Canadian Manufacturing

Key maintenance tips for businesses with solar panels in 2021

Solar energy blogger provides tips for manufacturers to help them manage their solar panels.

July 8, 2021  by Cynthia Garcia, Content Creator and Blogger

PHOTO: Mhassan abdollahi, via Wikimedia Commons

For something that gives us a long list of benefits, solar panels ought to receive the best treatment they deserve. Especially when you want to maintain their optimal performance, how you care for these panels matters a great deal.

As most of the regular cleaning can be done by nonprofessionals, your knowledge as an expert is needed when there is a remarkable drop in production output. A decline of more than 10% efficiency is a call for help as technical problems may be present. All the more for large installations, decreased efficiency can greatly reduce the overall profit these solar panels are supposed to give.

To effectively provide maintenance for your solar panels, here are 4 useful tips for you to help your solar panels perform at their best.

Invest in the right tools for cleaning
Typically, solar panels should be given a thorough cleaning at least once a year. However, it is also important to note the environmental conditions, suggests your energy blog, as to how often you should clean your panels.

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Long droughts, heavy snowfall, sandstorms – solar panels will remain with you even with these harsh conditions. But dirty panels can significantly affect energy production and this is one of the things you definitely need to avoid.

Cleaning your solar panels can be as simple as cleaning your windows. However, take note of the temperature of water you use as sudden changes in the temperature can hurt the panels. So, avoid excessively hot or cold hard water. Moreover, lukewarm and soft water is recommended. Normally, rainwater is enough to rinse the solar panels. But little rain amid drought can just leave muddy dirt, so don’t rely on rain.

Avoid scratching your panels by using only non-abrasive sponges or squeegees. Ditch the soap and detergent too as these may damage the surface. You may use soap that is specifically designed for solar panels.

Pay Attention to Your Inverter
Inverters are just as important as your panels. For without the inverters, your panels are just getting energy from the sun without converting it into electricity. Inverters usually come with a light indicator to let you know if it’s on faulty mode. To ensure the efficiency of your inverter, make sure to monitor this indicator regularly.

Inverters also have a cooling fan as it gets warm during the day. Make sure that there is enough space around the fan and that it’s away from any heat source such as radiators. Providing good ventilation will prevent your inverter from overheating. Moreover, ensure that the vents are not clogged up with dust and dirt. Cleaning them regularly may also help increase your inverter’s lifespan.

Make Use of the Solar Panel Monitoring System
Some manufacturers offer solar inverters that come with a monitoring system. The solar monitoring system provides a convenient way as you can have access to information about power levels, energy consumption, production, and other things that you need to know about your solar energy setup. What’s more amazing is that these are also accessible via smartphones or laptops. This way, you can detect problems early and know which part needs repair and maintenance.

Invest in essential parts and suppliers
Aside from the panels, other accessories work together to ensure that you are getting all you can get from the sun. Energy storage batteries, regulators, and wires are also in need of extra care and attention.

Energy storage batteries are responsible for providing you with backup power by storing energy for later use. If you expect to have access to stored solar energy even when the sun is out or during blackouts, make sure that your batteries are functioning properly. When cleaning your battery terminals, make sure that you remove the clamps first for your safety. Use baking soda, distilled water, and a brush specifically for battery terminals.

Flooded lead-acid batteries require your attention at least twice a month. When charging, the water for your batteries evaporates. So make sure to refill using distilled water to avoid sulfation. Most of the time, battery malfunctions are caused by a lack of electrolytes which could have been prevented if the level of water is maintained.

As for regulators, it protects your battery by keeping it from being overcharged. You can also connect your appliances directly to the regulator while your battery is charging. To ensure the efficiency of your regulator, keep it away from direct sunlight and make sure that there is enough ventilation.

Final Thoughts
There’s no denying that solar panels are a wise investment. But it doesn’t stop there as for every profitable investment, behind it is the effort you put into it to keep it going. What’s good about solar panels is that they don’t require you to check in on them every day. For all the advantages it gives, it requires so little. But when you do your check-up, make sure that you do it thoroughly and miss no important part. These four essential tips will definitely help you get the most out of your panels.


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