5 Tips to Help You Monitor Your Home Solar System’s Performance
Whether you already have rooftop solar panels or are considering going solar, you’ll want to make sure your panels are working at their full capacity. While solar panels are incredibly durable and are designed to offer many years of worry-free performance, there are ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your panels.1
Here are five things you can do to ensure your home solar panels are functioning as they should so you can keep running on the sun:
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While solar panels work on cloudy and rainy days, their power output will be slightly less than on clear, sunny days. When it’s overcast, your solar panels will likely operate at 10% to 25% of their rated capacity.2
Even if cloudy and rainy days are common where you are, your community can still benefit from solar power. San Francisco, known for its cool and foggy climates, has some of the highest solar power capacity in the nation.2 And if you live in an area with especially high electricity rates, solar power can help you offset the cost of your utility bill rain or shine.
Ultimately, what matters is how much sun your home gets year-round. Cloudy and rainy days may be common, but on average, they won’t affect your overall return on investment.
2. Inspect Your Inverter
Sometimes, a malfunctioning inverter is the culprit for an underperforming solar system. The inverter is the ‘brains’ of your home solar system. It converts the direct current (DC) electricity that solar panels generate into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is the electricity we use to power our homes. They can also provide a means of communication between the system and computer networks that monitor system performance.3
An inverter should come equipped with indicator lights, and red or orange indicator lights could mean your home solar system is experiencing problems. If your inverters’ indicator lights flash red, call your solar company or inverter manufacturer so they can help you troubleshoot the problem.
3. Read Your Solar Meter
Your solar meter monitors your system’s production and shares this information with your solar company. Typically, your meter will cycle through different screens. You should pay particular attention to the one that displays the total kilowatt-hours that your solar panels are generating.4 As long as your kilowatt-hours are increasing, your solar panels should be working fine. If not, make sure to go through the previous steps before you call your solar company.
4. Examine Your Electric Bill
Going solar may significantly reduce your electric bill.5 While how much you pay your electric company will fluctuate depending on how much power your solar panels produce on any given day, you should generally expect to pay less to your electric company. You may also be credited for the excess energy your home produces.
If your electric bills still seem too high given the amount of power your solar panels should be producing, it’s possible that your solar panels are not performing correctly.
As the country’s #1 residential solar company, we’re here to help you enjoy all the benefits solar has to offer. Find out how to take back control of your energy with Sunrun. If solar sounds right for you, contact our Solar Advisors today for a free quote.