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Bi Annual PV System Inspection

Sep 28, 2012

As we are now officially in the fall months, it is important to review and inspect your PV system before we head into winter.   Here is a basic overview of what we recommend.

It is important to keep an eye on the system’s components to ensure there is not any one item that can be affecting the system’s performance.   Tools you will need:


1. The correct size of wrenches for the PV array and battery cable hardware

2. A multi-meter that is able to measure voltage and amperage (10A minimum)

3. Screw drivers to remove electrical panels. 

4. Safety glasses

5. Whatever other tools your particular system may require


Now that we have assembled the required tools, now it is time to review the system



1.PV modules.  Ensure the PV modules are in the same structural shape as when new; make sure there are no unusual markings or deformities
(some discolouring / fading may occur due to the constant exposure to the sun)
2.Make sure the PV mounts are attached securely to the mount.  Make sure all the bolts/nuts are on the mount are tight.
3.Make sure all the wiring from the PV modules is still tightly secured. 



1.Ensure all the wires from the PV modules down to the combiner box are tight and secure
2.Remove the faceplate on the combiner box and ensure all the breakers are in the “on” position.  If any breakers are tripped, reset breaker and
turn back on.
3.If any breakers have failed, determine reason for failure and replace breaker
4.Use the Multi-meter to measure the voltage and amperage input to each breaker.  Under the same weather conditions, the input to each breaker
should be consistent with each other.  Major variations need to be noted and investigated. 



1.Ensure all connections are tight
2.Ensure there is nothing stored on the top of the inverter, which may restrict airflow / system cooling
3.If the system is working as required, there are no further items to check



1.Make sure all cable connections are tight.
2.If your system contains standard wet lead acid batteries, ensure the maintenance guide supplied with the system is followed.
3.Perform equalization and specific gravity reading per the Battery Maintenance Schedule (not required if you're utilizing maintenance free AGM)
 By keeping an eye on the system, any potential problems can be caught before they become a major problem.  System performance can
 be affected by loose wires or tripped / failed breakers.  By performing a bi-annual inspection, these issues can be found and corrected.  


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