Below we’ve compiled the ultimate solar panel repair and maintenance guide for Perth.
You may have noticed some of the following about your solar panels:
Or you may have questions, like:
Whatever your concerns or questions we have the answer below…
The key component of your solar panel system is the inverters. Over time your solar inverters do lose their efficiency. But sometimes a simple check up by an accredited solar installer can find issues with your inverters - maybe they weren't installed correctly in the first place - or a connection has come loose.
Once fixed your system can be up and running at close to full capacity. Your inverters may also be damaged beyond repair and then you need to get them replaced.
The main costs of maintenance and repairs for your inverters is the cost of inspection & replacement. We recommend you get your solar inverters checked at least once a year. Check out our solar panel repairs and services.
Generally speaking, for Perth metro, where the system has been covered by warranty and the replacement solar inverter (new or refurbished inverter) is already onsite at your house, the cost is within $90 to $175 inc GST. (This includes travel across town and back, which is the bulk of our internal cost in delivering the service).
Solar Inverters with no warranty support: We can recommend replacement options for many brands from failed companies.
The short answer is yes, solar panels do lose efficiency over time. Like any type of working part in a system, time is the enemy. Saying that, most quality solar panels that we install will only drop to about 80% efficiency after 25 years!
If you want the most efficient type of panel then you should aim to install what the industry calls “Tier 1” Solar Panels. However, make sure you do your research as there are some companies who will state that the panels are “Tier 1” when they are in fact cheap substitutes. The most efficient panels are those made by quality manufacturers with proven history.
In a nutshell, the efficiency of a solar panel is calculated by measuring how much sunlight is captured by a solar cell and then converted into electricity. You will find the efficiency on the nameplate of the solar panel you are installing.
Solar Cell efficiency can be affected by many things. Mainly in terms of power output solar cell efficiency can be affected by what angle the panels are installed in accordance with the azimuth of the sun. Other factors include what material the solar cell is made out of, the age of the solar cell and how clean are the panels and is that affecting exposure for the cell to the sun.
A solar panel technically can be repaired. However, this is a tedious journey that usually amounts in the exercise costing more than just replacing the panel and a lot of grey hairs appearing. If the panel is still under warranty we can help by contacting the manufacturer and starting a claim process.
When considering investing in solar energy, you should consider how much it's going to cost in terms of maintenance and repairs.
High quality solar panels are extremely durable and don't require a lot of maintenance.
Typically, we recommend that you engage an accredited solar installer every year to ensure your solar system is not losing efficiency and running at maximum capacity.
The main cost of maintaining a solar system is the yearly check up costs of an accredited solar installer. The going rate for an inspection by an accredited solar installer is typically $150 to $300. For that money, they will check the connections, cables, panels, rooftop mounting, DC isolator switches, and inverter. We recommend an inspection once a year. If your solar inverter need to be replaced then there’s the cost of the new inverter as well as installation costs.
Good quality solar panels don’t really need a lot of maintenance. Quality solar systems installed by quality accredited installers are made to suit Australia’s harsh environments. We recommend getting the panels cleaned and the system checked at least once a year to make sure the solar system is performing at the maximum capacity and has no signs of potential faults or problems. Cheaper solar panel systems may need to be inspected more than once a year.
A quality solar panel is extremely durable. A cheap solar panel isn’t durable. Quality solar panels are designed to withstand hail, cold and hot temperature and are made with materials that are designed to withstand Perth’s extreme climate. They spend all their lives on a rooftop getting the Sun’s powerful UV rays and still manage to offer brilliant warranties regarding performance and manufacturing.
A solar panel will degrade over time for reasons such as inclement weather, dust, debris, poor installation, low quality panel from cheap manufacturers and cheap materials being used in it’s manufacturing process. Solar panels are exposed for approximately 8-10 hours a day, 365 days of the year to the extremes of our weather – make sure you get proven quality panels with quality warranties.
