Like everything else in your home, solar panels have to be maintained to be able to perform at their best. A failure to maintain solar panels will not only impact their existing performance, but could also shorten their overall lifespan. Given that solar panels are an expensive investment, it’s well worth taking the time to ensure they receive the maintenance they need in order to function at their very best.
If you’re curious about how you should care for your solar panels, then you’ll be pleased to know we’ve made it simple. Below, we’ve put together a list of three maintenance essentials that all solar panel owners and installers need to be aware of.
Cleaning your solar panels
The roof of a building can become dirty incredibly quickly, and this is one instance when you don’t want out of sight to be out of mind. Remembering that your solar panels need to be cleaned is essential, and it’s worth remembering that cleaning is a consistent requirement throughout the year. Spring, however, has particular challenges due to the high amounts of pollen in the air.
- Pollen can be hugely troubling for solar panels. When heated, pollen actually “bakes” onto the panels, which can impact production.
- Pollen should be removed on a regular basis. The best product for the job? Window cleaning fluid. It is vital that you do not use bleach or ammonia for this job; window cleaning fluid is more than suitable for the task!
- You should use a non-abrasive brush to apply the window cleaning fluid to the panels.
- If the pollen is particularly baked on in a number of layers, you may need to repeat the application of the window cleaning fluid to ensure all everything is removed.
- When satisfied you have removed all the layers of pollen, use a squeegee to remove all cleaning fluid and any pollen remnants from the surface of the panel.
Pollen is not the only form of dirt that can build on solar panels; regular cleaning overall is an essential if you want to ensure that your solar system is able to function at maximum productivity.
Dealing with leaves and debris
Leaves falling from trees, cherry blossom, even trash that has been swept high up onto your roof by the wind— all of these things can pose serious issues to the health and functionality of your solar panels. More worryingly, an accumulation of debris can actually pose a genuine safety risk; if debris is able to gather beneath a panel, it can become a fire risk very quickly.
Furthermore, piles of leaves and debris beneath a panel are also an incredibly attractive nesting spot for rodents. Sure, we all love squirrels when we see them rushing around in the grass or scampering up trees, but you definitely don’t want them nesting on your roof. So to protect your home from the risk of fire and cute-but-irritating rodents, you’ll need to regularly check beneath panels. If you do notice any leaves or other debris beginning to build up, remove them as soon as you possibly can.
Effective wire management
The management of wires is a necessary part of owning solar panels and, at some point, you will probably find yourself needing to secure wires. It’s at this point that many homeowners’ management can fall short. It is vital that any changes you make to your solar panel wiring is secured with S-clips, not zip-ties.
Yes, zip-ties seem functional and we all have them to hand, but they’re simply not up to the job. First and foremost, zip-ties are incredibly sensitive to temperature fluctuations, which is something they will experience a lot when placed on an exposed roof surface. In these changeable conditions, zip-ties can deteriorate or crack beyond the point of being useful, which will ruin your wire management entirely. It’s far quicker and easier to opt for the right tools for wire management to begin with. When you use S-clips for this job, you can be sure that they will be robust enough to last, and ensure that your wire management is always exactly as you wish it to be.
If you want to ensure that your solar panels are functioning to the best of their ability, then the maintenance tasks as mentioned above are crucial. Just remember to be careful when performing any of these tasks, and use appropriate safety equipment if you are going to be working at height. It’s important to maintain your panels to guarantee their functionality and safety, but it’s also important to stay safe, so take care!