How to look after your solar system
It's important regularly check your solar system to keep it running at its peak and protect against any potential safety risks. Here are some simple things you should do:
- Check the front of the inverter at least once a week. The inverter is the white box on the wall near your meter box or inside the garage. This box controls the generation of clean energy for your home. Checking it will take just a couple of minutes, but could mean the difference between reaping the financial rewards of your clean energy system, and getting an unwelcome surprise when the next bill arrives due to an undetected problem that has interrupted solar generation. If the inverter shows an error message, a red light, or nothing at all on the display during daylight hours, contact ActewAGL.
- Keep an eye out for obstructions, damage and dirt to help keep your solar system in perfect working order. While solar systems are very robust, extreme weather, water leaks, foliage—even pests and wildlife—may result in faults or interrupted power generation. During prolonged dry weather, a thick layer of dust can form, reducing the system's performance.
- We don't recommend you climb on the roof to clean the solar panels yourself, and never walk, sit or put anything on their surface. Instead, if you notice debris around or under the panels, or other visible signs of damage, give us a call. We recommend a clean every quarter.
- Consider putting in place a formal maintenance schedule, where a qualified, CEC-accredited electrician can conduct a solar 'health check'. Never attempt to service or open any part of your solar system unless you are a fully-qualified electrician, you have been authorised to do so and have properly prepared the site.
- Check the cleanliness around the site (look for the accumulation of debris around and/or under the solar panel).
- Make sure there’s no shading on any panels.
- Clean solar panels if there’s dust or fungus.
Check solar panels for visual defects like:
- Moisture penetration
- Frame corrosion
Look at the junction boxes adjacent to the panels for:
- Tightness of connections
- Water accumulation
- Integrity of lid seals
- Integrity of cable entrance, glands and/or conduit sealing.
- Integrity of clamping devices.
- Also check blocking diodes and surge arresters for degredation.
Check connections for:
Make sure the electrical characteristics are in working order by:
Measuring open and short circuit currents.
- Integrity of fuses
- Operation of circuit breakers and residual current device.
- Operation of earth fault protection system.
- Operation of solar array isolation device.
Check the mounting structures for tightness and integrity of bots and other fastening devices.
Test that the inverter sends you a message if there’s a fault. We can help you test this. Call us on 02 6248 3322.
- Check the mechanical integrity of conduits.
- Check the insulation integrity of cables installed without conduit.
- Make sure the mounting structures are tight and the bolts and other fastening devices are secure.
We can help you out. Call ActewAGL on 02 6248 3322.