Repair and maintenance

Solar System Health Check

It is highly recommended that only solar professionals manage the maintenance of your solar system. These systems can be complex, and improper cleaning or handling can lead to significant customer disappointment. Never use abrasives or high-pressure cleaners on solar panels.

EcoEase offers a highly recommended solar system health check and maintenance program.

Your solar power system, akin to a finely-tuned sports car, deserves nothing but top-tier care. Regardless of your grid-connected solar system’s size, our local service is here to maintain and rejuvenate it.

The health check, which we recommend at regular intervals, includes a comprehensive solar system inspection. This covers everything from framing stability and panel cleaning to the removal of any debris beneath them.

We check for any cable damage, fine-tune your system’s performance, and compare your power output to the ideal levels your system should generate according to standards.

Our performance testing is robust, mounting frames are firm after the check, and your inverter undergoes a thorough review. Safety switches are tested, and we ensure compliance with all required safety standards.

All of this is carried out thoroughly by our trained solar professional, ensuring that your solar journey with Eco Ease continues on its path of reliable decade long savings.

Full System Health Check

Solar panel cleaning and maintenance check
  • Comprehensive solar panel system inspection, including cleaning and debris removal.
  • Evaluate power output against ideal levels.
  • Check cables and mounting frame security.
  • Review inverter performance and safety switches.
  • Verify compliance with regulations, conducted by an industry accredited solar specialised electrician.
Prices start from just

$150*

Get in touch
  • $150 is a basic health check This includes inspection of the inverter, switchboards and labeling, test of system voltage and insulation resistance testing.
  • $440 will give you all the above and a more detailed full system compliance, fault find and health inspection.
  • $660 will give you a comprehensive compliance check and maintenance visit including a panel clean and a report of the systems’ health outlining any current or potential future issues.
  • We offer our Solar Panel clean and maintenance service as a one-time service or you may opt for our annual health check program. We also can give advice on upgrading an existing system or adding batteries, as well as fault find if a solar PV system has broken down.

*Quoted price for cleaning and maintenance includes up to a 14-panel solar panel system on a single-story house within a 50 km drive from Wollongong. Add $30 for a double-story house. For larger systems or commercial installations, please contact us for an customised estimate.

Panel Cleaning

PV System Maintenance

Ensuring your home solar system operates at its full potential

Living near the coast means your solar panels, inverters, and home storage batteries can be affected by various environmental factors over the years. Dirt and debris accumulation can block sunlight, while issues like faulty wiring, unnoticed shutdowns, corrosion and general wear and tear can impact a PV system performance.

Underperforming solar panels mean homeowners and business owners miss out on the expected power savings and will make their investment less beneficial.

The solution is simple – schedule regular solar panel check-ups (We suggest every 2-3 years)  to ensure optimal performance and allow for prompt action and maintenance IN case any issue arises. These check-ups also handle minor cleaning and identify potential issues early.

By scheduling bi-annual solar panel check-ups, you ensure maximum value for your investment. Don’t wait until you receive a large power bill to realize your system has stopped working. Contact Eco Ease today to book this essential service.

Solar System Repairs

Eco Ease are experienced solar electricians and solar inverter & battery repair experts.

We provide solar system repairs throughout Sydney’s South from Rockdale to e Sutherland and wide Illawarra and Wollongong areas.

If you’ve noticed a sudden unusually high power bill, a red light on your solar inverter, or unusual monitoring results, you may need a solar inverter repair or solar panel replacement. In such cases Eco Ease is here to help.

If your inverter is a Fronius, SMA, Sungrow or Solar Edge for example, Eco Ease has a close relationship with the manufacturers and distributors of those brand  and can get replacement units relatively speedily, especially if it is a warranty matter.

Our inverter repair experts can quickly identify and fix faults to ensure your solar system runs smoothly again. As the solar inverter is a critical component, fast action is required to prevent missing out on valuable savings.

No matter where you purchased your solar system, Eco Ease provides top-quality inverter and solar & battery system repairs.

For prompt system fault find, panel replacement and solar inverter repairs in The Southern part of Sydney and especially the Sutherland LGA as well as the wider Bulli and Wollongong areas, contact Eco Ease today.

