Solar Panel Maintenance: Everything You Need To Know
Owning a solar panel system is a great investment and a great source of renewable energy with great benefits in the future. Maintenance of solar panels is necessary to ensure long-term benefits. But how do you maintain them? Read on for answers to the common solar panel maintenance questions.
Why do Solar Panels need maintenance?
Generally, solar panels do not require high maintenance to function properly. The only thing they require is a simple and gentle cleaning regularly to ensure that dirt, leaves, and other debris do not cause any hindrance to direct sunlight. Only during seasons of heavy snowfall or if your panels’ energy output begins to decline, will you require more thorough maintenance. Let’s look at how to ensure that your solar panels last as long as possible.
How do you maintain Solar Panels?
If your panels are tilted, then accumulated leaves or debris over the panels, generally get washed off with rain and wind. However, during the dry and humid season, the chances of this happening are very less and it becomes necessary to clean them manually. Cleaning your solar panels between two and four times a year is generally suggested. The good news is that it won’t take much effort. You can use a leaf blower or a brief spray with a garden hose, to clean your solar panels and maintain them.
After heavy snowfall in winter, you may need to clean your panels. If you’re clearing snow with water, make sure it’s lukewarm. You can also use a long-handled squeegee. Just keep this in mind, never use hot water while cleaning the panels as the panels are made from tempered glasses, and an instant temperature exposure can cause the glasses to break. Therefore, either use normal or lukewarm water.
Cleaning Tips for Solar Panel Cleaning
- Solar panel cleaning kits come in very handy for cleaning solar panels. It has a biodegradable soap, a wiper, and a small brush or brush with a longer handle. Using instructions are provided on the bottle, follow those instructions and gently remove any grim or dirt accumulated over the panels. Clean solar panels when they are damp so that any dirt or debris that has adhered to them can be readily wiped away.
- If you clean your solar panels with an abrasive sponge or soap, you risk scratching the glass. Solar panels should be cleaned with a soft rag or biodegradable soap.
- Don’t use harsh materials or chemicals on the glass, as they can cause damage to the solar panel system and its repair and maintenance come very expensively.
- Use long-handled wipers to clean solar panels, for safety purposes.
- Call for solar panel maintenance.
Tips for Maintenance of Solar Panels
- Keep solar panels out of the shade because they produce less energy when they aren’t exposed to any sunlight. It is technically unsound to keep solar panels in shade, as the more they absorb sunlight, the larger amount of energy they’ll produce.
- Always keep a check on solar panels and make sure the inverters indicate green light. If not, then the solar panel system is not functioning properly. In such a case, you’re probably losing your money, as the system is not compensating for the electricity use.
- To optimize solar panel maintenance, keep track of daily performance. It’s critical to record how much energy was produced at a constant time each day. Pay very specific attention to seasonal periods, like when the weather is cloudy or when it’s too sunny.
- Your solar panel manufacturer should be able to supply you with the best monitoring system. Use it daily to keep track of energy production each day.
- If you don’t have time to clean your solar panels, you can install sprinkler-like automated cleaners or make appointments with solar panel cleaning firms.
- Solar panels may not require maintenance because they do not have any moving parts that could rust or break down.
How to repair or replace solar panels
It’s better to hire a professional, to repair or replace your solar panels. If it’s losing efficiency and still falls under the warranty period, call for your vendor and get it either repaired or replaced. They’ll dispatch someone to inspect the situation and, depending on the severity of the damage, they’ll either repair or replace the panels. Physical damage to your panels is usually covered by a separate equipment warranty or under an insurance policy. Find out the claim process, and file a claim at the earliest.
In any case, unless you’re familiar with solar panels systems, don’t try to install or repair solar panels yourself.
Difference between ground panels and roof panels in terms of maintenance?
The only major difference between ground-mounted and roof-mounted solar systems in terms of maintenance is that ground panels are easier to access and clean. You can simply sweep away any accumulation of snow or other debris with a broom if you see it.
While this is not the case for roof-mounted solar panels. They are difficult to clean and it is considered better if an expert is called for the purpose.
Overall, maintaining solar panels is pretty easy. Just make sure you acquire a decent warranty and insurance, and that you can keep your panels clean and free of debris. Also, call the company to send an expert to get the solar panel system thoroughly checked. Just follow this simple guide, and your panels should continue to work efficiently and give the best output. Do your part and allow the solar panels to bring you clean, renewable solar power for years to come.