Once a new solar system is installed you should not have to replace your solar panels for at least 15-20 years. That being said, if your situation changes and you want to upgrade, move or change the layout of the system for any reason or a solar panel becomes faulty or damaged, it may be necessary due to the laws and regulations at the time for your panels to be replaced with newer, safer panels. We offer payments for this type of situation for the panels that may need to be replaced if they are in good condition.
Well maintained solar systems and solar panels should last the warranted time limit that the manufacturer states. Quality solar panels are extremely durable and should last the 15-20 years stated.
Cheap solar panels are the most likely cause for a solar panel to go bad. This is because they are made with cheap and recycled materials. That being said, any solar panel can have issues that are unknown when they come out of the box. A quality solar panel should never go “bad” and if it does it should be covered by the most watertight warranties available.
Proper recycling of solar panels demands that these disparate materials be separated and recovered with minimal damage and loss of material. There are companies that have developed a process by which over 95 percent of a panel’s materials can be recovered.
When you first invested in your solar system you may have opted for a 3KW or 5KW system. You're seeing the benefits and now you want to upgrade or add additional solar PV panels.
Unfortunately this isn't as straight forward as it seems. There are a lot of factors involved and you really need the input of a qualified solar installer to ensure everything is considered.
It could be a very costly exercise if you get the wrong advise and buy additional panels that can't be integrated into your current system.
The cost of adding a second solar panel system requires a lot more attention to detail. There are a number of conditions that have to be met for the ability to install a secondary solar system on your property. Ensure you speak to one of our qualified representatives to get a better understanding.
Solar panel systems aren't cheap and if you spend that amount of money it makes sense to pick a system that has a great warranty. High quality solar panel systems have warranty's of up to 25 years!
There's always a risk that your solar panels or inverters are damaged during installation. You should ensure that your solar installers are fully insured.
In most cases solar panels are covered by home and contents insurance but make sure you check this with your insurer.
At the moment the best Solar Panel Warranty is from the LG-Neon series. They are offering a 25 year parts and labour warranty and also offering a 25 year performance warranty.
In most cases, yes, solar panels are covered by home insurance. Be sure to speak with your insurance provider for clarification. We assist with insurance claims and insurance work.
There are quite a few solar panel maintenance and service companies in Perth. Since your solar panel system is worth thousands of dollars it makes sense that you choose a reputable company.
Do your due diligence so that you find a company that provides a high level of service at a great price.
Poorly installed and shonky solar panels have a tendency to break down a lot quicker than quality systems. About seven years ago when the “Solar Boom” was happening there were a lot of systems being installed and basically anyone had access to the market for the sale of inverters. We are finding now that those inverters that are about 5-8 years old and of which the company that made them are no longer operating are failing quicker than the other well known brands.
Quality solar panels are made to withstand hail up to the size of golf balls. Controlled testing ensures some piece of mind if you live in an area that may be prone to hail every now and then. That being said, if you do get a hail stone the size of a football – the panel may or may not survive that hit.
The short answer is yes, solar panels can be damaged by lightning. Lightning in a basic sense is a massive electrical charge ranging in excess of thousands of volts directly hitting a certain spot. It is VERY rare though for a lightning strike to hit a solar system mounted on a rooftop in Perth.
In our opinion, repairing broken solar panel glass is a wasted exercise. Once the solar panel has encountered that much damage for the glass to crack or break, it’s time for a new solar panel.
Your solar panels will lose some efficiency if they're dirty.
Over the course of years this minor loss in efficiency can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost electricity.
So it pays to keep them clean.
We recommend cleaning your solar panels at least once per year.
Cleaning your solar panels once a year is recommended. This also depends on your location and environmental situation. If you live in a dusty area then you may need to clean your solar panels more frequently than once per year.
A pressure washer set to its lowest setting may be used to clean your solar panels. Do not use a pressure washer on its highest setting as this may damage the solar panels.
The best way to clean solar panels is to engage an accredited installer to perform the work for you. They will generally use chemical free solutions and equipment not likely to damage the solar panel. They will also be able to isolate the system correctly to limit the exposure to electricity.
It’s important to clean your solar panels because if they become dirty and “cover” the solar cell, this can dramatically diminish the solar panels ability to produce its maximum rated power output.
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