Is My Solar System Working?
If you have concerns if your solar panel system is not delivering the energy it was supposed to, we are here to help you. Here we will list a few common problems that you can check out to get the best from your solar system.
1 - Check out your electricity bill
Your electricity bill will show you only the electricity purchased from the grid and the electricity exported under a feed in tariff. Your electricity bill will not show the electricity produced from your solar system that you have consumed.
Any solar credits you've earned for exporting back to the grid will be listed as a Credit Received (CR) according to the feed-in-tariff you are on.
Verify if you are consuming less electricity from the grid comparing to the same period last year prior to your solar installation
2 - Is the inverter working?
Inverter faults account for almost 90% of major solar system failures. Typically, when an inverter fails, the whole system shuts down and produces zero energy. There are a number of causes of inverter failure, and these will generally require a qualified solar electrician to rectify the issue. Fortunately, inverters have a 5 to 10 year warranty, so you should be able to get these faults fixed for free under warranty.
Check out if your inverter is working according to the expected performance. Most inverters have a software with 24/7 real-time monitoring that you can access and verify on-line with our login details.
Make sure your Wi-Fi connection is working, therefore we can access your monitoring system and see the history of the inverter performance.
If available on the inverter screen just simply check the Average Daily Production. In sunny days in Queensland the expected production from your solar should be 4,2 x Size of Your System. Ex: If you have a 5kW System, the Average Production should be around 21kWh. If your inverter shows a much lower production is a sign that something could be not working well.
The table below shows the average daily production of some common grid-connected systems throughout Australia.
3 - Is there any shade in your solar panels?
Australian solar panels are usually placed on roofs, since they can stay unobtrusive and receive the maximum amount of sunlight.
However, it is not always possible to get a 100 % clear view of the sky, as trees or other homes or buildings can create shade over the panels during different times of the day. Coastwide Solar always verify that solar panels will be installed in a place with the least amount of shade, especially during peak times, but conditions in our location can change over the time.
Observe during the day if any shade is obstructing the sunlight in your roof.
4 - If you have a Timer, is it working?
Timers can be used to control your hot water and swimming pool electricity usage time. It is important to set the timer to run when your solar is running. If you set it to run it from 10am till 2pm, your water will usually heat up in the middle 4 hours of the day, and use the power that your solar would most likely have sent back.
Check out if your timer is on the "timer mode" and selected to turn on between 10am till 2pm. If you don't know how to check if your timer is working please see the instructions here.
5 - Did my comsuption increased?
After checking all the steps above, if everything is working, you can still observe your daily electricity consuption. If you are not under the Bonus Feed In Tariff you could try to shift your consuption to be mainly when your solar is working. Try to run the main loads during the day.
Also, to verify if any of your appliances is using more energy than expected you can get one Energy Cost Meter for less than $30 and analyse the individual consumption of each appliance.
6 - Need Help?
Don't worry. You can call us (07) 5520 0034 or send us an e-mail with a picture/scan of your bill and we will help you to analyse your system.