Top 5 Solar Installation Mistakes From Not Reading The Instructions

Installing solar systems is more than just a job; it involves a deep understanding of numerous Australian standards and guidelines. Among these, AS3000 – The Australian Wiring Rules – stands out as the master standard for electrical work. Among a zillion other things, it mandates that all equipment installations adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Despite our best efforts and expertise, it’s easy to overlook some of these manufacturer guidelines given the wide variety of brands and models installed whether they be solar panels, inverters or home batteries.

With that understanding, I’ve compiled a list of the most frequent mistakes I see related to following the instructions. My aim is to shed light on these areas, offering a helping hand to my fellow professionals in their quest for faultless solar installations.

Mistake #1 Panel Clamping Zones

It’s crucial to carefully plan where your solar rails will go so that your solar panel the clamps are in the correct place. See the article : Benefits of Using Solar Power for Factories. Too close to the panel edges or too central and you’re risking the panel’s integrity, your panels might flex too much in the wind, or even worse lift off the roof altogether.

The key is following the manufacturer’s ‘Clamping Zone’ guidelines to the letter to avoid unnecessary damage or a an unscheduled solar disassembly in high winds.

Direct from the Trina installation manual.

Mistake #2 Tile Feet Fixings

When it comes to securing your solar setup on a tiled roof, the instructions will warn you that one screw just doesn’t cut it. Double down with two, ensuring they’re appropriately spaced according to the wind region specifications laid out by the manufacturer. Read also : The REC Group launches a brand new vary of REC Alpha solar modules. It’s not just about passing inspections; it’s about providing stability and peace of mind, ensuring that your installation stays put come rain, wind, or shine.

Mistake #3 Inverter Clearance Zones

Solar inverters work hard and need breathing room. These devices can get as hot as a summer BBQ when they’re converting solar energy into usable power. Make sure there’s enough clearance around them for proper airflow. Pay attention to the specific requirements of different brands and models; it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. And watch out for those eaves – hanging an inverter too high is a recipe for performance hiccups – waste-heat rises.

Clear Fronius Primo installation instructions. Read also : Parts of the Solar Panel that You Need to Know.

Mistake #4 Inverter Mounting

Mounting an inverter isn’t just about slapping it onto a surface and calling it a day. It’s about ensuring it’s attached to the right material, set at the correct angle, and securely fastened with locking screws (or whatever hardware the manufacturer’s instructions insists on). The consequences of cutting corners can be dire – from failed inspections to an inverter crashing down unexpectedly.

The inverter was not fixed to the bracket as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Mistake #5 Inverter Positioning

Direct sunlight is no friend to solar inverters. Even if the instructions don’t outright ban a sunny spot, no manufacturer will send you a thank-you note for cooking their equipment. The efficiency and lifespan of inverters can plummet under the harsh sun so even if the manual doesn’t scream it from the rooftops, consider it a rule of thumb – keep inverters out of direct sunlight.

It doesn’t help when diagrams resemble abstract art more than helpful guides:

From a Growatt installation manual.

What should you do if the manufacturer’s  instructions aren’t clear?

So, what’s an installer to do when faced with an ambiguous or unclear manual? First off, don’t go it alone. Reach out for clarity. A respectable manufacturer should not only have Australian representation but also be accessible and ready to translate tech-speak into human. If you find yourself being ping-ponged to overseas offices, it’s worth asking: is this the right hardware partner for my solar installations?

The best manufacturers understand this; they’re not just shipping boxes and calling it a day. They’re here, boots on the ground, offering training, support, and updating their instructions as products and standards evolve. They invest in the local market, and by extension, local installers.

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