Troubleshooting Common Problems with Residential Solar-Panel Systems

If you want to break away from a heavy reliance on residential electricity, solar-panel systems are definitely the way to go. You can work with a contractor to have a system installed and then immediately see a drastic difference in how much electricity your home uses on a day-to-day basis. The best part is, installing a solar system in your home is now easier than it ever has been because of the rise in popularity. Once your solar system is installed, you will likely get years of use out of it. However, occasionally, you may run into problems. Here are a few of the most common issues that can come up with solar-panel systems.

Problem: You're suddenly not able to collect as much solar power.

Cause and Solution: If you suddenly notice a drastic reduction in the amount of solar energy available, this is a surefire sign that something has changed. While a failing solar panel will usually just gradually stop being as efficient, sudden damage or a change in available sunlight will be much more likely to cause a major change suddenly. Therefore, you should check your solar panel for signs of damage, such as a fallen limb that has landed on the panel itself. Also, make sure the solar panel is not covered with fallen leaves or snow, because if the surface of the panel is covered, that will prevent energy collection. 

Problem: You are still gathering energy, but it is depleted quickly.

Cause and Solution: Just like a vehicle, solar-panel systems rely on battery terminals to convert the energy into power, and these terminals can and do ail eventually. If the energy you are collecting is depleting at a faster rate than usual, you could be in need of a replacement terminal. Check for oxidation around the connectors of the battery terminals, as this is a good indication that they indeed need to be replaced.

Problem: Your solar-panel system seems to be not functioning at all.

Cause and Solution: Because sudden failure with a solar-panel system is such a rare thing, if your system suddenly stops working, you are likely merely dealing with a wiring problem. In some cases, older wiring will be damaged over time, and it is also easy for wiring leading from the panels to the terminals to get knocked loose. Check the wiring out and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.

Consult a company like Oak Electric for more information about solar-system problems you may be having.