Installing a solar panel system is a big decision that one makes as it involves a huge investment. Once installed, it needs to properly taken care of, to no only give better but also a long-lasting performance. A solar panel system is not at all difficult or expensive to maintain. A little care is all it takes! Keeping the surface clean and taking care of little things can also go a long way in maintaining the system. It is also important to note the Warranty, Service & Maintenance, Life, Safety, etc. terms and conditions related to the system installed.
What are the major factors that affect solar panel generation?
There are many factors that affect the generation of solar panel systems. It may be from generation side or from load side. Let me explain how you can figure out:
The first, In the case of stand alone solar systems (off-grid), when you have less power consumption as well as the battery is full charge, then generation of solar PV modules will be less but if you have a hybrid solar system and you have installed a net meter, then the solar panel generates maximum generation.
The second, In the case of grid connected solar systems (on-grid), if the grid is not available or the grid has low voltage (~90V to ~100V), then solar panels do not generate output because string / micro inverters synchronize with grid electricity.
Third, if solar panels are not installed in the south direction, then a generation of solar panels will be impacted. Latitude and longitude angle is also one factor that may impact solar panel outputs.
Fourth is cleaning. It is a major problem that affects the generation of solar power plants. You need to clean on a regular basis through water and soft clothes. In small solar power plants, it is easy to do but in big solar power plants, it is difficult to clean. You need to hire one man power to clean on a regular basis. The best time to clean solar panels is early morning before sunrise or after sun sets. When you do cleaning work, you should shut down the solar inverter. So, it is safe for manpower.
And the last is the shadow of any buildings/trees/water tank, you should avoid this or you should better plan during solar panel installation time.
Common problems with Solar Power System
Given below is a list of a few of the major concerns that customers face.
1. Decreasing Solar Panel Performance – Often customers complain that the efficiency of the panel has declined over passing time.
2. Battery Life will be Less – Another complaint that we get is that battery life is getting low. In other words, batteries get discharged pretty soon.
Inverter PCB can be damaged – This is another major concern that customers are facing.
3. Panel Stand will be Broken – With passing time, the strength of the stand gets reduced and it is unable to withstand the weight or natural conditions like heavy winds/ hailstorms, etc.
4. Electricity bills still remaining high or not reducing – Customers have complained that despite one of the major advantages of installing solar is a reduction in power bill, they still fail to witness lower bills.
1. Common problems with Solar Panels – Less Power Generation
Solar Panels are exposed to the environment – sun, wind, dust, rain, etc. hence they get dirty very soon. Solar panels are like windows lying flat which means they get dirty very fast. Pollen, bird droppings, dirt, and dust can build up on solar panels. “Solar Clouding” commonly referred to by the panel manufacturers, means dirty panels and needs to be cleaned on a regular schedule. There is a 10%–15% decrease in solar output when solar panels are dirty.
Solution – Solar Panel Cleaning Kit
Most manufacturers recommend the cleaning of solar panels every six months. There are many professional panel cleaners in the market today or you can use automated cleaners that can be programmed to clean the panels as needed. One can use a garden hose to wash the face of the panels during either the early morning or in the evening. Care should be taken not to spray cold water onto hot panels or there could be a risk of cracking them. Car washing machine – You can also use a car washing machine to clean the panels. It is available for Rs. 6,000 to 8,000.
After Cleaning: The efficiency of the overall system can increase by 30%–40% after cleaning. Solar panels generally require very little maintenance. A few times a year, the panels should be inspected for any dirt or debris that may collect on them. Typically they should be cleaned in March/April when the rainy season has passed and August/September, towards the end of summer. The cleaning services are a necessary part of the system maintenance and also to maintain its warranty.
2. Common problems with Panel Stand – Installation Mistake
Check the strength of panel stand installation in high wind and rainy conditions. It is important to affix the stand properly in the ground, else, they might just fly away in windy or rainy times.
Solution: Strong Civil Works
Benefits: Your solar panels will stay safe and there won’t be any accident or mishap in the neighborhood from your panels or stands flying away.
3. Common Problems with Electricity Bill
Two common problems are coming:
1. Increase electricity bill after solar panel installation
2. Not receiving an electricity bill after changing electricity meter
Check your electricity bill before and after solar panel installation. If you find that the bill is still high please check for all connections. It could be that your system wasn’t working properly. Ensure everything is in place and the system is clean and switch it on again, you will surely enjoy savings on your power bill from the next cycle.
If you have an on-grid system, check and monitor solar panel performance on your mobile phone. Your electricity bill be reduced if you install grid-connected solar system.
3. Common problems with Inverter Battery
For Battery: In order to maintain the batteries, it is important to check the water level before and after the summer season. Also recommended to keep batteries in an open area to vent the emissions coming out.
Benefits: Battery life will increase by 1-2 years.
For Inverter: When running an inverter, please note to run up to 50% home load on regular basis. Do not overload the inverter. Running an inverter on ~80% home load is on the high side and not recommended at all. Also, keep the inverter battery in an open area as well.
Benefits: Inverter PCB will be safe.
Solar Panel Cleaning Kit Video
One should keep monitoring their solar panel system and energy output to ensure there are no malfunctions. Check and log the power output on the solar inverters display on a daily or monthly basis. With this data, one can check to see if solar panels are functioning at full efficiency.