Tesla Batteries

Solar & Battery System Upgrade

If you have a solar system but find your energy needs increasing due to a growing family, new electric cars, a shift from gas to electric appliances, or rising electricity costs, we’re here to assist.

Our experts can perform an in-depth audit of your existing system and determine the most effective upgrade solution. This may involve adding more solar panels to your existing unit, incorporating a solar battery storage system, or increasing the storage capacity of your current battery system.

In some instances, older systems may not allow upgrades due to updates in Australian Standards since the original installation. In such cases, a second solar or solar & battery system could be the best solution.

We can also explore integrating an EV charging solution to maximise the use of solar energy.

At EcoEase, we’re committed to helping you meet your evolving energy demands efficiently and sustainably. Contact us for a personalised solar system upgrade plan.

FAQs

Why is my inverter displaying an error code?

Your solar PV inverter may display an error code for various reasons. Usually error codes indicate a more serious issue , but in some instances can be an indication of an external issue such as grid voltage, and those  issues can disappear again.

Each inverter brand has its set of codes that can help diagnose issues.

For Fronius inverters, common error codes range from grid voltage and frequency disturbances (codes 102 to 560), overcurrent and insulation faults (codes 301 to 502), inverter status notifications (codes 306 to 522), electrical connection issues (code 108), temperature issues (codes 304 to 517), and software issues (codes 431, 482, 743, 745)​​.

SolarEdge inverters communicate issues through a spectrum of error codes. From grid voltage issues (102-560) and errant AC surges (9, 13) to internal software stumbles (4-5, 18-23) and even the critical isolation fault (3501), each code reveals a specific fault in the system.

SMA inverters also have a comprehensive list of error codes that indicate everything from grid faults (codes 101 to 103, 202 to 205, 301 to 302), AC voltage issues (code 302), grid disconnection or frequency changes (codes 401, 404, 501, 601, 701), installation issues (codes 901, 1001, 1101, 1302, 1501), unstable operation or DC input problems (codes 3301 to 3303, 3401 to 3402, 3407), insulation failures (code 3501), overcurrent conditions (codes 3801 to 3802, 3805), start conditions not met (codes 3901 to 3902), self-diagnosis alerts (codes 6002 to 6412, 6501 to 6502, 6509), input defects (codes 6801 to 6802, 6901 to 6902), communication issues (codes 6701 to 6702, 7102 to 7106, 7110 to 7112), and updates or configuration errors (codes 7303 to 7356)​​.

For Sungrow inverters, the error codes are typically numerical and reflect issues like grid voltage and frequency disturbances (codes 002 to 015, 101 to 102), overcurrent faults (codes 006 to 007, 011 to 012, 021 to 022, 100, 202), electrical connection problems (codes 010, 028, 1029, 2084, 106), temperature-related issues (codes 036 to 037, 043, 070), and software compatibility (code 085)​​.

These error codes serve as a troubleshooting starting point. Many issues, such as grid voltage or frequency disturbances and overcurrent faults, can be temporary and may resolve on their own once the grid stabilises or the transient event passes.

However, persistent error codes or those indicating more serious issues like insulation faults, temperature extremes, or software problems may require technical assistance.

If you’re not confident in addressing these issues on your own, or if the error persists, it’s best to contact Eco Ease Electrical for further assistance.

Regular maintenance and monitoring can help catch these issues early, reducing downtime and maintaining the efficiency of your solar PV system.

How do I monitor the performance of my solar system?

Many solar systems come with monitoring systems, but you can also install third-party monitoring solutions, which give deeper system insight.

Monitoring the performance of your solar system is critical for ensuring that it operates efficiently and provides the expected energy savings, and they can be a great tool to help you get the most out of your investment – learning the best times to use energy to maximise savings.

Understanding solar system details

To monitor your solar system effectively, you need to understand the key performance statistics, such as:

  • Energy production – This is the amount of electricity your system generates. It’s typically measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
  • System efficiency – This refers to the ratio of energy output to the solar energy input, indicating how effectively your system converts sunlight into electricity.
  • Performance ratio (PR) – PR is the ratio of the actual to theoretical energy output, adjusted for environmental conditions. It helps identify if the system is performing as expected.
  • Peak sun hours – This measures the intensity of sunlight, which affects your system’s energy production.

