Looking after your solar panels takes very little time or effort. Providing your professional Idaho solar company has properly installed the panels you ought to enjoy reliable free energy generation for years to come. Modern panels are not only capable of producing far greater yields compared to those released a decade or so ago – but they’re much more durable and long-lasting too. Most people should be able to perform these very basic maintenance tips without any special equipment or instruction. Remember that the best solar companies in Idaho may offer aftercare is an option within your installation plan if you have any concerns about conducting these yourself.
1) Monitor Solar Panel Performance
No matter what size your installation might be, make sure to ask your installation technicians about how to accurately monitor the panel’s performance. For many residential users, this simply involves noting down the amount of power generated over regular intervals (we’d recommend daily or weekly for the most accurate record-keeping). The amount of energy your panels produce will vary depending on the season – but over time you’ll build up a comprehensive record whereby you can realistically estimate the amount of energy they ought to be producing.
Should you notice a significant and unexpected dip in performance you’ll be able to take action right away to figure out the issue. Remember that modern panels ship with a lower than 1% failure rate – so chances are the panel is going to be obstructed by shade, foliage, or some other cause.
2) Tips For Cleaning Your Panels Effectively
How often you need to clean your panels depends a little on your local environment. Those who have panels well away from trees and shrubbery should only need to splash an occasional wash and wipe over them every 3-4 months (your technician will provide a fair and reasonable estimate on this). Solar panel cleaning kits are available although many people find that they will already have the essential tools around their property. All you need is a bucket, long-handled soft brush, biodegradable soap and possibly a clean cloth. Never use abrasive sponges or soaps on your panels and stay well clear of solvent-based cleaning solutions.
Assuming you are only clearing off dust and the occasional speck of dirt, all you need to do is gently wash the panels using the brush. Should you have to remove some more ground dirt and/or leaves and small twigs you should use a light hose set to very gentle pressure. Spray these clear and then wipe the panels over as usual. You can wipe these clear if you wish, although most people only do this on easily accessible and/or ground-mounted panels. A couple of minutes at most is all it should take to clean each panel and ensure they are working at optimal performance.
3) Consider Occasional Professional Cleaning
Most people ought to be able to take good care of their solar panels without needing to call out the experts. That being said, there could be situations where some professional help may be useful – for instance, if the panels are especially difficult to reach or if you have noticed they are not working ‘as expected’ after they have been cleaned. Professional Idaho solar companies will have specialist equipment that can provide a safe and more thorough clean compared to the ‘bucket and brush’ technique described above! They’ll also check over the condition of the panels during the process and make sure they haven’t been nudged out of place by the wind, birds, or inclement weather.
With adequate care, solar panels really should consider working to dependable effectiveness for at least 20+ years. The more often you choose to clean them over, the more reliably they’ll work – but let’s face it, not even the most enthusiastic solar convert likely wants to clean their panels on a weekly basis. Seasonal or monthly cleaning is perfectly adequate to keep panels working effectively for many years. make sure you ask your technicians for any tips they have that are especially appropriate to your brand of panel.