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!).

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

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.

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 practise recommendations state that alerts should be acknowledged daily and resolved within 7 days for residential systems or 2 days for commercial systems.

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.

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.

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!

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.

This is a problem for more solar customers than anyone would like. 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.

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.