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FAQ

Our FAQ knowledge base helps you answer many common questions related to your Autarco system. Is your answer still not resolved after reading the FAQ's? In this case please contact your installer. If you’re an Autarco Authorized Dealer and looking for support, please login to Helios and visit the dealer support website.

Are you looking for downloads? You can find our downloads page via the button below

kWh guarantee

How is my kWh guarantee secured?

  1. Our standard kWh Guarantee is issued by Autarco and insured on a portfolio level. Our premium kWh guarantee is issued by an independent foundation; the “kWh guarantee Fund” and insured individually.
  2. For the premium kWh guarantee the Fund then holds an insurance policy from a syndicate of Lloyd’s of London that covers every kWh guaranteed and an additional cash reserve.
  3. The independent directors of the kWh Guarantee Fund ensure that the total risk of all outstanding kWh guarantees is sufficiently covered.
  4. If Autarco’s operating entities were to go bankrupt, the Fund, underlying insurance and your kWh Guarantee would be unaffected.

How is the kWh guarantee different from a linear module output warranty?

You can think of it like a marathon runner.

  • A module component guarantee promises the runner will run at certain speeds for the race if he is running on a treadmill in controlled laboratory conditions.
  • The Autarco kWh guarantee promises the runner will finish the exact race you want him to run, in a certain period of time, regardless of the weather.

A module performance guarantee promises the solar modules will performance at a % of their laboratory tested output after certain periods of time if you test them under the same laboratory conditions.

The Autarco kWh guarantee promises a minimum value of solar energy produced (kWh) over a fixed time period. The value of kWh guaranteed is tailored to your exact system details and is measured using standard solar monitoring.

Monitoring connection

How do I log on to My.Autarco?

You have received an email after your retailer registered your Autarco system. If you have forgotten your password you can request a new one here.

Request a new password here

What information can I find on My.Autarco?

On My.Autarco all relevant information regarding your PV system is made visibile. You will find the actual power of your system and the status of the inverters, but also the total yield per day, per month and since the installation of the system. If there is a kWh guarantee in place, your certificate(s) can be found here as well. Consumption Monitoring may also be available if this has been installed on your system.

Can I see my monitoring on my mobile phone?

Yes, Autarco works with its portal My.Autarco, which is accessible from all devices.
 

Go to My.Autarco

Is it possible to obtain monitoring data for individual solar panels?

Most Autarco systems make use of string inverters which are the most cost effective and reliable technology for power conversion. String inverters do not monitor at individual solar panel level.

Can I add monitoring to my Autarco PV system after installing?

If there has no monitoring hardware been installed initially, it is possible to add this anytime. Contact your installer or support@autaro.com for further assistance

Send our support team an email

I am moving, can the monitoring of my Autarco PV system be transferred to the new resident?

If there has no monitoring hardware been installed initially, it is possible to add this anytime. Contact your installer or supportl@autaro.com for further assistance.

Send our support team an email

I don’t see any yield on My.Autarco, what’s wrong?

There are several possibilities that may cause no yield to be shown on My.Autarco.
First, check whether the inverter is working properly. In normal daylight conditions the display should read “GENERATING” and both the red and the green LED above the display should be on. If this is not the case, there might be something wrong in the inverter. Please refer to inverter troubleshooting for further instructions.


If the inverter is generating properly, there is most probably a monitoring issue. First you should make sure your installer has registered your system correctly. My.Autarco will give an error message if this is not the case. If the registration is correct and/or My.Autarco has been showing data in the past but stopped doing so, please follow the next steps below.
WiFi – Do you have a new internet provider and/or router? If so, the monitoring should be reconnected, follow the WiFi installation manual to do so. If this is not the case, your WiFi signal may be to weak for the WiFi-stick to establish a stable connection. Your installer can help you solve this problem, it might be necessary to install a WiFi range extender.
LAN – Check whether the cable is connected properly, both in the monitoring stick and the router. If this is the case but there is still no data shown on My.Autarco, contact your installer for further assistance.
GPRS – The SIM card may have stopped sending data or the GPRS-stick is out of range. Contact your installer for further assistance.
 

How do I get my monitoring back online after my internet provider or router has changed?

If your system has WiFi-monitoring, it has to be reconnected, similar to other devices on the network. The WiFi installation manual will guide you through the process. Contact your installer for further assistance when necessary. For other types of monitoring, this should not cause any problems. Contact support@autarco.com if it does.

View the WiFi stick D manual

I see days without any yield on My.Autarco, how does this happen?

