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Diagnosing Solar Issues
A PV module is an assembly of photo voltaic cells mounted in a framework for installation cells use
Diagnosing Solar Issues

Installing a solar system is only half the battle — after you’ve done it, you need to take care of it to ensure optimal performance. That means constant monitoring and maintenance. But how do you know if your solar installation needs repairs? Lunex Power wants you to know what you need to be looking for and how you can diagnose any problems that arise.

How do I know when my system needs repair?

There are a few ways to tell that your system might be in need of repair. First, if the panel continues to produce less than expected, run it for a few more days. The issue might only become obvious after a week or two. Second, verify the output of your inverter. If your inverter is not producing enough AC voltage, run it for a day or two, and check the voltage against the predicted output. Third, look for a problem with your battery. The output of your battery might show abnormal spikes or dips, which can easily be diagnosed by a multimeter. Finally, look for problems with the panels themselves. Mold, fungus, and insect infestation can reduce the longevity of your panels, and problems with panels can leave your system disabled.

To identify potential issues with your system, perform the following checklist. If your system is producing too little power or displaying abnormal output, please seek assistance from the professionals at Lunex Power. If anything seems wrong with your system, it will be difficult to diagnose without additional information. One trick is to check all of your panels at once: first, run them to determine their expected output. Next, look at their design voltage (the AC voltage the system should output when fully charged). If the AC voltage deviates from this expected value more often than expected, you may need to evaluate the inverter design or the output of your battery. If any local utility provides compressed air handling or PWM (phase-wake-motor) service, these are ideal diagnostic tools. If you don’t have access to either of these available options, consider using a daylight meter to help identify problems with the panels themselves.

How should I diagnose the problem?

The system you created, installed, and maintained needs to perform at its best to protect your client’s investment. You need to ensure the system is optimally configured with all components working properly.

The sun won’t always be shining or any given time. Your solar installation also needs a backup power source. Enter the inverter. An inverter converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) and converts the alternating current back to DC. So called, intelligent inverters use sensors and other devices to continuously monitor the power drawing from your solar panels by measuring voltage, current, and power dropped across the wires. The smarts detect when the power is low to seamlessly cut the power to your panels.

Smart inverters automate the installation, maintenance, and operation of solar panels. They can also cut the power to panels in the event of a blackout. This saves your client from having to go the extra mile and manually jack up all the panels to power the home.

Simple inverter monitoring lets your installation management software pick up on random spikes in power, get automatic system maintenance done, and cut the power to your panels when necessary.

Anything that could potentially trip up your installation or cause damage to it is a potential reason call us immediately for help.

What are some common problems with solar systems and how can I fix them?

First of all, we don’t want you climbing up on your roof, so call us first. The two biggest issues with solar systems are that people don’t understand them, and they don’t give them enough of a chance. You install a system that generates a ton of energy, and you expect it to be going strong for years. But that’s not what happens, is it? Unless you spend a lot of time monitoring your system and fixing problems — as these articles show us — some things may not get better, and others may get worse. So the first issue is not knowing exactly what to look for. The second issue is not giving your solar system enough attention.

For the monitoring part, there are really only two options right now: a weather-based system, which sends alerts, and a battery-based system, which doesn’t. Both of these are very affordable.

Solar systems are by no means perfect, but they can work amazingly well if you’re willing to put in a little time and effort into maintenance and repair. A little bit of work now can save you a lot of money and hassle in the future.

retrofit — meaning replacing parts of an existing system — is one of the most effective ways to lay down your system’s foundation. For example, your existing solar panel installation might need replacing to get you on track with your goals. Retrofitting is all about monitoring your utility bills and making sure you’re getting quality power at the end of your pay period.

Finding the right parts and performing the necessary work on your existing system is one of the hardest things you can do in the solar world. These objectives are best left up to the professionals, so please get in touch with our repair team at Lunex Power.

A solar energy system engineer and electrician are two people that are essential for any home or business installation. Not only will a system operator be doing the installation, but they will also be monitoring and repairing any issues that might arise, such as:

If you have an older solar system, on average, it will cost you about 7.29 cents per watt to run it for an hour. Assuming you install an 11-kilowatt system which produces 576 watts per hour, running it for an hour will cost you — in addition to the utility bill — about 7.53 cents per watt. These prices don’t take the energy that will be generated during the entire day, but they still provide a good indicator of how much it will cost.

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