Solar power is one of the fastest-growing alternatives for energy production. Many families are choosing to install solar panels as an alternative to traditional means of energy production. Doing so can have many positive impacts on the environment and can be helpful as a back-up measure in the case of a power outage. If you are considering installing solar panels in your own home, you must understand the maintenance requirements of keeping such a system.
Keep Your Solar Panels Clean
Solar panels can only work if the solar cells are kept clear of debris and are in full view of sunlight. Make sure you install your solar panels on an area of the house that is relatively clear of tree branches or bushes. Doing so can prevent leaves, twigs, or animals from scratching and damaging the thin silicon wafers used to construct the solar cells. If you live in an area with heavy rainfall or heavy snowfall, be sure to check your solar panels after each storm to check for damage.
Do Not Use Harsh Chemical Cleaners
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to use chemical cleaners on your solar panels. Using chemical cleaners can cause serious and permanent damage to your solar panels. They could also cause the electrical components of the system to break down and stop working. Cleaning them with water is more than enough. You can use a squeegee or a gentle cloth to wipe down excess water or allow the water to evaporate in the sunlight.
Check for Critters
Sometimes, small animals will build nests and take up residence on top of or around solar panels. While harmless and unassuming, these animals can damage your solar panels and its electrical components. Perform routine checks for animals and clear out any brush or foliage that could be used for nests. If needed, you may call a pest control specialist to help with the removal of animals and nests.
Replace Solar Cells as Necessary
Occasionally, one of the cells on your solar panel system may get damaged beyond repair. The panels can crack and break due to impact from a falling object or the individual cells can simply become less effective over time. If this happens, you should replace the cell quickly. Contact the provider who installed your solar panel system to report the incident so the solar cell can be replaced quickly.
With proper care, your solar panels can provide clean, renewable energy for years and years to come. Use these tips as a guide to help you maintain your solar panel system.