Cleaning and maintaining a solar system.
Solar Power Maintenance
If you want to keep your PV system operating at full effectiveness and peak efficiency, some solar maintenance is required. Like with most household equipment and appliances solar power maintenance (in the form of cleaning and maintaining a solar system) is an unavoidable certainty.
The good news is, once set up, photovoltaic systems don't really require that much work to keep them maintained. You'll have to clean them every now and then to keep dirt and leaves from blocking exposure to sunlight. But, often rain can take care of this for you.
Solar panels that get proper solar panel maintenance can last up to 25 years and more. Follow the solar maintenance tips for maintaining a solar system below to insure that your solar power system delivers at the best possible capacity for many years to come.
Solar Maintenance Tips
- As part of regular solar power maintenance, have your solar system inspected occasionally and checked for loose connections, mounting equipment or panels.
- Clear out any debris at the base of the solar panel mounting brackets and connections. If too much junk gets caught in here, it could deteriorate the surface causing leaks in your roof. This is a very important but often neglected part of solar panel maintenance and cleaning a solar system.
- When you see that dirt, grime and other organic elements such as bird waste have built up on your solar panels, wash them gently with dish soap during the coolest time of day until clean. Do not apply too much pressure (when cleaning a solar system) or you may damage them. Solar panels installed in places prone to dust may require more frequent inspection and solar panel maintenance.
- Part of solar maintenance involves keeping your battery terminals clean and checking them regularly for corrosion. To prevent corrosion from starting, apply some petroleum jelly or commercial sealant to the terminals.
- Twice a year, use a multimeter to check to see what your solar system is outputting, just to make sure it hasn't drastically dropped from the previous year. If it has, you can then troubleshoot, identify the problem and correct it.
- Occasionally, perform solar panel maintenance by checking for cracks in the solar panel covers or cells. You never know when wayward airplane parts or a small comet will come flying out of the sky. Ok, it could be a big bird?
- Keep your batteries in an environment that is moderate and consistent in temperature. Batteries lose storage capacity at lower temperatures, but at higher temperatures they begin to deteriorate. Ideally, your battery bank should be kept between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Very important for proper solar maintenance.
- As part of regular solar power maintenance, charge your batteries fully once every month, in order to equalize all the batteries in your bank and stop weaker batteries from getting any worse. You can check to see if your batteries are fully charged with the use of an amp hour meter.
- And finally, a very important part of maintaining a solar system is to check the seals of homemade solar panels for leaks or wear. If necessary, re-seal all water proof seals on the panels with clear, flexible exterior silicone.
Besides their obvious function, solar systems don't do much except just sit there, therefore the solar maintenance required is minimal.
With just a little regular solar power maintenance and periodic inspection, you can keep your solar panels producing at peak levels, while increasing your entire solar electric system's lifespan.
Now that you know all about solar power maintenance, solar panel maintenance and cleaning a solar system, you are finally ready to start producing some solar power.
However one last, but very important thing we must do first is to maximize your home's energy efficiently - so you don't have to produce as much solar power in the first place.