Solar panels are incredibly reliable. Most systems have no moving parts, and the lifespan for a solar panel can exceed thirty years. This means that solar panel installation companies routinely offer very long warranties and maintenance packages as a part of your system cost. Despite this, some maintenance is necessary to go a long way towards the longevity and efficiency of your system, and it’s good to know what to do if there is a problem with any of your panels. Follow these tips for decades of clean electricity and save on your energy bill.
There are a few main reasons to have an experienced solar company maintain your existing solar installation:
- Preventative Maintenance
Solar panels provide you with a cheap power source – a 3 kW solar PV system cuts the average electricity bills by 65 percent in South Australia, according to the Australian Solar Council, and can boost the value of your home. However, your energy system can decrease inefficiency by as much as 20 percent over time if your solar panels aren’t regularly cleaned.
Dirt buildup makes it difficult for your solar panels to absorb sunlight properly, rendering your system less efficient. A professional who carries out solar panel maintenance can remove dirt and grime that has accumulated on the surface of your system. Statistics suggest that cleaning your system annually can increase its efficiency by as much as 21 percent and maximize returns on your investment.
Some of the most common solar panel problems include no power and low voltage issues. During a solar maintenance check, a trained engineer will assess your panels for performance, test the switches, AC electricity system, and DC circuits, and ensures your solar energy system is working properly.
Solar installations are generally safe and have redundant safety systems in-place. However, a regular inspection would identify any failing conditions. These failures could include blown fuses, overheated terminations, worn wires, and separated connections. Electrical equipment that is compromised can cause arcing, heat, or fire and should be corrected immediately.
The performance of PV solar plants will have a negative impact due to the collection of dirt particles on the panels as it will block the sunlight. Proper dusting is required at regular intervals. Dirt is related to air pollution, accumulated dust, bird droppings, grease, or any other particles in the air. Dirty parts of the panel create hotspots as they got hot quickly and decrease the efficiency of the system. The dust must be removed from the surface of solar PV panels to ensure the highest performance.
The optimum performance of the PV system will not operate in an expected way due to low maintenance eventually developing a negative impact on energy savings. Proper management services must be attained from time to time.
The effective measures for maintenance of solar panels
Solar panels, fortunately, require very low maintenance as they are reliable and durable and can last for years but proper care and precautions will make last longer. Document the day-to-day performance of the installed PV system to improve solar panel maintenance. It is important to write how much energy has been produced at a consistent time every day and make special note of dates where it is very cloudy. A well-defined Monitoring system will help in observing the benefits provided to the system. They can also help you know how much you could benefit from the feed-in tariff scheme. Automatic cleaners can be used for cleaning purposes. The rainwater patches cleaning and periodic site inspections are crucial for better check-up planning. Avoiding abrasive cleaners is also vital to avoid scratches and unwanted damage.
Solar energy generation is noise-free, has a long life with less maintenance, easily available, effortless installation, has quality power for both domestic and industrial usages, and effectively promotes sustainable development.
Identify problems early
Experienced technicians can also identify any issues before they happen. Fixing a problem with your system can save you money on repair costs, and you will be able to rectify any damage before the issue gets worse. Regular servicing can ensure your safety: A solar power professional will check electrical components for signs of water damage and corrosion, which could pose a significant risk to you and your family. A specialist can even check the condition of your roof and recommend a solution if a problem is identified.
Annual Inspection Checklist
Regular maintenance can go a long way towards the life of your solar system. Have your installer conduct a regular inspection of your installation to diagnose and address any issues.
- Water damage at any roof penetrations
- Roof drainage issues
- loose leaves or Vegetation growth in roof
- Proper expansion joints, supports, and bushings in long conduit runs
- Corrosion on electrical enclosures or the rack system
- Loose or exposed wiring, or wiring that contacts the roof surface
- Signs of animal infestation
- Excessive cracking or wear on the inverter
- Burn marks, discoloration, or broken glass on solar panels
- Missing bolts
- Corrosion or erosion of system supports
Depending on your system, your solar installer may also choose to conduct isolation tests to determine if there is any damage to the wiring insulation or any resistance from loose or broken connections. If you notice a drop in your production, or if your system monitoring has revealed a dead panel, these tests can be conducted to isolate the problem for maintenance.
With proper maintenance at set intervals, frequent visual inspections, and regular cleaning of your panels, you should experience relatively problem-free ownership for decades. Be sure to look at the track record of your solar installer to ensure they’ll take care of your solar system for the extent of its productive life. Well-established solar companies with experience, certifications, and local knowledge are the best choices for your installation.