Solar panels are a great investment for homeowners who want to reduce their electricity bills and carbon footprint. But just like any other investment, you need to take care of it to get the best return on investment.
To ensure your solar panels last as long as possible and provide maximum energy efficiency, we have put together the ultimate guide to solar panel maintenance for homeowners. You will find everything you need to know about caring for your solar panels, from cleaning and inspections to repairs and replacements.
1. Cleaning your solar panels
The first step to maintaining your solar panels is to keep them clean. Dirt, grime, and other debris can accumulate on your panels and reduce energy efficiency. Cleaning your panels regularly ensures that they stay operating at full capacity.
Use warm soapy water (a mild detergent is best) and a soft sponge to clean your solar panels, then rinse off any foam or detergent once done. Keep away from abrasive cleaners and high-pressure hosing, as these can cause damage to your panels. Due to the positioning of your solar panels, cleaning may need to be done more regularly to remove excess dirt and dust.
While you can clean your solar panels yourself, we highly recommend engaging a professional. Our Solar Uptime Solar Electricians perform a three-stage panel clean to remove all contaminants including baked-on atmospheric grime and animal excretions. This will result in a minimum performance improvement of 5% to 10%.
2. Inspecting your solar panels
Regular inspections are also important to ensure your solar panels function correctly. Panels should be inspected every six months and after severe weather events (hail and high winds). If doing this yourself, when examining solar panels, you want to look for any cracks, scratches, or other signs of damage to the panels, as well as the panel mounting system to ensure all panels are firmly and safely anchored to the roof.
It is beneficial to have a Solar professional to inspect your solar panels. The Solar Uptime maintenance checks include:
- Panels checked for hot spots, micro cracking, PV cell delamination, evidence of moisture ingress, manufacturing defects, broken glass, or any other issues
- Solar Panel rails and brackets checked to ensure sound roof connection
- Solar Panel frame seals checked for potential moisture ingress issues developing
- Potential solar panel shading issues identified
- Check if the panels installed on different orientations ie: North East facing & North West facing?
We also offer free assistance and advice to point our customers in the right direction and troubleshoot faults which often fix the issue without having to send out an solar electrician.
If you do notice any damage, contact Solar Uptime as soon as possible. Leaving damaged panels unrepaired can reduce energy output and further damage your solar system.
3. Repairing your solar panels
If your solar panels are damaged, it’s important to have them repaired by a qualified solar professional. Attempting to repair them yourself can result in further damage or injury.
In some cases, your solar panels may need to be replaced if the damage if they have reached the end of their lifespan or the damage is too severe. Here at Solar Uptime, we repair first and only replace if necessary. Once we have examined your panels, our qualified solar electricians will tell you if replacement is needed.
4. Maximising your solar panel efficiency
In addition to cleaning and regular system maintenance, there are other ways to maximise the efficiency of your solar panels, such as insuring there is nothing restricting the energy flow from the panels to the solar inverter, or from the inverter into your home.
Check your inverter display for any error, messages, or red lights indicating that something is wrong and also check to ensure that there is always free airflow behind and/or around the inverter, to ensure it stays cool when it is working the hardest during the heat of the day.
There you have it, the ultimate guide to solar panel maintenance for homeowners to ensure you keep your solar panels in top condition for years to come. By following these simple steps and booking your regular solar maintenance and service every six months, you can prevent costly repairs and replacements in the future and ensure you’re getting maximum panel efficiency.