Orphan Solar PV Systems: The Risks of Solar Power

Orphan Solar PV Systems are on the rise worldwide. It was reported that over 600 000 solar PV systems in Australia alone are orphaned!

The owner has purchased a solar PV system which stands proudly on the roof but the company responsible for the installation is no longer in business.
Murray Shaw of InPower Solar explains further, "It is crucial when choosing a solar PV company, that people look at the proposed company's credentials and project history"

What is an Orphan Solar PV System?

Anyone who purchased a solar system from an installation company which is no longer in operation is known as a solar orphan.

Therefore, an Orphan Solar PV System has a solar system but no one to turn to for assistance or support if something goes wrong.
This results in a huge amount of wastage as the owners of the solar system will have to spend thousands of Rands to replace their PV system which in other circumstances would still be in good condition.

Orphan Solar PV Systems

Solar power poses a fire risk if not maintained

Solar panels, like any other electrical equipment, installed in the home, poses fire risks. However, the fire risk of solar panels is much lower than that of other common household items, like a toaster or washing machine. With the increase in the installation of alternative energy solutions due to continual loadshedding, it is important to make sure that your solar PV system is installed by professionals, ensuring they are well maintained, preventing fire risks to your property and your system becoming orphaned.

You could end up in a situation where your solar system needs to be completely replaced after just a couple of years in operation.

What's the problem with “Solar Orphans”?

Orphan Solar PV Systems present a particularly difficult situation for potential solar clients as they effectively carry a huge risk in installing a solar PV solution. With no laws currently in place to protect consumers from their solar company of choice filing for liquidation after installing their brand new PV systems, consumers are left vulnerable to ‘fly-by-night’ solar companies looking for a quick buck.

You could end up in a situation where your solar system needs to be completely replaced after just a couple of years in operation.

How to avoid becoming a Solar Orphan

Always selecting trusted sellers when buying solar is the absolute best way to prevent becoming a solar orphan.

Here are some of his proven tips to make sure your installer is in it for the long haul.

  • Make sure your chosen solar installer is registered with a recognised solar PV association.
    InPower Solar is registered with both the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) and the Green Build Council of South Africa (GBCSA)
  • The solar industry is a very competitive and crowded market, therefore look for companies that have the financial backing of big banks or large corporations that are less likely to liquidate.
    InPower Solar is a proud member of the Faircape Group which has been in the property development business for over 38 years.
  • Always get a second opinion on pricing and requirements. If the price looks a bit too good to be true, it probably is. Solar companies on their last legs will sell panels and install systems as cheap as possible to get rid of their stock before filling for liquidation.

What to do if you have an orphaned system!

Contacting your solar installer should be your first course of action if you experience any system problems, including inefficient solar panels or inverter troubles. Of course, it will be challenging to contact them if they have closed their doors for business.

You can always get in touch with the company that made the item directly, especially if you want to submit a warranty claim. If the equipment itself isn't working, this is your best next option, but it won't be applicable if you have additional problems, such as improper installation.

The manufacturer's information should be listed in the documentation you received when your system was installed. They may be able to assist you if you let them know that your solar retailer has gone out of business or won't answer your inquiries.

The best solution to any problem is prevention, contact InPower Solar today for a solar PV system that won't let you down.

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