Why You Should Check Your Solar Inverter
Check It Regularly
If you fail to check your inverter regularly, it can have a negative impact on your solar investment. As issues can arise with your production, we recommend checking your inverter at least once a week. This prevents costly consequences that occur with underproduction. Over the course of several months, small system malfunctions can really add up. Worst case scenario, your system could be completely shut down and you would have no knowledge if you aren’t regularly checking up on your system.
Easy Indicators Your System Has Issues
At the very least, you should be checking your monthly bill statements. A larger than normal bill could indicate that something is off with your system. If you spot any irregularities, an easy solution is to have a maintenance professional evaluate your system for you. Our company does fortunately provide these services for a minimal cost. You can get service check-ups anytime of the year, but it is always the responsibility of the homeowner to monitor their production to identify any issues.
PV Inverter: What does it do?
An inverter is basically the “brain” of your solar system and an essential component that converts DC output to AC. The feature that we are most interested in this article, is its ability to monitor data for homeowners. “In many cases, the inverter connects to the electric panel via a breaker within the panel. This allows solar power to simply work as another source of energy in buildings and allows energy to be back-feed to the utility. When this happens, the meter spins backwards, effectively storing excess energy in the daytime for later use” (straightupsolar.com).
Inverter Display: What to look for?
It is a common misunderstanding that production levels produce near or at the size of your system. Moreover, if your system size was measured at 7.48 kW, you should not expect to see your production at this level. Your system output level is determined by your averaged daily solar PV output. You always want to check your inverter display during the day, when the sun is at its highest. There are a number of factors other than time of day that can affect your AC production levels. These factors are: conversion levels, shading, dirty panels, and efficiency rating.
When you first power on your PV inverter display, the variables take time readjusting to current production values. The VAC is volts of AC out, and VDC is volts of DC power in. In this example, you can see that the amount of watts produced PAC is rather high for a residential system. Likewise, the PAC lets you know the kilowatts you produce at a given point in time. This varies during different times of the day because of the amount of sunlight exposure. FAC is an acronym standing for “frequency of the unit” in Hz. The P_OK or 0Ps_Ok is the number of modules communicating with your system.
If you have an interest in checking up on your production with an online application, there are options available. For this article, we will stay with the example of SolarEdge PV inverters in regards to their monitoring portal. As a matter of fact, almost every product offers some monitoring with their system to make sure your production levels are normal. After the installer gets your email, you should receive information in your inbox showing you where to set up your monitoring account. Once you’ve gone to www.monitoring.solaredge.com or whatever site is used for your inverter manufacturer, enter your login information to sign into your account. From here you have access to a more in-depth version of the analytics of your solarsystem production.
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