Solar panels are a great way to save money on an electric bill and reduce carbon footprint.
But do they entail high maintenance? Is rain enough for self-cleaning?
We’ll help you understand the ins and outs of proper maintenance of solar panels so that you can increase the lifespan and efficiency of your purchase.
Shading can reduce solar panel efficiency by 20 to 40%, so always ensure no physical structures like trees or other buildings are blocking the sunlight.
This doesn’t mean you have to cut down trees shading the system, but trimming them periodically will go a long way towards maximum energy production.
Check the components of your system, like the solar panel inverter and the micro-inverter on the panels, for potential damages. Green lights on the inverter are a good sign, but if the warning lights go off, there’s an issue that needs to be addressed.
Keep track of your energy yield every day. This will give you a basis for comparison and make it easier to tell if something is off. Take note of cloudy days, too, so you know what could cause inconsistencies in production.
Let those with knowledge and experience handle installations to avoid complications. Since you’re putting a good amount of money into these panels, you might as well be on the safe side and hire reputable installers.
The good news: some companies even cover the installation and maintenance costs as part of their services.
Hire service technicians to check the system at least once a year to avoid spending money on unexpected and major repairs. Solar panel maintenance cost could go for £100, and repair costs can vary from £80 to £1,500, depending on how serious the damage is.
Most of the manufacturers on the UK market offer coverage between 15 and 20 years, with some even providing you with 25 years of product and performance warranties.
It’s next to impossible to properly maintain your solar system if you are unaware of what can damage it.
Accumulated pollen, dirt, and debris can adversely affect your solar system’s performance, so make sure you keep the panels clean.
Birds or squirrels nesting under your panels or other animals damaging your panels is common in the UK. In this case, you could install plastic strips under the panels or invest in roof-integrated panels to stop animals from settling under your panels.
Extreme weather conditions such as hail storms, tornadoes, and thunderstorms can do some serious damage to your PV array. A professional solar panel service should provide the right set-up (placement, direction and angle) if you live in a high-risk area.
Fallen twigs could also physically damage your system—another reason why trees around the solar panels should be trimmed.
These cracks can grow into larger ones, so it’s important to fix them in time.
The primary function of a solar panel inverter is to allow a household to use the electricity from solar panels. Solar inverters do not typically last as long as solar panels, so they need to be replaced more often. Solar inverters cost between £500 to £2,000—an investment worth making if you want to extend the lifespan of your solar system.
These refer to the regions on the solar array that become overloaded. Luckily, there are solar panels with built-in technology that stop the formation of hot spots.
PV arrays can cause fires, mainly because of an arc fault. Arc faults happen when there are loose connections, corrosion of joints, water ingress, ants biting into cable insulation, failed DC isolator, or degradation of cable insulation. To prevent this from happening, regularly maintain and service the solar system.
Stop worrying about skyrocketing costs on solar panels repairs and maintenance. Simply consider them like your other household items but with extra help from professional technicians now and then. You should manage the regular maintenance required easily and enjoy the monetary savings from using these solar panels in the long run.
Let the professionals do it if you have a roof-mounted system. Save yourself from accidents and potentially damaging your panels or your roof.
Ground-mounted setups can be cleaned using non-abrasive materials, a garden hose, and a soft cloth.
Always remember to shut down the system first.
Yes, but probably not as often as you would think. Most solar panels are self-cleaning, especially in the UK, where there are frequent rains.
Cleaning can be done twice a year or depending on the potential dirt buildup in your surroundings. Daily monitoring is helpful here as it can determine whether or not your panels are still at optimal performance.
Yes, it’s good practice to have your solar panels checked at least once a year for potential hazards. Damaged wiring or natural degradation can occur in the long run, and regular maintenance of solar panels can help in prolonging the system’s lifespan.
Bojana is my name and writing is my game. I am a content writer from Bitola who is always interested in the latest research in almost all areas of life. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and a perfectionist character, both of which help me find the most accurate data and information available. Although I have my head stuck in studies and reports most of the time, I still have a bit of free time during which I enjoy knitting and watching classic 90’s Disney movies.