Types of monitoring systems

There are various monitoring systems available:

  • Inverter display – Some inverters come with a display that shows real-time data and historical energy production. Others have thisi nformation available via an app.
  • Online and mobile monitoring – Many systems offer online portals or mobile apps where you can check your system’s performance remotely.
  • Third-Party monitoring services – These services like Solar Analytics provide comprehensive monitoring solutions, often with advanced analytics and fault detection. The software will also recommend the  best energy retailer plan for your particular consumption pattern.

Fault detection and troubleshooting

Monitoring systems can also help in detecting faults. A sudden drop in energy production might indicate:

  • Panel obstructions –Leaves, dirt, or snow can obstruct panels. Regular cleaning can help maintain efficiency.
  • Panel damage – Physical damage to the panels, like cracks, can reduce output.
  • Inverter issues – Inverters can fail or operate inefficiently, which is often reflected in the energy production data.
  • Wiring problems – Faulty or aging wiring can lead to reduced performance or safety hazards.
  • Shading Issues – New obstructions, such as growing trees or new constructions, can cause shading and reduce production.

Savings analysis

Monitoring enables you to analyse savings by comparing your energy production to your consumption and electricity bills.

To maximise savings

  • Optimise energy usage – Use more energy during peak production times to reduce the amount of electricity you draw from the grid.
  • Feed-in tariffs – If you have a net metering agreement,  which is standard nowadays, you can get credits for excess energy fed back into the grid, enhancing savings.
  • Tariff tracking – Keep track of changes in electricity tariffs to understand your savings better.

Regular performance reviews

Conduct regular reviews of your system’s performance data to identify trends, such as seasonal variations in energy production. This can also help in planning energy use and assessing whether the system is meeting your savings goals.

Maintenance schedules

Regular maintenance can prevent faults from developing. Monitoring systems can remind you of scheduled maintenance tasks.

Performance indications

If your system  in the past came with a performance estimate from the installer, use your monitoring data to ensure the system meets the promised benchmarks.

System upgrades

Performance data can inform decisions about potential system upgrades, such as adding more panels or incorporating battery storage.

Environmental impact

Monitoring systems often provide data on the environmental impact of your solar system, such as the amount of carbon dioxide emissions avoided, which can be a source of additional satisfaction beyond the financial savings.

Professional audits

If you detect ongoing issues or inefficiencies, a professional audit by Eco Ease Electrical staff can provide a detailed analysis and solutions.

In summary, effective monitoring of your solar system allows you to ensure its optimal performance, detect and troubleshoot faults, and understand the financial and environmental savings you’re achieving.

By paying close attention to the system’s metrics, maintaining regular performance reviews, and being proactive about maintenance and potential upgrades, you can maximise the benefits of your solar & battery investment.

Can I expand my existing solar system with more panels?

Many homeowners of an older and smaller solar PV system are considering expanding their existing systems to maximise energy savings. While this decision can be an excellent step towards energy independence, it’s crucial to approach it with careful consideration and thorough planning,.

In many instances the Australian Standards that governed the installation of the original system have changed.  This means the older solar system, while permitted to run in it’s existing form, would need to be upgraded if major improvements and expansions are planned.

We at Eco Ease Electrical can assist in this matter and we would follow the outlined steps.

Assessing your current system’s capacity

Before embarking on the expansion journey, it’s essential to evaluate the capabilities of your existing solar panel system. The inverter, the heart of the system that converts direct current (DC) from the panels into alternating current (AC) for household use, plays a pivotal role in determining the additional load it can handle.

If your current inverter is nearing its maximum capacity, upgrading to a larger inverter may be necessary to accommodate the new panels seamlessly.

Alternatively, if the change to a different inverter requires more costly changes to the system, for example all wires will need to be put in conduit (as per latest regulations), then it might be better to leave the existing system as is and add a 2nd PV array to the roof.

Roof space and structural integrity – the foundation of your expansion

Your roof, the foundation upon which your solar panels reside, plays a crucial role in determining the feasibility of expansion.

Ensure that your roof has sufficient space to accommodate the additional panels without compromising safety or aesthetics. Additionally, assess the structural integrity of the roof to ensure it can support the weight of the new panels, preventing potential damage or hazards.

