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Solar panels maintenance or inspection?

By mtrax - 17 June 2011 13

I’ve had my Solar panels for just over a year in  and wanted to check if there are any maintenance and/or reporting requirements?

Does the PV panels or inverter need some sort of regular inspection from ACTEW?

Also what sort of cleaning is needed on the actual panels, will some dust affect performance , how clean do they need to be?

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Solar panels maintenance or inspection?
matt31221 4:44 pm 17 Jun 11

mtrax said :

is the maint. similar to Solar Hot water system.
ie what maint is required for them or are they completely different,
I guess they don’t output power just hot water so perhaps they are different.

It is best to get a PV maintanance pro to maintain it. There will be some good deals around soon. Each system has different recommendations for maintanance for each brand of system but there is some common maintanance principles. One thing that you would worry about is bird p** on the panels as that will reduce output, or a VERY think layer of dust. Still I do not recommened at all that the the homeowner cleans them, falling off the roof is a real risk and it has been happenning to some homeowners lately, it can be fatal. Pay a pro to do it.

parle 3:01 pm 17 Jun 11

cleaning and maintaining a FIT solar install is a waste of money, here’s what you do;

1. go to dick smith and buy yourself a good sized AC/DC transformer

2. plug it in and hook up the output to the panel side of the inverter

3. Profit ~25 cents for every Kw you ‘generate’.

switch 2:57 pm 17 Jun 11

Troll sniffer, do you also sell monster cable for loudspeakers?

mtrax 2:02 pm 17 Jun 11

is the maint. similar to Solar Hot water system.
ie what maint is required for them or are they completely different,
I guess they don’t output power just hot water so perhaps they are different.

matt31221 12:53 pm 17 Jun 11

I may work for a certain supply authority now and do solar meter installs and commissions, but I am completely unable to speak to any media source on their behalf as per employment contract but I can give personal advice as a sparky.

My personal advice is that I have spoken to HEAPS of installers and customers, and I often ask my fellow solar accredited sparkies what they are going to do once the work dries up. Some of them say they will go into solar array maintenance!! So worry not OP, there will be hundreds of choices for maintenance guys quite soon. This early in the game I wouldn’t worry too much about maintenance (I presume you had your system installed within the last 1 years). I DO NOT recommend reading the %u201CAustralian Standard (AS) 5033: Installation of Photovoltaic Arrays%u201D as suggested by MTRAX as most works, maintenance and modification can only be done by a licensed electrician with a solar ticket (some things obviously can be done by a normal sparky). I wouldn’t even recommend going up on the roof to wipe them with a rag unless you are a tradie or handyman type because I know it is a no brainer but there has been several injuries and fatalities of homeowners falling off or through their roof lately.

To conclude – worry not there will soon be MANY choices of solar maintainence sparkies, heaps of competition with all different price ranges.

Chop71 12:46 pm 17 Jun 11

and as an added benefit you won’t be charged the ACTEWAGL expired electron disposal charge.

I could be the collector of these fees.

Reprobate 12:26 pm 17 Jun 11

Cash for comment

More like p!sstake…

Chop71 11:53 am 17 Jun 11

troll-sniffer said :

Yes, good question and a timely one too I might add as we head into the least productive months of the year.

It’s a little known fact that solar panels do need to be purged every so often of what we in the industry call parasitic electron syndrome. All electrons have an energy level, expressed as an eV, or electron volt. But, not all electrons are equal in their energetic response to the core frequencies of sunlight. The older an electron gets, the more energy it takes to move it down into the grid and contribute to the electricity supply. A bit like a river, eddies in the structure create backwaters and congestion points where these ‘lazy’ electrons tend to congregate. When there’s a build up, often in as little as a year, the electrons in the middle of the eddy becaome virtually stagnant and inert.

This is where we come in. We will come around and do a performance check of your panels and deliver a carefully measured flood of fresh electrons to sweep away all the old and tired electrons that are clogging up your system. Depending on the solar patterns, we have seen increases of as much as 43% following our treatment. The tired electrons are filtered out by our specialised grounding stake and returned to the earth to serve out their days in happy retirement, and as an added benefit you won’t be charged the ACTEWAGL expired electron disposal charge.

Visit http://www.OldeVPurge.com.au to book or to obtain a quote. Remember, the younger and happier your electrons be, the happier you will be. We guarantee your panels will work better and deliver more power or double your old electrons back.

Cash for comment

mtrax 11:41 am 17 Jun 11

Note I did ask the installers what sort of maint. was required and all they said was a quick dust/wash down occasionally but ACTEW just have some generic info on there site
eg

All protection devices, control systems and equipment associated with the PV system and its connection to the ActewAGL distribution network is the customer’s responsibility to maintain. ActewAGL require that maintenance is carried out as per the details of “Australian Standard (AS) 5033: Installation of Photovoltaic Arrays”. Your installer will be able to provide you with access to this document.

mikal 10:31 am 17 Jun 11

The contract you signed with ACTEW requires that you maintain the panels and inverter. When I asked what maintenance they required however, they said they hadn’t worked that bit out yet and would get back to me. Perhaps call the ACTEW grid people in Tuggeranong and ask if they have a plan yet?

troll-sniffer 9:59 am 17 Jun 11

Yes, good question and a timely one too I might add as we head into the least productive months of the year.

It’s a little known fact that solar panels do need to be purged every so often of what we in the industry call parasitic electron syndrome. All electrons have an energy level, expressed as an eV, or electron volt. But, not all electrons are equal in their energetic response to the core frequencies of sunlight. The older an electron gets, the more energy it takes to move it down into the grid and contribute to the electricity supply. A bit like a river, eddies in the structure create backwaters and congestion points where these ‘lazy’ electrons tend to congregate. When there’s a build up, often in as little as a year, the electrons in the middle of the eddy becaome virtually stagnant and inert.

This is where we come in. We will come around and do a performance check of your panels and deliver a carefully measured flood of fresh electrons to sweep away all the old and tired electrons that are clogging up your system. Depending on the solar patterns, we have seen increases of as much as 43% following our treatment. The tired electrons are filtered out by our specialised grounding stake and returned to the earth to serve out their days in happy retirement, and as an added benefit you won’t be charged the ACTEWAGL expired electron disposal charge.

Visit http://www.OldeVPurge.com.au to book or to obtain a quote. Remember, the younger and happier your electrons be, the happier you will be. We guarantee your panels will work better and deliver more power or double your old electrons back.

nobody 9:33 am 17 Jun 11

If I was ACTEW, and responsible for the quality of the electricity supplied around Canberra, then I would want inverters tested or at least monitored in some way. Inverters are supplying power back into the grid, and ACTEW are responsible for keeping the grid voltage and frequency within certain limits, and responsible for any blackouts, brownouts, spikes, dips, or electrical noise. The power sourced by ACTEW from the main interstate producers is closely monitored, but I don’t know how closely they monitor the power they source from household suppliers within the ACT.

bugmenot 9:15 am 17 Jun 11

All excellent questions. Probably a good time to ask this would have been when you were engaging your sales-drone or installers.

Most of what you ask is going to be somewhat dependent on the equipment that you decided to go with.

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