Most likely there hasn’t been a stable monitoring connection in these days. When the monitoring is back online, the first message will hold the total yield of the previous days without monitoring, resulting in a high yield for that specific day.

Why do I see negative values in the yield graphs on My.Autarco?

After an inverter has been replaced, your installer has to register the new inverter with Autarco. If this has not been done properly, yields shown in My.Autarco may be incorrect. Please contact your installer to register the replaced inverter.

My monitoring stick will be replaced, will I lose the data which has been gathered so far?

No, when the installer registers the monitoring stick with Autarco, the existing data will be kept and visible on My.Autarco.

Choosing a solar brand

Why should I ask these questions?

We recommend potential system owners ask their EPC/installer these 10 key questions designed to make sure your solar PV system gives you the security and peace of mind you deserve.
These questions go beyond the questions that those pushing risky component based solutions want you to ask, but attempt to keep it simple so you don't need  to understand all the technical details and specifications of your solar system (unless you want to!).
 

Do you offer a minimum 2 year installation warranty that covers costs in the event of problems caused by installation?

The best installers will warrant their work against any problems caused by poor installation.

How do I see the performance of my system? Not just Power produced, but performance compared to expectation based on actual weather conditions.

Month to month weather conditions can easily impact performance by up to 30%. Every system has it's own unique environment under which performance needs to be measured.

How do you know if my system has a problem how quickly will you react?

These days most inverters have in-built alerting to inform when something goes wrong. The bigger question is who is paying attention to these and what is the agreement for how quickly they are resolved.
Solar Power Europe best practice recommendations state that alerts should be acknowledged daily and resolved within 7 days for residential systems or 2 days for commercial systems.
 

How do you know if my monitoring or inverter fails and inverter alerts are not received?

Inverter alerts are great, but they are only sent and received if;
a) the inverter is not completely broken and capable of powering up to send messages.
b) the monitoring connection is stable.
Smart Asset Management can't just rely on receiving alarms, but needs to make sure that the monitoring data is being received when expected.
 

How do you know if the system is producing without any errors, but performance is lower than expected? How often will you check?

Solar panel soiling, such as bird droppings, and shade can have a large impact on your systems performance. These types of events will not trigger any system error alarms, but you will be missing out on lost performance.
Smart Asset Management is required to compare the expected performance based on your system design and real weather conditions to the actual performance of your system. This is called the Energy Performance Index (EPI) and should always be greater than 100%.
We recommend EPI is checked on a monthly basis.
 

How do I know when my system needs to be cleaned or if trees needs cutting? Is this cost included in the maintenance contract?

A good installer will provide you with a maintenance plan or introduce you to a third party maintenance provider up front.  It should be very clear what costs are included in the maintenance contract you sign.
We recommend that module cleaning is planned to occur once a year, but the final decision should be determined by the performance of the system. If the EPI is >100%, then likely no need to clean the system!
 

Will I get compensated if my system produces less KWh than you have promised?

It's very easy to make a promise. What happens if that promise is not kept?
With Autarco's kWh Guarantee the promise and consequences are very clear. If your system does not produce what is expected then you will receive monetary compensation at an agreed rate per kWh. Please read the full terms and conditions for full details.
 

What happens if you (my installer) goes bankrupt?

If this happens, it often means that you would be on your own and any performance guarantee offered to you by the installer is useless.
With Autarco, you are in a much better situation, although still a sad one for everyone. Your kWh Guarantee does not rely on the installer who performed your original installation, it is an agreement between you, the beneficiary and the kWh Guarantee foundation. If your installer is no longer available, you can contact Autarco and we will put you in touch with another nearby installer who can help you fulfill your obligations.
 

How are the warranties you offer impacted by product brand bankruptcy?

It's a rapidly growing and changing industry and many manufacturer's suffer along the way.
Autarco offers one of the most secure proposition for installers and owners to help deal with this. If Autarco was to go bankrupt, the kWh Guarantee foundation would manage warranty replacements with the contract manufacturer of Autarco's product.
In the worst case scenario, the performance loss that your system experiences would be eligible for a payout under the insured kWh Guarantee which is unaffected by Autarco bankruptcy.
 

General questions

Where do I see the data for my Autarco PV system?

MyAutarco, a dedicated portal for checking on your saving, is available for the owners of Autarco PV systems.

Go to myAutarco

My system does not seem to be generating, what's wrong?

There are several possibilities that may cause no yield to be shown on MyAutarco.
First, check whether the inverter is working properly. In normal daylight conditions the display should read “GENERATING” and both the red and the green LED should be on. If this is not the case, there might be something wrong in the inverter. Please refer to inverter troubleshooting for further instructions.
 

