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11 Common Problems Associated With Solar Panels

11 Common Problems Associated With Solar Panels

By Brian Douglas


For the past two decades, global fuel prices leapfrog every year significantly. With every utility being relied on fuel, the power sector has grown quite expensive, leaving people to think of other resources for their power consumption. Sun has proved to be a more suitable, reliable, and more useful source for this growing concern. Since their invention, solar panels are prevalent among the power generation sectors. Solar panels are a perfect substitute for the traditional power generation industry using crude oil that is getting expensive with every passing day while leaving its mark on the environment.

 Like everything on planet earth, solar panels have their pros and cons. We will discuss each of them individually to give you insight into the problems you will face in your quest to consume clean energy.

1. The Orientation of Panels:

The sun rises from the east and sets in the west. That is a natural phenomenon. For better utilization of your panels, make sure the installation of the installation is southbound. That is our suggestion, and there is a good logical reason for doing so. Most of the world population lives in the northern hemisphere, and we see the sun along the southern part of the sky for a more extended period as we complete our annual orbital cycle. Any other orientation might leave you not getting the best out of your investment.

2. Shading:

I’ll take the liberty of setting off with an example for this one. For instance, it’s a cold winter night, your body is shivering, and you’re trying to get cozy by wrapping yourself with an excellent woolen blanket. The blanket is covering every part of your body, except your feet. The shading effect is the same situation where a part of the panel is not getting direct sunlight due to a nearby object of any sort blocking sun rays to reach that particular part of the solar panel, resulting in the lower than the desired production power. Just like the proverb, “one lousy fish contaminates the whole pond.

3. Corrosion:

Solar panels are innovative electrical components that harness the sun’s energy in the form of sunlight and convert it into electrical energy. If these components get corrosive, these minute components are bound to malfunction. Most of the time, corrosion occurs on the installations exposed to the moisture-containing salt-water that finds its way into the panel. Make sure your panels are not exposed to moisture to avoid such inconvenience.

4. Wiring:

Electrical wiring plays a pivotal role in any solar installation. If not taken care of, it may cost more than just latency in power generation. You must make sure that there aren’t any too tight or too loose cables there. Also, use the line that supports your installation setup and resilient towards physical damage. One other thing that you must avoid is the insertion of multiple cables in a single conductor cable gland. Electrical connections are crucially important, and therefore should properly check the polarity of the links. One should protect the circuits correctly, and lengths of the wiring should keep them to a minimized size. You should also that Electrical codes for the grid into account and make sure nothing goes wrong there. Therefore, you must avoid the mismatches like inverter mismatch and the generation box’s improper fitting to get the setup’s best efficiency.

5. Inverter problems:

In a PV setup, an inverter converts sunlight into AC for its consumption. Their working capacity usually is 10 to 15 years and is mostly placed above the main residential floors. These devices are generally very delicate and fragile and should handle them carefully. While recognizing the inverter, a few things must be kept in mind, which are:

  1. It would make things more comfortable if you did not expose them directly to sunlight.
  2. There must be sufficient air ventilation for the inverter to prevent it from overheating.
  3. It must not be placed too far or distant from the junction box (PV array combiner). Make sure the distance is just appropriate.
  4. And most importantly, you must not put it on or near any combustible material.

6. Birds nesting:

Who doesn’t love birds? These creatures, innocent though, have no idea that their plan of setting a home on your installation isn’t going to work in your favor. Birds nesting on your panels and keep them from working. Consider bird roofing to avoid them tweeting over your investing.

7. Snail trails:

If you ever see irregular brown lines on your panel, that’s snail trails for you. It’s not a snail running a marathon over these solar panels. Snail trail is a kind of contamination that occurs after a few years of installation. It is mostly because of defective silver pasting used in the manufacture of the solar panels. It causes moisture to oxidize encapsulation material and silver pasting—another notable reason for snail trails in the microscopic cracks in the solar panel. Snail trail contamination may reduce the output of the solar panels.

8. Microscopic cracks:

We are now discussing the most critical and common problem related to solar panels. These cracks are not quite visible to the naked eye, but with time and weather conditions, they grow and may compromise the efficiency of the solar panels. These cracks are mostly due to careless handling during shipping and installing the system. Therefore you must hire someone with a soft heart who can take extreme care of your investment from shipping to the facility.

9. Hotspots:

Another common issue with solar panels is that they develop hotspots. These hotspots do not give you free Wi-Fi but will reduce the efficiency of output and the overall life span of the solar panels. This phenomenon occurs when the solar panel gets hot and overloads. There are many reasons behind this. Most notable of them is the accumulation of dirt, and poor soldering of the connections leads to low resistance in that particular part of the solar panel. To avoid this, make sure that you’re buying from a trusted seller whose panels are dirt resistant.

10. Potential Induced Degradation:

PID occurs because of the voltage difference between a solar panel and its earthing, producing a partial voltage discharge by the primary power circuit of the solar panel. Potential induced degradation may cause your system to underperform its possible efficiency and result in a significant downfall in its life span. One can overturn it by acquiring the services of a professional who can guide you through the process or reverse it by himself.

11. Roofing issues:

Although it’s rare still, it’s an issue. Solar panels are quite massive apparatuses and may compromise the structural support of your roofs. It would be best to keep it in check from time to time. If you see anything peculiar in your roofing, consult system installers as soon as possible to let them have an insight on the issue. If forsaken, it might hurt you in the worst possible way.


To sum it all up, PV systems are a blessing of science, yet they are not the perfect invention. They are a great utility and are prone to err like defects during manufacturing and depreciation over time. You have to keep them in check and report any anomaly to concerned individuals when you see them.