6 Tips to Diagnose a Broken Solar Panel

Is your solar system not working as well as it should? If you’ve noticed an increase in your utility bills, there are some common reasons why a solar system isn’t working its best. Here are six tips to help you diagnose and treat a broken solar panel

1. Check the Breaker Switches

Every solar panel system has breaker switches—the tiny fuse boxes that manage the flow of electricity from your panels to your home. A glitch, overload, or surge can trip these switches and keep solar electricity from being sent to your appliances or the grid. If the breaker switches are off, switching them back to the proper state often fixes the issue.

2. Look for Obstructions

Solar panels rely on direct sunlight to produce energy, so they need to stay free from any obstructions like:

  • Trees with full foliage that may be blocking out light
  • Accumulated debris, dust, or pollen that builds up over time

It’s wise to check for obstructions below the panels, too. It’s not uncommon to find nesting birds, mice, or other vermin that can damage essential system components, causing low energy production. Check for debris and droppings regularly and consider installing a pest guard to keep critters away from your energy source.

3. Check the Inverter

Almost every PV installation includes an inverter—the component that converts the direct current from the solar panels to the alternating current your appliances use for energy. Check your inverter, and if the light is green, it should be working properly. If the light is yellow or red, there could be a problem with the inverter, and you should call your solar provider directly for more information.

4. Check the Solar Meter

Every solar system includes a solar meter that monitors the system’s energy production in real-time, comparing it to historic production data to spot potential problems. Although some homeowners may not realize it, a solar meter prevents lost energy savings. If your solar meter stops collecting data, it could cause problems with your system, and you should reach out to your solar provider right away.

5. Check the Glass

Solar panels are made of tempered glass—a specially engineered product that’s four times stronger than regular glass. While the tempered glass in solar panels is very resilient, it’s not completely damage-proof. Falling tree branches, golf balls, lightning, vandalism, and other impacts can damage the glass. Reach out to your solar provider for a replacement panel—they’re often covered by insurance.

6. Consider Solar Cell Damage

Your solar panels might be producing less energy even if they aren’t visibly damaged. In this case, the problem likely lies in the solar cells themselves. Your solar provider can individually repair solar cells, extending the life of your panels.

Enjoy Reliable, Renewable Energy With the Help of Solar Bear Tampa

Ready to make the switch to clean energy? Solar Bear of Tampa is standing by to help! We offer high-quality solar system components and installation, helping you make the most of your investment. Call us today at (727) 471-7442 to get started!