How Do You Tell if Your Solar Panels Are Working?

Solar panels are a wonderful option to save on energy-consumption and reduce your electricity bills considerably. They are also one of the only ways to obtain renewable energy on the planet. If you want to be eco-friendly about your power usage, solar energy is the way to go. However, they are still a relatively new technology and due to their rare utilization, not many people are aware of how to utilize them correctly.

That being said, there are various professional installers out there that ensure your panels work exactly as they should without any problem and if you want, you can read here if you wish to know more about them. But even the most professional installations can’t guarantee your solar panel’s functioning if it stops working suddenly.

Calling servicemen and paying their service charges might cost you an unnecessary amount of money and time – especially if the problem can be easily resolved by yourself. That’s why in this article, we will tell you exactly how you can check if your solar panels are in working condition or not with a few simple steps. Read the article till the end so that you don’t miss out on any crucial steps.


Check your power switches

This might seem fairly rudimentary and obvious. After all, why would the power switches be responsible for the dysfunctioning of your panels if no one in your family even touched them? The thing is, these power switches can automatically turn off or get fused out because of power surges and overloads.

In such cases, it is best that you check your breaker box and find out if the source of the problem is in the power connection itself. Ensure that you have proper rubber gloves on, you are not standing on a metallic surface, have someone around, and are wearing rubber sandals to break the circuit off in case of electrocution.

While most switches are not directly connected to the power connection and don’t discharge electricity, it is still better to be safe than sorry especially when it comes to matters of power connections. Once that’s done, simply switch on the switches if they are switched off or switch off and then switch back on if they are on.

This should resolve most of the common cases but in case it doesn’t, don’t worry because we have other ways to help you out.


Examine if your panels are covered by obstructions

After power connectors, the second most common problem solar panel owners face is that of obstructions or objects on the panels that hamper their energy receiving capacity. Any kind of obstruction that blocks your panels from receiving sunlight can degrade their energy production capacity and disallow them from working at 100% efficiency.

The most common cause of this is an overgrown tree whose shade blocks the panels from getting sufficient sunlight. Another obstacle is settled-up dust and grime that, if settled long enough, can cover your panels with a thick layer that makes it impossible for them to receive any semblance of power from the sun.

If this is the case, then the best option will be to simply clean it off with a long water hose whose flow can reach the panels. If you can access these panels by yourself using stairs to your terrace or balcony, you can consider wiping them and cleaning them down with your own hands. However, we strongly advise against using ladders or stools to reach the panels and clean them down as it can lead to dangerous accidents.


Take a look at your inverter – either digitally or physically

Every solar panel installation comes with its own inverter that converts sunlight energy into the normal type of electricity that we use in our homes. If something is wrong with your panels, your inverter is the first device that will detect it.

Go to your inverter and check the color of the signal it is displaying. If it is green, then it implies that your panels are working perfectly fine the way they should. Alternatively, if it is any other color such as orange or red, it means that there is some problem in your solar panel system and you should immediately take a look at it to figure out the problem.

To assist you in this assessment, most inverters are designed to display an error code at their digital screen bar that tells you what the problem is. If you can figure out what the problem is through this message and are fully confident that you can figure out the solution, then do so immediately.

If you don’t know what the error code is about, immediately contact your panel installers and tell them to take a look at the problem. Additionally, there is also one more way through which you can check how much power your panels have generated which can tell you if they are functioning currently or not.

All you need to do is find your inverter’s manufacturer, go on their website, create an account, enter your inverter’s model number and it will immediately display information about your panel’s energy creation. If you see something amiss or figure out if the numbers seem odd, then consider calling your panel installation servicemen immediately.


Install a solar power monitoring system

If you want to ensure that you get detailed reports from your solar panel system and check it through diagnostics anytime you want, you can consider installing a sunlight power monitoring system.

A sunlight power monitoring system provides you detailed information about the performance of your panels, how effective they are by comparing their performance with the panels around you, and sends you notifications when their performance dips below the average performance for no particular reason.

While it is quite an effective and useful tool, the only con is that it costs hundreds of dollars for installation – an amount that the average household may not be able to justify spending.


There are several ways through which you can tell if your panels are working or not. We hope this article was insightful for you and if it was, please consider following our website for regular updates as it will help us out immensely.