Does my solar PV system need a service?

Solar panels are a hardy and long-lasting product. They need to be, as they’re constantly exposed to the elements. Once installed, most solar panels will generate indefinitely, 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 panels could benefit from an operations and maintenance service.

 

Solar panel 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 the UK still receives a similar amount of sunshine every year. If your business has solar panels, that equates to a predictable return on investment annually.

 

You could be missing FiT payments

If your solar array was installed under the Feed-In Tariff (FiT) scheme, you may be eligible to receive monthly payments 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 on FiT payments. Less energy generated means less spare energy exported back to the grid. FiT payments 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. As long as they’re receiving their FiT payments, they assume it’s performing as it should. And so it might be. But, 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.

Just because you’re receiving a FiT payment doesn’t mean your system is performing at its peak. You could be receiving just a fraction of the payment you’d be entitled to, was your system generating correctly.

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 panels 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.

Since the UK receives plenty of rainfall, most solar panels are regularly rinsed and this is 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 panels. Our O&M team has all the necessary equipment and training to clean roof and ground panels 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 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
  • FiT assessments
  • Cleaning services
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Inverter servicing

For more information, visit our servicing webpage, or get in touch.