STUTTGART: Fitting a solar power system to provide electricity and hot water for your home can bring tidy savings, but how can you be sure that the system is producing as much energy as possible?
Snow, ice, and hail can all leave damage in their wake as can leaves and bird droppings. All of these can noticeably reduce the yield of photovoltaic or solar thermal systems.
So it makes sense to do regular visual checks on your roof. Experts advise looking for external damage at least once a year. You should also check the solar power storage units in the house.
Even if you see nothing untoward on the roof it's worth taking pictures of the system and then enlarging them on the screen for a closer look.
Another way to troubleshoot is to check out the evaluation data of the solar power system and the battery storage units, which can be accessed via a digital platform or app in most cases.
If the current yield values are significantly down year-on-year, this could be an indication of a malfunction.
In the case of solar thermal systems, the values can be compared using the heat meter's data.
Or you can rely on your own senses: On sunny days, the warm pipe of the solar thermal system should feel warmer than the cold one and the pump should whirr quietly. Modern pumps also indicate their operating status and power input.
If you do notice damage to your solar system or it needs a thorough cleaning you should call a professional. Climbing on the roof yourself is dangerous and the systems can't really be repaired by a layperson. – dpa