Solar panels are an excellent way to reduce energy bills, and the Government of Manitoba offers an excellent solar rebate program. To make the most out of this program, you need to optimize your energy output—and to do that, you need to know about solar panel maintenance.
How Maintenance Improves the Efficiency of Your Solar Panel System
Solar panels absorb sunlight to produce electricity. Most solar panel owners realize that the efficiency of their panels goes down when the sky is overcast; fewer rays from the sun can make their way to the solar array.
You may not realize that solar panels caked in dirt, dust, grime, and other debris experience a similar loss in efficiency; fewer rays can make their way through the panels, and less electricity is generated.
Cleaning your solar panels regularly will generate more electricity and save more money. We highly recommend getting a solar monitoring system to track your solar panels’ energy production and health; if you do, you’ll be able to see exactly when your solar panels need maintenance.
How To Maintain Your Solar Panels
Maintaining your solar power system is simple but can be dangerous depending on how high up your solar panels are. We recommend hiring a professional if you’re worried about injuring yourself or damaging your solar panels.
Here’s how you can clean your solar panels:
- Get a soft cloth and a bucket of water.
- Dip the cloth in the water and gently wash the solar panels; don’t apply too much pressure.
- You can use mild dish soap in the water; a drop or two in a big bucket of water should be sufficient. Only do this if the debris cannot be washed off easily with normal water.
There are several other maintenance tips, aside from regular cleaning, that can keep your solar system running at maximum efficiency:
- Check the connections regularly; call a solar panel repair company if anything seems rusted or loose.
- Check for any shadows being cast on your panels; trees, buildings, and other large structures can obstruct the sun.
- Monitor your solar panels regularly using your solar monitoring system; investigate if energy production is down despite the level of sunlight staying about the same.
You should clean and maintain your solar panels at least once a year and inspect your solar panel system regularly; a monthly visual inspection is a good idea. Always conduct an investigation and perform routine maintenance if production falls off unexpectedly.
What To Avoid When Maintaining Your Solar System
Proper maintenance is essential when you’re trying to maximize energy production—but improper maintenance can actually reduce the efficiency of solar systems and lead to costly repairs. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid:
- Don’t use abrasive brushes or clothes.
- Don’t use solvents or other powerful chemicals.
- Don’t climb onto your roof or other surfaces unless you have safety equipment, someone to spot you, and plenty of experience climbing.
- Don’t use high-pressure water.
- Don’t try to fix connections yourself.
You should also avoid letting extreme weather conditions trick you into thinking your solar panels have lost efficiency. Once the weather clears, your solar system may return to optimal energy production; rain can clear debris off your panels.
How Powertec Solar Can Help
As experts in solar panel installation and solar panel maintenance, we can clean, maintain, and improve your solar energy system to ensure optimal energy production. Need help cleaning, maintaining, or installing your Winnipeg solar panels? Get in touch with us today!