fbpx

The Complete Guide to Solar Panel Maintenance

A lot of questions can come up if you recently had a solar panel installed. Things like ‘how often should I have a professional inspect and clean my solar panels?’ is a valid solar system maintenance concern.

In this article, we’ll guide you on how you should approach solar panel maintenance.

Why Do Solar Panels Need to Undergo Maintenance?

The best solar panels can last a long time, and most are relatively low maintenance. However, that doesn’t exclude it from a regular checkup via a qualified electrician to ensure that all components are working as they should be, running as well as they should and lastly, that the system is optimised to provide clean energy.

How Often Should You Have a Professional Inspect Your Solar Panels?

Most homes and small residential-type systems will do well to have a complete electrical inspection every one to two years. For those who have larger systems, e.g., 40kW and above, we’d recommend having a full inspection done every year for utmost safety and power efficiency.

Should I Clean the Solar Panels Myself?

Much like any material that’s exposed to the outdoor environment, solar panels may collect dust, dirt and debris among other things. For panels that are installed at a 5-degree angle or greater, there’s good news- rainfall tends to wash away the fine particles and keep it working optimally.

Also, improvements in the solar panel industry, particularly silicon cells, inverters and panel optimisers have solved most dust problems that plague the panels. A qualified solar panel system inspector or electrician can determine if your panels need additional cleaning.

As a side note, homes located near coastal areas, in nearby proximity to industrial pollution or those living in a bird-dense area may need to have their solar panels maintained more often.

What’s the Difference Between Reactive and Regular Maintenance?

Solar maintenance will often depend on the kind of solar panel system you have. For those who have several solar panel installations in different areas, or those that have commercial setups, it’s a good idea to have a contractor provide the necessary monitoring and inspection to ensure continuous operation, as well as identify potential risks and faults and fix them in a timely manner.

On the other hand, there are those who will only contact a contractor or installer when they find an issue with their solar panels. Although there’s a free monitoring software in inverters to check the system status it won’t alert the provider if the unit is underperforming or failing.

Solar Panel Warranty Coverage

In a broad sense, a solar panel warranty covers product defects and require a professional electrician to confirm the issue and bring it up to the manufacturer’s attention.

Solar system owners who wish to contact a local solar maintenance company can reach out to us at All Green Environmental and have your unit inspected, diagnosed and fixed.

A claim happens when you can prove that the panel is not working as promised. You can avoid this by choosing a reputable solar panel company that has a local presence in Australia.

Solar Panels Versus Extreme Weather Patterns

Solar panels will usually have the necessary environmental rating where they’re installed. A reputable contractor can make sure the owner’s roof sub-structure and the mounting system meet wind-rating and weather patterns that may occur in your region.

Plus, all solar panels will come with an ice or hail-resistance rating up to 35 millimetres, or roughly the size of a golf ball to pass Australian Standards. This is about 99 per cent of weather patterns, where the 1 per cent can stem from events where the hailstone can shatter car windscreens.

Solar panel owners can choose to get building insurance to cover against hail damage. Also, you can choose to get a tempered glass backsheet, or otherwise known as ‘glass on glass’ panel instead of thin film, which makes the system more durable. The cost to have this done is 20 per cent more than standard panel installation.

Common Solar Panel Issues You Should Know

Hot Spots

Hot spots are when the panels are overloaded or become too hot while in use. The most probable cause is the buildup of dirt, which traps the heat. It can also be a manufacturing issue, e.g., faulty wiring and others.

Snail Trails

Snail trail is a condition where moisture gets inside the panel and causes a darkened line to form across the surface. This is commonly caused by a faulty silver paste and can lead to a shortened lifespan and lower output.

Micro Cracks

Micro cracks can form when there’s too much pressure applied during installation, or when the panels are mishandled during transport. They may appear nearly invisible at first but expand as the panels undergo temperature fluctuations and water ingress.

