Over the past few years, solar energy has become increasingly popular in New York and New Jersey. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but people also save loads of money in the long run by switching to solar power. However, solar energy is a little more complex than people think and requires some maintenance for it to be at its most efficient and to last for a long time.
One thing that is off-putting to many people about solar energy systems is the need to remove, repair, and reinstall them when they show signs of wear. Yet many homeowners will sooner or later be confronted with this task. It is because even the best modules need to be removed every five to eight years, inspected, and rolled back out on the roof once again. So you need to be proactive in caring for your solar panels.
There are signs that will tell you when something is off with your solar panels, and it is important to explore them before things get worse. This guide underpins all the potential warning signs you should look out for that indicate a need for repair work or reinstallation of your solar panels so that you can start producing energy at peak levels again.
Warning Signs to Watch for When Removing, Repairing, and Reinstalling Solar Panels
Here are some signs that you should look out for at the soonest.
If you have a solar system at your house in New York, you might be familiar with the term “solar panel sagging.” The good news is that this problem can be resolved relatively quickly.
Solar panels can sag for many reasons, but the most common cause is incorrect installation and poor mounting practices during the initial installation process. If your panels have been installed correctly, you should not see any signs of sagging.
If your system has been installed correctly, then you should not see any signs of sagging on your solar panels – but it is always important to check them regularly just in case they start showing signs of wear and tear over time. Here are some signs that indicate that your panels need repair:
- You notice that some of the cells on your panel have become visibly damaged
- There are visible cracks in the glass
- The panel has become discolored from weather conditions
The first thing you should do if your solar panels are sagging is remove them from the roof and store them in a safe place for future use. Next, you will want to scrutinize each panel for any cracks or dents that could cause further damage during reattachment. You can have a professional repair technician come to your property to fix these issues.
Once all this work has been completed, reinstall the panels on top of your roof using the same screws and brackets used to mount them initially. Ensure each panel is locked securely so they will not start moving around again once they have been reattached.
Cracked or Broken Glass Coverings
The glass covering on your solar panels protects the actual cells from getting damaged or scratched. If this glass covering is cracked or broken, it can put your entire system at risk because it allows moisture to get into the cells, damaging them further if left untreated.
In most cases, if there is only one cracked panel in an array of solar panels you will still be able to use all of them together as long as each panel produces enough power for its size. However, if multiple panels are damaged or broken, they will need replacing before they can work again. The best thing you can do is call an expert electrician who will be able to replace the faulty panel with a new one and ensure that all electrical connections are secure again.
The worst part about cracked or broken glass is that it may not always be noticeable from the outside – so it is crucial to inspect them periodically for any signs of damage or wear and tear.
If any of your wires are exposed or frayed, then it could mean that you have a severe problem with your solar panel system. While some wiring problems can be fixed by replacing wires with new ones, others may require more extensive work, such as rewiring sections of your house so that electricity can flow through the entire system again.
Here are some ways to deal with damaged wiring:
- Cut off the bad area of the wiring and splice in a new piece of wire using a soldering iron and solder.
- Strip off about 1/4 inch of insulation from each end of the wires and twist them together with pliers. Then cover the joint with electrical tape or heat shrink tubing before screwing down the panel cover plate, if any.
- Replace damaged wiring with new wire as above and secure it with a tie strap or cable clamp at both ends.
If your solar panel system has been exposed to too much heat, such as from direct sunlight or overuse of power, then you may notice small black marks on your panels. This happens when the cells become hot enough that they start to melt their silicon wafers and leave scorched marks on them.
If the burnt marks are less than 1cm in diameter, they should be easy enough to remove with sandpaper or a metal file. You simply rub away at the burnt area until all traces have disappeared, then polish up the area with fine-grit sandpaper or a metal file before applying new paint.
However, if the burnt mark is larger than 1cm in diameter, you will need to cut out the affected area with a craft knife and replace it with another piece of metal sheeting or similar material.
Degradation of the Solar Panels
If your panels are not producing enough power, they will likely have degraded over time and need replacing. This can happen for various reasons, including exposure to the elements or vandalism.
If your solar panels are exposed to these types of elements, then you may notice that they start to look dull and discolored over time. This is because their protective coating has started to wear away, exposing the underlying materials underneath, which have not been adequately protected by paint or other coating material.
If you notice any signs of degradation, it may be worth having them replaced as soon as possible. If the condition is not worse, you can repair it by cleaning off any dirt or dust from these panels before applying a new protective layer of coating onto them so that they do not continue degrading further than they already have done.
The other major reason your solar panels may need to be repaired or replaced is if they have been infested with bird droppings. This can happen if you live in a city like New York where there are lots of birds flying around all of the time or if some trees around your house attract birds to land on them when they are feeling tired and exhausted from flying for so long.
