Updating solar system?

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Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
Well, that was not encouraging. I didn't see a major difference when running just one channel at a time.


Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
Northern NH


Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2018
Belpre oh
You any good at polishing headlights with a buffer? A less drastic first option might be to hit the panels with a clay bar first.
no idea if it would help or not but it’s a cheap fix if it helps...might practice on the one that’s delaminating first in case it scratches it all up!


Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
SW Virginia
If you have visual access to the microinverters, the Enphase's have a LED that blinks but its not particularly bright. Not an option on roof mounts but adequate for a pole mount or my wall mount. A ammeter and a Current Transformer is cheap to install on one of the leads prior to entering the main panel for continuous monitoring or overall output. There are various home energy monitors that can easily be be expanded to include the PV output.
Our microinverters are accessible so I can easily see if their indicator lights show that they're working or not.
I found a relatively inexpensive volt/current/power meter that I installed alongside the breakers.


Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
SW Virginia
I'm somewhat surprised to see that our system output has dropped off quite a bit from the max observed (8 to 6.5 kW). I'm going to keep an eye on it but am wondering if the season and/or dirty panels are the cause. Our system is angled at our latitude so our current angle of incidence is not ideal but I would not have expected this much drop-off in the summer. Of course, temps are higher and there's less precipitation (so the panels are dirtier), I'm pretty sure our system output was actually higher than this around the time of the winter solstice.

Side note: This applies only to the 30 panels we have on a string inverter. Another 6 panels operate independently with microinverters.

Edit: our panels are ground-mounted so I've been thinking I'll wait until the next good rainstorm and try and clean the panels with a cloth squeegee on an extension pole - we'll see.
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