For the next 25 years or more, solar panels are a terrific investment that will give you access to low-cost, renewable solar energy. How you keep them up, though, is a crucial point. Are solar panels like your car in that they need frequent maintenance to function at their best? Or should you just leave them alone? See here for responses to the most often-asked questions about maintaining solar panels.
Do solar panels require maintenance?
Yes, you can leave solar panels alone because they usually require very little maintenance. They simply need a quick cleaning every so often to ensure that leaves, dirt, and other debris aren’t blocking the sun’s beams. Only during seasons of heavy snowfall, when inches of snow can impair the functioning of solar panels, may you require more thorough maintenance to be performed.
Can you keep an eye on your solar panels’ condition?
You can keep an eye on the energy output of your panels using an app. Lower energy output could indicate that your panels are blocked from producing their usual quantity of electricity by anything like debris.
You can keep track of the quantity of energy your solar panels generate each day and their overall production by incorporating a monitoring system for solar panels into your setup. This enables you to observe precisely how various outside conditions affect the performance of your panels and how well they hold their efficiency throughout their lifetime. For you to fix or replace a panel if it breaks or malfunctions, the monitoring system will also notify you. Let’s examine more closely how to prolong the life of your solar panels.
How are solar panels maintained?
You’re lucky if your panels are tilted: Any trash that has gathered on them will be washed away by rain. However, it’s crucial to physically clean them during the dry season or prolonged dry spells. You are typically advised to clean your solar panels two to four times a year. The good news is that while that might sound like a lot, it doesn’t take much labor to do this. Your panels will be clean and in excellent shape with a simple spray from a yard hose or a leaf blower. After a significant snowfall in winter, you might need to clean your panels. Make sure the water is lukewarm if you’re using it to melt the snow. A squeegee with a long handle is another option.
It’s crucial to remember that when removing snow from the panels, you should never use hot water. The high-temperature difference between the hot water and the cold panels can break the tempered glass panels, which are the panels’ material.
Do rooftop versus ground-mounted solar panels require different maintenance?
The only true difference between ground-mounted solar systems and rooftop solar systems in terms of maintenance is that ground panels are simpler to reach and, thus, to keep clean. You may easily remove any accumulation of snow or other debris by using a broom with a soft bristle.
How are your solar panels affected by severe weather?
Solar panels are created to last. Thanks to high-quality solar panel installations, PV systems can withstand all types of weather, including wind, rain, snow, and more. You’ll be relieved to learn that, according to the Department of Energy, solar panels fare well against hail. They can even withstand hurricanes, as demonstrated by the fact that Hurricane Florence in North Carolina in 2018 caused relatively little damage to solar systems.
Yet, they are not completely waterproof to destruction; on rare occasions, hail, hurricanes, tornadoes, or lightning may cause damage. However, if your warranty is solid, you ought to be able to get any broken panels fixed or replaced. Ironically, heat is the weather that impacts panels the most frequently. Approximately 1% of each degree of temperature increase causes solar panels to lose efficiency, or 77°F (or 25°C).
However, you can allow for air circulation, which can assist in cooling them down and preserve energy output by lifting them a few inches above the ground or roof. You shouldn’t worry too much about solar panel performance in hot weather because your solar installer will consider local climate conditions when installing panels.
How to change or fix solar panels
It is recommended to employ a professional to replace or repair your panels. Call the firm that installed your panels if they are losing efficiency and are still covered by a performance or power output warranty. Someone will be dispatched to the scene to evaluate the situation and either repair the issue or replace the panels. If there is physical harm to your panels, it is frequently covered by a different equipment guarantee. You can consult with your solar installer to determine who can best replace those panels. In either case, unless you have previous experience with residential solar systems, avoid attempting to install solar panels or make repairs yourself.
What is the solar panel industry-standard warranty?
If your solar panels’ effectiveness starts to decline, it might end up costing you thousands of dollars over time. Therefore it is crucial to ensure they are installed with a decent warranty.
The business that installed your solar panel will give you a replacement if it is still under warranty. The energy output of your solar panels will be guaranteed to continue at 80% or higher for the duration of the warranty period, which can last anywhere from 15 to 25 years, by a reputable solar business.
Are solar panels challenging to maintain, then?
Overall, it’s not too difficult to maintain your solar panels. Your panels will function well if you quickly clean any accumulated snow, dust, or debris. Make sure the panels you purchase have a solid warranty so that they can be replaced if they break.
If you follow those instructions, your solar panels should keep producing clean, renewable energy at their highest possible efficiency for many years. In our beginner’s guide, you can learn more about installing solar panels in your home.