Thursday, 27 March 2014

Check the warranty on your solar inverter

Unfortunately, during the boom years of solar panel installation in South Australia, a lot of new solar installers who entered the market were primarily interested in capitalising on the rapid growth in solar uptake, and did not provide the high levels of expertise, skills and knowledge that consumers can reasonably expect. When the government began reducing the feed-in tariff and there was a subsequent fall in the demand for solar, a number of these installers in Adelaide went out of business, and so when systems failed because low-cost inverters began to malfunction, solar system owners felt they were left high and dry, with the only option being to purchase and install a new, more costly inverter.

However, if you have a faulty or damaged inverter you may not have to buy a new one. We specialise in the inspection and repair of inverters, and in many cases a malfunctioning inverter can be repaired without the need to purchase a new one.

Unfortunately, in the case of many cheaper inverters, repair may not be an option and a new one needs to be purchased. However, even if your installer is no longer trading, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the parts and components of your solar system, particularly your inverter, are not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Therefore, it’s important to track down your warranty documents and find out the time span for which your inverter is covered, and the steps you need to take to have it replaced. Even low-end inverters should come with a five-year warranty, while those at the top end of the market may very well be covered for ten years.

The good news is that you may not have to bear the full cost of having your inverter replaced. In some cases, the manufacturer’s warranty may cover the replacement cost and the labour, in others you may have to pay the labour costs, but if your inverter is less than five years old, chances are that you won’t have to pay for it all yourself. It’s worth your time to find those warranty documents!

Check if your solar manufacturer has a service office in Australia, so that you can get in touch with them, or we are happy to contact your solar inverter manufacturer on your behalf to pursue a warranty claim.

Your solar inverter is the most important part of your system, so you need to inspect it regularly
At Solar Fix Network, we specialise in the inspection of solar inverters
Written by +MarkAngus

Monday, 24 March 2014

What is a solar inverter and why is it so important?

A solar inverter converts the DC current produced by your solar panels into an AC current that enables electricity to fed into your home in a form that can be used by your appliances. It also enables electricity to be fed back into the commercial grid. Your inverter is such an important component because it enables you to extract the optimum energy from your solar panels.
An inverter that is functioning properly and efficiently is therefore crucial to your being able to get the full benefit from your solar system. If your inverter is not working to full capacity:
  • you will be drawing power from the grid more often and in greater quantities than you should be
  • your electricity bills will be higher, because you are having to use more commercially produced electricity
  • you will not be receiving as much financial return from your feed-in tariff from your supplier, because you are not able to return the optimum amount of electricity to the grid
Inverters, especially those from the lower end of the market, are the component that is most susceptible to malfunction and this is why, if you have had a solar system in place for two years or more, you need to check on a regular basis that it’s operating effectively. For a system that’s been in place for this length of time, we recommend that you check that it’s working to its full capacity every two weeks. A simple visual inspection may reveal an error message on the inverter display, or warning lights might be showing.

Why check so frequently? Because waiting until the electricity bill comes is too late! By then, you will have been drawing power from the grid at a far greater rate than you anticipated and so you could be in for a nasty shock.  Unfortunately, many people only discover that there are faults in their solar system when it stops functioning altogether. 

If you’ve noticed a drop in your system’s efficiency, but can’t see any obvious signs of an inverter malfunction yourself, we offer a full range of inspection and maintenance services, and our trained and skilled staff can inspect and test all aspects of your system to ensure that it’s delivering maximum efficiency and minimising your costs as much as possible. 

Solar inverters need to be inspected and maintained regularly
Adelaide has some of the highest electricity bills in Australia, so make sure your inverter is working properly

Copywriting for +Cadogan and Hall by +Mark Angus 

Monday, 3 March 2014

We specialise in solar panel inspection and maintenance for Adelaide homeowners

Adelaide specialists in solar panel inspection and maintenance
Contact us to find out more about our full range of solar panel inspection and maintenance services

New Study Shows How Solar Panels Keep Electricity Costs Lower

A new study has shown that the increased installation of solar panels on domestic homes in Australia has made a significant on keeping spiralling energy costs lower than they might otherwise have been.

The report, commissioned by Meridian and PowerShop, suggests that the use of renewable energy has checked the rise of energy prices in the face of ever-increasing demand. Solar panels enable Adelaide homeowners to buy less electricity from suppliers, and so the impact on the grid at peak times is reduced. This has contributed to the rise in prices being controlled, as overall electricity consumption throughout the country has been decreasing since 2009, the study suggests.

As more and more Adelaide homeowners see the benefits of solar power, at Solar Fix Network we offer a range of support services that enable you to keep your solar panels working at their best. Our solar panel inspections mean that you are complying with South Australian legislation, our maintenance services ensure that faults are spotted and rectified, while our cleaning services allow your solar panels to operate at maximum capacity.

To find out more, contact us on (08) 8185 1552, email us at info@solarfixnetwork.com.au or you can visit our website. In the meantime, please feel free to download our brochure below for more information.

Solar Fix Network offer a full range of solar panel inspection and maintenance services
Please click here to read or download our information brochure

Solar Panels Inspection

Homeowners in Adelaide who have had solar panels installed already know the economic and environmental benefits, and the improved energy efficiency of their homes.

However, it’s important to understand that regular inspection, as well as cleaning and maintenance of your solar panels, is vital.

There are three important reasons why you need regular inspection and cleaning of your solar panels:

  1. to ensure that you are meeting the manufacturer’s warranty conditions (if applicable)
  2. to ensure that you are meeting South Australian legislation
  3. to ensure that your solar panels are working as efficiently as possible

Warranty conditions
The warranty documentation that came with your solar system may specify how frequently you need to have it inspected in order to be able to meet the warranty conditions, so it’s important that you adhere to these guidelines in order to protect your valuable investment. However, it may be the case that your warranty does not stipulate regular inspection intervals; if not, we recommend that you have your system inspected every two years.

South Australian Legislation
Unfortunately, not everyone who has a solar system installed is aware of the South Australian government legislation regarding their inspection and maintenance. 

SA Power Networks Small Embedded Generation Technical Guidelines stipulate that your solar system either needs to be inspected and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or, if this isn’t specified, within five years of the system’s installation, and then every five years after that.

Operating efficiency
Solar panels that aren’t clean don’t operate at maximum efficiency; however, like the windows on your home, or your car windscreen they can get dirty quite quickly. Dirt, dust, bird droppings, air pollution—all can conspire to keep your solar panels from being in pristine condition and so operating at full capacity.

Our Services
We specialise in carrying out solar panel inspection and cleaning that enable you to meet both your manufacturer’s warranty conditions, and state government legislation. Additionally, our cleaning services ensure that your panels are able to work at their very best.

At Solar Fix Network, we can meet your solar panel maintenance, servicing and repair needs wherever you are in South Australia. Call us on (08) 8185 1552 or email info@solarfixnetwork.com.au.

Solar Fix Network are the leading solar panel inspection and maintenance firm in Adelaide
Please click here to read our brochure on solar panel inspections in Adelaide