gone wrong with the inverter and it is now showing for a fault.

If you are finding that your inverter is showing for a fault, call your installer.

4. A Solar Meter Is Not Installed

Before your solar system can operate you must have a meter installed. Your energy provider will usually arrange this for you on your behalf but it can take up to a few days for this service to be completed.

5. Your PV Panels Are Tripping Your Circuit BreakerWhy is my solar system not working?

Sometimes when a solar system is installed it can cause your circuit breaker to trip. Tripping usually occurs when the breaker panel is affected by elements such as heat, rain or a faulty wire.

If you find your system is tripping often it can also be a sign of an issue with the solar panel conductor.

6. Your Solar Panels Are Over Heating

Although solar panels are designed to sit out in the heat of the day, a spike in heat can effect the efficiency of your solar panel by up to 10%. When the temperature is raised above 25 degrees it is often found that the efficiency of solar panels will decrease.

7. A Loose Wire On Your Panel Array

If you are experiencing a significant loss of power this may be caused by a loose wire on your PV system which means that your solar array cannot connect the energy it’s generating to your inverter system. Ensure that you call your installer to do this for you as live wires can be dangerous.

Need more help on everything solar? Visit our blog section for everything there is to know about solar panels, batteries and inverters.

Need better help, recommendations and quotes? Solar Market connects you with 3 free no obligation quotes to solar installers within your local area. Happy Installing!

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.
 

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