That’s why we’re committed to providing our customers in the wider Albury–Wodonga region with reliable, responsive support, long after the installation is complete. We have installed solar systems for thousands of customers and we make sure they are well serviced and achieve lasting financial and environmental results.
We understand that investing in renewables like Solar & Batteries is a big decision, and we want to make sure that you’re happy with your purchase every step of the way – for years to come.
Our key goal is to ensuring that all our customers are looked after throughout their energy transition journey.
We’re local first and foremost. A physical warehouse that you can pop in and meet our team. You can call in long after your installation and ask any questions that you may have, we are here for the long haul.
We’re motivated to provide excellent service because our reputation directly impacts our success within the local community. This accountability ensures a personal touch, better customer support, and quicker response times when issues arise.
We are giving you peace of mind that your concerns will be addressed promptly. At Solar integrity we understand the local climate, regulations, and potential issues that may affect your solar & battery system’s performance.
In contrast, fast and furious solar sales company with outsourced teams from sometime interstate lack this local expertise.
By choosing a local, trusted company, you’re not only investing in your solar system but also contributing to the growth and prosperity of our community, all while receiving tailored, reliable solutions with reliable after-sales support.
Just as we have a preferred trusted doctor who knows us inside and out, we proudly serve as your energy doctor throughout the life of your systems.
This role becomes increasingly crucial as we transition toward electrifying various aspects of our daily lives, including electric cars, induction stoves, and heat pumps for hot water. This means solutions get more complex and interconnected.
Our commitment to you transcends past the initial installation of systems. We’re in it for the long term, with your future savings on electricity bills at the core of our mission. Our goal is to provide a standout service that is tailored to your unique needs.
When we mention maintenance, we don’t limit it to the systems we’ve installed. We often receive calls to inspect systems that we didn’t install, typically due to issues with a product that’s not functioning correctly. So, the answer is yes – we’re here to take care of you, even if we weren’t the ones who initially set up your system.
Just one word of warning, sometimes there are poorly installed cheap systems that all care and repair can not bring back into a safe state. Unfortunately in such instance recycling the parts is often the only solution.
Monitoring your solar energy ecosystem is essential to getting the most out of your investment and ensuring the longevity of your system.
This is a crucial part of our after sales services, what good is it if you can’t see the power station on top of your roof is doing?
We have a comprehensive monitoring solution providing you with almost real-time data on the performance of your system, allowing us to identify and resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
By monitoring your system, we can:
- Extend its lifespan
- Optimise its performance
- Help you save money on your energy bills
- Offer data to assist the future electrification of your home
Maintenance of solar systems is often overlooked, perhaps because they are out of sight and out of mind. However, overgrown trees, dirt, dust, and bird droppings can all reduce the efficiency of solar panels and reduce energy production.
Unfortunately, the only time you may notice this is when you receive your electricity bills. This is why monitoring solutions are important to ensure that your solar system is performing optimally.
We offer solar system health checks, repairs, and upgrades, as well as hot water and EV charger installation and maintenance. When we mention maintenance, we don’t limit it to the systems we’ve installed.
We often receive calls to inspect systems that we didn’t install, typically due to issues with a product that’s not functioning correctly. So the answer is yes – we’re here to take care of you, even if we weren’t the ones who initially set up your system.
Why have I not noticed any change in my bill?
Usually we here at Solar Integrity will be informed by customers who have got solar or a solar & battery system how much their electricity bill has reduced.
Nevertheless, in the most unlikely event that your bill has not reduced or has crept up to the old levels we recommend to firstly check your inverter to see that it is on and producing power.
If your solar system is not working then contact us immediately. If your solar is working you will need to refer to the consumption data and graph on your electricity bill.
Is it in alignment with the historical data/production? Have you increased you electricity consumption significantly since you got the renewable energy system. Of cause after spending all this money and switching to solar energy, it would be disheartening to notice little to no change in your monthly bills.
