Solar PV systems typically require little ongoing maintenance. As with any electro-mechanical equipment however, natural wear and tear over the years can result in poorer operational efficiencies. Undertaking an annual preventative maintenance servicing can ensure that your system delivers optimum performance.
PV systems are exposed to the weather. Within their service life span of 25-30 years, various faults can develop. If the inverter does not display the energy generated or it is not readily accessible to you, it is recommended that a meter is fitted in a prominent position.
This then provides an immediate and obvious indicator if the system is not functioning correctly. The method that Enviko undertakes for its servicing depends on the type of PV system. Enviko will primarily review the potential for faults. Circuit diagrams and a technical description of the system are very helpful in this respect, however, Enviko are often called to work on systems with little data or specification available.
Before Enviko undertakes any measurements, a visual check of the PV system is carried out, in particular the PV generator. Here we will look for
mechanical damage and soiling. The wiring and electrical connections will be checked by our engineers for the following faults which can occur and do not trip any fuse and hence lead to dangerous touch
voltages or to arcing:
• Poor or loose wire connections
• Earth leakage through insulation faults
• Short-circuit through insulation faults
Attention will be paid to mechanical and thermal damage and to wires and insulation chewed by animals (such as rodents). The insulation can also be damaged by UV rays, ageing or over-voltages. All insulation ages in the course of time. An insulation fault can lead to arcing and ultimately cause a fire. In Enviko’s experience the following causes of system faults or failures can occur, listed according to their frequency:
• Fault at the inverter
• Loose wiring connection
• Defective string fuses
• Defect with a module and hence partial or total failure of a string (bypass diodes or contacts of individual cells in a module)
• Defective surge protector
• Insulation fault
Before remedying the fault Enviko will check whether fixing the fault is covered by your installation warranty and whether equipment manufacturers’ warranties can be called on (product liability). If this is not the case, a cost estimate for remedying the fault will be made. An inspection log will be produced for the re-commissioning.
Please get in contact with us to book in servicing for your system.
For more information on solar pv or any other Enviko services or products please call Enviko on (England & Wales) +44 (0)20 8611 2741 or by email.
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As part of the UK’s government Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) we are accredited installers have an impressive portfolio of solar PV systems throughout the UK, helping each of our clients reduce their carbon footprint whilst also tackling the problems of rising energy costs.