Solar Monitoring

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

You’ve invested in your solar energy system, so you need to know that it’s working properly. A solar monitoring system will do that for you. Either by a central monitoring office, or by the software through your inverter. This will help you keep your solar array at peak efficiency and it will let you know if there are any possible problems or maintenance issues.

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.

Basic Troubleshooting

If you are experiencing issues with your solar system, here are a few basic troubleshooting techniques

Check Your Solar System Inverter

Once of the main reasons you may see a drop in energy production could be a problem with your inverters. Royal Solar uses micro-inverters which allow high performance, even if part of a panel is shaded. The inverters take the energy created by your panels and converts it into energy that your home can use or return it to the grid. If your inverters malfunction, your system isn’t creating the most energy it can produce, and you may also be missing out on energy savings.

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.

Check Your Solar System Production Meter

On bright, sunny days, your meter should be running backward, because your solar panels should be producing enough power to run your home, plus some additional power. If everything is working properly and your meter isn’t running backward, contact Royal Solar and we’ll have a technician check it out.

Check the Weather

If you’re using more grid power than usual, check the weather. If it’s cloudy or rainy, your system won’t generate as much power. Don’t worry, though. The weather does even out and so will your solar production.

Solar Monitoring Services

You can monitor your system yourself through the app on your smart phone or desktop computer. Our system offers a centralized 24-hour monitoring service that will track your system’s energy production and watch out for any problems that may crop up. Contact Royal Solar for more information about our monitoring service.