Several factors can contribute to this unexpected outcome, and understanding them is crucial to appreciate your solar investment’s potential fully and ensuring lower bills for decades.
Energy consumption patterns
One key factor that might explain the lack of noticeable change in your energy bills is your household’s energy consumption patterns. If your energy usage increases , even with solar panels, the impact on your bills may be less dramatic.
Could there be other factors that have seen your energy consumption increase i.e. kids home from uni more often. Longer showers, more air con running? Normal heater broken so have been using another less efficient option?
Have you bought something new that will add to your power consumption ie spa/pool? Have you been tinkering in the shed with something like a welder?
It’s easy to subconsciously increase our power consumption, and then only later remember where all that power went. Consider assessing and optimising your energy consumption habits to maximise the benefits of your solar investment.
System size and output
The size and efficiency of your solar panel system play a crucial role in determining its impact on your energy bills. If your system is undersized for your energy needs or experiences reduced efficiency due to shading or other factors, it may not adequately generate enough electricity to offset your consumption. We have seen trees creeping up on the solar system over the years and the new shadows reduce solar production and increases your bill. Watch surrounding vegetation, new antennas or neighbourhood extensions for shade.
Net metering policies
The lack of significant change in your energy bills may also be attributed to the net metering policies in your area. Net metering allows you to receive credits for excess energy your solar panels generate and feed back into the grid. If your energy retailer has limitations or unfavourable policies regarding the solar you export, it could impact the financial benefits of your solar investment. Shop around for a better energy retailer.
Solar energy production is subject to seasonal variations, with shorter days and less sunlight during winter, potentially impacting the overall energy output. If you haven’t noticed a significant change in your bills, consider whether the installation and monitoring coincided with a period of reduced sunlight, affecting the overall performance of your solar panels.
Maintenance and monitoring
Regular maintenance and monitoring are crucial for ensuring the optimal performance of your solar panel system. Dust, dirt, or debris on the panels and any technical issues can hinder their efficiency. If you haven’t seen a change in your energy bills, scheduling a professional inspection with Solar Integrity and cleaning may be worthwhile to enhance the system’s output.
By addressing the factors outlined above, you can make informed adjustments to enhance your solar energy system’s performance and financial benefits.
If you still think your bill is higher than expected contact us, we will ask that you send your bill through for us to analyse.
Luckily this question does not arise very often, because with a quality solar & battery system usually when we get a phone call it’s by a happy customer telling us how low the last power bill has come in.
My solar system drops out regularly during the day
Contact us. There could be several reasons for this but one possible one is that there is a voltage rise issue in the network, near your home or business and we would contact your network provider to have that rectified.
If you’re experiencing regular dropouts in your solar system throughout the day, it can be frustrating and may hinder the optimal performance of your solar panels. So here are the most common causes of solar system dropouts.
Even a small amount of shading on a solar panel can significantly reduce its efficiency. Trees, nearby buildings, or other obstacles can cast shadows on your panels, leading to intermittent drops in power output.
To address this, consider trimming or removing objects that cast shadows on your solar panels during peak sunlight hours.
There are ways to help mitigate the impacts of shade, you can use optimisers on the impacted panels that will help them operate more effectively or we also offer the Solar Edge systems which allows each panel to operate individually as opposed to a group.
Dirt and debris
Accumulating dirt, dust, or debris on solar panels can also impact their performance. Regular cleaning is essential to ensure maximum sunlight absorption.
Check your panels for any dirt or bird droppings build up, and clean them accordingly. This simple maintenance task can prevent intermittent dropouts and improve the overall efficiency of your solar system.
Faulty wiring or connections
A solar power system relies on a complex network of wiring and connections. If there are any faults in this network, it can lead to frequent dropouts. Inspect the wiring and connections for signs of wear, damage, or loose connections.
We do not recommend you doing this yourself. These are the sorts of things that we can do when we are doing our maintenance checks.
The inverter is a crucial component of any solar power system, converting the direct current (DC) generated by the solar panels into usable alternating current (AC).
