Amidst the rising cost of energy in Canberra, ACT, and climate change, solar energy stands out as an effective and efficient source of energy. It's an excellent investment for homeowners and businesses alike, as they offer a range of benefits, like reduced energy costs, increased property value, and a smaller carbon footprint.
But to ensure the longevity of your investment and maximise its efficiency, proper solar panel maintenance is the key.
Choosing a trusted solar panel installer and having the panels installed on your residential or commercial property is just half the battle. Choosing an installer that provides solar system maintenance is crucial to ensuring your long-term benefits.
In today's comprehensive guide on the dos and don'ts of solar maintenance, we'll find the secret to nurturing your solar investment, exploring the crucial solar maintenance practices that ensure prolonged efficiency and optimal performance of residential or commercial solar panel systems.
Why Does Solar Panel System Needs Maintenance?
While solar panel systems are built from durable materials and can withstand tough conditions, they are constantly exposed to elements that can cause damage to parts of them. Below are some of the factors representing what residential or commercial solar panels have to face on a regular basis:
- Dust and Debris: Dust and debris buildup on panels can significantly block sunlight and reduce its ability to convert light into energy. Regular solar maintenance ensures optimal sunlight absorption.
- Bird Droppings: Unpleasant as it may be, bird droppings act like a barrier on solar panels Canberra, reducing their efficiency.
- Shading: Trees, high-rise buildings, or even overgrown vegetation can cast shadows on your panels, limiting their access to sunlight and reducing energy production. Trimming vegetation and keeping the solar system Canberra is the key to higher energy generation.
- Physical Damage: Hailstorms, strong winds, and even falling objects can cause physical damage to the solar panels, leading to performance issues.
So, to prevent your solar panel system from facing a breakdown, it's imperative to clean your solar panel to properly perform solar panel maintenance and enjoy the ongoing benefits of solar energy, all while maximising your savings.
What Happens if You Don't Maintain Your Solar System Canberra?
Let's imagine you own a brand-new Hyundai Tucson car that you use for commuting to work, for buying groceries, and for regular usage. What will happen if you don't regularly take your car for periodic checkups and maintenance? You can expect a significant decrease in the lifespan of your vehicle and an increase in its long-term ownership. In short, skipping preventative or routine maintenance is not a feasible decision. Now instead of the car, imagine it's your residential or commercial solar panel system installed at your property.
Here are a few things that'll happen if you don't perform solar system maintenance:
1). Reduced Solar Energy Production: Dust, debris, bird droppings, and even pollen act like blinders on your solar panels, reducing the sunlight absorption ability and leading to a significant drop in energy production. You'll notice higher electricity bills and a diminishing return on your investment.
2). Physical Damage: Strong winds, hailstorms, and falling objects can damage the solar panels themselves or the mounting hardware.
This translates to reduced or no energy generation and a higher reliance on the grid.
3). Safety Hazards: Overheated panels due to dust accumulation or damaged wiring can pose safety risks like fire hazards. Additionally, neglecting physical damage can lead to electrical problems and safety concerns.
4). Warranty Voidance: Many solar panel warranties require regular solar panel maintenance to stay valid. Neglecting solar maintenance can void your warranty, leaving you exposed to significant financial risks in the event of unexpected issues.
5). Environmental Impact: A solar panel system without proper solar panel maintenance generates less clean energy, forcing one to rely more on the traditional grid. This increases the carbon footprint and negates the environmental benefits of having a solar system in the first place.
6). Reduced Lifespan: Last but not least, without proper solar system maintenance, the solar panels will degrade faster, leading to a reduced lifespan and earlier replacement costs. This can mean a negative return on investment for the owner of residential or commercial solar panels.
Don't let your solar system become a neglected investment. Follow the comprehensive do's and don'ts of solar panel maintenance attached below and extend your solar panel's lifespan and your positive returns.
The Do's of Solar Panel Maintenance
1). Follow the Manufacturer's Instruction
Be it installing solar panels or performing solar panel maintenance, always adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
Following their instructions will ensure that the solar system maintenance is done correctly and safely, preventing potential damage and maintaining peak efficiency.
2). Regularly Check for Damages
Since solar panels are installed in an open environment such as a roof, ground, awning, or overhang, they're exposed to a range of weather conditions that can cause minor cracks, leading to the malfunction of your solar system.
So, before you do the solar maintenance on your panels, visual inspections are critical for catching damage early and preventing bigger problems. Regularly inspecting panels during solar panel maintenance helps prevent small issues from becoming big problems.
Early detection of cracks, loose connections, or broken glass allows for prompt repairs, minimising damage and associated costs.
3). Wash the Solar Panels Regularly
While rain can do wonders for your solar panel, a good rinse with the garden hose from ground level during solar panel maintenance can be an excellent method to ensure panel efficiency and power output.
