Listen Up: What Could Go Wrong with your Home Solar System?

Just because you have a worry free warranty on your rooftop solar system doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. Murphy’s Law — “anything that can go wrong will go wrong” — still applies. On this week’s Energy Show we will discuss the few real world things that can happen that may affect the performance of your rooftop solar system.

The good news is that as long as your solar panels, inverters and rooftop mounting systems are installed properly there is almost nothing to worry about. Almost all solar panels sold in the U.S. have 25-year warranties, inverters have 12-25-year warranties, and most installers guarantee their workmanship. So besides keeping your panels clean and checking to see that the inverter is operating properly (hint: look for the green LED), you can look forward to 25+ years of clean energy generation.

Nevertheless, I have seen four general types of problems that are not covered by equipment or installer warranties: damage from rooftop pests (squirrels, rats), damage to the glass of the panels (painting, improper cleaning, tree branches), solar panel defects from non-standard or bankrupt solar companies, and overly optimistic savings estimates. For more about the maintenance and operation of your home solar system, Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.

About the Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

solarBarry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image credit: Patrick Breitenbach | Flickr

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As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs -- very affordably. The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20 minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.

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