What Kind of Maintenance Do Solar Panels Need?

By | August 31, 2013

If you are worried that installing solar panels on your home will result in time-consuming, costly and complicated maintenance, you can breathe a sigh of relief.  Most solar panels used for residential systems are made of solar cells encapsulated in thick glass, mounted onto metal racks. Since they have no moving parts, once they are installed they require minimal maintenance.

Of course, this may depend on where you live, what kinds of weather are typical for your region and whether or not you have a lot of trees in your yard.  For instance, if you live in a region where there is a lot of snow in the winter, you may have to spend some time after a heavy snowfall cleaning off the solar panels so the sun can reach them.  Or if you live in an area that has frequent dust storms, or an urban area where there is a lot of dirt in the air, you may have to clean off the glass panels periodically to maximize their efficiency.  But if it rains frequently enough, that should be sufficient to keep your solar panels clean enough to function properly.

If there are a lot of deciduous trees in your yard that shed their leaves every fall, you may need to make sure that those leaves don’t cover up your solar panels.  Even some evergreen trees shed their needles and may require a periodic clean up.  But a quick swipe with a broom should do the trick.

Of course, the solar panels are not the only components in the system.  If you have an off grid system, it will include storage batteries and perhaps a back up generator.  These components will require more monitoring and ongoing maintenance than the solar panels themselves.  It’s always a good idea to plan for regular inspections to make sure that your entire solar energy system is running properly.

If your solar panels are tied to the grid, you will still have an inverter as part of your system.  It converts the electricity that your solar panels generate into alternating current that your appliances can use.  Even though it has no mechanical parts, it is an important component and should be regularly inspected.

 

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