If you have made the investment to get solar panels installed it can be disappointing to find that the solar panels are not having the intended impact in driving down your electricity bill down. Here are some things to check to help make sure your solar power system is operating at maximum efficiency.
Are they dirty?
It's worth getting up onto the roof and checking if the panels are dusty or dirty. Dirty panels tend to be less efficient. Even if you don't live in an overly dirty area it can be easy for panels to get dirty if birds nest close by, or there are leaves and fruit dropping on the panel from local trees. Panels are relatively delicate so it can be a good idea to get the instruction manual out and check how you are supposed to clean any mess from the panel. If you are not confident in doing it can be useful to call the solar panel installation company as they can often come around and perform a professional cleaning.
Is the inverter working?
The inverter is a vital part of the solar panel system, as it transforms the solar power into electricity that can power items. If the inverter is not working at maximum efficiency, this will directly affect the amount of power that is available from the solar power system. A solar power installation company, or any electrician, can perform tests on the inverter. Research suggests the inverter is one of the most common parts of the solar system to have issues, especially for Chinese made inverters.
Are they shaded?
Sometimes it can be hard to judge how much sun your panel is exposed to if you only see for a few hours of the day. However if your panel catches a lot of shade from trees or nearby structures at certain times of the day it can drastically reduce the amount of power you can generate. Try and spend a day doing hourly checks on the panels to check how much shade they are getting. Sometimes a judicious tree pruning can have a huge effect on how much power your solar panels can generate.
If your solar panels are not working as expected you should call a solar panel company to help investigate what the issue is. If you do need to upgrade part or all of your system they can give you helpful advice on which system would be most suitable.