Most common breakdowns for solar power

Technicians working on solar panel breakdown
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Solar panels can be one of the best investments if you plan on adapting to sustainable energy resources. For the most part, they are low maintenance but are not totally immune to problems. One faulty panel can cause a 20% loss in energy production since it affects an entire string of panels. 

No system is foolproof so here are some of the most common reasons for the breakdown of solar power:

  • Hot spots
  • Birds
  • Loose wiring
  • System overheating
  • Dirty or damaged system
  • Microcracks
  • PID effect

Common Issues for Breakdown of Solar Power

Let’s discuss each of these issues which can cause solar power breakdowns.

Hot spots

Hotspots are specific regions on the panels that become hot due to overloading. It may be due to: 

  • Badly-soldered connections
  • Structural defects 
  • Accumulated dirt
  • Partial shading

They can lead to short circuits and degradation of performance. 

At times, it can also mask a more significant underlying problem, so involving a professional is always a good idea.

Birds causing solar power breakdowns

Birds pose a significant problem to solar panels due to their propensity for nesting under them – specifically in areas where they might otherwise be covered by paneling or other items of importance. 

Their weight combined with their regular need to nest means that they have the potential to do far more damage than any other animal or object beneath the panel could ever hope for.

Not only will their droppings coat the surface area but their incessant clawing at both surfaces will result in eventual cracks which could lead to short circuits and power loss over time if left unchecked.

Birds find the panels a suitable place for their nest as they provide warmth and shelter from the predators. 

Not only do they create a problem for the system but also can damage the roof as well. 

To fix this, install mesh, wires or spikes around the edges to prevent the birds from nesting underneath. 

Bird droppings also need to be cleaned periodically, as they can damage the panels. 

Loose wiring

A common issue you can often see with solar panels is loose wiring. 

Loose connections don’t just interfere with electricity production but also cause oxidation and corrosion. 

Unless you are a licensed electrician, you should not attempt to deal with this yourself. Always  contact a professional to investigate the issue. 

Unless you are a licensed electrician, you should not attempt to deal with this yourself. Always  contact a professional to investigate the issue. 

Loose wiring

System overheating

Your system can overheat significantly when the temperature exceeds the 40 degrees celcius.

One way to identify an overheated system is to check for heat fades. 

While overheating is not necessarily a big problem, heat fade, on the other hand, is something that needs professional attention. 

When heat fades affect certain parts of the solar panels, they can deteriorate faster than the surrounding panels. 

Dirty solar panels

The most common reason for the breakdown of solar power is a dirty system. 

Something as simple as dirt can reduce panel efficiency very rapidly. 

From dust, dirt, leaves and other debris, there are quite a few natural elements that reduce the system from producing maximum power. 

Make sure you clean the panels regularly or hire a crew to clean the panels for you. 


Microcracks are near-invisible cracks in the solar panels. 

While they are almost invisible to the eye, they can become more pronounced later on. They can also appear due to rain, snow or wind. 

PID effect

Sometimes there can be a voltage difference between the panel and the earth, which can cause PID (Potential Induced Degradation). 

This voltage difference can affect the performance of the panels and decrease the lifespan. 


Though solar panels last for a long time, they also face numerous issues which affect performance and energy production. 

Apart from the problems discussed above, you can also face issues from snail trails, corrosion, and delamination which can also reduce performance. 

Any problems with the solar panels should be handled by professionals who can investigate the issues and provide you with a plan to restore optimal performance.

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