Congratulations! You’ve installed your Solar power system and you are saving on your energy costs … now what? How important is Solar panel maintenance? Now Spring is here, we have listed our top 5 Spring Cleaning tips for your solar panel maintenance. With limited maintenance, your solar system will operate at peak performance for many years.
The Best Time To Get Solar Panels Installed
Before we get into the 5 spring cleaning tips for your solar, if you are reading this and are simply thinking about installing solar energy on the Gold Coast, Northern Rivers or Brisbane … Did you know spring is actually one of the best times for your Solar Power System Installation?
Firstly, your panels are producing good amounts of energy as the weather warms up, but during spring you aren’t using so much of the output in the house on running air conditioners, extra fridges in the garage, holiday cooking or entertainment as you do over the summer months.
Secondly, solar panels work on light not heat, so a sunny day with lower temperatures can give you more power. All our panels such as LG NeON solar panels are designed for the harsh Australian climate, but nonetheless the months before and after summer are a great time for your panels’ production.
There are other reasons for installing solar panels in Spring, but that is covered in our next blog …
Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Solar Panels
The general consensus is that rainfall will take care of the majority of dirt and other debris on your solar panels. However here in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales, we are often close to the beach or faced with some really dry months with little or no rain.
Typically there an average of 5-10% performance loss with dirty panels, and yes it is very easy to use water to clean the panels yourself. Here at Omega Solar+Batteries we recommend an annual service your solar system once a year will see your system maintain the maximum return possible for the lifetime of the system.
- Remove the solar shade
- Get Rid Of The Dirt
- Sort Out Those Gutters
- Service Your Solar Power System
- Monitor and Record
Remove The Solar Shade
One of the first things to do is to remove any broken or torn tree branches from around your solar panels.
Trees and their branches can shade your panels from the sun, which can have a huge impact on your system’s efficiency. Even a little shade can stop them working at optimum level. Think of your solar panels being put together like a chain. If shade hits one cell, the chain is interrupted and the output is weaker.
If you’re confident and have a stable ladder and correct equipment, you can easily do this yourself. If not, ask a professional to help.
Get Rid Of The Dirt
Dirt and soiling can create a build-up on your solar panels’ surface which will decrease your solar power system’s efficiency. This can be made up of dust, airborne pollution, salt (if you live near the sea) and other waste that sticks to your panels.
Solar panels are generally self cleaning, but in particularly dry areas or where panel tilt is minimal, dust and other substances such as bird droppings can build up over time and impact on the amount electricity generated by a module. It’s important to understand that grime and bird poop doesn’t need to cover an entire panel to have an effect.
Either clean your solar panels in the morning/afternoon, or pick a relatively cool day. First try if your garden hose alone does the job. If a lot of dust and dirt has accumulated you might need to clean more thoroughly. Simply,ill a bucket or spray bottle with warm water, soap and a soft brush– no other special equipment is needed.
Again if you’re confident and have a stable ladder and correct equipment, you can easily do this yourself. If not contact us to help, solar panel cleaning and servicing is part of the service we offer.
Sort Out Those Gutters
Spring is the perfect time (for you, or a professional) to check for loose, leaky and clogged-up gutters. Though it’s easy to forget about your gutters, you’ll certainly know about it if they’re left unchecked and things go wrong. Problem gutters can result in flooded ceilings, damaged roof timbers, saturation of the internal walls, damaged ceilings and in some severe cases fire outbreaks.
Service Your Solar Power System
Solar power systems love spring, as spring weather conditions offer the perfect balance of sunlight and heat for your solar energy system to. But do your solar power system a favour and get it serviced, especially if you haven’t done so in the last 12 months or more.Servicing
The difference between cleaning and servicing? We recommend you get a professional (like us) to come in and clean the panels for you, as we check for any cracks and loose fittings and not just that your panels are free from soiling.
Faults, while not common, are certainly well known throughout the industry and there are quite a number of systems that suffer from them. So by fixing any faults, you will generate between 15% and 20% more energy over the lifetime of your system.”
During a solar power service, Omega Solar technicians not only check that your system is operating safely, but also clean your solar panels, removing dust and grime collected over winter. It’s the cheapest and easiest way maximise your electricity savings over spring and summer – click here for more information.
Monitor and record
So now your solar power system has been serviced, is free from shade, is clean and there is no danger from clogged gutters. All you need to do now is keep an eye on them, particularly on the inverter display. Is the green light on? Good (Is it flashing? probably not good – consult your manual). While you don’t have to look at the inverter display every day, if there is a problem and the green light goes out, you lose money for each day you are unaware. No green light means your panels are no longer covering your electricity use. While we are building a bank of inverter faults to tell what is wrong with the system, give us a call and we can sort it out.
If you want to take it one step further, write down what your system has produced for the day (at roughly the same time each day). Make a note or asterisk for days that are particularly overcast because those will throw off your results and don’t necessarily mean that there is a problem with your system. Keeping daily accounting will help you determine if your system is still working, but maybe just not producing what it used to.
So those are our top 5 Spring Cleaning tips for your solar panel maintenance. As discussed with limited maintenance and annual servicing and checks your solar system will operate at peak performance for many years.
As mentioned, solar panels work on light not heat, so a sunny day with lower temperatures can give you more power. All our panels such as LG NeON solar panels are designed for the harsh Australian climate, but nonetheless the months before and after summer are a great time for your panels’ production.
Ready for the next step?
If you’re ready to join the “We Care” solar family, Contact us today and have a chat with our team! We’re always on-hand to answer any questions you might have or book a site inspection for your property.