Solar panels can last for approximately 30 years. But in between installation and the period, the solar panels requires maintenance. You should ensure that your cells, inverters, cables, brackets, and controls are in good working condition. Although one solar panel dysfunction does not affect the whole system, you should clean, fix, and tighten any dirty, broken, or loose parts. Although solar panels maintenance is DIY-friendly, you should consider a professional solar cleaning company like once a year. Unlike other energy sources, solar energy requires the least maintenance practices because it does not have exposed or moving parts. The warranty period is also long term (up to 25 years), but it does not cover negligence. Therefore, you should ensure that the solar panel system is in to-notch condition throughout. In power purchase agreements and solar leases, it is the provider’s responsibility to maintain the system. However, you should not interfere with the panels’ functioning by constructing block structures, overgrowing trees, or roof restructure. If it is a case of necessity, you can contact the solar leasing company for directions to avoid penalties. In case of any damages, the solar panel company may request for reimbursement, which can affect your solar savings. Let’s now see how you can keep solar panels in good working condition.
How to Maintain Solar PanelsThere are various maintenance practices for the solar panel system. Here are some:
- Solar panel cleaning
- Remove any debris
- Tightening any loose parts
- Monitor solar accessories
a) Cleaning solar panels & Removing DebrisIf your region has rainfall throughout the year, the rainwater is enough to clean the solar panels. However, when it is dry, solar panels may accumulate dust, reducing the system’s capacity. Apart from that, birds’ droppings, pollen, and factory fumes accumulation can also reduce energy production. Buildings near busy roads are also prone to dirt from fumes and dust. Ground-mounted solar panels are easier to clean because they are in low height. However, they are more prone to dirt because of exposure. Here are the tools you require in cleaning solar panels:
- Leaf blower
- Non-abrasive broom
- Non-abrasive sponge
- Low-pressure hosepipe
How to clean solar panelsYou might require different tools and solar cleaning detergents depending on the condition of the solar panels. For dusty solar panels, here is the cleaning process:
- Firstly, read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to switch off the solar panel system. Switch off the system to avoid short-circuiting or damage to the electrical system.
- Use the broom to remove any debris from the solar panels. You can also pick them if they are within reach.
- Spray water on the solar panels after removing any debris. It is advisable to use lukewarm and soft water. Excessively cold water can damage the cells, while hard water forms white residues, which reduce the system’s output.
- Use the non-abrasive sponge to clean the solar panels for ground-mounted solar panels. You can use a sponge with a handle for roof-mounted solar panels.
Essential tips in cleaning solar panels
- Avoid the use of hot or excessive cold water.
- Do not use abrasive brushes or scouring sponge.
- Do not use detergents on solar panels.
- Hard water can leave deposits on solar panels, thus reducing efficiency.