Jessica PirroNovember 11, 20195390
When homeowners are researching solar panel installations, they come across a lot of information, regarding the solar panel installation process, but what happens when the solar-powered system is installed?
Well, it’s true, once your solar panels are installed and begin generating solar electricity, you will begin saving money, and helping the environment. But there’s a little more information you are going to want to know about maintaining your solar-powered system.
Monitor Your Solar Panels
One thing that is vital to a solar-powered system is going to be the efficiency of a solar panel. The efficiency of a solar panel is going to determine how much solar electricity your solar-powered system is going to produce. One way that you can ensure that your solar panels are performing properly, is by monitoring them. If you notice a sudden decrease in the efficiency of a solar panel, it may be an indicator that it is time for some maintenance.
How to Monitor a Solar-Powered System
Most solar-powered systems came equipped with a monitoring system for your solar panels. Your solar-powered system will collect data about solar energy production and power levels and then send the collected information to the cloud, where you can access it through an app or smart home gadget. Some solar-powered systems are also offering on-site monitoring.
If you want to look for more information about monitoring systems you click here.
Troubleshoot Any Issues as They Occur
If you notice the efficiency of a solar panel is drastically decreasing, it’s a sign that they should get checked out.
The first thing you are going to want to do is to inspect your solar panels to make sure that the problem isn’t something simple. Often, you might simply need to clean the solar panels or trim back your overgrown tree casting shade on your solar panel installation.
Occasionally there may be a deeper issue, such as the solar power inverter malfunctioning or the wires that they connect to. It is going to be a lot rarer for the actual solar panels themselves to malfunction. If you see something wrong, or you can’t find the cause, you will want to have someone to look at right away.
Schedule Routine Cleanings
Just like you get your car washed for maintenance, regular cleanings are the best preventative measure for the health of the solar panels as well. You are going to want to be sure to clean your solar panels a few times a year to ensure that the efficiency of a solar panel is the same year-round.
How often you clean your solar panels is going to depend on the area that you live, what the weather is like, the season, and other factors. An alternative, you can simply make a note for yourselves to check once every few months to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
If you live in an area where there is a lot of dust, pollution, ash, birds, or pollen, you might need to clean your solar panels more often than others to ensure that the efficiency of a solar panel, like the particles on your solar panels, can reduce the amount of sunlight that receive by up to 20%.
How to Clean Your Solar Panels
If you decide that you need to clean your solar-powered system, there are two main ways of doing it, you can either hire a professional or you can do it yourself. A lot of solar companies are offering cleaning solar panel installation services, or they will suggest you get it done every so often when the come to install the solar panels. The truth is, what you get back cost-wise in your energy bill does not surpass the amount that you need to shell out these solar companies to perform the work. Solar companies are often going to charge quite a bit to do the cleaning, for not much return on your energy bill.
On the other hand, if you’re interested in doing it yourself, you are going to generally give all you will need to do it at home. In most cases, it won’t involve anything more than a hose, maybe some soap and you’re good to go. This may is helpful in drought-prone areas as well, because essentially what you’re doing with the hose is the same thing the rain would if you got more of it in your area.
There are certain ways to determine if your solar panels need cleaning, to begin with. One is a physical inspection of the solar panels for debris, dirt, bird droppings, etc. The other way is the use of a solar power monitoring system that will alert you on your solar panels' performance. This will alert you to any maintenance needs for your solar-powered system, whether that’s a mechanical, electrical, or the cleanliness.
How to Clean Solar Power Inverters and Wiring
Solar panels aren’t the only solar power equipment that you should maintain. Every so often you are going to want to clean off your solar power inverter and the wiring. The solar-powered systems with string inverters, all the solar panels are connected to a string, making them fairly easy to clean. With the microinverters, you could have more difficulty, as these are located under the solar panels.
You will also need to be sure to inspect the wiring for corrosion, cracking, or breaking before cleaning. If you notice that there’s an issue with your solar panel installation, you should contact your whoever installed your solar-powered system immediately, as electrical issues should be handled by trained professionals. You aren’t going to want to hurt yourself nor will you want to damage your solar-powered system,
How to Clean Solar Energy Batteries
For those who have a battery for backup energy storage, it’s important to give this a wipe every once in a while as well. Even with the solar energy batteries that are considered maintenance-free, regular inspections of the case, terminal connections, voltage, and wiring are important. A few times a year, look through to make sure that everything is fairly clean and that there isn’t any corrosion. Again, if you see that anything is odd, it’s better to leave it to the experts.
Use Your Warranty
If there is an issue, most of the problems regarding solar-powered systems are going to be covered by the warranty that comes standard with most of the solar-powered systems. If your solar power inverter stops working, the wires are damaged, or your solar panels simply aren’t living up to the hype, make sure to contact the company that performed your solar panel installation to see if the issue will be covered by a warranty.
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