Investigating Causes of Sudden Drops in Solar Panel Production | Tips to Maintain Optimal Performance
Solar panel systems are becoming increasingly popular as a way to reduce energy costs and increase sustainability. However, when a sudden drop in production occurs, it can be difficult to diagnose the cause. This was the case for one Maryland resident who experienced a sudden drop in production from 15-19 kW to 7 kW over the course of three months.
Tesla initially said that everything was performing perfectly, but the customer suspected that something else may have been causing the issue. After some investigation, it was determined that shade was likely the culprit. The sun angle had changed enough to put some of the panels in shadow during peak production times.
In another case, a 9 kW system experienced a similar but more subtle failure. After closely monitoring the output, it was determined that one of the connecting wires between panels had become corroded and failed due to being pulled too tight on installation. Replacing the wire restored full power again.
These cases demonstrate how important it is to investigate any sudden drops in solar panel production. If you suspect an issue with your system, contact your installer or Tesla support and explain your concern. Citing Tesla's 25-year performance guarantee may help get someone out to do a site visit if needed. Finally, be sure to check for any potential shading issues that could be affecting your system’s performance.
In addition to these common causes of sudden drops in production, there are other potential issues that could be causing the problem. For example, a faulty inverter or a blocked cooling fan can cause a decrease in efficiency. It’s also possible that the panels themselves may have become damaged due to extreme weather conditions or debris.
If you’re experiencing a sudden drop in production and can’t seem to find the cause, it may be time to call in an expert. A qualified technician will be able to inspect your system and diagnose any underlying issues. They can also provide advice on how to best maintain your system and ensure optimal performance over the long term.
Solar panel systems are an excellent way to reduce energy costs and increase sustainability. However, when a sudden drop in production occurs, it’s important to investigate the cause and take action if necessary. By understanding the common causes of sudden drops in production and taking steps to prevent them, you can ensure that your system is running at its peak performance for years to come.
What could be causing a sudden drop in production from a 20 kW system with 2 powerwalls?
It could be an inverter failure, shade issues, or a connecting wire between panels being pulled too tight on installation. To determine the cause, it is recommended to look at daily production plots and check if any of the panels are being shaded from the sun during periods of decreased output.
How can I get Tesla to send someone out to investigate?
Cite the 25-year performance guarantee for solar panels that Tesla offers, and explain that 50% peak output is not within spec of that warranty. Request a site visit to investigate the issue further. If the issue is not resolved, contact Tesla's customer service team and explain the situation. They should be able to provide further assistance.
What can I do to fix the issue?
If the issue is due to inverter failure, it may need to be replaced. If shade issues are causing the production drop, then panels may need to be moved or adjusted. If a connecting wire between panels has been pulled too tight on installation, then it may need to be re-secured. It is best to contact a qualified electrician for any repairs that need to be done.