TOP SOLAR PANEL MAINTENANCE TIPS IN 2023
Juan Nelson Mar 25, 2023 2:27 AM
As solar energy becomes more popular, more and more people are installing solar panels in their homes and businesses. Solar panels are a great way to save money on your energy bill and help the environment, but they require some maintenance.
In this article, we will provide a top solar panel maintenance guide to help you keep your solar panels in tip-top shape. We will cover topics such as cleaning your solar panels, checking for damage, and troubleshooting common problems. By following this guide, you can ensure that your solar panels will continue to work efficiently for years to come.
Solar panels generally do not require much maintenance other than periodic cleaning and keeping them away from obstacles that can cast shadows on the panels because solar panels must be unobstructed from the sun for smooth and optimal operation.
The best solar panels are designed to withstand extreme weather events such as hail, snow, ice, and wind for lasting performance. Solar panels typically last up to 30 years with regular maintenance, but if you start to see their performance drop, it could be a sign that it is time to get some cleaning done.
Dirt, debris, dust, and other objects can contaminate solar panels, and if the buildup is too much, it can start to affect the amount of energy the solar panels produce. Be sure to turn off your solar system before cleaning. Cleaning solar panels with warm water from the faucet usually does the trick. Avoid using soaps or detergents to clean solar panels; they can leave streaks and damage them.
For solar panels with heavier residue, spraying them with warm water from a garden hose and wiping them with a non-abrasive microfiber cloth can clean them. If you clean them on the roof, be sure to do so safely by using a seat belt to prevent falls. If cleaning from a ladder, be careful to avoid falling. Ideally, a telescopic pole with a microfiber cloth attached can help you safely clean above-ground solar panels.
TIP: Do not clean the solar panels on a sunny day, as it can leave stains as water can evaporate quickly.
Cleaning Solar Panels in Winter
Ice and snow can sometimes accumulate on solar panels, but the ice often melts and slides away because they are angled. If snow or ice remains, spraying the panels with warm water can help remove it.
Cleaning Solar Panels in Winter
You shouldn't use hot water to clean ice and snow from solar panels because the temperature difference can cause the panels to crack. You can also cover the panels with something non-abrasive to prevent scratches.
How Often Should Your Solar Panels be Cleaned?
Solar panels need maintenance 2-4 times a year but check your solar company's manual for panel-specific maintenance care. Fall and spring are good times to do maintenance work, as panels may need to be cleaned after winter when dust and debris accumulate. Fall is also a good time because of fallen leaves and other fertilizers. Watch out for other problems like tree sap and bird droppings.
Cleaning Solar Panels
Testing your solar panels four times a year can help you better monitor the performance of your solar panels. You can notice problems earlier and solve them faster. You should also check the connections to make sure they are in working condition. Sometimes creatures can gnaw at them without you noticing.
You can also hire a professional for an annual inspection if you want a professional to do the work.
Most homeowners hire a professional to inspect and clean their solar panels yearly. Since many solar panels are placed on the roof, it is safer to hire an experienced professional. The good news is that even with hiring a professional, your solar panel maintenance costs will be minimal.
The best solar panels
A solar panel system's average annual maintenance cost is about $450 per year: $150 for an annual inspection and $150 for each two-cleaning ($300 total). Your maintenance costs may be slightly higher if your solar panel system fails or if you clean the panels more often because dirt or debris builds up faster.
Depending on your solar panel installer, you may pay less for maintenance. Some suppliers include a certain amount of maintenance when purchasing your solar panels. Others may offer service packages that include regular maintenance and cleaning.
Solar panels come with a warranty, where the manufacturer guarantees that the solar panels will last for several years. Warranty usually lasts 10 to 20 years, but some warranties extend to 25 years. First, these warranties guarantee that the solar panels will not drop below a certain efficiency level. They cover unexpected damage to your solar panels due to storms and other causes beyond your control.
However, it is important to note that your solar panel warranty may stipulate that your panels are covered only if properly serviced. For example, if you don't clean your solar panels regularly and debris builds up, reducing their useful life, your warranty may not cover that solar panel.
How to know your solar panels need maintenance
It is essential to keep a close eye on the energy output of your solar panels. Often, a prolonged production decline signals a need for maintenance. Solar panels tend to decrease in efficiency as they age, but in the early stages of their lifespan, any drop is more likely to come from dirty or clogged panels.
Are solar panels easy to maintain?
Solar panels are still relatively easy to maintain because they're at an angle that makes it easy for snow, debris, and ice to slide off. Spraying them with a garden hose makes the job easy, but try to avoid spraying the solar panels with a pressure washer, as force can damage the panels.
Can you monitor the health of the solar panels?
You may monitor the output of the solar panels. Some engineers have monitoring software included with their installation packages, but this is usually not real-time monitoring. The installer usually has a web portal with daily data. You can buy a solar monitor or find the best solar panel monitoring app.
Do solar panels need to be cleaned?
In some climates, rainfall will be enough to clean the solar panels, but in drier climates, the solar panels will need to be cleaned because too much dirt can accumulate. That buildup can dull boards and reduce their output.
It will rain clean the solar panels?
Rain will often clean solar panels but only partially clean them. After rain, soil can accumulate on the bottom edge of the solar panel, which can interfere with the energy-producing cells.
The best solar panels cost more than many of your home appliances. But the good news is that they require less maintenance and have significantly longer lifespans. The only regular maintenance work required for your solar panels is annual cleaning and inspection. On the other hand, as long as your control panels are working properly, they will need no additional maintenance throughout the year.