Solar electric panels are a great investment that provides you with a safe, clean, and reliable renewable energy source that can last up to 25 years or more. But after the installation is finished and the system is turned on, how do you maintain the solar electric system’s effectiveness? Is it like another appliance that you find in your home, such as a dryer or dishwasher, which might require a part here and there? Or are solar electric systems like vehicles that need consistent overlook to ensure that it stays in peak condition? Today, we speak about what you need to know as a consumer about taking care of your solar panels.
Is there maintenance for a solar electric system?
The short answer here is no; there are very few moments where your solar panels will need maintenance. There are no moving parts within a solar electric system, which means that there are far fewer opportunities to break, unlike a common household item. Any dirt, leaves, and other debris on the panels will be washed away by rain or direct sunlight during the year. Depending on your climate, such as in the northeast, where our climate is not as dry, dirt and dust are not such a factor, and the occasional rain will be more than efficient to wash off any debris. If your home or business is located in a drier climate or periods of extended time without rain, a manual clean of warm water is sufficient. During the winter months, snow may accumulate over your panels. In most cases, it is not necessary to remove the snow from the solar panels. Generally, snow usually melts and will fall off the panels/roof, which means that significant snowfall will not significantly impact production levels. Besides the solar panels themselves, the inverter, the more complicated part of the system, is the area that you might need the occasional maintenance. Luckily all leading inverter manufacturers have warranties covering any issues that might arise within the first 10 years of the installation.
What if I need to replace my roof?
Before doing a solar electric installation, it is highly recommended to have a solar professional review your roof’s current condition. If your roof has only five or so years left before needing replacement, we always recommend replacing the roof first before doing the installation. However, if you need to replace your roof after the solar panels are installed, your local professional can certainly help with that.
Can Animals Cause Damage to Solar Panels?
The question of damage caused by animals is one that is being more frequently asked. The answer for this is yes, animals such as birds and or squirrels can cause damage. The damage is mainly caused by squirrels chewing on wires, which could create issues within the panels’ connections and ultimately output of your solar electric system. This is why we recommend all new solar electric installations to have a metal critter guard installed around the system’s perimeter. You can read more about the critter guard and see photos here.
What is the standard warranty of a solar electric installation?
The warranty from the manufacturer of your solar panels will provide a warranty on a range of items. These can cover such items as an unlikely event of something falling on the panels, such as a tree limb, etc. In addition to accidental warranties, there is coverage for the power output of the actual solar panels themselves. Most solar panel manufacturers will guarantee that the solar panel will not fall below a specific performance rate, which in most cases is usually 25 years. The solar panels themselves generally do come with a workmanship warranty, which will protect you against any defects within the solar panel parts or installation itself. These workmanship warranties are generally for the first five or so years of operation.
Solar panel maintenance. (n.d.). Retrieved January 04, 2021, from https://www.energysage.com/solar/101/solar-panel-maintenance/
What maintenance is required for solar electric systems? (2020, September 01). Retrieved January 04, 2021, from https://www.generationsolar.com/admin-utilities-permits-etc/what-maintenance-is-required-for-solar-electric-systems/
Sunshine Plus Solar Corp. is a solar energy contractor that has been in business since 1982. For over 35 years, Sunshine Plus Solar has provided custom-designed solar energy systems for Long Island residents and business owners.