Inverter Issues

Inverters can be damaged by ‘tripping off’ when the solar panels are running in sub-optimal condition and when there are voltage fluctuations and problems. Over time, dust can accumulate on the inverter and make it hotter or cause communication issues between the inverter and solar panels.

Components and Wiring

Australian regulations require DC isolators or switches that can shut down solar panel functions to be installed on the roof. As it experiences temperature fluctuations, moisture and UV rays these units can break. Wiring, connection and electrician workmanship can also affect the condition of your solar panel system.

How Much Would It Cost to Have My Solar Panels Cleaned and Maintained?

A basic inspection can run anywhere between $250 to $1,100, while a detailed inspection that includes electrical testing can run from $400 to $2,900.

Cleaning usually costs $4 to $12 per panel depending on the kW rating.

These costs are estimates and will go up or down depending on several factors, such as age, how many panels you have, roof access and solar system design.

Tips to Check Your Solar Power Output and Performance

You can check how your panels are performing by reviewing information in the monitoring software which comes with your solar system.

Another way to see if your solar panels are working is to check your energy bills. You’ll be able to see information about exported solar energy and lower energy consumption figures due to going off-grid.

How You Can Replace Faulty Solar Panels

This type of work must always be handled by a Clean Energy Council qualified electrician. If you wish to file a claim then evidence must be collected and presented by the electrician.

If you’re replacing a panel with a different model ensure that it has similar specifications as with the original unit, or you’ll experience a drop in performance.

Australian Solar installer

10 Crucial Tips To Choosing An Australian Solar Panel Installer

Home solar is now slowly becoming the norm, with many Australian families and businesses deciding to make the switch. However, it is vital for those deciding to make this switch to choose the right solar panels and solar panel installer who can offer the best after-sales support and maintenance. We have put together a list of 10 crucial tips for homeowners and businesses looking for guidance in choosing a solar panel installer to help you out:
(more…)
Tindo Australian Solar Panels

Tindo Solar Panels – The Ultimate Australian Solar Panels

All Green has put together some information about Australian solar panels manufacturing company Tindo and why we stock their solar panels for our installations. This information is written from Tindo’s perspective. We just couldn’t word it any better!

The Tindo Karra Australian solar panels utilise intelligently designed photovoltaic modules using innovative materials, which makes them one of the best panels on the market.

One of the best features of the all-new Tindo Karra-325W PERC system is its compact nature. It can fit much more power at a competitive price in a much smaller space than the current market competition. The panel was under development for quite some time and is a collaborative effort with the University of Canberra.

Buying Solar Systems

Making Your Home Green: 9 Benefits of Residential Solar Installation

According to Green Tech Media, Australia has over 2.4 million solar systems installed. Australia has rapidly taken to renewable energy and is adopting it at an accelerated rate of 10 times quicker than the global standard.

With solar becoming more affordable and accessible than ever, you might want to consider it for your own home.

If you’re wondering if solar is the right choice for your home, here are 9 benefits of residential solar installation.

solar panels

The Royal Hotel Singleton

The Royal Hotel Singleton now has this 250 panel installation with Enphase Micro Inverters.

Enphase technology overcomes the complicated roof space on this site where there are multiple angles and shade to deal with. Because each module works individually the impact of shade and the roof facets is minimised allowing for maximum output from each unit.

If there is ever any storm damage it would be isolated to the affected modules allowing the rest of the system to keep working therefore the risk of system downtime or failure is minimised. If a panel were to fail it would affect less than 0.5% of the system and it would notify the customer and All Green.

solar panels

Flat Roof 10KW Enphase system

Install of the week goes to this Flat Roof 10KW Enphase system on the Central Coast.

Flat roof solar panel installs generate a little less in winter but has a higher overall annual output. They look much better and allow more panels because they do not need to be
spaced apart to avoid shading. Using tilt frames is somewhat dated and is no longer considered best industry practice, so where it can be avoided and particularly in high wind areas, we would advise against tilting.