Inverter issues, such as malfunctions or failures, can result in dropouts. Check the inverter display for error messages or unusual readings. If you notice any problems, contact us and we will be able to assist.
Cloud cover and weather conditions
While solar panels can generate power even on cloudy days, a significant reduction in sunlight due to heavy cloud cover may cause temporary dropouts.
Weather conditions can impact the efficiency of solar panels, so it’s important to understand that occasional dropouts during adverse weather are normal. Consider installing a battery backup system to store excess energy for use during cloudy periods.
Software or firmware issues
Some solar power systems have monitoring software or firmware that may need regular updates. We can check if your system’s software is up-to-date; if not, we will consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for updating.
Software glitches or outdated firmware can contribute to intermittent dropouts, and staying current with updates can help resolve such issues.
Maintaining a reliable solar power system
By investigating potential causes such as shading, dirt, faulty wiring, inverter problems, weather conditions, or software issues, you can work towards optimising the performance of your solar panels.
Regular maintenance, monitoring, and, when necessary, professional assistance can contribute to a reliable and efficient solar power system, ensuring you maximise the benefits of clean and sustainable energy.
Additional tips for maintaining a reliable solar power system
Monitor your system’s performance regularly
Use your solar system’s monitoring software or app to track power output and identify potential issues. Even if your system is older there are 3rd party monitoring apps that may be suitable to your needs. Contact us to find out more.
Schedule regular maintenance
Have your solar system inspected and cleaned by a qualified technician at least once every 2 years, sometimes more frequently depending on your location ie dirt roads. Solar Integrity offers a Maintenance Program, we always call first before coming out. Our program consists of cleaning your panels, checking over all the connections, cleaning an checking your inverter and checking the readings, and we also conduct the all-important safety shut down and start up procedures.
Be aware of weather conditions
Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for temporary dropouts during periods of heavy cloud cover or extreme weather conditions.
And after any storms always check your inverter or your monitoring app to ensure that it is working as normal.
Stay informed about solar technology advancements
As solar technology evolves, there may be new solutions or upgrades available that can improve the performance and reliability of your system.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your solar power system is operating at its best and providing you with a consistent and reliable source of clean energy.
Your friendly team at Solar Integrity
How often should my panels be cleaned?
While solar panels are designed to be largely self-cleaning, some factors can affect their performance over time.
Understanding when and why you should consider cleaning your solar panels is important for maintaining solid energy production.
Factors influencing the need for cleaning
Solar panels are generally self-cleaning thanks to rain. However, if the Albury-Wodonga region experiencing extended periods without rain, then dust and pollen can accumulate on the panels, reducing their overall energy output. It’s important to be mindful of the local climate conditions.
Proximity to dirt roads
If you reside near dirt roads, or if you are in a new housing/property development the dust kicked up by passing vehicles can settle on your solar panels. This scenario increases the likelihood of your panels requiring additional cleaning to ensure peak performance.
High traffic areas and diesel exposure
Living in an area with high traffic, especially where diesel emissions are present, can lead to grime buildup on solar panels. Regular cleaning becomes essential in such locations to counteract the negative impact on energy production.
Panels flat on the roof
If your panels are not tilted and sit flat or only with al ittle incline on the roof, then regular rain might not fully wash off all the dust. In such an instance, you need to give extra attention to panel cleaning.
Pigeons or other birds near the PV system
If your roof and solar system modules have attracted pigeons or other birds nearby you will be surprised how much bird poo such little animals can generate. In such a situation panel cleaning is a must, as well as a plan how to have the friendly birds move on.
If you use a woodfire for heating, particles and residues from the combustion process can settle on your panels. This buildup may necessitate more frequent cleaning to prevent a decline in solar efficiency.
Dust storms are another factor that can significantly affect solar panel cleanliness. If you had a local border region dust storm, monitoring your panels closely and scheduling cleaning as needed is advisable.