Shading and orientation – maximizing solar gains

The efficiency of your solar panels is directly influenced by shading and orientation. Strategically placing the additional panels in areas that receive ample sunlight and are oriented correctly can significantly enhance their energy production.

Avoid locations that are prone to shading from trees, buildings, or other structures, as these can hinder the panels’ ability to capture solar energy effectively.

Local regulations and net metering policies – navigating the regulatory landscape

Before proceeding with the expansion, we will assess the local regulations in regards to solar panel installations. These regulations may impose restrictions on the size or type of system you can install.

Additionally, understand net metering policies, which determine how much excess solar energy you can sell back to the grid. If your energy retailer has a cap on net metering, you may need to adjust your expansion plans accordingly or find ways to use more of the generated solar power on site, by sending it into hot water production or a battery.

Financial considerations and available incentives – balancing costs and savings

Expanding your solar panel system involves an upfront investment, so carefully consider the financial implications.

We can help you research the current market rates for solar panels and installation services. Additionally, explore available incentives, rebates, or tax credits offered by the Federal and NSW & Victorian State Governments. These incentives can significantly offset the initial costs, making the expansion more financially attractive.

System compatibility and warranty implications – ensuring seamless integration

When selecting additional panels, ensure compatibility with your existing system. You cannot mix and match solar panels easily, there are a lot of technical aspects to be considered. New solar panels look different to the older versions, so the aesthetic aspect of the expansion also needs to be checked out.

The voltage and output characteristics of the new panels must match those of your inverter, in case you can reuse it,  to ensure optimal performance and avoid potential malfunctions.

Installation and warranty implications – professional expertise for peace of mind

Expanding a solar panel system requires specialised expertise and adherence to safety standards.

Entrust the installation process to a certified solar installer such as Eco Ease Electrical who possesses the knowledge and experience to ensure the new panels or brand new 2nd system are integrated seamlessly and safely.

Proper installation will not only optimise energy production but also protect your investment and maintain warranty coverage.

Note: In some instances if the system is very small, a full replacement and a new start can be the best solution, as new systems have a higher safety standard when it comes to the equipment and  the installation process. For example modern panels have am uch higher fire rating safety standard, than older ones.

Energy needs assessment – aligning expansion with consumption

Before embarking on the expansion, evaluate whether your energy consumption has increased since the initial installation of your solar panel system. we can help you to determine the number of additional panels required to meet your current and future energy needs. Accurately estimating your energy requirements now and in the future with EVs coming ensures that your expanded system effectively covers your household’s energy demands for years to come.

Future expansion considerations – planning for growth

If you anticipate further increases in your energy needs, when you kids turn into teenagers for example  – consider installing a system with a higher capacity than currently needed. This proactive approach will accommodate future expansion plans without requiring additional PV array upgrades, saving you time and resources in the long run.

Monitoring and maintenance – ensuring optimal performance

Expanding your solar panel system also increases the need for effective monitoring and maintenance. Ensure you have the right monitoring systems in place to track the performance of your expanded solar system. Monitoring will help you to  identifying potential issues promptly and addressing them efficiently.

Regular maintenance, including cleaning panels and inspecting components, will help maintain peak performance and extend the lifespan of your system.

Battery storage options – enhancing energy independence

If you’re considering adding battery storage to your system, expanding your solar panel system may be an ideal opportunity to integrate it.

Batteries can store excess energy generated during peak production periods for use during low production periods or during power outages, further enhancing your energy independence and home’s power supply resilience.

Permit and paperwork – compliance and approvals

At Eco Ease Electrical we have the local expertise to advise you regarding available rebates and information about any permits or paperwork required for the modified system. Obtaining the necessary approvals and knowing the path forward avoids potential delays or issues down the road.

Market research – finding the best deals

Eco Ease Electrical uses a number of suppliers. We regularly conduct thorough market research to find the most competitive deals on solar panels, home storage batteries,  racking and inverter options.

Prices and technologies in the solar industry are constantly evolving, so we may be able to find you more cost-effective or advanced options than when you first installed your system.

Consultation with Eco Ease Electrical staff – expert guidance for a successful expansion

At any stage of the expansion process, consulting with our solar energy professional staff is highly recommended. Our expertise can provide valuable insights into the feasibility of your expansion plans, recommend suitable equipment options, and help you navigate the technical and regulatory aspects effectively.

