Are Solar Panels Difficult to Maintain?
If you are thinking of installing solar panels or have a new system recently installed, you might have wondered about maintenance and upkeep
Solar panels are not difficult to maintain. They are specifically designed for outdoors and are made to withstand any type of weather. However they will need a clean every year because dust, bird feces, and leaves can get stuck on them which may affect its effectiveness.
In this article we will go through a 6 point checklist for maintenance as well as how location, climate and they type of system you have might affect maintenance.
Steps to Maintaining Solar Panels
Step 1: Keep them in full sunlight
I know this sounds like a no brainer, but trees grow pretty quick and even a partially shaded system can have a large effect on the power production of your system.
Step 2: Clean them once a year min.
You will need to get up on your roof or pay a service to give your panel’s quick once-over every year. Bird poo, leaves and dust tend to build up pretty quick, all of which needs removing for unobstructed light for your panels.
You can buy solar cleaning kits that include a biodegradable soap and soft sponge or rag. It is important that no harsh cleaning products are uses that will scratch or cloud the surface of the panels.
Step 3: Keep an eye on monitoring system
Most systems will come with a handy app that you can easily keep an eye on production. If there is a drop off for no apparent reason, it warrants further investigation by first checking the panels themselves.
Extra resources: www.wikihow.com/Maintain-a-Solar-Panel
Are solar panels expensive to maintain?
Once installed, solar panels a quite cheap to monitor and maintain. Aside from any technical issue you might encounter, which a rare, all you will need to fork out for is some soapy water and a sponge to give them a clean every 12 months.
If you live in dustier climates it is recommended you clean your panels every 6 months for maximum efficiency in power production. You can get away with squirting the hose on them every 6 month, with a full clean every 12 months.
Don’t Use a Pressure Washer
The surface of solar panels are quite strong as they were specially designed to sit in the sun for 25 year and withstand anything nature can dish out including hail storms, but it’s a good idea not to push your luck.
Pressure washers come in many forms and some shoot water with such force they can crack your panels or force water in the edges causing fogging.
The panels are expensive to replace and will set you back years in paying them off, so stick to soapy water and a rag.
Understanding Solar Panel Parts
Over the years, as solar panels are becoming more popular, the cost of solar panel maintenance has dramatically reduced due to a better understanding of the energy-generating panels. The general maintenance for solar panels is actually quite low, and this is due to a couple of factors.
Firstly, solar panels do not have a lot of moving parts, which reduces the risk of breakages and cracks due to a lower number of spaces within the equipment. This dramatically lowers the cost of maintenance over time as the smooth surfaces and rigid body frame are easy to look after. Any sudden cracks or scratches can be detected on time and repaired before they become worse.
Dust and debris will occasionally fall on the panels over time, and usually most of them will slide off due to the angle at which the panels are installed, however some of these particles can remain on the panels and obstruct the rate at which sunlight is absorbed by the panels and can lead to an overall decrease in energy output. Most of this can be avoided by regularly checking the panels and wiping off any particles with a simple soap and water solution.
Location and Climate
In colder regions where snow falls often, maintenance is also relatively easy as most of the snow that lands on the panels will either slide off due to the inclination of the panels or simply melt off from the sun or the internal heat generated by the panels when they are absorbing sunlight. However, it is still advisable to check on the panels and manually wipe off any excess snow.
Despite the do-it-yourself nature of most of the maintenance, it is also wise to occasionally call on professional help to check up on the solar panels, especially if the panels are installed on a very high roof that isn’t easily accessible. These professionals can analyze and assess any internal fault that may be taking place inside the solar panels. They can also evaluate the overall output and efficiency, and advise you on how to properly ensure that your solar panels last for an even longer period.
Longevity of Solar Panels
When it comes to guarantee, when properly installed and maintained, solar panels can last for as long as 20 years. In these 20 years, you will have significantly reduced your utility bills, generated a large amount of electricity, and provided enough clean energy to benefit your community.
Conclusively, solar panel maintenance isn’t a very expensive or difficult venture, as long as you follow some simple guidelines, you can power your house efficiently for years without much stress.