Solar energy systems continue to gain popularity among businesses due to their sustainability and cost-effectiveness; however, like any other equipment, solar panels, solar batteries, and even connections, all part of the installation, require regular maintenance and care to ensure they function efficiently. So, given their importance, here are some tips to help you properly maintain and care for your business’s solar energy system.
Monitoring your solar panel system’s performance is vital to ensure it is operating at its full potential. Keep track of your energy production and consumption and compare them with previous months or years to identify changes or fluctuations. If you notice a significant drop in energy production, it may indicate a problem with your system that must be investigated.
It is a good idea to arrange for someone to inspect your solar panels regularly. This could be you or an employee. However, the best practice is to hire a professional solar system engineer to conduct the inspections. This will mean they can also do technical checks on electrical connections, for example.
The main things that inspections are designed to highlight are the cleaning needs of the solar panels, whether any damage has occurred to the solar panels and any other issues that affect the operation or efficiency of your business’s solar energy system.
Cleaning Solar Panels
The main reason that cleaning solar panels is so essential is to avoid a drop in their efficiency. That efficiency drop occurs over time as dust, dirt, leaves, bird droppings, and other debris start accumulating on the surfaces of the solar panels. As this debris covers more and more of the solar panels’ surfaces, less sunlight can penetrate, and thus, less electricity is generated.
You have two options here. ‘DIY Cleaning’ where you or a staff member cleans the solar panels or you bring in the professionals, which will cost more, but it is more likely to produce a better result.
- DIY Cleaning: If you or someone else within your business is up for a bit of do-it-yourself cleaning, grab a soft brush, a gentle detergent, and some water. Mix the detergent with the water and gently scrub the panels using the soft brush. Rinse them off with clean water and allow the solar panels to dry naturally.
- Professional Cleaning: If nobody, including yourself, is keen on getting their hands dirty, you can always hire a professional solar panel cleaning service. These experts will have the tools and know-how to clean your panels thoroughly and safely. It is a good idea to have them cleaned at least twice a year or more often if you are in an excessively dusty environment.
Solar Panel System Damage
Solar panel damage can happen in several ways, often influenced by where and how the solar panels have been mounted. Examples of solar panel damage are cracks, chips, and scratches, which can all negatively impact the efficiency of the solar panels. Damage can also occur to the connections on the solar panels, and corrosion on the mounting structure is also a risk. All of these should be repaired by a solar panel engineer as soon as possible.
Believe it or not, pests can cause havoc for your solar panel system. Birds, possums, and rodents may nest under your panels, potentially damaging the wiring and reducing your system’s efficiency. Implement regular pest control measures, such as installing mesh or deterrents, to keep your solar panels free from uninvited guests. Also, choose the right plants surrounding your solar panels or trim any branches on trees or plants that may block sunlight from reaching your solar panels.