Solar Panel Maintenance : Everything You Need to Know
So, you’ve installed your solar panels and they are now producing clean, low-cost energy for your home. How do you maintain your solar panels to ensure they keep producing at maximum efficiency?
This is a common question amongst homeowners. Protecting and caring for your investment is an important part of owning any item. Thankfully, solar panels are extremely durable. Most panels are made of tempered glass, anodized aluminum, and (aside from tracking arrays) have no moving parts. So conveniently, they require little to no maintenance. Your friends at Solar.com recommend cleaning your panels once every 3 months to ensure maximum efficiency.
Cleaning Your Solar Panels
Many homeowners are concerned about weather conditions damaging their panels or roof. Solar systems are installed in all types of climates. Whether you live somewhere with severe winters, a heavy rain season, coastal weather systems, or heat waves – your solar system can and will handle it all.
Keeping your panels clear of debris or snow is crucial to ensure your panels are performing at maximum capacity. There are ways to assure your panels are putting out maximum energy production.
For debris from trees, birds, and general dust build up you can use:
- A leaf blower
- A simple quick rinse with a hose
- Or even a light rain can wash away panel build up (rain usually won’t clean off flat panels)
For removing a heavy layer of snow:
- Throw a soft football to shake the snow lose (this could end up in a lost football)
- Use a leaf blower
- Use a long pole with a squeegee at the end
- Spray your panels with lukewarm water
If it is a light layer of snow, it will likely slide off, cleaning your panels in the process (this isn’t applicable for flat panels)
When cleaning your panels NEVER:
- Spray hot water on cold panels
- Use RainX
- Use car wax
- Rock salt
These options can permanently damage your panels, roof, and electrical elements, causing more harm than good.
Solar Panel Monitoring
The best way to assure your project is performing at its best is through a solar panel monitoring system. Monitoring systems provide data on the electrical output of your solar system. You can track this data over time to calculate degradation of your panels. Monitoring systems also provide a notification if there is a malfunction or damage.
**As with all matters concerning your solar system, safety is of utmost importance. You can almost always maintain and clean your panels from the ground with a hose. However, if you need to get to your panels, use caution when climbing on your roof.
Extreme care should be taken if surfaces are slippery or wet. Do not touch the electrical components of your system at any time. Also, please make sure you properly secure your ladder before attempting to get up on your roof**
Solar systems are extremely durable and last for many years. To date, the first generation of solar panels, made with less advanced technology, are still performing extremely well!
We want to make sure that when you do decide to go solar, every single question and concern you have is addressed.