Operation, monitoring and maintenance
While solar systems have no moving parts and are fairly self-sufficient, they are still exposed to the elements.
In order to ensure optimal performance and revenue, systems should be maintained, just like any other company asset. Otherwise, you run the risk of your panels underperforming leading to a decrease in revenue that you might not notice.
The importance of regular inspections
The operation and maintenance manuals provided by your system installer should contain a schedule for regular maintenance, such as visual inspections and cleaning.
Clean solar panels can convert more light into electricity, so a panel clean might be worthwhile if they get too dirty, for example after a dust storm or bird droppings.
Inverters can also get dirty, for instance in a dusty environment inverters can lose some cooling capacity, leading potentially to power derating and premature failure.
Monitoring and troubleshooting
An online monitoring and fault reporting system is strongly recommended. This will allow for ongoing asset management and a maintenance schedule.
This proactive approach will provide increased safety and helps to optimise financial returns.
Simple monitoring solutions come inbuilt into the functionality of the inverters. However, more sophisticated solutions include third-party monitoring systems.
These different systems have various features and costs to install and also potential ongoing subscription fees, so it’s best to get professional advice.