SOLAR PANEL FAULTS… Generally, solar panels are durable, that is, it has long life span when properly maintained. But, like any other electrical devices, it can be faulty over time. Fault is unavoidable in electrical devices but what matters is the cause and the process to restore it back to normal.

Since, solar panel is one of the major devices in solar system. You may experience different challenges on the entire system if the panels are faulty. You should keep reading because i will unleash all the reasons why your solar panels are not effective again soon here.

Some of these faults include:

SOLAR PANEL FAULTS | 8 most common solar panel related faults

  • Cell damage
  • Cell degradation
  • Hot-spots
  • Loose Connector
  • Faulty bypass diode
  • Dirty buildup
  • Water ingress
  • Short circuit

Cell damage:

Solar panel is made up of photovoltaic cells connected in series and parallel order to achieve a particular voltage, current and power value. So, any damage that occurs on any of these cells can result to the poor power output you might be facing now. This damage usually occurs when hard object falls on the panel or when it falls from high height that can lead to breakage on the module cell conducting path.

Cell Degradation:

Solar panels lose its effectiveness with time, likewise the solar cells. This kind problem is encountered on solar panels that have operate for 10years and above. After which, the solar cells can no longer produce the amount of power it uses to generate before and this happens as a result of age.

Hot spots: 

This happens when a particular or some cells of the solar panel become too hot than others during operating period. It usually occurs when there is partial shade casting on the side of the panels while other side is open for sun light. Therefore, there will be an unbalance condition on the panels output which will make the panels less effective.

Loose connector:        

Cables or connectors helps in connecting one solar panel terminals to another. These connectors or cables can have a partial contact with the panel terminals. Thus, the panel output power will be unstable or total failure will take place on the system. There are several connectors for better solar panel connection which the modes of connection are explained here. If by any means your solar panel array fails to generate output. Loose connection should part of your fault tracing analysis. Check out how to wire up solar panels here.

Faulty Bypass Diode:

As the name implies, bypass diodes are standard addition to any crystalline PV module. Its function is to eliminate the hot-spot supposed effect which can damage the entire PV cells. However, any fault to the bypass diode can result to total damage on the solar panel cells which I believe you know the implication. When this happens, the affected cells will no longer generate output and the solar panel array power is reduced.

Dirt Buildup:

Dirty buildup occurs when you don’t manage your solar panels properly . The routine solar panel maintenance includes cleaning of the panels whenever there is dust buildup on its surface. This buildup is usually much during winter period. Therefore, to have your solar system working effectively all the time, solar panel professional must clean up dust on your panels at least three times yearly.

Water ingress:

This is all about water entering the internal part of your solar panel due to crack on the surface or the frame is no more firmly attached. The presence of water in the solar panel can cause the cells terminal to corrode. And, this will lead to malfunction on the entire system. So, to avoid this, you should strictly handle it with care during installation and maintenance.

Terminal Short Circuit: SOLAR PANEL FAULTS

The act of allowing the unlike terminals of your solar panel or panel array to come in contact for a long while can destroy your solar panels permanently. Such incidence can go to extent of damaging the bypass diode and I believe you know the implication. So, you should try as much as possible not to bridge the panel unlike terminals for long. The only time one can short circuit panel terminals are while performing a short circuit test on solar panel. And this is never done on a high current panel instead on a single solar panel.


In conclusion, it’s important to have a professional routine inspection and maintenance on your solar panel system to identify and correct any faults on time. It is the duty of solar panel installer to correct some of these faults. Always maintain your panels for optimal performance and longer life span.

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