Professional cleaning – why we recommend it
While the occasional rain may help, professional cleaning is recommended to maintain your solar panels’ long-term efficiency. Anyone who has ever fallen off a roof or even a ladder and lived to tell the tale will agree.
Avoid abrasives on the panels
Using improper cleaning methods, such as abrasives, poses a risk of irreversible damage to your solar panels. It’s crucial to engage a professional who uses the right cleaning products to ensure the longevity of your system and retain warranty coverage.
PV safety check
Regular annual safety checks by a solar professional from Solar integrity is a good idea. This comprehensive check involves cleaning the panels, securing all connections, monitoring inverter readings, and assessing the surrounding environment for potential performance-hindering factors.
The Solar Integrity maintenance program – a closer look
Solar Integrity offers a proactive maintenance program to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your solar system. Here’s what the program includes:
Annual System Check
The cornerstone of Solar Integrity’s maintenance program is the annual system check. This proactive measure ensures that your solar panels are operating optimally. This comprehensive inspection includes:
Cleaning the panels – Efficient energy production begins with clean solar panels. Our experts use industry-approved cleaning methods to remove dirt, dust, and any other accumulated debris that might hinder the performance of your panels.
Ensuring secure panel connections – Loose or faulty connections can impact the efficiency of your solar panels. During the system check, we meticulously inspect all panel connections, tightening any loose components to ensure a secure and reliable electrical connection.
Inverter connection verification –The inverter is a critical component of your solar system, converting DC power generated by the panels into usable AC power. Our maintenance program thoroughly examines inverter connections, ensuring they haven’t come loose or deteriorated over time.
Monitoring inverter readings – In addition to inspecting physical connections, our experts monitor inverter readings to ensure that your system is performing as intended. Any deviations or anomalies are identified and addressed promptly to prevent potential issues.
Surrounding environment assessment – A well-functioning solar system relies on the state of the panels and the environment surrounding them. We check for any potential obstructions or shading caused by trees or other structures that might impact your system’s performance.
Comprehensive reporting – Solar Integrity provides a detailed report of our findings following the system check. This report includes information on the cleanliness of your panels, the status of connections, inverter performance, and any potential issues identified during the inspection.
Recommendations for improvement – If our experts uncover any areas for improvement or potential issues that may arise in the future, we provide you with recommendations. This may include suggestions for system upgrades, adjustments to maximise efficiency, or insights into emerging technologies that could enhance your solar investment.
Open to all solar systems
Whether Solar Integrity installed your solar system or not, our maintenance program is open to everyone. We believe in fostering the sustainability of solar energy across the board, ensuring that every solar system operates at its best, regardless of its origin.
Embrace the future of solar with confidence, knowing that Solar Integrity is dedicated to keeping your panels shining bright year after year.
How do I shut down and restart my solar system
It’s essential to be familiar with the proper procedures for shutting down and restarting your system.
Whether performing routine maintenance, facing an emergency, or simply needing to power down temporarily, following the correct steps is crucial for safety and system integrity.
In this step by step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of shutting down and restarting your solar system smoothly and effectively. If you do not feel comfortable undertaking this work, you can always call us and we see if this is something that can be done over the phone or requires a site visit.
Shutting down your solar system
Turn off the inverter
Locate your solar inverter near your main electrical panel. This device converts the direct current (DC) your solar panels generate into alternating current (AC) that powers your home. Identify the designated switch on the inverter and turn it off. This step halts the flow of electricity from your solar panels to your home.
Disconnect from the grid (grid-tied systems only)
If your solar system is connected to the grid, it’s crucial to isolate it before any maintenance work. Locate the solar disconnect switch, usually installed near the electricity meter. Turn this switch off to prevent electricity generated by your solar panels from feeding back into the grid. This safeguards utility workers and your system.
Deactivate DC disconnect
Solar panels are connected to the inverter through a DC disconnect switch. This switch allows you to isolate the solar panels from the rest of the system. Turn off the DC disconnect to stop the flow of DC electricity from the panels to the inverter.
