Sunday, 22 June 2014

Why regular solar panel maintenance checks are important

DC isolator

Your DC isolator is a central part of your system’s operating efficiency and safety and it needs to conform to AS5033 with regards to its construction and installation.

There were a number of incidents in northern Australia in early 2014 where faulty imported DC isolators were believed to have overheated, or moisture entered the switch’s enclosure, and this caused sparks and overheating. In a significant number of cases this then led to solar panels catching on fire. As a result, the DC isolators that were at fault—the Avanco DC isolator and the PV Power isolator—have now been recalled and withdrawn from sale.

However, even if your DC isolator is not one of these two models, these accidents nevertheless highlight the fact that high-quality components are essential to a safe and efficient system. They also demonstrate all too clearly the importance of having regular solar panel inspections and maintenance checks.

Homeowners should check the documentation that was provided by their solar installer in order to check the brand of DC isolator that has been used, as well as ensuring that the component that has been installed is the same as that in the documentation.

How will solar panel inspection help?
  • we confirm that your DC isolator has been made by a respectable manufacturer whose products are known to be of an acceptable standard 
  • we check the integrity and operation of rooftop and wall DC isolators and the AC solar main switch, and ensure that your system is correctly labelled 
  • we check that your DC isolator is not at risk of overheating 
  • we review and assess the wiring associated with your DC isolator, to ensure that it is delivering the appropriate safe operating conditions 

Solar inverters

The solar inverter enables the DC current that is generated by your solar panels to be into your home so that it can then be used by household appliances. It also the means whereby the excess energy you produce can be fed back into the grid, enabling you to capitalise on any feed-in tariff you may have.

In order to get the most out of your system, your solar inverter needs to function efficiently. Unfortunately, too many homeowners have been persuaded to install cheaper, low-quality inverters with the aim of reducing initial set-up costs. However, this is ultimately a false economy as a cheap inverter is more likely to fail or work below optimum capacity, meaning that you are drawing more power than you need to from the grid, and not benefitting from your feed-in tariff.

This is why it is so important to check your inverter on a regular basis, and if it is underperforming, or you notice a drop off in output, that you have an inspection and maintenance checks. At Solar Fix Network, we offer a full range of solar inspection and maintenance services, and our skilled and trained staff can inspect and test your solar inverter to ensure that it’s working to full capacity and that you’re getting the full benefits of your system.

Solar panel cleaning 

If your solar panels aren’t clean—whether due to rain, pollution, bird droppings or other deposits—sunlight is unable to reach the solar cells and they therefore absorb less energy. In turn, this means that your system is producing less energy and so is costing you money. It’s crucial, therefore, that your solar panels are as clean as possible.

We offer a comprehensive solar cleaning service, using eco-friendly materials and technology, that is designed to keep your solar panels clean and working at their best.,

Using purified water that contains no harmful chemicals or detergents, your rainwater collection and supply will not be affected, while rubber seals and glass panels are not damaged by the use of chemicals. Throughout the cleaning process, we use minimal water and so cleaning is completed in a safe, environmentally sound manner.

Our cleaning utilises gentle, environmentally-friendly telescopic reach-and-wash cleaning poles and brushes, ensuring that there are no spots, harmful residues or chemicals left behind, while our use of scratch-free cleaning technology means the glass on your panels remains like new.

Adelaide solar panel cleaning, inspection and maintenance services
To read more about our Adelaide solar panel maintenance services, please visit our website

Copywriting by +MarkAngus

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Adelaide Solar Panel Maintenance Services

In order to ensure that your system is working at full capacity, there are several different checks that you can carry out that will tell you how well your system is performing. If you carry out these checks on a regular basis, you won’t have to wait until your energy bill arrives to find out that your home solar energy system is not operating at full capacity.

Check your solar inverter

On a two-weekly basis you should check your inverter display, ideally in daylight conditions late in the day—in South Australia the best time is between 4.00pm - 5.00pm. If it’s dark when you make this check, or there is very limited sun, your inverter display will be blank, but this doesn’t necessarily indicate a fault. Therefore, any checks of your solar inverter should ideally be made when there is a reasonable amount of sunlight, and little or no cloud or haze.

Check the following:
  • there are no error messages being displayed 
  • if possible, check the Peak Power display. This is often shown as Ppeak. This will be measured in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW) 
  • the energy produced today. This is usually shown as Eday or Etoday. This is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) 
If you are not familiar with the displays on your system, the manufacturer’s manual will explain where these can be found. If you don't have a copy of the manual, you should be able to download one.

Check your system’s efficiency

All home pv solar energy systems should come with documents from your solar retailer or system designer that will detail your expected energy yield. As a first step to checking the efficiency of your system, compare the results that are displayed on your solar inverter with those that your designer has supplied.

Keep a record of the readings that you take, including information such as the time and date, and what the weather conditions were like (e.g., cloudy, clear, sunny, etc.) This will then be a useful reference point for you to be able measure changes or fluctuations in your system’s performance.

If your solar inverter is underperforming

If you aren’t getting the output from your system that was predicted, or you notice a drop in performance, then it’s important that you have your system inspected as soon as possible.

We offer a comprehensive home solar inspection service for homeowners in Adelaide and throughout South Australia, and our expert team can advise you on the steps that need to be taken to ensure that you’re getting full value from your home solar system.

To find out more about solar panel maintenance, please visit our website or email us with your questions.

Solar Fix Network clean, inspect and maintain solar panels in Adelaide
To read more about Adelaide solar panel maintenance, please click here

Copywriting by +MarkAngus

Monday, 9 June 2014

Adelaide Solar Panel Maintenance

Home solar energy systems require relatively little maintenance—however, this does not means that they require no attention or servicing.

In order to ensure a safe and efficient operating system that is effectively producing energy for your home and feeding it back to the grid, it’s important to have a regular and thorough maintenance programme for your solar panels.

At Solar Fix Network, we offer Adelaide homeowners a comprehensive solar panel inspection, maintenance and cleaning service that ensures your home solar system is working to capacity so that you are able to enjoy the full benefits of your investment.

We specialise in providing a complete range of inspection, maintenance and cleaning services and our staff are qualified and licensed to carry out mandatory SA Power Networks compliance inspections.

We can meet all of your solar panel maintenance, servicing and repair needs wherever you are in South Australia. You can visit us at +Solar Fix Network or our website. In addition, you can call us on (08) 8185 1552 or email us.

At Solar Fix Network, we offer Adelaide homeowners a comprehensive solar panel inspection, maintenance and cleaning service
To read more about Adelaide solar panel maintenance, please click here
Copywriting by +MarkAngus