Maintaining your car, house, and HVAC system takes up a lot of your time (and money). Will a solar system add another task to your to-do list?
Here’s the good news: solar panels are pretty low maintenance. They can last for decades with little upkeep on your part. You won’t need to schedule a bi-annual service to keep your solar panels in good condition.
Maintaining solar panels is a lot less work than you might think. A little care here and there goes a long way. Here’s what you need to know about solar panel maintenance in Manitoba:
How Does Snow Affect Solar Panels?
Thinking about setting up a solar system in Manitoba? If so, you probably have one main concern: snow. Manitoba is known for its windy, snowy winters. How will Canadian weather conditions impact your solar system?
After a heavy snowfall, you might worry that you’ll need to get up on the roof and brush the snow off your panels. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Here’s why:
Your PV panels are tilted to facilitate optimal solar power generation. When snow falls on top of them, it will naturally slide off the smooth surface. In addition, warm sunshine will be beam down upon the panels, and gradually melt the snow as it falls.
What about after an especially heavy snowfall? To ensure your panels are generating plenty of energy, it’s a good practice to clean them off. But depending on the position of your panels, this may do more harm than good.
Do you have a roof-mounted solar system? Clearing snow off them can be dangerous. The difference in efficiency will be minimal; one study found that only 4-6% of energy generation is lost due to snow. It’s not worth the risk of injuring yourself or damaging the panels.
However, if you have a ground-mounted system, clearing off the snow is easy. Make sure to use a soft-bristled brush, not something firm or abrasive.
What if your solar panels are dirty? This is a bigger issue with ground-mounted panels, which might be splashed more often. Again, don’t use anything abrasive to clean the panels, or you could scratch the surface.
Signs That You Need Solar Panel Maintenance
Are your solar panels having issues? It’s seldom to do with a lack of maintenance. More often than not, it’s linked to damage from fallen tree branches or faulty electrical. If you notice any of the following signs, call your local solar installer for repairs:
- Your breaker keeps tripping. Are you constantly losing power? This is a sign that something is wrong with your home’s electrical wiring.
- Lower energy production. It’s always a good idea to monitor the performance of your solar system. If you’ve owned a solar system for many years, you can compare how it performs over the months. Are you noticing a steady decrease in energy production? If it can’t be explained by other factors, it may be a sign that something’s amiss.
- Visible damage. Has something fallen and struck your panels? Solar warranties last for many years; contact your installer for a repair or replacement.
Owning a home is enough maintenance as is. Luckily, your solar system in Manitoba won’t cause you much trouble.
Ready to set up your solar system? Our solar Manitoba experts can help you out. Whenever you need a hand, give us a call. We’ll take a closer look at your PV panels and ensure everything is in working order. Contact Powertec Solar today for a free solar feasibility analysis.