8 Steps for Solar Maintenance

8 Steps for Solar Maintenance

When it comes to solar panel maintenance, it's important to know how to do it right.

If you don't take good care of your solar panels, they can lose their efficiency and performance. This will lead to decreased power production and ultimately, diminished utility savings.

It's not just about the money either—neglecting solar panel maintenance can also void your warranty. So if you're looking for a way to lower your utility bills, make sure that you're doing everything possible to keep your solar panels in good condition.

The good news is that solar panels mostly take care of themselves and require very little maintenance.

It is safer to hire experts for recurring inspections if you install your solar panels on the roof. If you plan to handle the task yourself, use the appropriate safety equipment.

An overview of solar maintenance

  • Solar panels don't need much maintenance, especially if they're tilted, as rain may remove any debris.
  • It is often advised that you clean your solar panels two to four times a year.
  • You can check the amount of energy your panels produced by using a monitoring app. It could be time to clean your panels if you notice a decrease in production.
  • The maintenance and cleaning of solar panels are not covered by panel warranties, however if your solar panels are damaged, they will often be covered.

Create a Checklist

To ensure that you get everything done, write down the tasks in your maintenance checklist. Use a standard list to keep things simple and organized. If anything goes wrong later, you'll have proof that you performed regular checks. Additionally, it makes it simpler for you to identify minor issues early on before they develop into major system failures.

If you hire an expert to install your panels, find out if the company has a maintenance plan. Many businesses do, and this may involve yearly cleanings and inspections. These programs frequently include a free checklist.

Solar Power Generation

Solar panel wattage estimates indicate the ideal scenario for a bright sunny day. Solar panels often produce less energy than this rating since the sun's beams are not always direct and clear. As a result, you must track their performance over time to assess whether they are working effectively.

Start by evaluating performance every week or every month, and keep doing so for a year.

By comparing them to the highest level and conditions, you may estimate the performance level and conditions in which your system generally operates. After that, note the average. This will give you an idea of what performance to expect in the next years.

You should ideally use an interface that is easy to use and saves data in an accessible way. This makes it simple to follow trends and make appropriate plans.

Review the Manufacturer's Manual for Solar Panel Maintenance

  • Weight capacity of walkable panels
  • How frequently do the panels need to be cleaned
  • Whether you can walk on the panels
  • How much weight walkable panels can support

Insulation is an important part of keeping solar panels warm in colder areas.

In colder climates, it's much harder to keep the temperature inside the solar panel's glass enclosure at a constant level. When the temperature around them drops, they are likely to freeze up and break off, which can be very costly and damaging.

Insulation helps prevent this from happening by keeping the solar panels at a relatively consistent temperature throughout winter months, even when wind gusts blow through the area.

Inspect Electric Solar Wiring

Solar panels typically fail open when they have a problem. This indicates that the panel is no longer generating energy or re-feeding it into the wiring of your house.

If there is any indication that a panel component failed, you should also examine the wiring and solar panels. It is recommended to have an expert inspect the wiring and make any necessary repairs if you find any issues. Until you locate a solar panel service specialist, turn off the solar power system.

Check Your Solar Panels Monthly

This solar panel maintenance procedure includes inspecting the solar panel for any dirt or debris accumulation that can prevent sunlight from reaching the cells.

Check the solar panel for any breaks, chips, or cracks as well. Inspect the seal at the seam if your solar panel has separated into two parts.

When cleaning solar panels, you can use a garden hose with a gentle spray nozzle. Use of strong chemicals should be avoided since they can harm the crystals' protective covering. If you find that your solar panel isn't producing as much power as it used to, it might be time to bring in an expert.

They'll probably utilize a pressure washer made for professional use. This is because the pressure washer can be used to clean off any residue left behind from the previous cleaning attempt.

Tighten Bolts and Screws

There are a lot of screws and nuts needed for solar installation.

These may become loose over time as a result of temperature fluctuations and the subsequent contraction and expansion.

Check your solar panel for loose screws and nuts. If you notice that any of the screws or nuts are loose, tighten them with a torque wrench.

There are more practical issues with loose screws and nuts than just appearance. They could lead to decreased performance, and in extreme cases, they can make it easier for heavy winds to lift the panels off your roof.

Make sure your ground-mounted solar panels are stable if you have them. Take measures to strengthen stability if they even slightly sag when pushed or rock back and forth. More stakes or water barrels might be added to the base to make it heavier.

Inspect Your Roof 

By directly absorbing a blow from the weather, your solar panels safeguard your roof and they might outlive your roof since they have a 30-year lifespan. The roof and your panels might collapse into your home if the roof fails and might cause serious injuries and expensive property damage.

So, a key element of your maintenance strategy should include routine roof inspections. Check your roof for any signs of water leaking into the junction box or solar panels. Patch any leaks that you detect right away. Another situation where you should think about shutting the system off is this one.

Bottom line

A solar panel's lifespan is determined by the number of hours it generates power. The more solar panels you have, the more energy they can produce and the longer they will last.

Regular maintenance ensures that your panels operate at their most effective and efficient levels, helping you save money on electricity expenditures while maintaining the quality of your solar panels.

If you need help understanding how to maintain your solar panels, Forme Solar is here to help! We offer lifetime assistance through our website, so if you ever have questions or want to make sure that your system is operating at peak efficiency, just contact us and we'll be happy to assist.