10 Tips How to maintain your Solar Panel Systems

Renewable Energy

The solar panel systems are provided with robust non-moving parts it does not require much maintenance.
But weathering conditions would affect the surface of the panels which needs to be cleaned regularly to get better output. It means the surface would need to be free of dust and dirt to get better output. This process does not require professional to execute instead can be done by oneself. Let us review some of the tips given to ensure a clean surface.

Tip 1 – Keep Out of Shades

As sunlight is crucial element of energy conversion, the solar panels are required to be kept out in the open facing the sun and ensure that no shade would affect the quality of power generation. Besides, cleaning of panels is also a main aspect for proper generation of power to maintain efficiency of system. This aspect can be taken care by keeping the panels is steeply tilted position.

Tip 2 Review the instructions

After installation of solar panels, get to know the method of cleaning through the instructions provided from the manufacturer. Each type of panel are sensitive to certain chemicals or there could be certain fragile components that need to be taken care of. But it is mandatory to review the panels through periodic inspections. Watch out for cracks or damages as it could lead to improper energy transfer. In such cases, call out for electrical technician.

Tip 3 – Note the performance

With the help of manufacturer guide, you could get a proper monitoring system to note the performance of the system on regular basis. By keeping track of energy output on day to day basis and fluctuating weather conditions, you would understand how the system performs. Also make note of the output before and after cleaning the panels. This helps you to schedule the maintenance cleaning process.

Tip 4 – Panel cleaning material

The cleaning of solar panels requires garden hose, nonabrasive cloth and biodegradable soap to remove the dirt or mud sticking on the surface. Even a bucket of soap water and water hose to clean off the dirt would be sufficient. Do not use high pressure water sprayer, detergents, and any abrasive powder to clean the dirt held on the surface. It would damage the panel glass. Most of the time, the dirt comprises of bird droppings.
Also, check out with the manufacturer for any specific recommendations for cleaning the panels as sometimes there may be need to power out before cleaning as a safety precaution.

Tip 5. Ideal cleaning time

The best time to execute the cleaning is in the morning or late afternoon when the heat is less. This is due to fact that water could affect the glass to crack due to pressure fluctuation at high temperatures. Moreover, the evaporation of water is quick leaving dirt sticking on the surface again. Its ideal to use small circular strokes to clean the surface.

Tip 6. Check for flashing green lights

Verify regularly if the inverters are flashing greenlights. If it is not, you are not compensating your electricity use. To make sure about the proper functioning, check out with the manual provided.

Tip 7 – Put safety first

As the panels are interconnected to cords, ensure that you do not trip or fall while cleaning. Use safety systems or take precautionary measures before initiating the cleaning process as the system is mostly on roof tops. It’s always better to ensure with the manufacturer about the methods and schedule of cleaning.

Tip 8. Install automated cleaners

In case you do not have the time or facility to clean the solar panels, you could get them done using automated cleaners that can be scheduled just like sprinkler system. Or the other option would be to have a solar cleaning services company to schedule their visit to complete your cleaning.

Tip 9 – How often should we clean the system?

The cleaning of the solar panel is to be done as per the scheduled detailed by the manufacturer. In case, it is not provide, then normally it needs to be done twice of thrice a year.

Tip 10 – Solar panel cleaning kits

Most of the time, manufacturer provide Solar panel cleaning kits, to get the job done. It consists of biodegradable soap, a wiper and a small brush with handle. The soap needs to be mixed in a bucket of water and the panels would need to first gently clean by dipping the brush in the soap water. After removing the dirt, water is poured by hose to remove the dirt.

Why Should I Clean My Solar Panels?

Solar panels are created to absorb sunlight and convert them to energy to be stored for usage. Hence, these panels are often facing the sun. But eventually with time, dirt, debris, bird droppings, dried leaves and snow can block sunlight from entering the system. As per data provided by the National Renewable Energy laboratory, dirty panel lose efficiency by 25%. Therefore, it is necessary to keep panels clean to get best output and ensure better power production.

Your solar panel is an asset which needs to be kept in good condition to get better output. It requires less maintenance with regular cleaning.