Whether a solar panel system is designed to generate heat for our homes or produce electricity, a properly functioning solar panel is an obvious requirement. Luckily, a well-designed and installed solar panel system is durable and simple in concept. In fact, the only part of a solar heating system that has any moving parts requiring maintenance is the pump. Plus, while earlier versions of solar panels were relatively fragile, solar panels are now constructed from strong unbreakable materials, so a solar panel itself requires minimal maintenance to continue doing its job. Essentially the only breakable part of a solar panel is the glass covering. Maintaining a solar panel is very straightforward; here's all that's necessary.
Things You'll Need
- Ladder to get to the solar panel
- Warm water and dishwashing soap
- Clean soft cloths
Maintaining Your Solar Panel
Inspect the solar panels on a periodic basis (frequency depends on location or the manufacturer's specifications) to remove any debris and dirt and ensure all connections are tight.
Panels installed in dusty areas may require more frequent inspection.
Clean the surface of a solar panel with warm water and dishwashing soap to remove any accumulation of dirt and grime.
Remove any bird droppings as well since they can severely reduce the panel's energy-producing capacity.
Cleaning a solar panel is not cosmetic. A panel needs to be clean for it to operate at its rated capacity.
Tips & Warnings
- Since solar panels have no moving parts, we might tend to ignore their maintenance. Not only do the panels themselves need regular cleaning, any framing around the panel should be cleaned as well. While a solar panel can theoretically function for 30 years or more, a frame that is allowed to deteriorate will dramatically shorten the panel's useful life.
- Solar panels are generally installed on roofs or other high places. Exercise caution when working above ground or near the top of a ladder.
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