Does my solar PV system need a service?
Solar modules are a hardy and long-lasting product. They need to be, as they’re constantly exposed to the elements. Once installed, most solar modules will generate energy for decades, with little to no input from the customer. That’s why solar is such a safe investment.
However, like all investments, solar performs best when it is carefully managed and maintained. A solar array that’s generating at its maximum capacity saves customers the most money and provides the best return on investment.
Keep reading for more reasons why your solar system could benefit from an operations and maintenance service.
Solar system servicing protects your stable investment
No business exists in a vacuum. World events can create a big impact on a company: from disrupted supply chains to market instability. Something could happen tomorrow that throws your business completely off-kilter.
But no matter what’s going on in the world, the sun will keep shining. Global weather patterns may be shifting due to climate change, but South Africa still receives a great amount of sunshine every year. If your business has solar modules, that equates to a predictable return on investment annually.
Credits on your municipal account
Several municipalities offer a feed-in tariff and therefore you may be eligible to receive monthly credits for any unused electricity you sell back to the grid.
But, if your solar is not performing as it should, you could be missing out. Less energy generated means less spare energy exported back to the grid. Credits on your municipal account can provide an additional revenue stream for businesses, without any additional effort or overheads. This is a valuable opportunity for companies to improve their bottom line, and increase profitability.
A solar PV service ensures your system is working
We speak to a lot of business owners who judge whether their solar is working from their bank statements. The only way to know for sure is through a remote monitoring system.
As a best practice, we routinely install remote monitoring systems with all our solar arrays. However, older arrays or systems not installed by us may not have this.
Remote monitoring provides a full picture of energy generated, as well as an important indicator of any faults in the system. Our operations and maintenance team can check this from the office, and dispatch an engineer to carry out repairs if needed.
Some PV arrays need more cleaning than others
Solar modules generate electricity when sunlight hits a wafer of silicon cells contained within it. If the surface of the panel is very dirty, light cannot reach the silicon and the panel cannot generate electricity.
Solar modules are rinsed off when it rains and this is usually enough to keep them performing efficiently. However, customers who work in particularly dirty industries may need a deeper clean. For example, agricultural and manufacturing businesses may experience more heavily-soiled modules. Our O&M team has all the necessary equipment and training to clean roof and ground modules safely and effectively.
Customers in rural areas may also require more maintenance than urban businesses. Nesting birds, pests, and overhanging trees can all hinder the performance of solar panels.
A lot can change in a decade
Over the last ten years, the popularity of solar has really taken off. Businesses might have solar systems that are easily 9-10 years old, without ever having serviced or assessed them.
You wouldn’t have any other piece of business equipment that you didn’t service or monitor for ten years, so why would you do it with the thing that produces your electricity? Ten years is plenty of time for panels to become dirty, or experience wear and tear. Even factors like tree growth and shading could affect the performance of your panels and should be assessed.
Partner in power for your PV installation and service
We provide operations and maintenance servicing for a number of agricultural, industrial, and corporate customers.
Our services include:
- Remote system monitoring
- Technical telephone support
- Quarterly performance reports
- Feed-in tariff assessments
- Cleaning services
- Maintenance and repairs
- Inverter servicing