What if the yield of my system doesn't meet my expectations?

The yield of your Autarco PV system differs from day to day. In the summertime yield will be much higher than in the winter, the total amount of solar irradiation differs from year to year. Yield may also be lower than expected because of shade or pollution on the panels. If you have a kWh guarantee for your PV system, Autarco will monitor the yield and the inverters status closely, in order to prevent losses.

Do I get notified when there is a problem with my Autarco PV system?

Autarco monitors all installed and registered PV systems. When an error occurs, Autarco will inform your installer who will take further action.

What products does Autarco have on offer?

Autarco offers all materials necessary for installing the complete DC-side of a PV system. Our portfolio holds different types of panels, inverters, monitoring hardware and mounting solutions for different types of roofs. Refer to our product page or an Autarco dealer for more information.

Go to our product page

Where do I find an Autarco dealer?

Please contact our support team and send us your address details. We will put you in touch with an Authorized Autarco dealer in your area.

What is the most efficient Autarco PV system for my situation?

This depends on a number of variables. Most important is the pitch and azimuth of the panels, together with possible shading caused by obstacles. Our dealers can make a custom quote for you.

Request a quote

What types of monitoring does Autarco offer?

Every Autarco inverter has a connection for our 3 types of monitoring hardware:
WiFi-stick: uses the local WiFi-network
LAN-stick: connected to the router by means of a LAN-cable
GPRS-stick: works with a SIM-card, ideal for situations where there is no (stable) internet connection available
 

See all our monitoring sticks here

Design software

Can I get access to the Autarco design software?

The use of this software suite is restricted to Autarco dealers. Contact sales@autarco.com to request your login.
 

Leave your contact details here

How does the Autarco software compare to other solar design software?

The Autarco software is a unique, in-house developed suite, covering all steps in the process of installing and monitoring a PV system. It is fully integrated with the kWh guarantee.

Read more

Smart Asset Management

What is a performance ratio (PR)?

A Performance Ratio (PR) is a relative indicator of total system losses which is based on the sunlight (insolation) that reaches your system over a period of time. The higher the PR, the more energy efficient your system is, but it can never be 100% due to things like thermal losses, inverter efficiency and resistive cable losses.

Autarco’s calculations of PR take in to account various factors so that we expect your system to have a fairly constant PR over it’s entire lifetime.

  • The measured insolation and temperature on your roof. Typically based on satellite data for small systems.
  • The direction and tilt of your solar panels to convert the horizontal satellite measurements to a “plane-of-array” measurement which is the sunlight directly hitting the face of your solar panels.
  • The shade of your system at every month/hour of the day.
  • The age of your system (module degradation)
  • The exact components used in your system and how they were installed (system stringing).

If your PR drops it indicates module soiling, new shade (tree growth) or perhaps some product defect.

The major differences in expected PR’s for different systems comes down to the system size and temperature losses.

What is an Energy performance index (EPI)?

Based on everything we know about your system we know what is should produce every 15 minutes. The Energy Performance Index (EPI) is the actual output divided by our expected output. If the EPI > 100% then happy days. If the EPI is less than 100% for a long enough period for us to be certain that something isn’t right, then alerts will automatically be raised.

What is an Power performance index (PPI)?

Power Performance Index (PPI) considers how much energy is produced for every kWp of solar panels installed. It does not require an advanced yield model to calculate, but is simply output (kWh) / Rated Power (kWp).
For example, a system with lots of shade or installed in the north of Scotland will have a much lower PPI (~800kWh/kWp) than a completely shade free system or a system installed in sunny Australia (~1500kWh/kWp)
This is different to PR and EPI that look at how your system is performing relative to what is expected from it.
 

Solar panels

Do my solar panels need to be cleaned?

Autarco solar modules are equipped with a self-cleaning coating, helping to keep the modules clean. Cleaning the modules every year is advised however, to make sure you will get the maximum yield from your Autarco PV system.

How do I clean my solar panels?

Use clean water only, without detergents. Your installer might offer cleaning in a maintenance contract, to make sure you get the best results.

Do items like leaves or bird droppings influence the yield of my Autarco PV system

Yes, they do. Local pollution will cause a direct loss in yield for solar modules and may eventually be harmful for your module. It is important to check your modules regularly and remove the pollution when necessary.

With our Smart Asset Management, you will be noticed when cleaning is necessary in order to meet the kWh guarantee conditions.

