How do I know if my solar is generating as much as it can?


Every kilowatt counts!
How do you know that your system is performing as it should? As the installer promised? Day to day, month to month, the system needs to perform optimally for its investment to be realised.
We design our systems for a 30 year design life, we use the highest quality materials and excellent commercial grade installation teams, and yet despite our best efforts a small portion of our solar power systems will experience faults at some point through their long lives.
In general what I have seen, over 8 years in the market, is a lot of systems installed using inferior products and poor workmanship. I’d hate to imagine how many systems across Australia aren’t performing.
Estimates from some industry experts suggest around 80% of Australia’s PV systems have failed or are significantly underperforming.
Faults can range from the most basic of issues such as an AC breaker tripping, through to inverter or panel failure. Most of the time the owner doesn’t realise for months, sometimes never. Meaning significant financial losses from what the customer was promised.
So how do you know that there is a problem?
The key; Monitoring. Systems should be monitored. Most are not. Of those that have monitoring, few monitoring systems are set up correctly, and most are left to the owner to check the system. Just as owners have the necessary expertise or the desire to spend time watching solar kW ticking over, how do they know what to look for?
We continue to see true performance monitoring as a weakness in the industry and an opportunity for us to do better. As such, Smart Commercial Solar have integrated our monitoring systems to provide us with daily updates on each of our customer’s systems. We make sure that each system meets performance criteria, send alerts if faults occur or if there are regular deficiencies in performance, ensuring systems are matching predicted outcomes.
Our ‘active monitoring’ effectively holds us to account on the investment plan we put forward, allows us to increase the accuracy of our future proposals and allows us to guarantee the numbers we put in front of our customers by ensuring 99% uptime for our customers right across the life of the system.
Most importantly it means that we can ensure we honour our promises.