In summary – a smart move towards a higher energy independence

Expanding your solar panel system can be a smart and rewarding decision that empowers you to generate more of your own electricity, reduces your reliance on the grid, and lowers your power bills.

By carefully considering the factors outlined in this answer you can make an informed decision that aligns with your energy needs, budget, and sustainability goals.

As you embark on this journey, Eco Ease Electrical are here to help, ensuring a smooth and successful expansion process, maximising the benefits of your solar & battery investment.

Why is my solar system not producing power during a sunny day?

A solar system that fails to produce power on a sunny day can be a frustrating experience. While the problem could be due to a variety of factors, and some could be as simple as a tripped circuit breaker , here are some common causes that can be identified and addressed. If there are issues like this ,please contact us here at Eco Ease Electrical for a call out to get you back into renewable power fast.

Technical issues with panels or inverter solution

  1. Faulty wiring: Loose or damaged wiring can disrupt the flow of electricity, preventing the inverter from receiving the power generated by the panels. This can include faulty connection plugs eg MC4s.

  2. Inverter failure: The inverter, which converts DC power from the panels to AC power for home use, may be malfunctioning due to a component failure or firmware issue.

  3. Micro-Inverter issues: If your system uses micro-inverters (on each panel), a faulty unit should not affect the output majorly, as this is one of the advantages of micro inverters, but if there is an issue with more than 1 unit, you do loose power and therefore money.

  4. Panel malfunction: Individual solar panels can also malfunction due to defects or damage, reducing or eliminating their power output.

Environmental factors and debris:

  1. Shading: Even during a sunny day, temporary shading from clouds, trees, or nearby structures can significantly reduce the power output of the PV system.

  2. Dirt and debris: Accumulation of dust, leaves, or bird droppings on the panels can obstruct sunlight, hindering their ability to generate electricity.

  3. Snow cover: While not really an issue in Albury-Wodonga it can be in our outlying communities in colder climates, a thin layer of snow can cover the panels, even on sunny winter days, preventing them from receiving a lot of sunlight.

  4. Temperature effects: Excessive heat can reduce the efficiency of solar panels. Solar panels operate best within a specific temperature range and around 25 degrees Celsius is the best.

System configuration and maintenance issues:

  1. Improper installation: If the system was not installed correctly, with panels not oriented or tilted optimally, it can result in reduced power production.

  2. Maintenance neglect: Lack of regular maintenance can lead to the build-up of issues, such as dirt accumulation lichen growing on panels, or component aging, that cumulatively reduce efficiency.

  3. Aging components: Over time, the efficiency of solar panels and other components can degrade naturally, leading to a decline in power output.

Electrical and grid issues:

  1. Grid outages: Sometimes, the problem isn’t with your solar setup but with the grid itself. In certain grid-tied systems, an outage can trigger an automatic shutdown of the inverter for safety reasons. Then sometimes when the issue is resolved the inverter still does not reconnect automatically and needs a “re-boot”.

  2. System overload: If the system is generating more power than it’s designed to handle, it may shut down to prevent damage to the system or the grid.

  3. Faulty metering: The meter that measures the electricity production might be malfunctioning, giving the impression of no production, even when the system is generating power.

  4. Energy management system problems: Software glitches or communication breakdowns within the energy management system can prevent the system from reporting production data correctly.

Safety features and regulations:

  1. Automatic shutdowns: Modern solar systems are equipped with safety features that may trigger an automatic shutdown in certain conditions, such as ground faults or overheating or elements such as the inverter.

  2. Line work or compliance: Utility companies may temporarily disconnect systems for maintenance or to ensure compliance with new regulations.

Financial and policy constraints:

  1. Net metering limits: In some areas, there might be limits on net metering, where the system stops delivering excess power to the grid once a certain threshold is reached.

Troubleshooting steps we  at Eco Ease Electrical would undertake 

  1. Visual inspection: Check for obvious signs of damage or dirt on the panels, inverter, and wiring.

  2. Inverter display: Review the inverter display for error codes or warning lights that may indicate a specific issue.

  3. Monitoring data: Analyse the system’s monitoring software for production data anomalies that could point to a problem.

