Do Solar Inverters Need Servicing?
Solar Panel and Inverter Maintenance
Maximize Your Solar Energy Efficiency – Conduct Regular Maintenance
Solar panels usually require almost no maintenance. They are just sitting in there. No movable pieces. So, can you go 25 years without damaging the panels (on the manufacturer warranty)? Apparently. Is that the best way to optimize your energy savings and output? Likely not.
The performance of the solar panels and the lifetime of the inverter are directly related to the amount of continuous maintenance they receive. As in any highly technical device, dust is the greatest enemy. And wherever batteries are present, and electricity flows in the presence of potential moisture, the possibility of corrosion often increases.
We’ll look at solar panel maintenance first, and then inverter maintenance.
Solar Panel Maintenance – Your Energy Savings Are at Stake
It is essentially a study of the cost-benefit. The more solar panels you have, the greater your energy savings. And the more you’ll fail if your panels get dusty or have other maintenance problems.
A 2014 study found that, when solar panels are tilted below 5 degrees, they receive 5 times more soiling than panels tilted above 5 degrees. Soiling is when the surface absorbs dirt, dust, and pollen, thereby reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the solar cells. How so big a difference? It’s just like inside your home. Their flat tables are getting more dust than the sloped surfaces.
Here’s the lesson–the more flatter your solar panels, the more likely you’ll want to do daily cleaning and maintenance. The tilter your panels, the natural rain and wind will probably keep them relatively clean, and less maintenance will be required.
Here are the other key issues which decide how much your solar panels need to be cleaned and maintained.
- Nearby dusty roads or freeways – the more dust and soot in the air, the more it will collect on your panels
- Nearby foliage – plants and trees love to fill the air with all kinds of particulates like pollen. Your panels are helpless against them
- Tilt your solar panels-discussed above already. But if you haven’t installed panels yet, this is something your installer needs to ask about-particularly if a flatter panel gets better sunlight at your place. Is the need to clean more worth the extra efficiency? You’ll need to determine
- Amount of rainfall – more rain means more self-cleaning and less work for you
How Do You Clean Solar Panels, and How Often?
When it comes to cleaning the panels a lot depends on the factors above. More dust, more pollen, less heat, less tilt-many times a year you can clean them. You will do so less frequently on the other end of those variables. Yet once a year is a minimum and still relies on the same things as you do it in the year.
For example, if you live near trees every spring expelling a lot of dirt, then you’ll probably want to clean your panels in the month after that’s over so your panels will be pretty clean the rest of the year. If you get a lot of dust in the summer, then in the fall you would want to do it. As for how to clean them, just spray them with water in the easiest way. This will clear most of the debris as long as there is not too much accumulation.
If you want sparkling solar panels as when they were brand new, you will need to use soap and water, or you can buy special panel cleaners. Just make sure you rinse properly and don’t let the soapy water dry on the panels (do not do it in the day’s blazing heat!). Just don’t have the panels scratched. Be soft on that.
Considering Going Solar? Solar Harmonics is Here to Help
Most of our clients are looking for a company they can trust to help them go solar. Based on our decade in business, online reviews, and Diamond Certification, Solar Harmonics is the best choice to trust to complete your solar project on time, on budget, and with the expected results. It is our mission to design the best value solar panel system that produces reliably over the next 30 – 40 years, and saves the most money for our clients. If the financial goals of our clients intersects with the global and environmental goals of our founder, it is a win for everyone except the utility companies. Contact us today for your free quote!