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Solar Panel Maintenance and Servicing ..


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In order for solar panel systems to produce efficient levels of ‘expected solar generation’ regular servicing and cleaning should be prioritised in order to maintain peak performance. 

System performance can be safeguarded through preventative maintenance routines. Regular health checks will ensure your solar panel system is operating safely, correctly and efficiently through-out its lifespan.  

Just like any vehicle, to run efficiently; annual servicing is consistently carried out. Would you let your car run a few years without a service? Treat your solar power system like you would your vehicle. Regular tune ups promote longevity of the product and its function. 

A few reasons why cleaning your solar panels should be habitual!

Over time, dust and debris build up and around your solar power system. For optimum efficiency the solar PV panels should be free from anything that may impair, shade or hinder it’s performance. 

  • Bird droppings
  • Trees casting shade
  • Fallen leaves and branches
  • Dust, dirt and grime

Consider your environment, this may dictate the frequency in which you maintain your system. It is strongly recommended that following a natural disaster and damage is incurred at your property from such events; hail or freak storm – bush fires you have a trained professional carry out a detailed inspection of your solar panel system.

Environmental factors aren’t the ultimate justification for servicing your solar. Electrical components also play a vital role in your systems performance. From time to time, these components can be compromised for various reasons. Annual inspections of electrical equipment are equally as important. 

Health Checks should be completed on the following components to verify they have not split, disconnected or corroded. 

  • Cables and Wiring
  • Circuit Breakers, Fuses and Isolators
  • Metering Equipment

Mounting equipment should be torque checked to ensure all nuts, bolts and aluminium racking are tightened and or clamped correctly. Preventative electrical reviews help reduce the chances of unexpected equipment failure. Visual, mechanical and electrical inspections of the inverter, solar array, monitoring software, display screen and mounting apparatus may catch a ‘small problem’ before it spirals into a ‘bigger problem’. Being proactive will improve both equipment longevity and serious safety outcomes.

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DC Isolator Safety and Product Recalls

Water Ingress in DC Isolators is the biggest safety risk associated with rooftop solar PV. Unfortunately, Standards Australia mandated the use of these devices which saw a direct rise in solar-related roof top fires post mandate. 

DC Isolators were intended to be a safety mechanism to disable high-voltage DC between the solar array and inverter. Implemented to serve and protect emergency service workers. Touch!

Most dignified solar installers who have spent a wealth of years in the industry will advocate rooftop DC Isolators pose the biggest safety risk associated to string inverters. It is important to note there is no choice when it comes to the installation of your rooftop isolator. It is currently legislated for installation under AS/NZS 5033

Over the years there have been a high volume of recalls on this product. Various reasons include >>

  • Water Ingress
  • Overheating
  • Electrical Fire Hazard

Information pertaining to solar safety warnings and product recall notices can be found on the Clean Energy Council website. The CEC runs product testing as a part of the Product Assurance Program. Risk-based profiling of products in the Australian market are tested at random in order to confirm safety and compliance with relevant standards. Non-conformance results in the product being suspended or de-listed from the Approved Module, Inverter and Battery product listing.

If you think you may have equipment installed at your property which has been listed on any product suspension list. Please do not hesitate contacting us immediately! Onsite safety inspections requiring immediate attention are $200 **

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What is involved when it comes to maintaining and servicing my solar panel system?

  • Hard brush and or high pressure wash with water and detergent substance so panels are free from dust, dirt and grime. 
  • Visual inspection of solar panels to ensure all components are operating efficiently and no parts have deteriorated, corroded or have been damaged.
  • Visual inspection of inverter for damage and or fault codes / errors.
  • Ensure the system is running at peak capacity
  • Check wiring is compliant and meets CEC regulations.
  • Inspection of junction boxes and isolators for water ingress and heat stress.
  • Fittings and cable are securely attached. 
  • All electricals have been checked and operating as intended. 

Who should undertake the routine maintenance of your solar system?

Regular health checks and maintenance should be carried out by a licenced solar technician to certify that the system is operating safely, correctly and efficiently. There are many companies on the Gold Coast and surrounds that provide a ‘cleaning service’. Let’s be frank many of these businesses are not licensed or insured to complete work on your solar system; they may in fact void your warranty. Your solar power system should always be attended by a professional licenced company. 

How often should you have your solar panels serviced?

We recommend a thorough health check annually. If you live in an environment where dust and debris build up often; bi-annual inspections may be necessary. Visually inspecting your system from the ground, monitoring its performance, visually inspecting the display panel and monitoring fluctuations on your quarterly electricity bills will supply you with crucial evidence when deciding on your solar system health routine. 

               Installing and servicing solar panel system

 

OUR SET AND FORGET MAINTENANCE PROGRAM

Our subscription service was developed in order for you to shorten your to-do list. We as a society have become 'extremely busy', more than 85% of our service calls are due to reactive maintenance issues. Preventative maintenance addresses possible issues before they occur and reduces the chances of unexpected equipment failure. Preventative maintenance includes cleaning and visual inspection of equipment to detect and correct problems or faults before they become ‘bigger’ problems. Being ‘proactive’ will improve both equipment longevity and serious safety outcomes. 

What is included in the program …

1. One annual service of solar panels; hard brush, water, detergent substance, high pressure machine may be used and assessed case by case.
2. Visual inspection of solar panels for damage, fractures or corrosion.
3. Visual inspection of inverter for damage and or fault codes / errors.
4. Visual inspection of junction boxes and or isolators for water ingress and heat stress.
5. Check for correct operation of solar power system.
6. One annual WIFI re-connection to inverter.

How the subscription service works …

1. The annual charge for the service supplied is a subscription and will automatically deduct from the customers associated bank card annually on the reoccurring date in which the service was initially subscribed. For example; January 1st 2021 was the initial date of service subscription. Each consecutive year post 2021 your subscription will automatically debit on January 1st.
2. The overall service price is dependant on the amount of solar panels installed at the premise.
3. Satellite imagery software may be used to remotely verify the amount of solar panels installed on the premise as advised on your subscription.
4. The service price is applicable to the premise being within the geographic area as prescribed on the 4shore website.
5. Annual services take place in September unless otherwise notified by 4shore Solar. 
6. Payment must be made in full previous to August 31st 16:00 for services to take place in September.
7. The subscription can be cancelled at anytime by advising the 4shore Solar office in writing at info@4shore.com.au.
8. Subscriptions cancelled previous to September in any calender year understand the annual service will therefore not take place. 
9. If it is verified either remotely or onsite that the amount of panels installed on the premise does not match the subscription paid for. The customer will be debited the outstanding difference of balance.

 

Further information pertaining to the subscription service can be found on
our dedicated 
webpage including pricing and terms and conditions. 

contact us today for a free quote

 

Posted in: Gold Coast Solar Advice at 27 May 21