Even a thin layer of dust can significantly reduce the panels' efficiency. So, washing the solar system Canberra every few months with a garden hose can effectively wash out dust, bird dropping, and other contaminants, allowing the solar panels to soak up the sun's full potential.
And since there are no harsh chemicals needed, it's safe for your panels and reduces the risk of harmful chemicals contaminating the rainwater harvesting system.
4). Use Soapy Water
If the hose isn't doing the job of removing persistent stains or buildup of dust, then washing your solar panel with a little soapy water can work wonders for you. While a gentle rinse is great, washing your panels with soapy water can get your solar panels Canberra to perform at their true energy potential.
Soapy water can break down stubborn dirt and grime that gentle rising can't, maximising sunlight absorption and energy production.
As soapy water can be prepared using dish soap or mild, non-abrasive cleaners, it's safe for the panels, removing dirt without causing scratches or damage.
5). Monitor Solar Systems Performance
When you monitor your solar panel system performance, it allows you to gain insight early on about the potential issues that may arise.
Be it a sudden drop in energy output, unexpected error messages, or unusual activity, monitoring the system during solar system maintenance can help you find out the underlying issues. This identification of the problems can mitigate the snowballing of your potential threat, causing costly repairs.
This understanding of your system's performance can also help you identify areas for improvement. You can optimise panel placement, adjust settings, or address shading issues to ensure your solar panels are generating the maximum amount of clean energy possible.
6). Use Professional Help (if necessary)
While DIY routine solar panel maintenance is crucial, you should also plan a professional maintenance check to ensure the solar system doesn't have or face underlying issues in the future. A professional team of residential and commercial solar panel maintenance service providers has the knowledge and experience to handle your system safely and efficiently, ensuring proper cleaning, inspection, and repairs.
As solar panels involve wiring and connections, working on them by yourself can be dangerous. The professionals are trained and equipped to handle these risks, ensuring your safety and peace of mind.
Let the seasoned experts handle the solar maintenance! Hiring professionals saves you time and effort, allowing you to focus on enjoying the benefits of clean energy.
The Don’ts of Solar Panel Maintenance
1). Avoid High Pressure Washer
When it comes to washing your solar panels as part of solar system maintenance, high-pressure washers aren't necessary; a normal garden hose should be more than sufficient. The force of high-pressure water can damage the delicate surface of the panels, leading to micro-cracks, leaks, and reduced performance.
Not just that, the powerful spray can loosen electrical connections, posing safety hazards and reducing your system's efficiency.
While it may seem that a high-pressure washer can remove stubborn stains and grime effectively, it can actually adversely impact the panel and accelerate the panel's wear and tear, leading to premature ageing and a decreased lifespan for your panels.
2). Absence of Proper Safety Equipment
You should never undertake solar panel maintenance without proper safety gear and precautions. Working without safety measures can cause risks, accidents, and injuries.
Solar panels involve electricity, posing potential shock or arc flash risks. Safety equipment like gloves, boots, and insulated tools protects you from harm.
Also, as you have to climb a roof to access panels, prioritise the use of harnesses and fall protection equipment to ensure your safety.
By prioritising safety equipment and measures, you're not just protecting yourself; you're ensuring a successful and enjoyable solar panel maintenance experience. Remember, your safety should be your main concern and is more valuable than any solar panel maintenance.
Also Read: How Long Do Commercial Solar Panels Last?
3). Usage of Hot or Cold Water for Cleaning
To capture sunlight for maximum energy generation, solar panels are placed so that they're exposed to a range of weather conditions and temperatures.
At times, solar panels can reach a very high temperature, which can create issues when trying to perform solar system maintenance all by yourself. Using cold water on hot solar panels during maintenance or vice versa can cause the panel to experience thermal shock, which can cause micro-cracks leading to physical injuries or warranty voiding.
This translates to reduced efficiency and lifespan for your solar panels. For optimal cleaning and longevity, stick to lukewarm water to gently clean your solar panels, preserving your investment for prolonged efficiency.
As we bid adieu until our next guide, remember that by embracing the "do's" and avoiding the "don'ts" of solar panel maintenance, you're not just ensuring optimal performance for your system; you're ensuring your solar investment thrives. Even though you can carry out do's and don'ts of solar system maintenance, anything beyond that should be left to someone who knows what they're doing.
At Kratos Energy, we're committed to providing reliable and comprehensive solar maintenance services to our clients. As the leading CEC-accredited provider of solar system Canberra, we are the primary option for customers in Canberra, ACT, for residential or commercial solar panel installation and solar panel maintenance thereafter. So, if you're ready to save money and power your home with clean, reliable energy, we're just a call away. Contact us for more details!