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Home Solar System Servicing

That sure is steep. Is that because your roof has a 45 degree pitch or some other reason?

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He lives in Dunedin.

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Yes, it’s typical of many 19th century houses.

Not the ideal panel angle for around here, but great if you live in Dunedin. :wink:

P.S.
it does save on needing to clean the panels of leaf litter and other build up.

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There was a very old house at Kangaroo Point visible from Shafston Avenue which had the steepest pitch I have ever seen on a house. It must have been at least 60 degrees.

The thought just occured to me that there have not yet been any scammers advertising magical sprays “guaranteed” to massively boost the performance of solar panels, or have I spoken too soon?

There is however a good article on Solarquotes on whether or not to clean solar panels.

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It can actually be ideal in Qld, but only if you have panels tilted at that angle facing east and west. You’ll get much more even PV output throughout the day and avoid the midday peak.

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We have two separate solar systems. One, a 3 Kw system we inherited when we purchased the house and a new one (6Kw) we had put in. A regular fault started occurring with the inherited one. I rang all the solar suppliers in town asking if I could get them out to service it and find the fault. No one wanted to come out because they did not install it. The original supplier had retired. Because my system is 12 years old they all said get a new one. It will be your inverter. They seem to only want to service systems that they put in claiming there is so much dodgy work out there. Anyway I dug in and traced it back to a faulty circuit breaker which I sorted out myself. I had already ordered a new system before I found the fault and it was too late to cancel so now I have two systems.
The takeaway on this is you might find it difficult to get someone to service it and you really need to know what a “service” actually entails.
Your provider has software where you can monitor its performance daily and you can log into the inverter on modern systems. That will give you an indicator on how it is performing.
Because of the problem of “throttling” I read the smart meter morning and night to get the exported KwHrs and the KwHrs the house uses. By charting the data you get a very good idea of what is produced, what is used and what is exported. Comparing all this to the figures in your monthly bill gives a pretty good picture of what is happening. Bear in mind that my system is more complicated than most because I have two independent systems and I cannot log into the old system but I can take readings from its display.
There’s no real way of monitoring a system’s performance over time due to the large number of variables. Plus these systems are not really set up to give you a concise picture.
One thing I have found is my 12 YO system is preforming exceptionally well!

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Ever since we put in our solar system in 2011 I have kept records of exactly what our output has been. Our inverter is a Sunny Boy and I can read the output on my computer via the software provided. In the ensuing years our output has been relatively similar each year and each month. We have never had it serviced. My understanding is that if you alter any part of your system you will revert to the current payment feed-in tariff.

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Generally, if you increase the size of your inverter (say increase it from 2kW to 3kW), then any special (high) FIT is removed and the current FIT applies. If one has say a 3kW inverter with cells which are rated to 2kW, one may be able to increase cells to 3kW with the same 3kW inverter without impacting on the special (high) FITs.

Likewise, one can replace a 3W with new 3W inverter, this won’t impact on the special (high) FITs.

Nonetheless, if one plans to change ones PV system in any way, check with the relevant state government agency to ensure any changes don’t negatively impact on the existing FIT one may have.

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