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What maintenance does a solar power system need?

Francisco CastroMay 3, 2019940

Solar panels and equipment are immensely reliable. Once properly installed, there are no moving parts, and there is very little wear and tear.

Despite holding sensitive electronics, the photovoltaic (PV) modules are tough, durable, and almost maintenance-free. They can withstand extreme weather, whether heat or snow, wind and rain.

Newer modules also contain impact-resistant casing, which protects and prevents breaks from falling branches and other debris.

That’s the reason why most solar manufacturers offer 25-year warranties for their panels. But with proper care and regular maintenance, a solar power system can last much longer. Last year, the New Hampsire Concord Monitor published a story about a 3.5-amp, 12-volt Kyocera solar panel bought for $435 by Ralph Jimenez and Linda Graham in 1978 (or 1979) that continued to generate power - that’s 40 years!

Over the years, solar panel’s will only see a slight drop in energy output, which means you can expect your solar power system to keep saving you money for years to come, much longer after reaching your payback period.

Given their resiliency, it’s still important to provide some maintenance to solar panels and equipment, so you can maximize your solar power investment.

Do keep in mind that if you lease your solar panels, upkeep falls under the responsibility of the company that leases them to you. So you don’t need to do anything. 

But if you own the solar power system, here are some suggestions for minimal upkeep:

Quality over quantity

The most effective way to guarantee a long lifespan for solar panels is to pick high-quality equipment and an experienced installer from the start. This will make sure the installation of the solar power system is done correctly, which minimizes problems in the long run. You might be tempted to go for lower quality, less costly products, but if you carefully check reviews and standards, you might find that higher initial cost might give you a longer peace of mind.

Fortune Energy has all the parts needed for the most reliable solar power system, with the highest workmanship warranties and performance guarantees.

Also, make sure that the size of the solar power system matches your energy needs, not only the current ones, but for the future. 

If you expect changes in your lifestyle that would require more energy later (such as buying an electric vehicle that you want to charge at home), make sure to mention it to your solar installer, so that he can better estimate your energy needs.

To find out how much a solar power system for your home in Texas will cost, you can access the Hahasmart price checker that provides you with an estimate of equipment and installation costs by simply noting your home address and monthly electricity bill. They’ll even help you contact a reputable solar installer in your area. 

Cleaning

If tilted and/or depending on the slope of your roof, rainfall is usually enough for keeping your solar panels clean. However, if the panels are almost flat on your roof and tend to accumulate debris under, around or on top of them, you should conduct a thorough cleaning at least once a year. This can be done by simply using a garden hose.  

Simple accumulation of dust shouldn’t be of concern, as it has very little impact on solar panel output, according to a study out of the University of California- San Diego.

Check for birds

Pigeons are especially attracted to solar panels and like to make nests under them seeking protection from the weather and other animals. But the accumulation of debris and bird feces can present a problem for solar panels. If you notice birds gathering around your solar modules, you can install bird screening.

A yearly check up

Once in a while, or every year, have your solar power system checked thoroughly by your solar installer, who should inspect loose connections, mountain equipment and the actual panels, wiring and inverter. When inspecting these parts, they should check for cracks in the solar panel covers or cells, as well as on the wires.  

Report any problems immediately

You should also regularly check how much energy your solar power system is generating. If you see any sudden and drastic drop, have it checked immediately to find out the cause and prevent further deterioration. 

Watch out for the shade

Something else to pay attention to is shade. Any type of obstruction of the sun, including a tree limb or a chimney shadow can reduce the energy output of your panels. Maybe a tree has grown and is now throwing shade over part of the solar array, or a small tree branch fell partially on one of the panels. Either of these scenarios can diminish the electricity generated by your entire solar power system. 

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