Generally, Manufacturers follow these checks to validate the replacement of the solar module.
1. Loading, Unloading and Transportation Conditions –
Solar PV panels are exposed to various risks during their journey. There can be a certain amount of mechanical stress that can affect the module in the transportation process. The reasons can range anywhere from rough handling of the packed modules to vibrations or shocks that occur in the back of a truck, on a rail, or during transshipment on the sea. The most common damages to solar panels are breakages and cracks of the solar cells in the modules. Very often, they are visible directly to the human eye. Micro-cracks, however, are so small they are impossible to see with the naked eye. These micro-cracks negatively affect the panel’s life expectancy and performance in the long term.
Hence an experienced person who is aware of the safe handling of the panels should handle these activities.
2. Design –
Proper grounding can help mitigate static electricity risks.
Grounding is the most fundamental technique for protection against lightning damage. We can’t stop a lightning surge, but we can control risk by giving it a direct path to the ground that bypasses the valuable equipment, and safely discharges the surge into the earth. An electrical path to the ground will constantly discharge static electricity that accumulates in an aboveground structure. Often, this prevents the attraction of lightning in the first place.
Lightning arrestors and surge protectors are designed to protect electronic equipment by absorbing electrical surges. However, these devices are not a substitute for good grounding. Good grounding and lightning arrestors and surge protectors work hand in hand. The grounding system is an important part of your wiring infrastructure. Install it before or while the power wiring is installed. Otherwise, once the system is working, this important component may never get ignored.
3. Installation –
All the installations should be done according to standard procedures to avoid any injury to solar modules.
Solar panel installation should not be done at any unsafe place like overhanging the edge of the rooftop. There should be enough space left for engineers to carry out operations and maintenance-related work. Apart from this, if there is no space between panels, the heavy winds could easily rip them from the roof.
Solar modules are very delicate, so it is significant to keep the balancing factor of the system in mind during solar system installation.
4. Pre-Commissioning testing –
The first of the steps would be to verify the entire installation and ensure that it is complete and matching with the power plant which was initially designed without any deviations. This includes checking for any bends or dents in the structure which may reduce its strength. It also includes checking the module alignment which should look perfect in line with other modules. This would ensure that the installation is robust and aesthetically acceptable.
IEC/IS standards should be followed while performing pre-commissioning testing.
5. Cleaning –
By keeping our solar panels at their best, we can expect that they will perform at their optimum, remain free of any safety hazards, and ensure that they continue to provide energy to our home or business for years to come.
Certain cleaning products can damage the solar panels and should therefore be avoided:
It can leave a white residue that diminishes photovoltaic output.
i. Abrasive sponges
They may scratch the panels.
ii. Very cold water
Using very cold water on a warm panel can result in thermal shock and permanently damage the solar panel.
iii. Very high-pressure water
This can damage the joints in the panel frame. high-pressure cleaners must therefore be avoided.
iv. Solvents and detergents
Such products may damage the surface of the solar collectors.
6. Routine Testing –
If you want to claim a replacement under warranty for underperforming solar panels, then proper justification and data should be there to validate the claim. And hence routine testing should be done to monitor the performance of the solar panels.