Most components of a solar power system require little maintenance. Depending on the exact equipment you buy, everything from your panels to your inverter and batteries can run for years without you having to worry about them. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore your equipment completely. Assuming you don’t have microinverters, the following tips will help you to ensure that your solar inverter is working at peak efficiency.
Keep the Air Intake Clean
The air intake helps circulate air through your inverter, which keeps it cool, preventing reduced performance and possible damage to interior components. If the air intake filter gets filled with dust and dirt, your inverter can’t get proper airflow, and it can overheat. Unfortunately, cleaning the air intake filter is not something you can do on your own. You should contact a professional to clean or replace the filter for you if it seems dirty.
Keep It Cool
Cleaning your air intake filter is one part of a bigger issue for your solar inverter—keeping it cool. The interior components of your inverter include many delicate electronic parts, which can easily be damaged if they overheat. While it’s natural for inverters to become hot during regular usage, it’s important to keep them as cool as you possibly can.
There are a few things you can do to help with this. For starters, ensure the inverter is installed in a place with plenty of airflow around it. Don’t pile up boxes or other objects close to the inverter to restrict airflow, and ensure the cooling fan is not blocked. Ensure there are at least 12 inches of clearance all around your inverter. If you block the fan or the airflow, you disrupt its ability to cool down, impacting its efficiency. You should also avoid installing it in direct sunlight, which can contribute to overheating.
Monitor for Error Codes
Most modern inverters include an app for your phone, which will make it easy for you to monitor your system’s efficiency and operation. While you should get a push notification any time there’s something wrong, it’s a good idea to check on it daily to ensure that it continues to work efficiently. Any drops in efficiency without a clear cause could indicate a possible issue with your equipment.
With the above tips, most solar power inverters will continue to function reliably and consistently for many years. If you do encounter any issues or error messages with your inverter or any part of your system, contact a professional to deal with troubleshooting and repairs.