Any technique requires proper care. This leads to a longer service life, minimizes the risk of breakdowns, and helps maintain stable operations. Solar panels are no exception. Timely maintenance will allow you to enjoy green energy, huge savings on utility bills, and quality system operation without worries for more than 25 years.
But it is worth remembering that solar panels are hard to maintain and you should not do it yourself. Expensive equipment, many high-tech components, and high voltage require careful handling. All this work should be entrusted to professionals. But there are also those manipulations that you can perform on your own. We will talk about all the intricacies of the care and maintenance of solar panels in the article.
How much to maintain solar panels?
For stable operation, it is necessary to carry out maintenance of the systems once a year. It is enough just to assess the state of their work, clean up, look for possible errors and correct them.
It is also important to evaluate the correct operation of the inverter. It does not have such a long service life but is valuable enough for the panels to work correctly. It is important to maintain this complex mechanism every year and keep a close eye on its performance.
How do you know when it’s time to service your solar panel?
Any question that makes you think that the solar panel is malfunctioning or degrading should lead to service. Due to the high cost of the system and its complex design, even minor problems can cost a lot of money over time. If you’re wondering how much it costs to maintain solar panels and don’t want to spend those amounts on an estimate, consider how much a repair or a new system would cost. These amounts are unequal. In addition, your purchase of a solar panel indicates that your main goal is to save money. And if system performance and efficiency are reduced due to problems with the system, your benefit from acquiring it may also be reduced. Why these concepts are interconnected, read the solar panels blog.
Reasons for maintenance may include:
- reduction of energy produced by the system;
- output power reduction;
- changes in utility bills, namely for electricity;
- various natural disasters in the recent past;
- significant precipitation (rain or snow).
Some solar systems have an indicator. It allows you to quickly assess and respond to a plant malfunction. If it lights up green, the weight is working properly, but if it lights up red, it’s time to call the professionals.
How much do solar panels cost to maintain?
It is impossible to predict the exact amount for the service. It will vary by state, inverter type, house height, system performance, panel placement, and design, number of panels, and other factors. But there is an approximate cost to maintain solar panels:
- a service visit or full maintenance will cost 250-750 dollars;
- solar panel cleaning – $15-35 per panel;
- An annual health check is $ 150-300 for the entire system and its components.
But the price may be lower if the panels are installed on the ground. Additional charges may apply for broken parts, worn parts, or other issues.
Can I do my maintenance?
Maintenance of solar systems is as important as the sun itself over the panels, which provides the generation of electricity. But do solar panels need direct sunlight? And is only professional maintenance required?
It all depends on what you are going to serve. For example, climbing to the roof is a rather dangerous occupation, not to mention the deep appreciation of the panels in their electronic part. These tasks are best delegated to those who understand all the details of the design and are equipped with all the tools, ammunition, and other necessary things. Professionals can guarantee that nothing bad will happen to the panels, and they will continue to work properly immediately after service. And the wrong actions that you take on your own can lead to serious breakdowns, large financial investments, and the loss of the most valuable thing – your life. After all, high voltage and an infinite number of wires, when assessed without knowledge and special equipment, can lead to disastrous consequences.
Still, there is one thing, solar panels are easy to maintain and this is cleaning. It is not so difficult, but if you are confident in your abilities. In addition, cleaning is recommended more often than once a year. It is better if it is produced at least after each season, but ideally once a month.
But how to maintain solar panels on the roof yourself and minimize the risk of frequent maintenance? Let’s take a look at 5 life hacks.
5 life hacks to maintain your solar panels
No. 1. Dispose of trash properly
Precipitation in the form of snow and rain, autumn leaf fall, dust, dirt, and other debris can interfere with the stable operation of the solar system. Yes, if your panels are set properly at an angle, most of the dirt will slide down safely. But some dirt may remain on the surface, so you should maintain solar panels.
To clean the system, all you need to do is use a blower, a sweeper, or a garden hose, and soft clothes or sponges. In no case, you should use hard brushes and scrapers. The surface of the panels is quite fragile and sensitive, so abrasive materials will quickly leave scratches.
When using a garden hose, do not water the panels point-blank. High-pressure water can also damage the surface.
Cleaning solar panels installed on the ground is much easier—no need to climb high and contact with a complex structure. And for cleaning, it is enough to use a garden hose and a soft sponge. But the main thing is to act carefully and not fill everything with water too much.
It is best to clean early in the morning or in the evening when there is no active sun since during the daytime the system is actively working for the benefit of your savings.
No. 2. Minimize the number of appliances in use
Yes, solar energy is economical and environmentally friendly, but this does not mean that you need to turn on all the appliances at once. Don’t overload the network. When using a large number of electronic devices, there is a risk that the batteries will not cope with the entire load and you will have to use energy from the local network. In addition, a lot of running appliances can wear out your panels if they are not designed for increased load. Then the question “are solar panels expensive to maintain?” will fade into the background, because you will have to invest a lot of money in resuming the normal operation of the system.
No. 3. Get cooler
Since semiconductors are included in the solar panel system, a significant increase in temperature can significantly reduce their performance. Yes, the panels need the active sun to work, so they will heat up anyway. To stabilize the situation, it is enough to think of a free cooling system. For her, it is enough to make a gap between the roof and the panels of at least 7 inches. You can also buy separate refrigeration equipment.
No. 4. Record the work of the panels every day
Depending on how you maintain solar panels, this is how the system will work. For the effectiveness of its work, performance should be evaluated daily. Estimate how much energy panels produce and how this process is affected by weather conditions, as well as other factors. All this will help ensure the durability of the panels and prevent them from breaking. As soon as you notice large fluctuations in the energy produced from various factors, call a professional maintenance service.