Why It’s Important to Maintain Your Solar Panel
Solar panels generate electricity that can be used in your home or sent back to the grid. This clean energy is more sustainable than fossil fuels, which are limited in supply and emit harmful greenhouse gases when burned.
Individual solar cells absorb photons of sunlight and initiate an electric current through a process known as the Photovoltaic Effect. Assisted by an inverter, this direct current is transformed into alternating current.
The large black solar panels you see on roofs and other structures are photovoltaic modules that generate electricity from sunlight. Each panel is composed of 36 solar cells that are framed and wired together, producing up to 1 kW (electrical power). Solar cells are made of silicon semiconductors that absorb sunlight to create an electric current.
Solar energy is a renewable resource that doesn’t produce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Using solar energy to produce power also helps reduce environmental problems caused by conventional energy, such as acid rain, air pollution, water pollution, and rapidly filling waste disposal sites.
In addition to producing clean, renewable energy, solar panels can also help lower your electricity bills by generating enough electricity to offset all or most of your consumption. The exact number of panels needed to achieve this depends on your home’s electricity usage and geographic location. Solar installers take your geography into account when designing a system, as well as the physical placement of the panels on your roof (e.g., whether your roof is shaded).
Depending on the type of solar panels installed, they can be used to power a variety of electrical devices, including homes and buildings, recreational vehicles and boats, remote cabins and cottages, telecommunications equipment, oil and gas flow monitoring, RTU and SCADA, and many other applications. Solar panels can also be integrated into building designs as an alternative to traditional lighting, and are becoming increasingly popular in new construction projects.
Solar Panel Installation
Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, producing clean energy without harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Using solar energy reduces your dependence on the electric grid, lowers your monthly utility bills, and may solar battery allow you to sell surplus power back to your local electricity provider.
A solar panel system, also called a photovoltaic (PV) system, contains a series of silicon solar cells that generate electricity from sunlight. The cells are covered by glass and held together with a sturdy metal frame. Each PV module is designed for a specific geographic location and physical placement, with consideration to factors such as shading, roof orientation, and available space.
When installed properly, solar panels require little maintenance. Periodic cleaning outdoor waterproof solar lights to remove dirt and debris can maximize performance and extend the lifespan of your home solar panel system. Some solar PV systems have a performance monitoring system that provides detailed information about how much electricity your home is generating on an hourly basis.
Solar power is a renewable resource that could help our communities move away from nonrenewable resources like coal and other fossil fuels. However, the upfront cost of a solar panel system can be prohibitive for many homeowners. Fortunately, there are a number of incentives and financing options available that can make solar power more affordable for households. Many solar panel installers have relationships with national banks that can offer zero-down financing to make it easier for homeowners to purchase a solar energy system.
Solar Panel Maintenance
While it’s true that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have no moving parts, it is also true that they do require some level of maintenance to ensure optimal performance. That’s why it’s important to do a yearly check, cleaning and solar panel inspection. Performing this preventative maintenance can save you from costly repairs and can help you catch problems before they become worse.
One of the most important types of maintenance for a solar power system is cleaning. Over time, dust particles can build up on your solar panels, causing shading that inhibits sunlight from reaching the cells. This can lead to reduced energy output and decreased financial return for your investment. Regular cleanings can reduce shading and increase your electricity production.
A yearly cleaning will also reduce the risk of water damage to your PV panels. Using a non-toxic, biodegradable soap with a soft brush or rag is recommended. It’s best to avoid abrasive sponges or harsh detergents that could scratch your roof and cause corrosion. Always rinse your solar panels with lukewarm water, as sudden temperature changes can crack the glass.
Another benefit of cleaning your solar panels is that it can help you save money on your utility bills. Dirty solar panels can reduce your system’s efficiency and increase your energy costs, so by keeping them clean you can save on your monthly electricity bill.
Solar Panel Repair
Solar panels transform sun energy into electricity to power homes and businesses. However, like any electrical system, they are susceptible to damage. It’s important to maintain your solar system and repair any damage as soon as it occurs. This will ensure that your solar panel is working properly and producing the maximum amount of power possible.
While it’s rare for a solar panel to need repairs, the solar technology isn’t infallible. There are a few common issues that need to be addressed by professional technicians:
If your solar panel’s circuit breakers keep tripping, this is a sign that there may be a problem with the wiring. This issue needs to be investigated immediately, as it could potentially be dangerous.
Solar panels can be damaged by wind, snow, and hail. They also need to be cleaned regularly to avoid dust and debris build-up, which can decrease their efficiency and output. This should be done at least twice per year.
Solar installation companies offer a variety of maintenance packages. These include general cleaning and examining the system’s electrical systems to prevent arc faults, ground faults, and other damage. It’s best to leave these tests to the professionals, as they require specialized equipment and knowledge of complex electrical systems. Choose a solar maintenance company that offers transparent pricing and clear communication with their customers. ARE Solar in Denver, CO, for example, provides warranties on their work that can save homeowners money over time.