Installing up and down the coast, we have a lot of experience with beach, lake and harbourside install. All our products and mounting equipment are rated for coastal environments.

Solar panel instal on a Sydney home

Enphase Micro Inverters and LG 330W Black Frame Mono panels

This 9kW install with Enphase Micro Inverters and LG 330W Black Frame Mono panels was hard to pass up as install of the week.

A good example of where a site visit may be required, where there may be limited roof space, difficult access or design complications to consider.

Because of the flat roof areas we were able to gain access to the steep parts of the roof. The Micro Inverters overcome the shade issues but just as significantly the five different angles that panels were installed at.

Surprisingly, provided the right materials and products are used there is usually a practical way to get the job done.

web

The Old Church Building

This old church building presented us with some challenging install complications. The back of the building required scaffolding and the front a boom lift due to the pitch of the roof. It also had a raked ceiling, shade from the chimney and no room for an inverter next to the meter box. We overcame these problems by using Enphase.

Too often installers and customers are put off by site complications but this install proves that when both parties work together the problems can be overcome. The additional requirements do add to the cost however the project remains economically viable in most cases.

Google Reviews

  • 5 star review  I was referred to All Green Environmental Solutions by a friend and I am so glad I listened. The job entailed installing Enphase solar panel system and a Tesla Powerwall 2 at my house. This was done efficiently with the work being completed on the day of installation with no issues. They setup the system so that I can monitor it on my phone, answered all questions I had and were professional throughout. I highly recommend them

    thumb Brandon Navra
    6/19/2020

    5 star review  Fantastic friendly service, very professional installers. Pricing was really good and they explained everything in simple terms that I could understand. I would have no hesitation recommending them. Even though they were from the central coast they were happy to come to Sydney and were always on time. It’s awesome dealing with companies like this. Thanks all green

    thumb Simeon McGovern
    9/04/2019
  • 5 star review  Ive had this system for a few years now and it has performed well. Any minor issues are quickly resolved by contacting All Green and i have found the customer service and backup exceptional. Highly recommend.

    thumb Rick C
    7/28/2020

    5 star review  Excellent business to deal with from start to finish. David and his team were friendly, professional , reliable and efficient. The office gave good customer service. Smooth instalment from start to finish and competitive prices. Would recommend them to anyone .

    thumb Deb Bartholomew
    7/13/2020
  • 5 star review  Competitive pricing. Installation crew on time, polite, efficient and answered all my questions. Really appreciated the call a half hour before arrival letting me know they were on their way. Recommended Enphase micro-inverter system is great. Monitoring software is fantastic. Could not have asked for a better experience.

    thumb Ken Hogan
    3/03/2021

    5 star review  A good price & advice on what components to buy. Installed on the day scheduled, and installer were professional. I'd recommend

    thumb Stuart Frith
    11/01/2020
  • 5 star review  All Green Environmental Solutions recently installed a large Solar system in my commercial premises. Scott is certainly an expert in his field and gave me the right advice from the outset. Also, Scott and his team were punctual, innovative, keen and professional at all times. I will definitely be using them again. Kind regards, Michael Bryer.

    thumb Michael Bryer
    7/21/2021

    5 star review  Great advice and service and I don't regret selecting them. They are not a pushy solar marketing outfit. I have recommended them to friends who are looking for solar. They were very patient and helpful while I watched shading issues during different times of the day in the weeks before I made a decision. My observations just confirmed what they had proposed. I was very happy with the installation process. What they said I could expect to be generated on my site and position is on target with what is actually happening.

    thumb Rodney Brady
    8/26/2020
  • 5 star review  May I thank the installer Dave who came around today to troubleshoot and fix my network connectivity with the Enphase envoy. He went to great trouble to hook it up via ethernet so it’s much more reliable and I’m thrilled about that. This is the sort of excellent post-install service you want but don't always get. Recommend.

