You can expect very minimal spending on maintenance and repair work for your solar panels.
Nevertheless, although they require low maintenance costs because they don’t require a lot of maintenance, you still need to keep them relatively clean and inspect for moving and damaged parts to keep them functioning properly throughout their lifespan.
The best solar panels in the market generally have a 20-25 years warranty because they are made out of tempered glass, which typically holds up well in tough conditions. A stationary solar panel system also keeps them from experiencing a lot of wear and tear. We’ve gathered ways you can achieve solar panel maintenance to ensure solar panel efficiency.
Your solar panels need technical maintenance that ideally takes place once a year. A professional installer can help you with this type of maintenance to verify that all of the parts of your solar panel system are in order. It should be a regular annual inspection procedure that you conduct apart from curative maintenance that involves fixing damaged or dysfunctioning parts.
Cleaning Your Panels
When it rains regularly where you live, you really don’t need to clean your panels. The rain will be enough to knock off any dirt, dust, or debris from your solar panels. It is not necessary that you scrub your panels with soap or detergent.
All you need is soft, lukewarm water and a non-abrasive sponge if you live in an area where it doesn’t rain often. You can use a telescopic pole instead of climbing up on your roof.
Remember to avoid these cleaning products that can damage your solar panels during cleaning:
- Hard water leaves white residue and decreases photovoltaic output.
- Abrasive sponges that can scratch your panels.
- Very cold water on a warm panel can cause thermal shock and permanent damage
- Very high-pressure water can damage the joints in the panel frame. Do not use Karcher-type high-pressure cleaners
- Solvents and detergents that may damage the surface of the solar collectors on your panels.
Thermal Solar Panel Maintenance
A thermal solar panel requires rigorous thermal maintenance following the specific care and maintenance recommendations provided by the manufacturer. A thorough inspection will ensure precise tracking throughout the service life of your solar panel system.
Cleaning thermal panels are similar to that of the other types but thermal maintenance should be conducted every year by a professional solar installer who carries out and records the following procedures:
- Verifies the water pressure ensuring that it is not less than 1 bar. Water pressure at this level can jeopardize the circulation of the glycol water and can negatively affect the entire solar installation.
- Controls the quantity of glycol, the antifreeze found in the panels, to make sure your panels do not freeze during winter.
- Monitors the operation of the installation’s safety devices:
- Mixing valve at the outlet
- Domestic water tank
- Solar safety valve
- Ensures the solar panel installation is perfectly sealed and waterproof. Checks if there are fluid leaks on accessible parts of your solar panel system.
- Inspects the pump, expansion tank, and electrical connection.
Routine Solar Panel Maintenance
To ensure long-term benefits, thorough maintenance of your solar panel system should secure the following aspects:
- Your solar panels are clean, secure, and free of defects
- No parts have deteriorated or corroded
- The vents are free from any form of debris
- The switches are working properly and do not have defects
- Wiring has not been damaged in any way.
- Electrical checks to make sure that all components are operating as expected.
- Confirming fittings and cables are attached securely and not moving or unstable.
- Reviewing the inverter display panel for recorded faults.
- Checking the access to the isolator switches has not been impeded.
- Making sure the emergency procedures for shutdown and isolation are clearly displayed in case of any emergency.
- Keeping your panels out of the shade to maintain optimum energy production.
- Making sure that the inverters are flashing green lights which means that your system is properly compensating for your electricity use.
- Daily monitoring of the performance of your solar system.
- Maintaining a monitoring system so you can determine if your system is performing as it should.
Solar Panel Maintenance by a Licensed Electrician and a Professional Installer
You can always check if your solar panel system purchase comes with a warranty of 15 or 25 years which means that you are guaranteed an 85% or above energy production in that span of time.
Nevertheless, quality and consistent solar panel maintenance will help maintain that guarantee. Prevent potential hazards in solar panel maintenance by hiring a licensed electrician and a professional solar system installer. They will make sure that your solar panels’ efficiency will not slide down the slope.