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Solar panels are great, but they’re not immune to having a bad hair day…or a bad weather day for that matter. As more and more people are turning towards solar energy to power their homes and businesses, it’s important to understand that even the best solar panel systems can experience issues. From panel degradation to shading and inverter malfunction, there are a variety of problems that can arise and cause your solar panels to underperform. In this blog, we will explore the common issues that can occur with solar panels and provide tips on how to prevent and troubleshoot them. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to install solar panels or a business owner looking to improve your energy efficiency, understanding the potential issues with solar panels is crucial to ensuring optimal performance and longevity. As with most things, prevention is better than the cure.

The issue: Weather-related damage:

High winds, hail, and heavy snowfall can damage solar panels, causing them to become less efficient.

The Prevention:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Regularly inspecting and cleaning your solar panels can help prevent damage from debris, dust, and other buildups.
  2. Install a quality Solar Panel Roof Mounting System: A quality mounting system with a verified design can keep your solar panels secure and stable, even in high winds.
  3. Use High-Quality Solar Panels: Investing in solar panels with a high level of durability and weather resistance can help protect your system from damage.
  4. Use a weather monitoring system: This could be considered a little overkill in Ireland as our weather doesn’t pose a significant threat. That said, you could have a weather monitoring system installed that will allow you to track the weather conditions and take necessary actions to prevent damage.
  5. Check for shading: Make sure your solar panels are not shaded by trees or buildings, which can reduce their efficiency and cause damage over time.

These steps can help protect your solar panel system from weather-related damage and ensure optimal performance.

The issue: Degradation of panel performance:

Over time, the efficiency of solar panels can degrade, resulting in lower power output.

The prevention:

While we hate to say this, we hate repetition more…so… please see the information provided above. Everything you’ve just read to maintain your panels against adverse weather can be applied here. 

In addition:

Use a Quality Inverter: A good inverter will ensure that the energy produced by the solar panel is converted to usable energy and will also prevent any energy loss.

  1. Proper Installation: Make sure that your solar panels are installed correctly, with the right angle and orientation to maximise their efficiency.
  2. Use a monitoring system: Having a monitoring system installed will allow you to track the performance of the solar panels and take necessary actions.

The issue: Electrical issues:

Wiring, inverters, and other electrical components of a solar panel system can develop problems, leading to reduced power output or system failure.

The prevention:

  1. Hire a Professional: Hire a licensed and experienced electrician to install your PV panel system to ensure that it is installed correctly and is compliant.
  2. Hire a Professional: They will use high-quality equipment which reduces the risk of electrical issues.
  3. Hire a Professional: They will ensure that your PV panel system is sized correctly for your energy needs to avoid overloading the system and causing electrical issues.
  4. Regular Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain your PV panel system to ensure that it is functioning correctly and to identify and resolve any issues early on.

If you’d like to read our customer reviews, you can do so here.

The issue: Incompatible roof:

Not all roofs are made equal. A roof may be too steep, too shady, or too old to support solar panels.

The prevention:

Ok. We are being forced to repeat ourselves here… but 

  1. Hire a Professional: they will vet and inspect your home and tell you frankly whether or not a solar panel system is suitable and will benefit your home and requirements.

We’ve written more about this particular topic in more detail in our blog “Where Is The Best Place To Put Solar Panels On Your Roof?”

The issue: Inverter Malfunction:

A malfunction in an inverter can cause a variety of issues such as power failure, system shutdown, or reduced efficiency. It could be caused by a variety of factors such as overloading, overheating, short-circuiting, or software errors

The precaution:

  1. Use High-Quality Inverters: Invest in a high-quality inverter from a reputable manufacturer to reduce the risk of malfunction (read: Hire a professional)
  2. Regular Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain your inverter to ensure that it is functioning correctly.
  3. Use a monitoring system: Having a monitoring system installed will allow you to track the performance of the inverter and take necessary actions to prevent any issues.
  4. Proper Sizing: Make sure that your inverter is properly sized for your solar panel system to avoid overloading the inverter and causing malfunction.
  5. Hire a Professional: Hire a licensed and experienced electrician to install your solar panel system to ensure that the inverter is installed correctly and in compliance with local codes.
  6. Proper Ventilation: Make sure that the inverter is installed in a well-ventilated area to avoid overheating and malfunction.

While the repetition across these questions and answers may be frustrating to read, we felt it necessary in order to ensure that important information is clear and retained. In short, sorry (but not really sorry).

Based on your reading of this article, we thought you might be interested in the following:

Where is the best place to put solar panels on your roof?

A guide to the solar panel installation process

Most weeks we post a blog about a topic that has been raised through dealing with our clients. Most months, we send a brief synopsis of them out via our newsletter. If you’d like to sign up to keep in the loop you can do so here.

Caldor Solar is a specialist in both residential and commercial solar panels.  Discover our green solutions to generate optimal returns.

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