    thumb Grant Ayre
    4/04/2019

    5 star review  Excellent experience with All Green getting our solar panels fitted. Joel and the boys arrived on time and had the job finished in about 4 hours. The solar panels have been producing heaps of power since installation and we have not used any electricity in that time.

    thumb Jeff Macpherson
    2/04/2020
  • 5 star review  Excellent long established family company with extensive experience in all things Solar. I researched a number of companies and All Green were by far the best value with the highest quality components. Highly recommended!

    thumb Wayne Earnshaw
    6/18/2020

    5 star review  I don't normally write reviews but decided to do it for All Green as I had a great experience and smooth transaction with them. Joe on the sales end was really great with understanding the needs and providing analysis for couple of different scenarios. He didn't try to push me to sell the biggest system and provided the optimum one that'd suite my need. It took a while to get it installed, but Wayne and the crew was great on the day. They had all the equipment and didn't even have to come inside the house. They did all the work from outside which was great as I was working from home that day. The job was neat and I didn't have to a tidy up after they've left. Emma and Kylie in the office were great to deal with as well. The system is working like a charm and automatically shut down safely when there was planned maintenance in the electricity network. Thanks guys, couldn't have been a smoother transaction. I'll be recommending you to everyone who's considering solar

    thumb Siva Hesavan
    3/23/2020
  • 5 star review  All Green Environmental Solutions are helpful and very knowledgeable and assisted us in developing a solution that met our needs.

    thumb James Bawtree
    5/03/2021

    5 star review  Excellent workmanship. I cannot speak more highly of their installers. I only wish other tradies were as prompt, polite, clean, and showed the same attention to detail.

    thumb Ryan Williams
    5/09/2020
  • 5 star review  From my initial enquiry through to installation these guys have been great. Install happened right on schedule and Wayne was very helpful in walking me through the system and how it works. Product, Quality of Workmanship and Price were all excellent. Highly Recommend.

    thumb Mark Raines
    7/01/2021

    5 star review  All green environmental solutions installed a large solar system and Tesla battery at my elderly neighbours house (who I was assisting) on the 20th of August, 2020. The installation team came early in the morning, and after consulting with us about what they were going to do, they got to work. The whole process took less than a day, and the men were very efficient and courteous. At the end of the day, the system was tested and up and running, and they left the worksite tidy. Would highly recommend the company if you are thinking of putting in a system. Cheers, Phillip and Dennis. 😊😸

    thumb Phillip Vassallo
    9/09/2020
  • 5 star review  Great company to deal with. Priced competively. Install done neatly and on time. Always good to support some locals. Well done to Scott, Bryce and the team.

    thumb Daniel Starr
    2/11/2020

    5 star review  They were fast to book a date once we paid the deposit and the price was the cheapest around. Very happy with their service

    thumb Lindsay Ipsen
    10/27/2020
  • 5 star review  Very pleased with the solution that All Green Environmental came up with. It wasn't the easiest installation with a very steep roof but the installation team did very well and the system was up and running the same day. Very efficient, no mess and I now have 'free' power. Would definitely recommend them.

    thumb Roger Attwood
    5/14/2020

    5 star review  A highly professional experience from start to finish. The sales team provided all the information we needed in an easy to understand format with very competitive pricing. Once we decided to go ahead with the purchase things moved along quickly and within a short time the installation crew arrived. The crew were very helpful and friendly, explaining all the steps and downtime was kept to a very minimum amount of time. No more than 15 minutes or so. The monitoring software was installed and explained in detail and the empty boxes, etc was cleaned away. A reassuring aspect of the monitoring software is that in the event of a problem All Green will contact me to let me know what will be done and when, not the other way around as is usually the case. Top marks on all aspects of the deal from start to finish. Well done. I would recommend All Green in an instant.

    thumb Michael Luff
    11/04/2020
Trustpilot