Should I purchase a maintenance package for my solar PV system?
Currently, within the UK solar market, maintenance packages have began to increase in popularity, but they aren’t necessarily worth it. A lot of energy companies are now offering different types of packages to both domestic and commercial solar PV owners, as consumers seek to protect their investment.
In the past, when the Feed-In Tariff rate was at its highest and under threat of being reduced, many solar companies rushed to complete installations. This, combined with short warranties and less efficient technology, may cause concern for many people who have already committed invested in their solar system.
In addition, many of these installers have ceased trading, meaning that is something is seriously wrong with a PV system, there is no-one to call on.
Technology Maintenance & Replacements
The only component which will realistically stop operating and need replacing a number of times over the course of the investment is the inverter. This component normally has an average lifespan of 7 years and with many only having a 5-year warranty, you can expect an outlay of £750 – 1,500 (incl. installation and VAT) at least twice to three times within the duration of earning the Feed-In Tariff.
Another financial issue with a maintenance package is the possibility of hidden costs. For example, when the company conduct their first health check on the system, they may charge for any remedial work to be completed so it is up to their standard before they can agree upon maintaining the system and taking on any liability for its standard. The maintenance package will probably not cover any workmanship of the original installer but only the components in your PV setup.
Do my solar panels need to be cleaned?
A good rain shower is usually enough to remove most dirt, although bird mess or algae may be a bit more difficult to remove. Most window cleaners will be able to give your panels a wash, perhaps just once or twice a year to keep on top of this.
If your system is wired in series, this dirt may significantly affect your generation; where if one panel is shaded, your whole system will be restricted to the lowest performing panel, so it’s definitely important to keep your panels clean – although it’s easy to keep on top of this yourself and monthly payments for this are likely to be unnecessary.
Should I upgrade my system or purchase a maintenance package?
It’s a great idea to ensure your system is kept maintained and the best way to do this is by upgrading your system. Here at Solar Plants, we only install market leading SolarEdge technology and are currently upgrading 100s of systems a month as many systems have developed a fault, and many people are unaware that their system is underperforming due to having no visibility of their system. With a SolarEdge upgrade, you will be able to access your own monitoring portal via your computer, tablet or phone allowing full visibility of the performance of your system. Our dedicated monitoring department will also monitor your system continuously and help to resolve any potential issues with your system.
An upgrade also includes a 20-year warranty on the latest high-performance SolarEdge HD Wave inverter. We will also attach Power Optimisers, with a 25-year warranty, to the back of each panel, allowing the system to work to its maximum efficiency and increasing your generation by up to 25%.
SolarEdge also has SafeDC TM which reduces the voltage in the DC cables to a safe extra-low voltage when required, ensuring the safety of everybody in your home if required.