Maintenance of the solar PV system

Social landlords or the system owner typically monitor performance of the solar PV system via readings from the generation meter. If there is a problem, households are likely to be contacted by the landlord to arrange a visit by an electrician. As having a working solar PV system will save you money on your electricity, it is best to allow access for any maintenance or repairs needed. Residents do not need to agree maintenance contracts or fees with any company.

Solar PV systems have no moving parts and generally require little maintenance. The lifespan of the solar panels is about 25 years; however, the inverter may require replacing after about 7 to 10 years.

There is likely to be some deterioration in performance over time – solar panels are typically guaranteed to provide 90% power output after 10 years.

How do I know that my solar PV system is working?

The generation meter has a red-light and this will flash when the solar PV system is generating electricity. It might be fitted in the loft and we do not advise going in the loft if this is the case. The faster the red-light flashes, the more electricity is being produced. Overnight, when the panels are not generating, the red-light will stay on constantly.

The generation meter reading increases during the day as the solar PV system generates electricity from sunlight. On very dull days in winter, the light may rarely flash, and the meter reading may not increase for a few days if the amount of electricity generated is too small to register.

If there is no change in the meter reading over a week, then the system may not be working, and you may need to report this to your landlord or the system owner.

Will the system work during a power cut?

No, for safety reasons, in the event of a power cut, the PV system inverter will automatically switch off. This safety feature protects engineers working on the fault, as they could be put at risk if electricity were being supplied to the grid during a power cut. The solar panels should automatically switch back on when safe to do so.