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A Guide to Commercial Solar Maintenance for Running in Long Term

The ‘set and forget’ assumption has been a selling point for many commercial solar panel installations in Australia. This implies that once the system is installed, it will operate smoothly for most of its lifespan.

However, it’s important to recognise that proactive maintenance and inspections are crucial for the effective and safe operation of solar assets, as recommended by industry bodies like the Clean Energy Council. These inspections should align with Australian Standards 5033 to ensure the best performance of your solar energy investment in Australia.


Why Commercial Solar Maintenance Is Essential?

Solar panels in Australia are assets that generate electricity and are exposed to various weather conditions like rain, hail, heat, wind, and dust. These elements can gradually degrade material performance and pose safety concerns.

While some performance issues can be monitored remotely, an onsite examination is often necessary to ensure the best performance and safety of your solar energy investment in Australia.


Common Problems with Commercial Solar Systems in Long Term

  1. Poor Cable Management
  2. Loose Cable Terminations
  3. Inadequate Weather Protection for Components
  4. Inverter Malfunctions
  5. Cracked or Broken Solar Panels

These issues often lead to:
  1. System Underperformance
  2. Outages
  3. Rapid Component Degradation

Remote monitoring may not detect some problems, necessitating on-site solar panel inspections. Improperly placed or protected DC switchgear can even cause roof fires. Component failures can result in downtime and safety risks.

If a single solar power module malfunctions, it can affect the energy production of neighboring modules, reducing the system’s overall energy yield.


Points to remember while maintenance and inspection of Solar panel

Here are the key components of the recommended maintenance and inspection checklist:


1. Electrical Inspection

  • Inverters
  • Protection and isolation devices
  • Fuse enclosures

2. Component Inspection

  • Solar modules
  • Mounting structures

3. Cable & Termination Check

  • Examination for deterioration
  • Identification of heat discoloration
  • Detection of hotspots

4. Label Verification

  • Inspection of warning labels

5. Equipment Inspection

  • Air filters
  • Heat sink
  • Fans

The goal of these inspections is to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the solar panel system while minimising the risk of issues such as fires.


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Ideal Service Frequency for Commercial Solar Panels in Australia

  • Ensure the longevity of your commercial solar system investment by scheduling an annual inspection with a CEC-certified technician.
  • Regular maintenance is essential to optimise system performance and ensure site safety.
  • Accumulation of contaminants such as lichen, bird droppings, dust, and debris can lead to module deterioration, emphasising the importance of periodic cleaning tailored to environmental conditions and system design.

Conclusion

In summary, proactive maintenance and inspections are crucial for the performance and safety of commercial solar panels in Australia. While the “set and forget” approach may be tempting, environmental challenges and common issues can impact efficiency. To protect your solar investment, regular CEC-certified inspections and cleaning are essential.

A comprehensive maintenance plan covering electrical checks, component inspections, cable assessments, label verification, and equipment inspections ensures optimal performance and long-term success.

[Disclaimer: The blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. For accurate and up-to-date information on renewable energy, refer to reputable sources and consult with experts in the field.]

Please don’t hesitate to contact Betta Value Renewable Energy if you have any questions about this topic.

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