How to know if solar panels are working? When you install solar panels in your home or business, your primary goal is to reduce your monthly energy costs. However, many factors come into play when installing these systems, including whether the solar panels are working as intended. Solar panel performance can be difficult to measure and challenging to diagnose at times; however, some tell-tale signs indicate if the solar panels aren’t working at peak efficiency. This article will give you information on how you can know if your solar panel is working and if they need repairs.
How Do You Know If Solar Panels Are Working?
If you have a solar energy system, there are some things that you can do to make sure it’s working properly.
- Look at your utility bill. If you’re using less electricity than usual, then it’s likely that your solar panels are doing their job.
- Check the weather. If it hasn’t been sunny for several days or if there has been raining on your panels. Then they may not be producing much electricity.
- Check the battery level in your solar inverter (or battery). This will tell you how much power is being stored for later use by your home or business. You can usually find this information on a digital display screen or by looking at the lights on the inverter itself.
Solar panels are one of the most important parts of a solar energy system. Without them, your home or business won’t be able to collect and store the sun’s energy. Solar panels can be confusing, though, especially if you’re not familiar with them. Keep reading to know if your solar panel is working and if they need maintenance.
Check Panel Orientation And The Angle Of Your Panels
The orientation of your solar panels is crucial for them to produce the desired amount of energy. For optimal results, you’ll want to adjust your solar panels according to the season.
- During the winter, you’ll want to tilt your solar panels towards the south to maximize the amount of sunlight they collect.
- During the summer, you’ll want to tilt your panels north to reduce the amount of energy they are absorbing.
- Additionally, you may need to make adjustments if you have trees or other obstacles blocking your panels’ exposure to the sun.
- You can simply use a level to ensure that your panels are installed at the optimal angle.
- Also, your solar panels might be installed at the incorrect angle if you notice that they aren’t producing energy on a sunny day.
- If your panels are facing the wrong direction, you may notice that they aren’t producing energy even on a sunny day.
Checking Your Battery Charge
Your solar panels are only able to produce energy when the sun is shining; however, the solar energy that your panels produce will be stored in your battery throughout the day. Additionally, the amount of energy that your solar panels produce will depend on your solar panels’ amperage. Likewise the type of battery you have installed in your home. There are three main types of batteries:
- Deep cycle batteries: Deep cycle batteries are an ideal choice for solar panel installations and are the standard battery type for most solar systems.
- Hybrid or absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries: AGM batteries are often a better choice than deep cycle batteries. However, you’ll want to ensure that your solar panels are compatible with this type of battery before installing them.
- Gel batteries: Gel batteries are a good option for energy-efficient solar systems.
How To Know If Your Solar Panels Need Maintenance
Solar panels are a long-term investment that you’ll want to last a very long time. However, all solar panels will eventually need maintenance and repairs. When it comes to solar panels, the most common maintenance issues include:
Check For Loose Or Broken Wires
If you notice that your solar panels aren’t producing energy as expected, you’ll want to check for loose or broken wires. Loose or broken wiring can be a sign that your solar panels are under stress and need repair.
Wiring Is Loose
You may notice that the wiring is loose if you have recently installed your solar panels. This is normal and will go away after the panels are fully installed.
If you notice that some wires are hanging loosely but others are taut, you may have a broken wire. Broken wires are a serious problem and will need to be repaired by a professional.
If you notice that a wire is broken, you’ll want to shut off the electricity to your solar panels and avoid touching the wire. You’ll want to carefully inspect the wiring to determine where the break is and then contact a solar panel repair professional.
Check For Signs Of Shading
If your solar panels are producing lower-than-expected energy, you may have some nearby trees or structures casting a shadow on your panels.
Use Of Shading Calculator
You can use an online solar shading calculator to determine how these obstacles are affecting your solar panels.
Use Of Image Editing Software
You can also use image editing software and a phone app to mark the location of nearby trees with GPS coordinates. You can then use these coordinates to find the location of your solar panels and determine if you have any shadows.
- If you have nearby trees or structures that are casting a shadow on your solar panels, you can get them removed or pruned.
Determining If The PV Cells Are Working Properly
The best way to determine if your solar panels are working properly is to simply test them.
Use Of Electrical Multimeter
You can use an electrical multimeter to test your panels for open and closed circuits. Once you have the multimeter connected, you’ll want to make sure it’s set to the correct voltage. You’ll then want to test each of your solar panels.
If you notice that the circuit is closed when it should be open, or vice versa, it could mean that there is a problem with the panel. You can also check the amperage of your solar panels to determine if they are working as intended.
When it comes to solar panels, there are a few tell-tale signs that indicate that they aren’t working as intended. Solar panels are complicated pieces of equipment, with many different parts. How to know if solar panels are working? Many factors go into solar panel functionality, including the solar panels’ type, amperage, wiring, and position of the solar panels. Solar panels need to be installed correctly and maintained throughout their lifetime to work correctly. Solar panels are a great way to reduce your reliance on grid power and save money on your energy bills over the long term.