Solar System Maintenance and Repairs

Proper maintenance helps to keep your solar panels working safely and efficiently. It reduces system downtime while minimising repair costs. Clean, well-maintained equipment cuts electricity bills, decreases your environmental impact and enhances the appearance of your home.

Maintenance Needs

Cleaning

Dust, dirt, residues, leaves, bird poo, pollen, sap, lichen salt and twigs can accumulate on a panel’s glass over time. It’s important to monitor and remove any stubborn debris because it will decrease the power output of the equipment and possibly damage the glass.

Solar panels are manufactured with an easy-clean treatment, where sufficient rainfall will generally clean them naturally if installed at a sufficient angle of >10⁰.

Therefore Generate Energy recommends that in general solar panels should only require a professional clean once every few years and it can be combined with a system service.

However there are circumstances where the panels may require more frequent cleans due to . being mounted <10⁰ or site specific environmental conditions like being next to a construction site, in a drought zone or oceanside location to name a few.

Due to various hazards such as the dangers of working at heights and the possibility of electrocution Generate Energy does not recommend homeowners clean their own panels or due to the electrical hazard have unqualified persons such as window cleaners offer the service either

If it is possible to safely isolate the solar panels, such as with an Enphase micro inverter system or SolarEdge optimised system, then if willing and able a homeowner should be able to clean their own panels. Keep in mind solar panels cannot be cleaned with harsh chemicals or abrasive brushes. Generate Energy supplies a solar panel cleaning guide with our system handover documents which should be referenced if a homeowner wishes to clean their own panels.

A Generate Energy performed panel clean involves the use of a resin bead deionization water filtration system to ensure the water used is 100% chemical free, particularly important if you capture rainwater too!

Inspections & Servicing

In South Australia it is a requirement of our network operator SA Power Networks that the grid connected system complies at all times with the requirements in the Network Connection Agreement and is maintained in a safe condition.

Generate Energy recommends, to ensure your system is working safely and efficiently and to reduce system downtime and minimise repair costs, your solar system should receive a basic inspection annually and a more in depth service performed every 2-3 years.

Basic upkeep involves visually inspecting the system and components with the more advanced tasks involving testing and inspecting the electrical internals, certifying the system is in compliance with the network operators grid connection agreement and conducting electrical safety tests according to the Clean Energy Regulator.

The basic annual inspection can be performed by the homeowner or Generate Energy offers a very affordable basic Solar System Inspection conducted by one of our CEC certified electricians which includes:

  • Visual inspection of all components (external only)
  • Inverter safety test
  • 30 point system inspection report

A system service needs to be performed by an appropriately qualified and licensed technician. Our Generate Energy Solar System Service involving a comprehensive 42 point checklist conducted by one of our CEC certified electricians includes:

  • Visual inspection of all components and terminals
  • Electrical safety tests and inspections
  • 42 point system service & inspection report
  • Certificate of compliance

If you are not already having us maintain and service your system, our 42 point system service checklist is also used for our System Health Check if you are wanting our trained eye to inspect your system with a fine tooth comb.

Specialised Tests

There are also some specialised tests that may be required above what is performed during a standard service to locate a product or performance issue. Generate Energy has advanced multifunction solar testing equipment as well as thermal imaging cameras that can help diagnose cell damage invisible to the naked eye.

The actual cells in solar panels are only the thickness of a human hair and are very fragile. While most solar panel glass is certified to resist golf ball size hail so is very durable, and you would think the glass protects the cells underneath, there can still be impact damage to the solar cells without the glass showing any sign of damage. This cell damage can be invisible to the naked eye and requires specialised tools to locate - a thermal image camera being one of these tools used to scan the modules.

After a severe hail storm that damages your property you may want to also check your panels for signs of damage. You must never place any pressure on a solar panel glass, and walking on them is a definite no-no!

Invisible damage from walking on a solar panel

Equipment Repairs

A solar system is the hardest working equipment in your home, working every day of the year from sunup till sundown! Even if your system undergoes regular inspections and servicing, due to its high workload and harsh environment it is subject too, components will eventually fail and need to be repaired or replaced. Regular inspections and servicing will help catch these failures before they cause any further damage or result in lost revenue. The original warranty provided by the retailer or manufacturer may cover repairs if it remains in effect.

When a storm, fire or other disaster damages your equipment, your home insurance would generally cover. Many of Australia’s insurers cover these systems at no extra cost. Nonetheless, Generate Energy urges customers to contact their insurance providers after installing any new equipment.

If you are not a Generate Energy customer but have a system that has a fault and/or has failed, have Generate Energy fault finding and diagnosis the issue and repair your system to get you back up and running asap.

If you would like to book an inspection, service, health check, clean or repair for your solar system, get in touch with Generate Energy today.

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