Rooftop solar PV systems don’t ordinarily require much servicing; once they’ve been installed, they will continue to operate with only routine maintenance (every couple of years) for the duration of their 25+ year service life. But how can a solar system owner know when servicing is necessary – especially if a problem crops up unexpectedly?
carbonTRACK can help. Below are seven ways our platform lets solar homeowners know if their system is in need of some attention, some routine maintenance – or even an upgrade.
1. Is your solar system even working?
The most vital piece of information that any solar PV system owner should have immediate access to is whether or not the system is functioning at all.
Unfortunately, too many solar homes fail to realise that something’s wrong until they get their electricity bill – by which time they may have lost hundreds of dollars in savings.
carbonTRACK’s software proactively informs you (via app notifications, email or text) if it detects that your system has ceased to produce power.
2. Is your system operating safely?
Earth faults are potentially dangerous – even deadly – to those who come into contact with them. They’re especially hazardous if they go undetected.
carbonTRACK’s platform will detect vital electrical issues such as earth faults and notify solar system (or operators) so that they are able to quickly remedy them before tragedy can strike.
3. Is your system producing as much power as it should?
You’ve invested money into your solar system with the expectation that it will assist you in meeting at least some of your energy needs. If the system is under-performing, you’re losing money.
Some issues can appear suddenly – such as a component failure or a large piece of debris that has fallen on the panels. Other problems develop gradually over time – such as the shadow cast by a slow-growing tree or dirt buildup in a dust-prone but rain-poor climate. These problems can be easily remedied once they’ve been identified – but often go unnoticed in systems without monitoring and a notification system.
carbonTRACK’s platform can help you identify under-performance and right the issue – to ensure that you’re getting the best possible performance out of your system.
4. Is it time to swap your inverter?
Inverters are the heart of most solar PV systems, performing the crucial job of converting the DC electricity produced by your solar panels into appliance-friendly AC electricity. While solar panels have no moving parts and can be expected to continue working past 25 years, inverters are arguably the most likely part of the solar system to fail. Depending on the brand, they need regular replacement every 5-10 years.
carbonTRACK will let you know if there is a problem with your system’s inverter – and you can set reminders to look into replacing it before the warranty is set to expire to head off problems before they happen.
5. Do any of your panels need replacing?
On the whole, solar panels are extremely robust and in most cases will easily last the 25+ years promised in their warranties.
That being said, problems can sometimes pop up before the 25 year mark, and they may be difficult to detect without help. Additionally, having a record of historic system output will allow you to check if and when energy yields started to drop – helping to identify where the problem might have its origins, and whether there is evidence to support a warranty claim.
carbonTRACK can help you to spot panel issues, and provide the proof needed to approach the manufacturer or supplier for a replacement.
6. Is it time to get more panels?
Household energy needs & consumption patterns almost always change, and usage levels frequently increase (e.g. with creation of a home office or birth of a child). Such situations could warrant the addition of new solar panels, but without data to back up the decision, why would you spend the extra money?
carbonTRACK’s platform can tell you if your home would benefit from a solar system upgrade, or whether you can make better use of the solar energy you’ve already got.
7. Does it make sense to add batteries?
Solar battery storage is currently the hottest topic in the energy space. Affordable batteries hold the promises of electricity bill savings, energy independence and a renewable energy-powered grid.
But battery prices are still high, and most people who opt to install a battery system are likely to carefully consider their options before making a decision.
carbonTRACK helps you figure out when batteries make sense – and what size would best fit your individual needs.