How Can I Tell If Solar Panels Are Working Properly?
If you are concerned that your solar panel system is not reaching the output level it should be, there are some checks you can carry out. These will help you determine if your solar panels are working properly and if they aren’t you should take steps to have the problem resolved, to ensure you get the biggest benefit possible from your system.
Check your generation meter for a red light
Most generation meters will have some sort of indication light that will let you know instantly if your system is not functioning correctly. Check this during the day when your system should be generating and if it is lit, you may have a problem with a part of your solar system.
Look at the figures on your generation meter
Keep a regular record of the figures on your generation meter – doing this weekly will give you a good set of readings to work with. You can then compare the figures (taking into account any shifts in generation that could be attributed to changes in weather) and identify any potential issues.
Use an app to monitor generation
You can make the above process much easier by using an app on your smartphone, tablet or computer to monitor your systems output levels. Much of the software designed for this will allow you to see your generation in real time through an easy to use dashboard or display. Having this information at the ready makes it easy to keep an eye on your output and doesn’t require you to check the generation meter manually.
Compare your actual readings to your quote
Often a solar installer will provide you with an estimation of how much electricity your system is likely to generate. You can compare this with the figures you have collected from your generation meter and any major differences could point to a problem with the system. Bear in mind that the figures may not match up exactly as it is after all an estimation of your systems potential only, not a guarantee.
Speak to your installer or manufacturer
In some cases it can be easy to determine the cause of a reduction in solar output – for example a tree growing larger and casting shade on your panels, but in many cases it is not so straightforward. If you are still concerned over your solar performance, speak to the installer who fitted your system. You should also get in touch with them if you have spotted any issues through checking your generation meter and figures.
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