Solar power is an excellent way to power your home or campervan and it can save you a heap of cash.
As an industry, it is projected to be worth $223 billion by 2026, and as renewable energy sources become more prevalent, knowledge of how to maintain solar panels effectively is increasingly valuable.
A well maintained solar panel will operate much more efficiently, meaning you get more usable energy from it, saving you money. Simple. Read on to find out how to ensure you’re getting the best out of your solar setup.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
To get a better idea of what you need to do to maintain a solar panel, it’s important to know how they actually work.
Firstly, there are a few different types of solar cells. Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, Thin-Film, Biohybrid, among others, all are effective in different settings.
They basically work by absorbing photons from the sun, which free electrons from a semiconductor wafer present in each cell. The electrons are set in motion by the semiconductor’s electric field, creating an electrical current.
For home solar panel roof arrays, this current is fed into an inverter to change it from DC (direct current) to AC (alternating current), which is the same type of energy provided by the national grid.
The AC supply is run through your home fuse box and distributed through your house for use before tapping into grid energy.
Using solar energy before tapping into the electrical grid will save you a lot of money. Companies like Blue Raven Solar can help estimate exactly how much you stand to save by investing in the initial solar panel cost.
How to Maintain Your Solar Panel
It depends on the climate where you are, but generally, maintaining a solar array is as easy as cleaning your windows.
If you live in cold climes, snow gathered on the panels will block the sun’s rays from activating them, so brushing or squeegee-ing them down when needed will help them function normally. You can even use a leafblower for this.
You can also rinse the snow off with a hose but make sure the water isn’t too hot. The tempered glass covering could crack with the temperature fluctuations. Lukewarm water will do the trick.
Inclined panels are a lot easier to maintain since rainfall will naturally wash the majority of dust and debris off. That being said, it’s good practice to check your panels regularly and give them a hose down a few times a year.
In dry places, like Texas, dust can gather quickly on solar panels. Regular checks and wipes, or rinses, will help keep your panel in perfect working order.
Other Maintenance Costs
Sometimes a problem can occur with your solar setup that doesn’t have anything to do with the panels themselves. Faults with electrical components can be difficult to diagnose without the proper apparatus.
If in doubt about any issues with your solar array’s output, call a professional electrician. Some issues can be easily diagnosed if you have the equipment to monitor the solar system.
Monitoring systems allow you to see what each panel is producing, which will help you see where anything is going wrong. It can also help professionals work out what the problem is, should the need arise to call one.
Sit Back and Save Money
There is an initial cost that, depending on the size and quality of the system, will potentially set you back a fair bit.
That being said, the money you would save on utility bills means your solar panel installation would pay for itself many times over. Couple that with tax incentives and the massive reduction in your carbon footprint, and it’s a no-brainer.
There is a need for regular maintenance, but the ease at which you can do this yourself keeps things as simple as can be.
If you found this article helpful, check out our other content related to property and saving money.