Ensuring your solar panel system performs at its best requires proper maintenance. If you notice a dip in energy production or a spike in electricity costs, you must contact a proficient solar service provider for an inspection.
Increased Energy Production
Solar panels perform best when clean and absorb the sun’s rays. If debris is left to build up on the panel, it can significantly reduce energy production. One study found that solar panel performance decreases by 3.5% when dirt is left to build up. This can lead to a higher electricity bill than necessary, so a solar panel maintenance company will ensure the panels are free of any obstructions that could reduce energy production. It is imperative to ensure that solar panels are cleaned at least twice a year, even if some dust is removed by rain. This is especially crucial in regions with elevated dust levels, like those surrounding roads or farmland. A good cleaning can often double the energy a solar panel produces. A solar maintenance company will also check that all the electrical components are in working condition. This will ensure the system delivers all the clean, renewable energy it should. This is often included in a larger Operations and Maintenance (O&M) package, including solar panel cleaning and regular inspections. The most obvious signs that your solar panel system is due for a maintenance visit include a dip in electricity production and a loss of power efficiency.
Reduced Energy Bills
Solar panels need sunlight to create electrical energy, but dirt acts as a barrier that inhibits their efficiency. Solar panel cleaning removes this barrier, helping the system to operate at peak performance. The optimal cleaning frequency for solar panels can differ based on the surrounding environment. Nevertheless, having them cleaned 2-4 times annually is typically advised. A dirty solar panel can cause a loss of 5% in electricity production, which will show up on your utility bill. You may only realize this once you receive a large bill from your utility provider. It is important to monitor the energy production of your solar panels closely to notice when there is a drop in output. Shaded solar panels are another common issue that can lower your energy production. This occurs when a tree branch or something else blocks the sun from reaching the panel. This is an especially common problem when you have a large string of solar panels wired together and when the panel has a dust buildup, debris or grime. A professional solar panel cleaner can quickly and easily remove any obstructions from your solar array. They can also trim branches that are affecting the solar panels. This reduces the sunlight reaching your solar panels and increases their efficiency.
Even a well-designed solar panel system will lose energy production over time. This degradation occurs slowly with high-quality panels, averaging about 0.5% loss per year over their lifespan. That’s why it is important to regularly clean and inspect your PV modules to ensure they operate at their full potential. The easiest way to tell when to schedule a maintenance appointment is by noticing a decrease in energy output. However, a drop in production could also indicate a problem with other solar power system components, such as a broken inverter or damaged wires. A solar technician will be able to detect any problems, determine what repairs are needed, and provide advice on how to reduce energy costs in the future. They will also check that the wiring is in good condition and there are no leaks around the mounting area. While home solar panel systems only need a little maintenance beyond a yearly inspection and regular cleaning, there are many reasons why it makes sense to hire a professional to do the job for you. The most important reason is safety. Unless you have experience working on roofs, it’s safe to clean or inspect your solar panels with the help of an experienced professional.
Increased Home Value
It’s a fact that solar panels are a great investment, not only for saving money but also for increasing the value of your home. To maintain the quality of your system and ensure that it produces energy efficiently, it’s essential to schedule regular maintenance visits with a technician. During these visits, they inspect for damage, make necessary repairs, and thoroughly clean the panels to remove dirt and debris. If you opt for a leasing option, your contract may cover these visits. However, purchasing a warranty covering these maintenance visits is important if you own your system. Regular maintenance checks will also ensure that your system continues to work effectively, reducing any potential downtime from a malfunctioning system.
Peace of Mind
Ensuring your solar energy system performs at its best requires regular maintenance and inspections and proper cleaning of the panels. During these appointments, a technician will meticulously examine your panels, ensuring they function optimally and address potential issues. With the frequency of cleaning depending on your location and weather conditions, signing up for a maintenance plan provides peace of mind, knowing your solar panels are secure and healthy. Regular maintenance ensures your system generates the maximum energy possible, significantly saving your electric bills.