Solar Panel Maintenance: A Basic Guide

Last edited: 18/02/21

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Solar Panel Maintenance: A Basic Guide

Last edited: 18/02/21

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Solar panels are a tremendous investment that can offer you renewable solar energy for the next 25 years or more. But how do you go about maintaining them? Are they like your car, requiring constant tune-ups to stay in optimal condition? Or are you supposed to leave them be? Read on for more answers to the common questions regarding solar panel maintenance.

Solar Panel Maintenance: Do they need it?

Generally, solar panels require very little maintenance to function. The only thing they need is a periodic light cleaning to ensure leaves, dirt, and other debris aren’t obstructing the sunrays. The only time you may require more extensive solar panel maintenance is during periods of heavy snowfall, or if the energy output of your panels starts to decrease. Let’s take a closer look at how to ensure your solar panels last as long as possible.

Solar Panel Maintenance: How do you do it?

You’re in luck if your panels are tilted: actually, rainfall clears away debris that has accumulated on them. However, during extended periods without rain, it is important to clean them manually. Generally, it’s recommended that you perform solar panel cleaning between 2-4 times on an annual basis. The good news is that it doesn’t require much work. All you need is a quick spray with a garden hose or just a leaf blower, and your panels will be in top condition.

During winters, you may need to clean your panels after a heavy snowfall. If you’re clearing the snow away using water, ensure it is lukewarm. Plus, a squeegee with a long handle will be handy. Just note, never use hot water to clear snow off the panels. Since panels are made of tempered class, extreme temperature disparity between cold panels and hot water can crack them.

Is there a maintenance difference between ground panels and roof panels?

The only different between maintaining roof solar systems and ground-mounted solar systems is that the latter is easier to access, and therefore, easier to clean. If you start noticing snow or other debris building up, you can simply use a broom to sweep it off.

How to replace or repair solar panels?

If your panels need to be replaced or repaired, it is best to appoint a professional. If they are losing efficiency and still under a power/performance output warranty, then give your solar company a call. They will send someone to evaluate the situation and either replace the panels or fix the problem. If your panels have been subject to some physical damage that is usually covered under a separate equipment warranty, or under the insurance of your homeowner. Find out how and if your panels are covered for damage, and whom to contact to file a claim. Either way, refrain from attempting to make repairs or install solar panels yourself unless you are experienced with home solar systems.

Russell White

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