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How to care for your solar PV panels.

Are your solar panels under performing? If you think they are or you actually don’t have a clue then you need to read the following information. This blog covers the basics of solar panel maintenance and gives specific advice on systems available to help you monitor efficiency.

The amount of energy that your solar panels can generate is affected by how well they are maintained so it is vital that you take time to ensure your panels remain in good shape. Try to clean your solar panels four times a year if you live in a particularly rainy area or if you house is surrounded by foliage. Dirt, animal droppings, dust, sap and pollen can easily build up on your solar panels making them less efficient. The glass exterior of your solar panel needs the most attention as the electrical components are all sealed inside the panel. This blog gives you a step-by-step guide to caring for the solar panels on your building or home.

Monitor performance:

Investing in a monitoring system for your home is one way to assess when your solar panels need attention. These systems usually need to be installed by the professional company and you may have to pay a monthly subscription fee but there are many advantages to using this type of plan.

  • You can track the energy performance of your solar panels. The amount of power your solar panels will produce each month can vary and your system will check it is in line and run diagnostic programs to see if all the components are working correctly.
  • It tracks how many CO2 emissions you are saving to help with tax incentives and benefits. You will also feel good about your personal impact on the environment.
  • These system can locate the area of your solar panel that is under performing so you can address certain areas instead of cleaning the whole installation.
  • You can access the information/statistics on your solar panels on a display in your home, via the Internet or on your mobile phone.

Cleaning process

You need to invest in a solar panel cleaning kit to ensure you are using products on your panels that won’t damage them over time. In most kits you will receive soap, a wiper, a small brush and a longer handle brush for those hard to reach places.

For the most part, cleaning your solar panels is similar to window cleaning. You mix the soap with water in a bucket, use the brush to gently rub your solar panel with the soapy water and then use the wiper to remove the soap from the panel. You don’t want the soap to dry on the panel since it will leave the panel blotchy and less efficient.

Hiring a professional

For the most part you should be able to provide sufficient maintenance for your solar panels by yourself. However, when it is difficult to reach your panels or you have particularly stubborn stains on your panels such as bird droppings or tree sap, you may want to hire a professional. A professional won’t damage your panels and will have the correct safety equipment to ensure they can do the job without falling or another injury.

Solar panel failure?

It is very rare that your solar panels will fail but if they do it is more than likely to be due to water damage. You need to have your panels correctly installed from the start, and it is worth checking that your connections and fuse holders are dry each time you clean your panels.

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