The growing want for clean energy is driving homeowners to invest more in solar panels. Some of the outstanding merits of these panels include low-cost installation and affordable maintenance. They are also durable and easy to set up. However, recent surveys have revealed that many people have no idea of how to care for their panels.
Taking proper care of your solar panels optimizes their performance, and shields them from damage. Experts recommend regular cleaning of these panels. They tend to gather dust, grime, bird droppings, and other substances. Here are some quick tips for caring for your solar panels.
Shut Down the System before Cleaning
Always shut the system down before you start cleaning. Every solar panel comes with a manual that will guide you on standard procedure for shutting down the system. Apart from guaranteeing your safety, switching them off is necessary to protect the appliances.
Besides, removing the panel from the roof is highly recommended. You are more likely to be thorough when you clean it on the ground. Do not attempt to remove the panel on your own if you lack the skills. Always enlist the help of a professional.
Use the Right Tools to Clean your Panel
If you want your solar panel to retain its attractive luster for a long time, use the right equipment. Some people scratch their new panels within days of purchasing them. Mainly because they used the wrong tools, that may have sharp or pointed edges.
Ask your dealer for a solar panel cleaning kit, which is uniquely suited to provide thorough cleaning. Most cleaning kits comprise of a liquid soap, a small brush, and a wiper. In case you cannot find the special kit, use the same equipment that you use to clean your car’s windshield.
Check for Loose Connections
Caring for your panel should not be restricted to basic cleaning only. The performance of your panel also depends a lot on the quality of its connections. A lot may happen to your panel to compromise its performance as it rests on the roof. Impacts from hailstorms and weather may result in loose connections.
Therefore, you should conduct regular checks to make sure that all the connections are in top-form. Remember that loose connections can lead to short circuiting of the system. Consequently, this may cause fires, and destroy the whole system. Remember, checking for loose connections requires an expert’s eye.
Guard the Panel with a Lightning Arrester
The damaging effects of lightning can mean an abrupt end to the life of your solar panels. The situation can be worse if it happens at night. Lightning strikes are one of the leading causes of solar panel damage. An expert is needed to fix a lightning arrester. You should consider getting one of the most effective if you live in an area that is prone to lightning and hailstorms. This safeguard will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Protect the Panel from Loose Branches
Many homeowners tend to overlook the fact that trees around their homes may have branches covering their panels. A homeowner should check the branches to ensure that they aren’t hanging over their solar panel.
Branches usually pose two main problems. First, they form shadows around the solar panel, preventing it from receiving sufficient sun rays. In this regard, the performance of the panel is seriously compromised. Secondly, these branches may break and hit your panel during storms. The resultant impact can damage the glass surface.
Check your Panel’s Energy Output
Recent advances in solar technology have ensured that solar panels maintain their efficiency above the 90% mark. Even after twenty years. However, it is advisable to keep checking the output of your panels. That way, you can easily tell when the performance diminishes. Like any other system, solar energy systems are susceptible to technical flaws that compromise their performance.
Ask your dealer or a solar panel technician for the technical support that you need in order to track the output of the system. Usually, special inverters are used for this purpose. You may also opt for some advanced checking gadgets. These will give you comprehensive information about the amount of carbon dioxide that your system is saving at every moment.
Ensure Maximum Sun Exposure
Apart from trees, new high-rise structures around your home can limit the amount of sunshine that your panel receives. If you notice any decline in the performance of your solar panel, try and find out why. You may find new structures in the area are preventing sunshine from reaching your panel. Monitor the movement of shadows from sunrise to sundown.
You may need to move your solar panel to increase the amount of sunshine it gets. Do not compromise the efficiency of your solar energy system because of poor positioning. Solar panels work better and last longer if they are kept in optimum conditions that enhance their efficiency.
The Bottom Line
Advancements in solar panel technology have ensured their best performance, with minimal maintenance costs. Their construction is both robust and highly efficient with regard to performance and durability.
However, solar panel users should clean them regularly. Also, ensure that they are well positioned for superior performance. Checking their connections and shielding them from hailstones and lightning are also crucial.