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A Beginner’s Guide to Solar Panel Maintenance

solar panel maintenance
Written by Christina Jones

There’s one good thing about solar panels that they are generally quite hardy. Without much maintenance a solar panel can go years. But definitely its performance may diminish slowly. For that reason, just a bit of care from time to time will go a long way.

True, there are plenty of solar panel cleaning kits for sale in the market. If you want the finest care for your photovoltaic panels, you should surely invest in one of those. But when you are looking for a less expensive way to maintain your solar panels, then read this beginner’s guide to solar panel maintenance.

It is definitely a pretty good idea to know each solar component well to maintain your solar panel system. You should care about the racking and roof penetration points that affix the panels to your roof. The inverters and wiring that bind your panels to the electrical system of the house and existing grid are equally important. It isn’t hard to understand, and familiarizing yourself with the system’s setup will help greatly in case there is any maintenance to be done.

Here are the issues that may trouble or damage your solar power system.

Debris and Dirt Buildup

In a rather dry area, like in the midwest, this isn’t that much of a problem. While fine dust will accumulate on the panels, it will be washed away with the occasional rain. But it’s another story with other climates and in cities, where dirt is more and stickier.

Every few months, take a close look at the panel surfaces. There is bound to be a thin film of dirt buildup on them. If you are in an area with plentiful water, you can hose them out easily. If not, wipe out the dirt film and lightly wash the surface.

When there is a snow buildup, it gets a bit more difficult. It is not a good idea to get on the roof to clean the snow — instead, use a long handled broom for that. These are not that costly and are just a one-time investment that will serve you almost lifelong.

Rack and Roof Penetrations

The racks hold up your solar panels and attach them to the roof. Bolt penetrations carry the weight down to the roof and are structural parts. So, any damage to these means a chance of collapse of your solar panels, which no solar panel cleaning kits for sale can repair.

While these systems are made to last and are very sturdy — you can never say, right? Do check for leakages or cracks. If you spot one, contact the solar panel service immediately — you don’t want your precious panels toppling over due to sheer negligence. Note that these sorts of issues are generally covered under installation warranty, so it is better to ask for that before you do anything on your own.

System Issues

Most solar panel systems are equipped with the capability of unlimited monitoring. Take advantage of that  — keep an eye on the system. You can configure it on a daily, weekly, or a monthly level. A weekly check up seems the best option. Making it a habit to check your systems gives you the ability to spot any possible issues before they occur, and get the service to fix them.

Severe Weather Events

The worst enemy of solar panels is, as you know, bad weather. Our country is known for its bouts of bad storms, tornados and hurricanes. When the alert of one of these goes up in your area, you should make sure your panels will stay where they are when the weather event passes overhead.

But there is not much you can do other than rely upon the installation system. In this matter, therefore, cure is more common than prevention. Broken glasses are the most common issue with solar panels after severe weather events. So, go check your installation right away after such an event.

Even if there are no easily visible damages to the solar panel system, they may have been weakened due to the weather. Check for minute cracks, watch their performance drops, and call the service if anything makes you uncomfortable.

One good thing is that solar panels are often insured against weather calamities, so you are covered for disasters. Other than that, just grab some solar panel cleaning kits for sale from the market and start maintaining your panel — it will be fine.

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Christina Jones

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