What was F%$#ed with my solar panels? And I no idea.

John: Continuous growth of the solar industry brings an ever-expanding base of solar installations. An important inspection should be before the expiration of the solar manufacturers warranty, to make sure that any defective panels can be replaced under warranty terms. While many solar panels are expected to provide a 20-year lifespan, this is often not the case with cheaper quality solar panels. But even high quality panels can fail prematurely. Thermography technology can save time and make troubleshooting solar panel installations and easy and cost effective service. [Music] Solar panels come from many sources around the world and their quality varies between manufacturers and product batches. The installation quality depends also on the installers competence. In short, the best way to prove that the solar panel insulation is delivered free of defects is a thermal imaging analysis of the site installation. The solar system return-on-investment calculation often assumes 20 years of power production. As panels age they gradually lose power output and this is all predicted and considered.

However these calculations can't predict system deterioration caused by lightning storms, panel solar heating and other component failures. To assure optimal return on investment, thermography scans can be performed by a certified thermographer and building envelope auditor like Efficiency Matrix. A panel temperature rise of 10 degrees Celsius as compared with an average temperature of all the other panels can lower the power yield by around 5%. The panels need to be well cleaned before a thermal inspection and in most circumstances a thermal drone is the safest and most effective way of auditing a residential and commercial installation. Thermal imaging helps to identify mismatched panels, where high-performing modules are impeded by low-performing modules, and overheated connections.

An important inspection should be before the expiration of the solar manufacturers warranty to make sure that any defective panels can be replaced under warranty terms. It's also important that the solar panels are installed in an area that is constantly accessible for cleaning and maintaining. [Music] Shade on the module or a defective cell can change the module from power production to power consumption, resulting in heating the cell which will show as a hotspot in a thermal image. For solar panel diagnostics these are the common issues that can be found: [Music] Defective bypass diodes; short circuits and failing connections; penetration of moisture and or dirt into the panel itself; a cracked cell or even cracked glass; failed or disconnected modules; mismatched panels with different capacities; loose contacts; and just wear and tear.

So if you have a new solar system, an old solar system that's coming out of warranty, or you just have an old system that you suspect may be defective, organize a building envelope survey of your home, and get your system survey at the same time. [Music].

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