How Well is Your Solar System Working?
There are numerous factors that can affect the performance of your solar system. For example, here are some possible factors:
- Local weather conditions
- Effects of temperature on panel efficiency
- Partial or full shading
- Cable and inverter losses
- Panel tilt and orientation
- Seasonal shifts
- Dusty solar panels
Given all these factors, it’s difficult for the average person without the necessary technical knowledge and equipment to track a system’s performance in real-time. While most owners are happy to watch the meter run backwards and check their app, it’s not something they can do all the time.
Monitoring Your Solar Energy System
How Does Solar Monitoring Work?
Excellent question. What solar monitoring does is track the performance of your solar system in real-time and gives a record of its performance over time. This allows you to optimize your system’s performance. If there are any performance issues, such as lowered output, or maintenance issues, such as a broken wire, damaged panel, or it may mean that your panels need to be cleaned (which should be done periodically), you’ll be aware of the problem immediately and take whatever measures are needed.
You can access the monitoring data in a couple of ways. While it will vary by system, the usual methods are through an app or a web portal. Either way, you can check your system’s performance in a few clicks. Most systems today come with monitoring capabilities and you can set up notifications to alert you if your system isn’t performing well or isn’t working properly. Since the data is real-time, you can identify problems quickly and get them resolved rapidly.
Check Your Solar System Inverter
Types of Inverters
There are two types of power inverters – String Inverters and Micro-inverters. String inverters connect your panels in sequence, or string, and converts their combined energy. It’s a large square or rectangular device mounted either on the outside of your house or in your garage. If it’s working properly, you’ll see a green light. If not, you’ll see a yellow or red light. If that’s the case, contact Royal Solar and we’ll send one of our technicians to check it out and replace it if necessary.
The second type of inverter is a micro-inverter. These are integrated into the individual solar panels. This allows each panel to operate independently. If you think you might be having a problem with your micro-inverters, call Royal Solar so we can take a look and figure out the problem. Don’t climb up on your roof to check them yourself, as it can be dangerous.
Check for Shade and Dust on the Solar Panels
Your solar panels function at their best when they can get all the sunshine they can. If they’re shaded in any way, or dirty, they won’t work as well. While they may have been installed in the optimum location, tree growth can shade part or even all of your panels. If so, call a tree service to have the trees pruned.
If your panels are dusty or dirty, cleaning them is as easy as using your garden hose to rinse them off. If your hose won’t reach, or you have a high roof, get a professional to do the job.