Solar panels generally require very little maintenance in order to function. The only thing they need is a periodic light cleaning to make sure dirt, leaves, and other debris aren’t obstructing the sun’s rays. The only time you may need more extensive maintenance is during periods of heavy snowfall, or if your panels’ energy output starts to decrease. It is generally recommended that you perform solar panel cleaning between two and four times per year. Solar panels are pretty good at using natural rainfall to keep themselves free of heavy soiling, but in the same way that your windows still manage to collect grime from pollen, pollution and all forms of nature, so do your panels.
The only real difference between maintaining ground-mounted solar systems and roof solar systems is that ground panels are easier to access, and therefore easier to keep clean. If you notice a buildup of snow or other debris, you can simply sweep it off with a broom.
Possibly the biggest problem for solar panels, however, are shadows. This is because solar panels are connected into ‘strings’ – if even one cell in a string is blocked, the output of the other panels in the string drops sharply. If some shading is inevitable, you can cheat this to a certain extent by arranging modules so that shadows will affect one whole string if possible, rather than the end cell of multiple strings. If your panels are even slightly shaded by large trees or nearby buildings, they will not work as effectively.
If your panels need to be repaired or replaced, it’s best to hire a professional. If they’re losing efficiency and still under a performance/power output warranty, then call your solar company. They’ll send someone to assess the situation and either fix the problem or replace the panels.
Monitoring systems allow you to identify when and often where there is a problem with your solar panels if they ever stop working. While the installation and monthly fees can put many people off, if you’re someone that likes to be entirely in control of their environment then a monitoring system can’t be beaten.
Get in Touch