This is a question that solar system owners often don’t know. You made the investment and expect a predictable return, which is dependent on reliable and consistent energy production. The only way to guarantee that a solar system is working properly is to have it monitored with expert analysis of system data. Onsite inspections will ensure everything is in good working order. Our inspections and data analysis combined with routine preventative maintenance will make solar assets produce more energy, last longer, and be significantly more reliable. Help your solar system produce at its maximum potential.
Before and after pictures of the screens that filter out dust and debris from the cooling system of the inverters. Inverters produce better, last longer and have fewer issues if they run cooler. Heat causes higher resistance in electrical circuits and is hard on electronics. The internal temperature of this inverter dropped 75 degrees after cleaning.
A 600-volt electric arc burned through this connector. This likely caused another ground fault since this is on a metal roof. If this was on a asphalt shingled roof, it could have caused a fire.
The cause was an improperly installed connector that had moisture get past the seals, corrode the pins and burn up. This is the other side of the burnt connection, which caused another group of 12 panels to not work.
Wire management requires that the wiring is properly supported and allows for expansion and contraction as the temperature changes. Zip ties degrade over time and cause loose wires. In this case, every zip tie was brittle and took no effort to break. Loose wires are prone to damage and become an electrical shock hazard.
Moisture intrusion inside a combiner box due to improper sealing. This is a common problem and needs to be addressed to make the system safe and prevent rust buildup, electrical component breakdowns and faults.
PV connectors are on the back of every panel and connect the panel to the inverter. This connector was not crimped correctly and resulted in 12 panels not producing power. Repair was made by cutting off the connector and installing a new one on both sides.
Example of a bad PV connector. Bad connectors tend to get hot and this one was causing an entire circuit of 12 panels to not operate correctly.
Panel wire that was found to be pinched between panel and solar racking rail. The nick in the insulation of this wire caused a 600-volt ground fault. A ground fault will cause an electric shock hazard. Damage to solar wires typically occur due to poor wire management and wiring practices.
This is the inside of a common commercial grade Fronius inverter that had an electrical fault and burned up. This solar array also had 10 identical inverters that shared a common data cable. When the fault occurred it caused loss of connectivity on all inverters.
Many people who make the investment in solar are led to believe that their solar system will produce a certain amount of energy that will have a predictable offset in their electrical costs. In a perfect world, the only two variables would be weather and electrical consumption. In other words, if the weather is poor, a solar system may not produce well during that time. If the electrical usage goes up then the cost for that power will also go up. In the real world, solar components can prematurely fail and you can never get back a missed day of production when your system is not working properly.
If you are unsure if you are getting what you bargained for, MIDWEST SOLAR SERVICES can provide independent 3rd party analysis of your system data and a system inspection where we can confirm that your system is working properly or make recommendations if something isn’t right.
Monitoring portals are the primary method for both system owners and solar contractors to manage solar systems. Solar equipment requires connectivity to an internet source to send and receive data. A properly monitored solar system will allow confirmation the system is performing properly or if any issues are present. Historical production data will also be recorded. All this information is very useful, but can take skill and experience to interpret. If you would like us to explain what you are looking at or answer any questions then contact us for a free production evaluation.
If your monitoring portal is not working, there could be a few causes. The most common is loss of connectivity to an internet source or a major equipment or electrical fault. If MIDWEST SOLAR SERVICES is contracted to monitor your system, we will notify you within 5 days if there is a concern with your system. Proactive monitoring and early detection of issues are key to keeping your solar array producing what it should.
Midwest Solar Services technicians have years of experience working with all major solar equipment manufacturers and can service all solar systems, regardless of who built them. Our Master Technicians have serviced thousands of solar arrays over many years. We are familiar with advanced diagnostics that can quickly and effectively troubleshoot any issue. We are completely transparent in what we do and will do things right, the first time.