Many homeowners are motivated to install solar panels to save money on their electricity bills and to also leave a smaller carbon footprint. However, how many of us remember to maintain our solar panels? Unfortunately, most residential solar panels are forgotten after being installed. It isn’t until there’s a ‘problem’, that we remember to give our panels a second look.
The following tips will help you maximize the lifespan of your solar panels:
1. Regular Cleaning:
The glass surface of your panel must be unobstructed at all times in order for it to work effectively. Over time or depending on the area where you live, the surface will accumulate dirt, dust, and debris. This means your panels have to work harder to capture the sun’s rays. An obstructed surface is ideal for your panels. The best way to manage your panels is to keep an eye on them. If you live in a desert or near a construction zone, a weekly dusting or hosing down may be necessary. Otherwise, a monthly wipe or wet hosing is sufficient.
2. Avoid Using Abrasive Soaps and Rough Cleaning Materials:
Your goal should be to keep the glass surface clear and clean with no scratches. Opt for a biodegradable soap and soft cotton cloth to wipe your panels. If you have a high pitched roof, it is recommended you call a professional to do the cleaning. Your roof may be slippery or covered with debris, making accidents very likely. When in doubt, contact your solar panel installer and ask for recommendations about which cleaners to use.
3. Monitor the Shade:
When you were getting your panels installed, there were probably no shade concerns. Over time, trees grow and branch out, possibly hindering your panels’ ability to capture sunlight. Although it isn’t recommended to cut down trees, you should consider trimming them. The presence of shade can reduce your solar panel’s output by 25%.
4. Regular Monitoring:
Sounds a bit clichéd, but you don’t have to do much with your solar panels apart from keeping an eye. Pay close attention to the inverter display. The light must be green. The light should never go out or be flashing. Consult your manual immediately. If you can’t figure it out, contact your panel installer. There is a warranty coverage on it so the company will send out an engineer to have a look at the problem. By monitoring your panels regularly, you spot (and fix) issues immediately.
5. Track Your Panels’ Daily Performance:
If you’re meticulous about record keeping, jot down how much electricity your panels were able to produce each day, preferably around the same time. Place an asterisk on overcast days as these will give you skewed results. Keeping a daily record will help determine how your system is doing. If manual record keeping is not your thing, not a problem. Speak to your installer about installing a monitoring device.
To learn more about how to maximize the lifespan of your solar panels, contact Pssolarsystems.