  4. Professional evaluation: Undertake a thorough evaluation of the system and identify the root cause of the problem.

Preventive measures:

  1. Regular maintenance: Regular maintenance, including cleaning panels and inspecting components, can prevent many of the issues that can cause power production problems.

  2. Prompt attention: Respond promptly to technical alerts or warning signs to address potential issues before they become more serious and cost you money, as you miss out on power production for al ong period.

  3. Warranty coverage: If your system is relatively new and under warranty, some issues might be covered by the product warranty. 

  4. System upgrade: For older systems, consider an upgrade or replacement of certain components to improve efficiency and reliability.

For any of these issues Eco Ease Electrical are only a phone call away.

What should I do if my solar panels are covered in dirt or bird droppings?

In such an instance  your panels require to be cleaned. Cleaning solar panels can be a dangerous task, as they are often located on relative steep roofs.

Climbing onto the roof and maneuvering around solar panels can pose fall risks and potential electrical hazards. Additionally, improper cleaning methods can damage the panels, reducing their lifespan and efficiency.

At Eco Ease, we understand the importance of safe and effective solar panel cleaning. Our experienced technicians are equipped with the proper tools and expertise to handle the job safely and efficiently. We use specialised cleaning solutions that are gentle on the panels yet effective in removing dirt, grime, and bird droppings without causing damage.

Our solar panel cleaning process

  1. Safety first: Before cleaning, we prioritise safety by ensuring secure access to the panels using sturdy ladders and harness systems. If the panels are out of reach or you feel uncomfortable with heights, our team will gladly take over.

  2. System shutdown: We turn off your solar system to eliminate electrical hazards while cleaning. This involves switching off the inverter and AC/DC isolators.

  3. Dry cleaning first: For loose dirt and dust, we employ a dry cleaning method using a soft brush or a leaf blower to remove debris without water. This approach is quick and allows us to move to step 2 involving water.

  4. Soft cloth and mild detergent: For stubborn grime like bird droppings, we use a soft cloth or sponge dipped in a mild detergent solution and lukewarm water. We avoid abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that could scratch or damage the panels’ protective coatings.

  5. Gentle water rinse: If necessary, we gently rinse the panels with a water hose to remove persistent dirt. We strictly avoid high-pressure washers that could damage the panels cells, causing micro cracks or risking water ingress.

  6. Squeegee drying: After washing, we use a squeegee to remove excess water, preventing mineral deposits and streaks from forming as the panels dry.

After the panel clean we might recommend regular maintenance and protective measures

  1. Regular cleaning schedule: Establish a regular cleaning schedule to prevent dirt and bird droppings from accumulating and affecting panel performance. The frequency depends on your local environment. Seasonal cleaning may suffice in some areas, while others may require more frequent cleaning.

  2. Bird deterrents: Install bird deterrents like spikes or nets to discourage birds from perching on or near the panels, minimising bird droppings. However please consult your solar professional or the panel manufacturer’s warranty conditions before doing so, as you do not want to risk voiding your panel warranty by drilling holes into the frames of your solar panels.

  3. Tree trimming: Trim nearby trees to reduce the amount of leaves and debris falling onto the panels. This will also assist with overshadowing of panels.

  4. Performance monitoring: Keep an eye on your solar system’s output through its monitoring system. A noticeable drop in performance could indicate the need for cleaning, even if the panels don’t appear dirty from ground level.

Professional solar panel cleaning  & maintenance services

If cleaning your solar panels is too challenging, risky, or simply not your preference, consider professional solar panel cleaning and maintenance services like Eco Ease. Our experienced and trained technicians possess the expertise and equipment to safely and effectively clean your panels, check the system for any technical issues ensuring optimal performance and extending its lifespan.

Conclusion

Regular cleaning of your solar panels is a recommended aspect of solar system maintenance, especially in dusty environs.  It ensures that the panels operate at peak efficiency, maximizing energy production and providing a better return on your solar investment. By following these guidelines and considering professional cleaning services, you can maintain the cleanliness and performance of your solar panels, ensuring they continue to provide clean energy for years to come.

Contact Eco Ease today

At Eco Ease, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality solar panel maintenance – which can include panel cleaning. We use safe and effective methods, offer competitive rates, and guarantee your satisfaction. Contact us today to schedule a solar panel health Check & cleaning appointment and experience the difference that professional support can make.