The problem with bird droppings is that it is difficult to clean off entirely from the surfaces of your solar panels. The bird droppings contain uric acid, which can cause corrosion on the materials used in making solar panels, damaging them over time if left untreated for too long.
Excessive Dirt and Dust
Dirt and dust can accumulate on the surface of your solar panels over time. If this becomes excessive, it can reduce the efficiency of these panels by reducing the energy they produce. Therefore, you must keep these surfaces clean so that they do not suffer from too much degradation over time. One way of doing this is by hiring a professional maintenance company to come out every month and clean off all the dirt and dust from your system if you don’t have time to do it yourself.
If you have a stormy climate, you must ensure that your solar panels are well-protected from the elements. If you live in an area with frequent storms, you must have the panels installed correctly from the beginning.
If you inspect that your solar panels have been damaged by wind or hail, or if other weather conditions have damaged them, it may be worth having them replaced. Before making any repairs or replacements, you should also check for any damage to the wiring and other parts of your system.
In addition, it is crucial to keep in mind that if there is any damage done to your roofing system or roof tiles during a storm, this can cause water leakage into your solar panel system and other areas of your home. This can cause damage to both your roof and your solar panel system itself.
Irregular Power Output
Regularly check your solar panels to ensure they are working at total capacity. If you find that the output of your solar panels is irregular, then it could be due to many different factors, including:
- A faulty inverter
- A poor quality installation
- Damaged wiring or wiring connections
- Faulty batteries or battery charger
If you are experiencing problems with irregular power output from your solar panel system, then it is recommended that you contact an expert in this field who can help diagnose what exactly is causing these issues and provide possible solutions so that they can be fixed quickly.
Moisture leakage on your solar panels is another indication that they need replacement. This is particularly common if condensation is forming inside the panel or if water is pooling around the edges of the panel and then running down the sides.
It is vital to make sure that there are no leaks in your system, as this can cause damage to your entire solar installation. If you see any signs of moisture leakage or condensation forming inside your solar panels, then it may be worth having them professionally checked out by a professional technician at your local electrician’s office.
Another sign that your solar panels may need to be replaced or repaired is if they unexpectedly shut down. If you are using a grid-tie system, then it is normal for the panels to shut down occasionally. This often happens when there is too much sunlight and insufficient demand for energy from your home or business. However, if this happens more often than usual, it could indicate that something is wrong with your system.
Before you install new panels, it is essential to check whether there is anything wrong with the wiring, circuit breakers, and other electrical components that may be causing these issues. If there are no problems with the wiring and circuit breakers, but you are still having problems with your solar panels shutting off, then it may be time for a complete system replacement.
Solar Panels: Repairing or Reinstallation?
The question of whether to repair or replace a solar array is one that homeowners and businesses are increasingly facing. Solar panel technology is changing rapidly, and recent advances in high-efficiency panels make it possible to get much more power out of a smaller number of panels than ever before.
When considering the cost of new solar panels and their expected lifetime, repairing can be an economical choice for many people. On the other hand, if you are looking for new roof space or want to upgrade your system, replacing or reinstalling could be a better option.
While the answer to this question depends on many factors, including the type and extent of damage, the cost of replacement, and how much power the panels are producing, here is a quick look at both sides of the equation.
Repairing Solar Panels
If you have solar panels that are still under warranty, you may be able to get them repaired by the manufacturer for free. Since repairing solar panels can be expensive, it is in your best interest to make sure you take advantage of this offer if possible. If your panels are out of warranty, however, repairing them may not save you any money, and you might have to consider removing and reinstalling a new one.
Reinstalling Solar Panels
Reinstalling new solar panels can be a good option if you want more power or if your existing equipment has become damaged beyond repair. A new system could result in higher energy production and a longer lifespan than you currently have. Replacement costs vary depending on whether you are purchasing new panels or used ones, but they are usually more expensive than repairing old units. You should also consider how much electricity you will generate from the new panels and compare it with how much you would use over time before making a final decision about whether replacing is suitable for your situation.
Hopefully, tips like the ones above have given you insight into your solar panels so that you can keep them well maintained and work their most challenging for you. And by doing so, you will save yourself some money and frustration down the road. However, if you notice any of these signs, contact a professional technician immediately.
Ultimately, it’s more cost-effective, easier, and safer to have a team of professionals do it for you. Our team at SolarMedix.com has served the New York and New Jersey region for over 19 years. We’ve completed nearly 6,000 projects. Put that experience to work for you.
Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions. Or, if you like, we can give you a no-obligation quote on your project. Call us at 732-785-4814 or book a consultation online. And we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.