Do you use solar panels to generate electricity for your home or office? If yes, we have an ultimate guide on solar panel maintenance, specially curated for you!
We agree that solar panels have emerged as an excellent alternative energy source to non-renewable sources. They can easily provide affordable and sustainable energy for around 25 years.
However, maintaining the solar panels and other components of the solar energy system is crucial to enhance the durability of the entire system.
Solar panel maintenance is not very demanding or complex. Unlike many other pieces of equipment, solar panels require minimal maintenance for smooth working.
Let us understand the crucial aspects of Solar panel maintenance.
Solar Panel Maintenance At a Glance
There are numerous advantages to using solar panels. This is why solar panels are becoming a norm rather than an alternative source of power generation.
But, how do you maintain them? Is it similar to cleaning a car? Confusing, right? Let us help you understand this!
To ensure optimum performance and durability, solar panels should be routinely inspected.
The type of installation, system configuration, and location of the domestic or commercial solar power system in use: these are among the few factors that determine how frequently and thoroughly solar arrays and solar panels need to be cleaned, and how.
Solar Panel Maintenance – A Complete Know-How
Solar panels don’t need much upkeep, especially if installed in a tilted position. Why? Well, the rain will remove most of the debris accumulation itself.
But, how would you know when to clean your solar panels? Let’s help you with the answers.
- – You can monitor the amount of energy your panels produce by using a monitoring app.
- – A decrease in the energy production or efficiency of the solar panels indicates that the panels require a professional clean-up.
Here are some important facts that you must know about solar panels before carrying out a cleaning or maintenance procedure.
- – Solar panels simply require a light cleaning to ensure that leaves, dirt, and other debris aren’t blocking the sun’s rays.
- – A leaf blower or quick rinse with a water hose are some good remedies for removing dust accumulation caused by bird droppings, trees, and other sources.
- – The good news is that, according to the Department of Energy, solar panels can deal with hail pretty well. They can even withstand hurricanes.
- – Ironically, heat affects these panels the most. Approximately 1 percent per degree of temperature above 77°F (or 25°C) results in a loss of efficiency for solar panels. Elevating them a few inches above the floor or roof will allow air to circulate. This will help them stay cool and continue to produce energy efficiently.
- – For your panels to operate at their best, it’s essential to keep them free of snow or debris. Use lukewarm water and spray your panels to remove a thick layer of snow.
- – Keep solar panels out of the shade. You must already know that when solar panels can’t absorb sunlight, they produce energy inefficiently. So, don’t put them in the shade (like you do for your car!)
- – Another gold tip is that it is crucial to record the amount of power generated at a regular time each day and to note the days when it is very cloudy.
- – Ensure that the inverters are flashing green lights. It means they are working properly. If that is not the case, it might be an indication of failure.
Point of Caution!
Never use hot water on solar panels. The extreme temperature difference between the hot water and the cold panels can crack the surface.
Quick Tips For Ensuring The Cleaning Of Your Solar Panels
So, how should you clean a solar panel? Using a brush or cloth? Here are a few go-to tips for proper cleaning of your solar panels:
- – For cleaning solar panels, cleaning kits can be very useful. They might contain a biodegradable soap, a wiper, and a small brush with long handles. Start cleaning by gently wiping the solar panels after dipping the brush in the bucket of soap with water.
- – Never clean solar panels with an abrasive sponge or a chemically-loaded soap. It will most definitely damage the surface of the panels.
- – For solar panel maintenance, you can install automatic cleaners that function like sprinkler systems.
However, the best and unbeatable way of cleaning solar panels is by seeking the help of your installation company.
Professionals have a special brush and all the right tools to clean your panels without causing a single scratch.
Mechanical and preventive maintenance are also necessary services.
How Often Does Your Solar Panel Requires Maintenance?
How often should you clean your solar panels? Monthly, quarterly, or yearly?
For complete solar panel maintenance, experts recommend the following frequency of cleaning:
- – You should carry out an annual inspection. Your installation company will most likely offer this service.
- – If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, your solar panels need a thorough professional checkup at least twice a year.
- – For basic cleaning yourself, you can gently clean the solar panels with water every 15 days. Be careful to not scratch the surface.
Given the need for switching to renewable energy sources and the many advantages they offer, solar panels are a popular energy choice now. And their popularity is only going to rise in the near future.
Following a proper guide for solar panel maintenance will increase the life of your solar system beyond 25 years as well.
Q. Should solar panel maintenance and repair be carried out by a professional?
Yes, it is best for qualified installers or service technicians to handle maintenance and repair tasks on solar PV systems.
It is because they are familiar with PV components and the safety procedures.
A professional can take care of:
- – Conducting checks on the PV system’s performance.
- – Adopting corrective and repairing measures.
Q. What is the cost of solar panel maintenance?
Since there are no moving parts and the input fuel (sunlight) is free, the annual maintenance and recurring costs are meagre.
Q. How Are Solar Panels Connections and Wiring Maintained?
Keeping the wiring and connections secure prevents short circuits and other severe damages.
In order to do so, you need to inspect the solar panel’s wires for damage, meltdowns, and cracks.
Additionally, they might become prey to rodents. Hence, conduit pipes are used for wiring to prevent rodents from chewing the wires.