Check battery systems (If applicable)
If your solar system includes energy storage with batteries, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for shutting down the battery system. This may involve turning off specific switches or using a designated shut-off procedure to ensure the safety of the battery components.
Restarting your solar system
Activate battery systems (If applicable)
If your solar system includes energy storage, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for restarting the battery system. This may involve turning on specific switches or using a designated start-up procedure.
Turn on DC disconnect
Reverse the process from the shutdown phase. Activate the DC disconnect to allow the flow of electricity from your solar panels to the inverter. Ensure that this step is performed before turning on the inverter.
Reconnect to the grid (grid-tied systems only)
If your system is grid-tied, switch on the solar disconnect near the electricity meter. This allows your solar system to be reconnected to the grid. Ensuring the inverter is turned on before reconnecting to the grid is essential.
Power on the inverter
Turn on the solar inverter. This action reinstates the conversion of DC electricity from your solar panels into usable AC electricity for your home.
Monitor system performance
After restarting your solar system, monitor its performance to ensure everything functions correctly. Check for any error messages on the inverter’s display and monitor your energy production levels.
By following these step-by-step instructions, you can confidently shut down and restart your solar system, whether for maintenance purposes or in the event of an emergency. Always refer to your system’s user manual for specific instructions tailored to your equipment. Regularly practising these procedures will help you maintain your solar energy system’s efficiency, safety, and longevity.
Who should I call if I have problem with my system?
While solar systems offer a plenty of benefits, they can run into problems down the line. This FAQ delves into common solar system problems and how installers fix these issues.
Declining energy production
A common issue for solar system owners is a gradual drop in energy output. Over time, factors like dirt buildup, shading and panel wear and tear, and product quality can take their toll on efficiency. To combat these issues, regular maintenance by installers is key. Giving your solar panels a regular clean removes dirt that might be blocking the sun.
A shading analysis is another important step, allowing installers to spot and fix any obstacles casting shadows on the panels. In severe cases of degradation, installers might recommend replacing damaged or worn-out panels to give the system a new lease on life.
Fixing inverter failures
Inverter failures can put the whole system out of action. Installers tackle this issue by doing thorough diagnostic checks to find the root cause of the malfunction. Potential causes can be anything from wiring woes to internal component failures or overheating. If the inverter is beyond repair, installers replace it with a new, more efficient model, ensuring the solar system keeps humming.
Rectifying faulty wiring
Faulty wiring is a common culprit for both reduced system efficiency and potential safety hazards. Issues like loose connections, damaged cables, or incorrect wiring setups can mess with the performance of a solar setup. To address these concerns, installers conduct wiring inspections.
Upon identifying loose connections, damaged cables, or incorrect wiring, they proceed to do the necessary repairs or replacements. This careful approach ensures that the wiring meets safety standards and does not compromise the overall performance of the solar system.
Birds and pests
Birds and pests finding shelter under solar panels can cause damage and reduce system efficiency. Installers combat this issue by recommending and installing effective deterrents.
Mesh or protective barriers can effectively prevent birds and pests from accessing the space beneath solar panels. Regular inspections by installers are crucial to spot and promptly address any signs of pest infestations. By implementing these measures, installers safeguard the system against potential damage and keep it running at its best.
But don’t do this without professional advice from your solar installer as some of these deterrents may void warranties i.e. if attached incorrectly to your solar panels framework
Ensuring optimal performance
While solar power systems offer a sustainable and clean energy solution, periodic issues may arise. Installers play a pivotal role in diagnosing and resolving these problems, ensuring solar systems continue to operate efficiently. Regular maintenance, thorough inspections, and prompt repairs are essential components of a successful solar system.
By addressing reduced energy production, inverter failures, faulty wiring, and potential pest infestations, installers contribute to the longevity and effectiveness of solar setups across the country. As the demand for renewable energy sources continues to grow, the expertise of installers becomes increasingly valuable in maximising the benefits of solar power in Australia.
If you have any concerns or queries about your solar system, you can contact Solar Integrity.