Should I service my solar and battery system?

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Regular servicing and maintenance of your solar and battery system are crucial for optimising performance, maximising energy production, and ensuring system safety.

Certified technicians can conduct inspections to detect early issues, comply with warranty requirements, extend system longevity, and monitor energy efficiency.

The inspection includes cleaning solar panels, checking for damages or defects, inspecting cables and connections, reviewing inverter functionality, and examining battery conditions.

It is essential to have these inspections carried out by certified solar installers with Clean Energy Council accreditation, preferably by the original installer or solar company. By adhering to regular servicing, you can maintain the efficiency, safety, and longevity of your solar and battery system.

Do I need to service my solar and battery system?

Considering a solar system, it is important to prioritise regular servicing and maintenance. Experts recommend performing these tasks at least every 2 years. This will ensure the solar systems’ performance on an ongoing basis prevents deterioration and identifies any issues before they become a problem. 

Conducting regular inspections is crucial to ensure the safety, performance, and protection of your home and family, considering that the solar system is expected to generate electricity from sunrise to sunset for 25 or more years.

Furthermore, it is essential to check for wear and damage caused by winds, weather, vermin, birds, or possums, if they are present in the environment surrounding the solar system.

Why do I need to get my system inspected?

Performance optimisation

Regular servicing helps optimise the performance of your solar and battery systems. Over time, dust, debris, and other environmental factors can accumulate on the solar panels, reducing their efficiency. Periodic cleaning and inspection can remove any obstructions, allowing the panels to absorb sunlight more effectively and produce more energy. Additionally, servicing helps identify and rectify any issues that may hinder the system’s performance, such as faulty wiring or suboptimal battery charging.

Maximising energy production

Solar panels that are not properly maintained may experience reduced energy production. Dust, bird droppings, leaves, or other debris on the panels can create shading, resulting in decreased sunlight absorption and energy generation. Regular servicing, including cleaning the panels, ensures that they operate at their highest capacity, maximizing the amount of electricity your system can generate.

Early issue detection

Servicing your solar and battery system allows for the early detection of any potential issues or malfunctions. Certified technicians can inspect the entire system, including the panels, inverters, wiring, and battery components, to identify signs of wear and tear, loose connections, or other problems. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent larger and more costly repairs in the future.

installer on roof
Regular system maintenance e.g. every 2-3 years will ensure a long lasting solar & battery system

System safety

Safety is paramount when it comes to solar and battery systems. Faulty wiring or improper installation can pose fire hazards or electric shock risks. Regular servicing ensures that all components are functioning correctly and in compliance with safety standards.

Technicians can also assess the integrity of the mounting system, ensuring that it remains secure and stable. By keeping your system properly maintained, you reduce the risk of accidents and promote a safe environment for your household.

Warranty compliance

Most solar and battery systems come with warranties that cover specific components or system performance. However, some warranties require a certain amount of monitoring and checking – so regular servicing and maintenance can help to keep warranties valid.

Neglecting to service your system, especially if this was a contributing factor to the product failure may void your warranty, leaving you responsible for the full cost of repairs or replacements.

A good example would the the loosening of a panel end clamp due to vibrations and wind, leading to a glass breakage in a major storm. This could then not be a panel warranty claim but would have to be a home insurance matter.

By scheduling regular servicing, you not only maintain the warranty coverage but also increase the chances of catching any potential warranty-related issues before they become more significant problems.

System longevity 

Solar and battery systems have a long lifespan, panels often lasting 20 years or more, as they are designed to do so. Regular servicing plays a vital role in extending the life of your system.

By addressing minor issues early on, you prevent them from escalating into major problems that could damage critical components. Additionally, servicing helps identify signs of degradation or wear and tear, allowing for proactive maintenance or replacement of ageing components. This can significantly extend the overall lifespan of the system.

Energy efficiency monitoring

Servicing also provides an opportunity to monitor and evaluate the energy efficiency of your system. Technicians can assess energy production data, review system performance metrics, and offer recommendations for improving overall energy efficiency. This can include suggestions on optimising battery usage, adjusting system settings, or integrating energy management solutions to reduce consumption or maximise self-consumption.

solar analytics service on ipad
Monitoring your system’s performance and noticing anomalies in the output can allow you to see any minor issues before they become major issues

What is included in a typical maintenance inspection?

Maintenance inspections typically include:

  • Ensuring the solar panels are clean of dirt and grime;
  • Ensure that there is no cell damage or signs of defects to the panel surface, framing and components;
  • Check that the cables and connections are all intact with no visible wear or tear;
  • Check any isolators and switches for integrity, water ingress or wear and tear;
  • Reviewing the inverter display, and records for any faults or issues; 
  • Checking inverter connections and plugs; 
  • Ensure emergency procedures, labels etc are all intact and legible;
  • Check batteries connections and cables are intact. Check batteries for any sign of wear, leakage, bulging or damage.

Some inverters, and batteries  (less so panels) include a requirement in their maintenance and warranty schedules that mandates regular inspections. It would be worthwhile checking these to ensure that maintenance schedules are in line with these requirements.

Maintenance and service inspections are best undertaken by certified solar installers with Clean Energy Council accreditation. The best way to do this is getting the original installer or solar company to complete the inspection for you.

So, do not skimp on maintenance A well-functioning solar system will generate savings far in excess of a relatively low cost maintenance inspection.

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