Did you know that 39% of new energy capacity in the US came from solar panels in 2021?
Many people want to embrace solar power because of the benefits to the environment and future savings, but there are a lot of things you need to consider to make sure everything runs smoothly with your solar system.
With more homeowners working with solar panels, you should consider solar panel maintenance to ensure your investment lasts. Keep reading this guide to learn all about solar panel maintenance.
Assessing Solar Panel Quality
The assessment of solar panel quality is an important component involved in solar panel maintenance. It starts with ensuring that the quality of all materials and components used in the installation is up to standard.
The assessment includes:
- inspecting solar panel frames
- looking for corrosion
- loose electrical connections
- checking if the wiring is the correct type and size
It also includes making sure that the mounting brackets are properly attached and that the solar panel array is level. Regularly cleaning the solar panel array and checking for dust, dirt, leaves, and debris is necessary as well.
Visually inspecting all the solar panels for any cracks, splits, delamination, or warping should also be done in order to ensure the solar panel system is functioning properly.
Cleaning Solar Panels
Depending on location, solar panels can get dirty very quickly. This is due to any of the following:
- wind-blown dust and dirt
- insect residue
- bird droppings
- accumulated dirt from rain and snowfall
Solar panel cleaning helps prevent particles from settling on the surface and blocking out sunlight which would reduce the amount of solar energy that can be collected.
Here are a few ways of cleaning your solar panels:
The robots have sensors that can navigate and scan the solar panels to detect dirt and debris. Then they use special brushes and water jets to knock off the dirt, keeping the panels clean. As solar panel cleaning robotics become more sophisticated, they will be able to not just clean, but also repair and even diagnose issues with solar panel installation.
In the near future, robots will be able to monitor the panels regularly and alert personnel of any potential issues. This way, solar panel cleaning will become even more efficient and cost-effective.
Soap-Less Brushes and Sponges
The most efficient way of cleaning solar panels is with soapless brushes and sponges. These are specifically designed for this purpose and are not damaging to the panel’s surfaces. These tools are gentle enough to get rid of debris, dust, and other particles. Also, be gentle on the sensitive solar panel structure.
This process helps to keep the solar panels completely clean and free from residue. It allows the panel to absorb and produce as much energy as possible from the sun. Soapless brushes and sponges, along with a simple mixture of vinegar and water, can help keep your solar panels clean and functioning perfectly.
The waterless vibration process involves automatically vibrating the solar panel. It uses specially designed vibrators to remove dust and other debris. Huge amounts of water and labor are saved by avoiding full panel cleaning.
Since the vibration process has been designed to use low levels of energy, a much smaller carbon footprint is produced.
These coatings are made of small particles that have unique shapes and sizes and can adhere to a solar panel’s surface. When combined with additives, they create a thin layer that can repel dirt and dust. This makes it easier to maintain the cleanliness of solar panels.
These coatings are incredibly durable and can last for years. It reduces the need for intensive cleaning that can damage the solar panel itself. The nanoparticles also improve the efficiency of the panel by increasing its performance in low-light conditions and providing an extra layer of insulation.
Manual cleaning is perhaps the most common and cost-effective method of cleaning solar panels.
First, the dust and dirt must be removed from the surface of the panels. This can be done by wiping down the panels with a soft cloth and warm water or even using a garden hose for large installations.
After this, using a simple cleaning solution such as vinegar diluted with warm water can help to break down any stubborn grime and debris. In more extreme cases, more powerful solutions may be necessary. It’s important to exercise caution as chemical cleaners can damage solar cells.
Finally, if necessary, use a soft brush or microfiber cloth to remove any leftover debris and a polishing solution to restore the original shine of the cells.
Identifying & Rectifying Issues
Inspections should be performed at least once a year to ensure no dust has accumulated on the panel that could potentially block the sun’s light. Also, it is important to ensure that the wiring, connectors, and fuses are all in good condition.
If rust or corrosive residue is present, it needs to be removed and replaced as soon as possible, as it can cause permanent damage to the system. Each photovoltaic panel should be regularly checked for performance, and any faulty panels should be replaced if necessary.
Before any repair or maintenance is performed, the system should be shut off to ensure safety.
Rated Lifespan of Solar Panels
Solar panel maintenance is necessary in order to get the most out of your solar energy system.
Solar panels have a rated lifespan of 25-30 years, but regular maintenance will ensure they are working efficiently throughout the entire lifespan. You can refer to this page now if you want to get started on solar panel installation as soon as possible!
The amount of maintenance required is minimal, but it is important to keep an eye on your solar panel system and make sure it is working optimally. Proper maintenance will help to extend the lifespan of your solar panels and make sure you get maximum efficiency from your system for years to come.
Learn More About Regular Solar Panel Maintenance Today
Solar panel maintenance is a proactive approach to ensure your panels remain in peak operating condition. Regular and periodic inspections, such as checking mounting or any obstructions or accumulation of dust or debris, can help your solar technology perform optimally.
Invest in a panel maintenance plan today to keep your solar technology performing efficiently and safely.
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