Common Causes Of Solar Panel Problems


Even if you bought your solar panels from a reputable company and had them professionally installed, there still may be the odd occasion when they don’t perform as expected.

If you suspect something may be afoot with your panels but you aren’t quite sure, here’s how to tell whether they’re underperforming, and if so, what the cause might be:

What to look for if you suspect your panels aren’t working as they should

It can be tempting to assume that if you’re given less credit for excess energy produced by your panels by the electric company, that the panels must be underperforming. However, given the number of variables involved, such as weather and your energy usage for the month, this doesn’t usually give an accurate overview of the potential problem, and especially as your bill won’t tell you exactly how much electricity was generated by the solar system for use in your home.

To determine whether your panels are indeed, underperforming, here’s what you should be looking out for:

  • A light that’s red or orange on your inverter
  • No increase in kilowatt hours on your solar meter
  • There are visible cracks on the panels

What causes solar panels to stop working effectively?

Aside from solar panels that have been damaged (perhaps by flying debris during a storm), below are several different factors that can cause your solar panels not to perform as well as they should:

  • Dirt and dust

Rain often washes dirt and dust off of solar panels very effectively, but in dry periods, grime and debris can quickly build-up on them and stop them from being able to work quite as efficiently as they should.

  • A lot of cloudy days

It goes without saying that while solar panels can still generate energy on cloudy days, they won’t generate as much, and during cloudy periods, you can expect your panels to underperform in comparison with sunny days.

  • The position of your panels

If you paid an inexperienced or under qualified company to install your solar power system, they may not have taken the time to position the panels correctly on the roof so that they receive the most sunlight during daylight hours.

Typically, solar panels will perform very well, but from time to time you may notice a slight decline in energy production. If this has occurred more than once, or continues for days at a time, it’s best to have the installation company come back out and inspect the panels. If the inverter or panels are damaged, they will repair them for you, and they will even clean them for you if this looks likely to be the problem.

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