If you do not have a maintenance contract for your PV solar system, here are a few things you can do yourself to keep your system at optimal efficiency.
Residential solar panels are built to withstand the natural elements and typically have a warranty of 25-30 years. Regularly monitor for changes in shade and keep an eye out for dirt accumulation. Trees that were small when you installed your system will get larger over time.
Debris accumulation will impact how much energy is being generated by your solar panels. Keeping your array cleaned off will help maintain its maximum energy output. Critical times in Indiana include post-pollen and harvest seasons.
To best clean panels it is recommended to use warm lightly soaped water with a gentle sponge as needed. Pressure washers can exert too much force on the glass and have the potential to damage the panel. If you have some modules that are hard to reach, a soft car-washing brush on a telescoping handle can help. If you clean modules yourself, always do so in the morning or evening, not during the heat of the day.
If you have a ground-mounted array that is adjustable, bi-annual angle adjusting is strongly recommended. Altering the degree of tilt on panels twice yearly will help PV units maximize their potential as the sun adjusts.
Most inverters do not require upkeep beyond the occasional software update, but if they do have issues an error code will be populated. Regular monitoring of the system will help you catch issues early. Contact your installer for assistance if you see an issue.
Keeping a watchful eye on your system’s output will help you determine when it is in need of some attention. If production is decreasing even on a fully sunny day, it’s likely time to give them your attention.
Solar Panel Maintenance: What You Need to Know. Vanessa Peng | November 20, 2022