Your Best Guide For Solar Panels Maintenancepowernsun
The constantly rising electricity bills have influenced many to turn to solar energy. Though solar panels can last for about 25-30 years, still if you want to keep the system in good condition and reap the most from it, you should look after them. With the right maintenance in place, solar panels can produce optimal electricity. This blog will give you a good idea of what to do with solar panel maintenance and essential guidelines for keeping the system in top shape.
Solar Panel Maintenance – What Is This?
Solar panel maintenance indicates certain activities like periodic cleaning and associated routine things that are necessary for the health and efficient productivity of the system.
Once you have set up the solar panels, they are generating clean and green energy. However, how can they make sure that they produce energy at their maximum efficiency? The best way here to ensure their optimal performance is solar panel maintenance.
How Often Do Your Solar Panels Need Maintenance?
The best solar companies suggest planning solar panels maintenance at least two times per year. With the help of a solar panel tracking system, you can monitor the performance of the panels. If you notice a dip in the generation of energy, then it is a sign for solar panel maintenance to restore its optimal performing capabilities.
Besides this, the solar panel maintenance schedule can be determined based on the weather and site conditions. It is recommended to conduct a visual inspection after extreme weather conditions. This will make sure whether the panels are in good condition or not.
- If you have installed commercial solar panels for your business, it’s suggested to consider annual maintenance of panels for ensuring maximum solar efficiency.
- For small residential solar panels, an inspection is recommended every couple of years.
- Solar systems installed in areas of extreme weather conditions require a detailed check-up at least twice a year.
In order to do a basic cleaning of solar panels, it is good to gently clean the panels every 15 days. You can clean the panels with water, but make sure not to leave any scratches on the surface.
Why Do Solar Panels Need Maintenance?
It is agreed that solar can easily provide you with cleaner energy for about 25 years. However, in order to have the durability of the entire system and ensure its utmost performance, maintaining the solar panels is important.
There are so many reasons why solar panels should be maintained. Here are a few listed:
- Regular maintenance of panels ensures that the solar system operates safely, optimally, and efficiently.
- Over a period of time, dust and debris may build up on the solar panels. This can eventually impact the performance of the solar panel system.
- If you maintain the optimal performance of panels with maintenance activities, you ensure generating the maximum energy
- Regular maintenance helps in avoiding any future faults
- Constant exposure to the panels can cause damage to their With maintenance, you can early detect any potential issues.
- As routine maintenance ensures the performance of panels, you can maximize the savings on your electricity bills and achieve good ROI.
Cost Of Maintenance For The Solar Panel System
The cost for professional cleaning of solar panels can vary based on the size of the system, its location, and the complexity of the solar system. Often we face the question ‘Can I clean the solar panels on my own?’ It probably can work for a ground-mounted system or a system with an easy-to-access flat roof. However, since there are risks involved in the system, it is recommended to hire experts for cleaning the solar panels.
As you involve professionals in cleaning, it may incur certain costs. Still, the best part is you do not need solar panel cleaning very often and hence the maintenance expense is relatively low.
It is essential that you install solar panels that come under a good warranty. Typically, solar panels carry a warranty period of 25-30 years. During this period, the installer will take care of any malfunctions at no additional cost, and thus your system is protected for the investment. However, keep in mind, if there are any issues related to improper installation, the warranty doesn’t cover that.
Some solar panel manufacturers also can include an additional warranty for higher output for a certain period of time. Panels that come with a workmanship warranty protect the installer against defective panel parts.
How To Maintain Solar Panels? Tips For Ensuring The Cleaning Of Solar Panels
The good news is that it is not so difficult to maintain the solar system if you make it regularly and efficiently. However, you should approach maintaining the system with appropriate things like non-abrasive materials, and warm water.
Cleaning solar panels
If you have installed solar panels in a region where there is rainfall throughout the year, the rainwater is probably sufficient to clean the panels. However, in the dry condition of panels, it is very essential to make sure that the panels are not accumulated with dust and dirt, which will impact the capacity of the system.
So, during the non-rainy season, it is necessary to clean the solar panels manually. Make sure you do not use any abrasive cleaning chemicals or tools to clean the panels. Soft brushes are ideal for cleaning the panels, alternatively, you can use a garden hose or a leaf blower. There are automatic cleaners that can serve similarly to sprinkler systems and make your cleaning job easy.
Inspect the components
It is important to carry out an inspection of the solar system that covers testing and measuring the entire DC circuits and each and every component of the system. You should look at the solar panels for any damage, flaws, or discoloration. In these cases, hiring a professional will make sense to check for the whole system and ensure everything is working fine.
Check whether the inverter is flashing a green light. If it is, then there are no signs of fault in the solar panel system. Otherwise, there can be possibilities for some underlying problems. If you notice any error lights or warning codes, then immediately give attention to correcting the issues.
Also, ensure the inverter is free from spider webs, dust, and dirt and it runs normally. The ventilation grills and heat sinks also should be ensured for their cleanliness.
Ensure there are no loose fasteners or bolts in the solar panel system. The panels should be checked for their firm attachment to the mounting system. The alignment and angle of the solar panels are also to be checked and ensured in optimal placement for maximum exposure to sunlight.
If the solar panel system includes a battery, then it should be checked for any signs of corrosion, leakage, or wear. It is essential to ensure its proper functioning by examining electrolyte levels of battery cells, gravity, and voltage.
If you are worried about maintaining solar panels during the winter season, we got you covered. A thin layer of snow need not be cleaned, if you are expecting sunny days. But, in case of a prolonged winter, snow clearance should be done by walking up to the hatch. An extension rod can be used for pitched roof panels.
Monitor solar accessories
The other important solar system accessories such as cables, regulators, and power meters should be checked for their ideal condition for optimum energy production. Ensuring their proper function and detecting faults at an early stage and repairing at the right periods avoids costly replacement of components, increasing the payback period of the system. A fault in an accessory can impact the others in the system, so ignore any accessories and monitor all for their good performance.
What Are The Red Flags For Solar Panels Maintenance?
- A significant increase in your energy bill signals the time to conduct maintenance for solar panels.
- An orange or red light indication on the inverter during day time also indicates the need for maintenance
- Clear dirt and dust accumulation on the panels shows the requirement for maintenance.
Ensure The System Performance And Plan For Maintenance
The key to effective solar panel maintenance lies in monitoring its performance through solar monitoring trackers. Through real-time monitoring of the system and with the gained insights, you can ensure that the panels are working correctly. If you track the optimal performance of the panels, there is no need to worry about investing heavily in maintenance other than cleaning the regular dust, and debris buildup.
A prompt maintenance schedule can reduce the risk of reduced performance of the panels. Hence, it is best to integrate a solar monitoring system into your solar setup and start tracking the healthy performance of it. The monitoring systems can alert the installer for any drops in the energy production, or malfunctioning of the system.
Maintain your solar panels with the best solar monitoring systems from Powernsun
When solar panels are designed to be durable, make them deserved with the right solar monitoring systems. Thanks to the integrated innovative features of major manufacturers Sungrow, Sineng, Solplanet, Deye, Solinteg, SMA, and more, all our solar monitoring systems are engineered to deliver essential insights into energy consumption and identify the right time to carry out solar panel maintenance programs.