Solar Earth Inc.

How Do You Know If Your Solar Panels Are Working

Solar panels quietly convert sunlight into electricity, working tirelessly daily for over 25 years. Because they’re straightforward and need little maintenance or moving parts, you might wonder, “How do I know if my solar panels are doing well?” This concern is especially valid for older home solar systems lacking built-in monitoring.

You always have electricity available in a home with a grid and solar power. If your solar panels stop working, the grid takes over, leading to higher bills and less clean energy use. Solar-powered homes can still face outages, but solutions like solar battery storage provide backup.

This article helps you identify signs of a well-functioning solar panel system and understand what to do if any issues arise. It aims to help you maximize the benefits of your solar investment.

How to Tell If Your Solar Panels Are Working ?

how do you know if your solar panels are working

If you’re concerned about your solar panels’ performance, regularly check their status, regardless of age. Spotting problems early helps solve them quickly so you can return to producing clean, environmentally friendly energy.

To ensure your system is working properly, we suggest conducting the following five steps:

1: Is Your Solar Inverter Sending the Right Signals?

Your solar inverter is the unsung hero of the system. It converts the electricity your panels generate direct current(DC) into the type alternating current (AC) that powers your home.

To decipher its status, keep an eye on those indicator lights. Green means all is well, orange signals a potential hiccup, and flashing red light indicates a problem. We’ll guide you on interpreting these signals and what to do if your inverter tries to tell you something.

2: Decoding Your Power Consumption

Your electric meter serves as the storyteller of your home’s energy consumption. An ideal solar-powered setup should seamlessly work with your solar panels, using less power from the grid.

However, if it keeps drawing power from the grid even on sunny days, there could be an issue in the solar system. Let’s examine how to check your electric meter to understand how solar panels impact energy use.

When you switch to solar power, the goal is to depend less on electricity from the utility. Solar panels should be the primary energy source, especially on sunny days. With net metering, you can send the excess energy your solar panels produce back to the grid power and receive credit for being eco-friendly.

Examining your electric meter on sunny days is a simple way to check if your solar panels work well. Suppose your solar panels are the primary power source, but the meter shows ongoing reliance on the grid. In that case, there might be an issue with your solar system.

In addition to the standard electric meter, some solar installations boast a dedicated solar meter. This device meticulously measures the electricity generated by your photovoltaic (PV) panels, offering vital insights for homeowners and solar professionals to evaluate. 

The pivotal metric on this solar meter is the cumulative kilowatt-hours produced by your solar panels. This figure should exhibit a consistent upward trajectory during daylight hours, reflecting the continuous generation of electricity by your panels. If, however, this cumulative value stagnates, it becomes a noteworthy indicator that something in your solar power system may require attention and investigation.

3: Review Electric Bill

The primary allure of solar panels lies in their potential to slash your electricity bills. We’ll guide you in scrutinizing your utility bills, ensuring a noticeable reduction post-solar installation. Discover how to read your bills and find any issues that could indicate your solar panels aren’t saving as much as promised.

4: Check the Weather

The electricity your PV system makes depends on how much sunlight it gets. This is particularly true when considering the day to day weather, seasonal changes, and the general climate of your location.

If you see that your power production has changed a lot from what’s usual, it could be because you recently had bad weather.

Check your area’s past and future weather trends to understand better how your solar panels generate electricity. Begin by determining how many peak sun hours your home should receive regularly. Also, consider how weather patterns, especially more daytime cloud cover during certain seasons, might impact your panels.

5: Clearing Obstructions for Optimal Panel Performance

Anything that blocks sunlight from reaching your solar panels can reduce their efficiency. From tree branches to bird surprises, we’ll provide practical tips on keeping your panels free from obstructions.

What Should I Do If My Panels Aren't Working?

Solar Panel Maintenance

If operational irregularities are detected in your residential solar panels, a strategic approach must be devised to address the problem. 

  • Check if a circuit breaker on your electrical panel has tripped.
  • Initiate the restarting of your inverter, as this action can occasionally rectify any faults in the system.
  • Conduct a visual inspection of your wiring to ensure there are no indications of damage or misplacement.

If everything inside seems okay, call the solar experts to check the system thoroughly.

These professionals will meticulously examine your system for potential faults and perform any requisite repairs upon contact. A comprehensive checkup thoroughly investigates solar cells, inverters, wiring, mounting hardware, and other associated solar technologies and equipment. Additionally, the solar technicians will verify the power production levels, address vulnerabilities within the system, and implement necessary measures for optimal functionality.

Make Sure Your Solar Panels Are Working Correctly

Make sure your solar panels are functioning well. You should get the best performance from your solar power system. However, like any technology, issues can occur. 

If you suspect a problem, quickly check your solar panels to see if anything obvious is affecting their performance. Sometimes, restarting the inverter or cleaning the panels can solve the issue, but only occasionally.

Suppose the solar Company that installed your solar panels is no longer in business. In that case, Solar Earth Inc. is ready to assist with the upkeep of your solar panels. 

Our Solar Earth Inc. service ensures you have the peace of mind for ongoing solar support. It ensures that your solar panels are working correctly and consistently generating electricity for your home.


Contact Our Friendly, Knowledgeable Staff

Solar Earth Inc., with expertise and certifications, empowers your home for enhanced energy generation. Contact us today to transform your home into a sustainable, long-term renewable energy source.

Get a free quote or Call at (805) 691-8000

Scroll to Top