Solar panel dealers, installers, inspectors and even buyers are invited to participate in a new national survey on faulty and underperforming solar power systems in Australia. It can be due to insubstantial design or an inferior installation. Survey reports of 2014 highlights module and installation issues whereas an updated report of 2016 specify module, inverter and installation issues in a more or less similar ratio. The new survey is till March 2018. Participating in it would help in the development and installation of an apt PV design that would best suit Australian terrain.
The reasons put forth for poor performance have been manifold ranging from extreme weather condition to insubstantial design, poor components and inferior installation.
Extreme weather cannot be blamed as the systems developed here should withstand it.
What are the most common problems faced by users? How the solar panels work? How often the problem occurs? Whether the problem is specific to any locality? – These are the oft quoted questions that needs to be answered.
This new online survey intends to find an answer for these. Survey is coordinated by Murdoch University, with support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Australian PV Institute (APVI), and with input from the Clean Energy Council ( CEC), UNSW and Ekistica. This survey is till March 2018 and the report will be published in APVI website.
Based on the survey of 2014, glass breakage and back sheet problems were the major module issues and water ingress into component enclosures and inadequate cable protection were the major installation issues.
CEC presented an updated report in 2016, according to which 35% of submissions had module problems, 37% had inverter issue and 31% had installation issues or balance of system issues.
Survey deals mainly with issues related to module, inverter, other equipments, installation and general information.
There is around 1.75 million solar panel installations in Australia. If we get an answer for the issues concerned, we could have effectively chalked out the remedial measures.
With this survey, we will get an updation about the current scenario in this field. It can also help us in the development and installation of a new solar panel technology that would best suit Australian terrain.