Solar Panel Maintenance
Do solar panels need to be maintained?
Solar panel maintenance isn’t that hard, but it’s essential. Your solar panels are a key component in the power generation process. Keeping them clean to allow for more surface area and not shaded with trees will help with the efficiency and longevity of your solar energy systems. During heavy periods of snowfall, some maintenance may need to be done.
Solar panels are easier to clean than roof shingles, concrete, or brick. They are not prone to rusting like metal-based systems.
How do you maintain solar panels?
Clean your solar panels with a solution of water and mild detergent. Apply the solution to each panel either with a garden hose or a soft brush. For stubborn dirt, remove any debris with soapy water and a scrubbing pad. After rinsing off the collectors, let them dry for at least 12 hours. It’s important to keep your solar panels clean of all debris. This will not only help with generating electricity, but it will also look better.
Now that you know how to clean your solar panels, you should be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at them. Remember, always use a long-handled squeegee rather than a broom, and never use hot water when clearing the snow.
Ground panels vs. roof panels: Is there a maintenance difference?
Ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are more accessible than roof-mounted systems for routine cleaning. Due to the design of ground-mount PV panels, snow and other movers can easily be removed with a broom.
How does extreme weather impact your solar panels?
Solar panels are made for durability, which means you can keep on using them for years to come. Best of all, they’ll keep performing at peak efficiency even after years of wear and tear, thanks to their advanced design. This includes rain, wind, snow, and even hail. Not only that but there’s evidence that they survive hurricanes, with places experiencing hurricanes having little damage to their solar panels.
However, they are not 100% indestructible. On rare occasions, thin-film photovoltaic panels can suffer damage due to extreme weather conditions, such as hail, hurricanes, tornadoes and lighting. This is why you should take advantage of a good warranty and/or have your solar panels insured by your homeowners’ insurance policy.
Panels are affected by the weather, mostly with regard to heat. If it gets too hot, a reduction of 1% per degree will occur. However, if you lift the panels off the roof or ground, this may prevent overheating and keep them cool, thus maintaining their production level.
Can you monitor the health of your solar panels?
By integrating a solar panel monitoring system into your setup, you can track how much energy your panels produce on any given day, with additional data on how and when they underperform. This allows you to see exactly how various external factors affect your panels’ performance and how well they’re maintaining their efficiency across their life.
How to repair or replace solar panels
You should call your solar company in case of a panel malfunction. If they’re losing efficiency and still under warranty, they will repair or replace the panels to keep you under warranty for power output for maximum performance.
Solar panels typically have a 25-year warranty, and even after that, the manufacturer will usually buy them back at close to their retail value. However, if there is physical damage, it is important to repair or remove them immediately for safety reasons. Call a professional!
Hiring a Professional Solar Panel Cleaner
If you are not an expert, do not try to clean solar panels by climbing the roof. Hire a professional from the industry to make sure you don’t damage your panels. Please make sure you check with your solar panel manufacturer to confirm they are safe to be cleaned.
Instead of cleaning the solar panels yourself, you can hire a professional. The price will vary depending on the size of your solar PV system and where the panels are installed.
How Long Do Solar Panels Really Last?
Studies show that solar panels can work for 25 to 30 years, which is great news for anyone concerned about the longevity of their system. This is excellent since most people expect something to last more than a few years.
Solar panels generate energy for many years, however, production levels decrease to a level that falls short of what the manufacturers describe as ‘optimal’ in that year. Therefore, when we say that solar panels last for 25-30 years, we mean that at the end of this time they generally perform at an optimum level. Their degraded performance is usually not significant until three decades later.