How Do I Know If My Solar Panels Are Working?

If you’re considering solar panels or recently installed solar panels, you’ll want your new solar system to perform at its full potential. But if you’re like many people, you don’t know how to tell what your solar panels are doing, let alone if they’re working as well as they should. In this blog, we’ll show you how to check if your solar panels are working properly and what to do if they’re not.

How to Check If My Solar Panels Are Working Properly

Solar panels generally require little maintenance, but there are some steps you can take to help make sure everything works. Here are five simple ways to check if your solar panels are up and running at maximum efficiency.

Check the Inverter

The inverter is what most people refer to as the “brains” of a solar system. It’s the part that converts direct current (DC) energy into alternating current (AC) electricity, which your home can use. There are two main types of inverters: string inverters and micro-inverters. You can check with your solar company to know which kind you have, but usually micro-inverters are very small and attached to the back of solar panels. A string inverter will be found in a different location and be much bigger. 

Most inverters have indicator lights that will show you how the inverter is performing. If you’re seeing an orange or red light, your solar panels might not be working properly, and you should reach out to your solar installer.

Monitor Production

Another great way to tell if your solar system is working well is to see what energy it’s producing. But how do I know how much electricity my solar panels are generating? Most solar systems come with a physical solar meter or an app to track solar output. However you monitor your solar system, you’ll want to check the kilowatt-hours. If the kilowatt-hours are increasing, your solar system is performing. If it’s not increasing, you might want to reach out to your solar provider sooner rather than later.

Watch the Weather

The weather is one of the biggest factors that can affect how much solar power your solar panels produce. Rain, snow, or wind debris can reduce how much power your panels produce and can affect whether or not you’re able to tell if your solar panels are working properly. If your power production is lower, check the weather to see if that might be the culprit. If you live in a cloudy area, the good news is that you can still get enough solar power from your panels. It’s all about how much power your system produces over an entire year. Additionally, your solar panels might experience partial shading during the day due to growing trees and new buildings that can cause them to underperform. In this case, consult with your solar company to potentially move your solar panels for optimum performance.

Pay Attention to Your Electric Bill

Your electric bill is another way to check if your system is working properly. If your solar panels are working, your electric bill should be lower. Electric bills do fluctuate depending on the day-to-day production of your solar panels, but over time, you should be paying less to your electricity company. If your electric bills are too high for too long, your solar panels may not be performing as well as they should, and you should reach out to your installer.

Check with Your Solar Company

If you’re unsure of how your panels are performing, you can reach out to your solar company to see if they’re working properly. Here at 8MSolar, our expert solar technicians can diagnose solar panel problems and get your system back on track.

What To Do If They Aren’t Working

What do you do if your solar panels aren’t working properly? There are a couple of fixes to look at if you find something wrong: 

  • Check the breaker switches. Just like with a computer or phone, you might try turning it off and on again to resolve the problem. For solar panels, you can perform a similar trick by checking the breaker switches and turning them on and off again. 
  • Clear debris. Check if there’s something covering your solar panels and remove it. Sometimes fallen leaves are the culprit, and brushing them off can get your solar production going. 
  • Contact your solar company. If you’re wondering, “Why are my solar panels not working?” we’re here to help. At 8MSolar, we’ll come check your new solar system and help you work out the problem. We also offer a 25-year warranty where we’ll get your system running again for the first 25 years you have solar panels.

8M Solar Helps You Fix Your Underperforming Solar Panels

We get it, repairing underperforming solar panels can be a headache! That’s why all solar panel systems sold with 8M Solar have built-in data acquisition systems where you can view inverter monitoring, PV module monitoring, and optimizer level monitoring. These monitoring systems allow you to run analytical reports that identify the root cause of underperforming solar panels. So if you notice your solar panels aren’t working, 8M Solar can quickly know why and help you fix the problem. 

Looking to go solar? Here at 8MSolar, we want to help you get started with solar right. Get in touch with us for more information on solar panel installation and how to check if your solar panels are working.

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