Hybrid inverters

What is the difference between a hybrid inverter and on-grid inverter

Hybrid inverters can be connected to a battery, whilst on-grid inverters cannot. This means that you can store energy with a hybrid inverter and a battery.

What is the difference between a hybrid inverter and a retrofit battery charger?

A hybrid inverter is connected to the DC side whilst a retrofit battery charger is connected to the AC side.

Which batteries are compatible with your battery inverters?

You can find a full list of compatible batteries below.

View all compatible batteries

Inverters

How does my inverter work?

Your inverter will switch on and off automatically, depending on daylight conditions. In normal operation, both the red and the green LED above the display are turned on, the display shows alternating the current power and the word “GENERATING”.

How do I check whether my inverter is working properly?

In normal operation when there is sufficient daylight, both the red and the green LED above the display are turned on and the display shows alternating the current power and the word “GENERATING”. If this is not the case, follow the steps below:

1: Check for error messages. If there is an orange LED blinking on the front of the inverter, the inverter gives an error message. Contact your installer immediately.

2: If there is no error message, check whether all switches are on. If all switches are on and your inverter is still not generating, contact your installer immediately.

  • DC-switches: either integrated on the bottom of the inverter, or mounted right next to it.
  • AC-switch: installed next to the inverter, on the cable that connects the inverter to the meter board.
  • Circuit breaker: installed on the meter board.

If your inverter is generating properly, but you don’t see any data in MyAutarco, there is most probably a problem in the monitoring. You can find more details on the monitoring page.

What is the ticking noise coming from my inverter?

Your inverter needs a minimum amount of solar irradiation in order to be able to start up and function properly. When the sun rises in the morning, the inverter will make several attempts to start itself up, the ticking noise you hear is the inverter switching on and off. After a while it will start up and the noise stops. This will occur daily, the length of this procedure can differ depending on daylight conditions. On very cloudy days with low irradiation or when the modules are covered in snow, you may here this sound during the day as well.

Why is my inverter turned off at night

When solar irradiation is insufficient, the inverter will switch off automatically. When on the next morning the irradation meets the minimum requirements for the inverter, it will start up again.

What does it mean when the red LED is on, and the green one is flashing?

This indicates that the inverter is initializing. This may take some time depending on daylight conditions, but the inverter should turn to normal operation automatically.

What does the blinking orange LED mean?

This indicates a fault in the inverter. Please contact your installer for assistance and provide the inverter serial number and the error code shown on the display.

What does it mean when only the red LED is on, but the green one is not?

The PV modules are providing power to the inverter, but the inverter can not feed to power into the grid. Please check whether both the AC-switch next to the inverter and the circuit breaker in your meter cupboard are switched on. If that is the case, contact your installer for further assistance.

Why did the circuit breaker switch off automatically?

This might occur occasionally during a thunderstorm. Switch the circuit breaker back on and check if it stays on. If not, contact your installer for further assistance.

Where do I find my inverter serial number?

There is a sticker on the side of the inverter housing, containing all product details including the serial number.

My inverter will be replaced, will I lose the data gathered so far?

No, when the installer registers the new inverter with Autarco, the existing data for your PV system so far will be kept and visible on MyAutarco. If the inverter replacement procedure has been executed correctly, MyAutarco should show the usual values.

Mounting systems

For a flat roof, Autarco offers a universal systems facing south and a symmetrical system, what is the difference?

When the modules are installed in rows facing south, there needs to be a distance between these rows to prevent the modules causing shadow on each other. In a symmetrical system this is not the case, so more modules can be installed within the same area. In a symmetrical system the yield per module is a little less, but the total yield from the area is higher.

Are all roofs suitable for the installation of modules?

Autarco offers different mounting solutions for pitched roofs, depending on the roofing material. The yield of a PV system depends on the pitch and the azimuth of the modules, where the ideal situation is a south facing roof with a pitch of 25-35°.

Flat roof systems are provided with ballast tiles to make sure the modules will stay in place. You should check the load bearing capacity of your roof to make sure it will hold the system, which can be anything between 15 and 25 kg/m². It is advisable to contact your roofing installer as well, to confirm the roofing material is suitable.

Obstacles on the roof and next to the building may cause shadows on the modules for certain parts of the day. This has a negative affect the yield of the total system, so this has to be taken into account on designing a PV system.

My roof has a drainage incident, would the affect the installation of solar modules?

Up to a gradient of 3° this will cause no problem. For steeper gradients, special precautions may be necessary. Your dealer can inform you on this.