How Skipping Solar Panel Maintenance Affects Your Savings?
The average and expected lifespan of solar panels is between 25 and 30 years. They are great for energy management and cost savings, reduce your home's carbon footprint, and provide a quick return on investment.
However, to get the most value from them, proper maintenance is key, whereas routine cleaning ensures optimal energy production and functioning. Solar panel maintenance is responsible for the system working without any disruption, so you can avoid expensive out-of-pocket costs. This includes repair, system and operational fixes, etc.
Can Solar Panel Maintenance Save You Money?
Preventive maintenance is the answer to all the functional troubles and exterior damages that your solar system encounters. Small fixes, operational issues, and physical damages when combined count up to become bigger problems. So, if unaddressed, your system can lag performance beyond repair. This is why solar panel maintenance is important. The process includes cleaning, monitoring, inspection, solar panel repair, and emergency replacements. It also suggested that you get it done by professionals to avoid an expensive payoff.
Do Solar Panels Need Maintenance?
Yes, solar panels need routine maintenance and upkeep to keep operating smoothly. However, the requirement is extremely minimal.
Solar panels have no moving parts, unlike the car you drive, which has movable parts and is more likely to get damaged. Having said that, we must think about the system’s longevity. Proactive care and solar panel repair can help maximize the benefits of using solar panels for household usage.
Keep in mind that some categories of solar maintenance are not covered under the system’s warranty. However, damaged panels should be taken care of by the solar provider.
Preventive Maintenance Of The Solar Panels
Adequate solar panel maintenance is proven to improve the system’s lifespan by 30 years. Keeping the panels clean is the first step to prolong its age and this is as far as maintenance would go. Operational issues can be related to electricity production or wire corrosion which is why the installers recommend tracking the system’s production. Most solar companies provide a solar power monitoring app for users to check how much energy the system is generating. The app will aware you in case of any underperformance or if the system needs expert supervision. Below given is a comprehensive solar maintenance guide for every season.
- Summertime Maintenance
Summers are the best season for solar energy production. However, at this time, the panels are more likely to be covered with dirt, dust, animal droppings, and pollen. Solar homes surrounded by pollens are prone to damage which is why cleaning is advisable. Unexpected rains are good for solar maintenance as it rinses off the dirt and dust from the panels. Some homeowners also opt for roof-mounted solar sprinklers to clean the panels. You can get it installed under professional supervision, after approval from your solar provider, and use demineralized water to avoid panel corrosion over time.
- Fall Maintenance
Fall winds carry debris in the air which gets deposited on the racks and panels. Hence, one should be extra careful about keeping their solar system clean at this time. Ensure that the panels are not covered with loose leaves and dirt. Leaf removal is one of the easiest routines of solar maintenance. You need a steady ladder, a harness, and a bristle brush to gently remove the stuck leaves from the panels. If unsure, call the experts
Solar panel maintenance during the winter is tough, especially snow removal. While many expect the snow to melt off during the daytime from the sun’s heat, the results differ. Panels that are placed at a 15-degree tilt are most suitable for removing the snow using a snow rack or a long broom.
Severe ice buildup on the roof along with water penetration hampers also the integrity of the mounting structure. You are advised never to use salt to melt ice as it can corrode the panels. Sometimes winters also bring along hailstorms which pose a risk for rooftop solar panels’ damage. Glass panels crack from such weather conditions, hence having secured product warranties is necessary for immediate solar panel repair and replacement.
Annual preventive maintenance of the solar system includes visual inspections, control checks, and system checks with specialized labor. The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards mentions a set list of recommendations for annual solar panel maintenance and inspection.
- Water damage via roof penetration
- Appropriate roof drainage, clogged channels, and water pooling
- Roof shading
- Ground erosion near the footings of a ground-mounted system
- Missing bolts
- System signage
- Guarded electrical enclosures are to be used by only professionals
- Corrosion of the racking system
- Panel cleanliness and removal of dirt and debris
- Loose expanded or hanging wires
- Any signs of animal infestation
The solar professional will check these factors during a solar panel inspection. They conduct isolation tests to find leaks in wiring insulation or broken connections. Other tests might also be conducted to check the performance of the solar panels during solar maintenance.
For solar panels:
- Inspect the general status of the modules
- Cleaning the panels
For mounting structures:
- Inspect its structural integrity and other damages like corrosion, oxidation, and other impacted areas
- Replace the degraded parts of the mounts
- Readjust the screws and bolts
- Inspect the attachment points
- Inspect the alarms
- Perform exterior and interior cleaning
- Clean the filters
- Tighten the screws and mechanical fasteners
- Check the cable connections
- Inspect the vent status
Solar Panel Maintenance: DIY Method
Renewable energy production through solar panels is mainly hampered due to dust and debris buildup. Over time, it can result in an average of 7% energy loss annually.
Solar cleaning and solar panel maintenance should be done for a maximum of three to four times a year. You can use home-drawn equipment like a soft bristle brush to remove dirt, debris, and leaf accumulation in between panels. To clean stubborn stains, use a mix of water and a gentle soap solution. Rub the panels with a microfibre cloth or a soft sponge to scrub off the marks. Avoid abrasive cleaning or rubbing the panels and use only distilled or deionized water to prevent damage. Rinse carefully, without excess pressure so as not to compromise on the system’s quality. Remember, never put cold water on hot panels, or else the panels will crack from temperature disparity. Read here to know more.
How Solar Panel Repairs Are Done Under Warranties?
Different kinds of solar warranties are available to customers.
- Standard solar manufacturers’ warranty — A manufacturer's warranty is devised for 10 to 25 years and can be availed as long as the solar system is used per the company policies and installed by qualified engineers. It covers material defects and issues with the inverter and batteries.
- Panel warranty — Most solar companies provide the panel warranty separately. It protects the equipment against internal or external damage and offers prompt solar panel repair.
- Workmanship warranty — This covers damages done to the system during home installation.
- Power performance warranty — This guarantees optimal solar production or energy output and any hindrances will be taken care of by the solar provider.
- Weatherization warranty — Your home roof and solar panels are covered under this warranty, from issues like leaks or damage from hailstorms, wind, or rain.
A solar inspector can tell you the right method of utilizing the solar system warranty.
So, Is Solar Maintenance Hard?
Solar panel maintenance is critical but not difficult. The goal is to take care of the system's well-being so it works at its highest capacity. For other solutions and guidance, consult the professional solar experts at Solarblocks. We provide exclusive warranties of 25 years on all solar products, including solar installation. Visit our website at https://www.solarblocks.us/ for solar panel maintenance, inspection, and repair services.
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Begin Your Journey From Today
Let your sustainable way of life begin here..