Four tips for looking after your solar panels
Posted: 02 Sep 2016
Keep them clean and you’ll be evergreen
You don’t have to wash your car in order for it to run, but it certainly helps. It’s the same with solar panels.
If you live in a neighbourhood that has a lot of dirt and sand, ongoing construction or is particularly windy you’ll want to keep a more regular eye on the state of your panels. In general, panels can very two or three months without a hose down, especially during the rainy season.
For more tips on how to clean your panels, check out our previous blog [here].
Keep your panels in the sun, SPF not required
You will want to regularly ensure that there is limited shade [0% is preferred] on your panel array. Any new branches that are causing shade, should be regularly trimmed back to ensure that your panels are producing to capacity.
Removing any shading is crucial for maximizing the ROI on on your solar investment because shade on your panels actually negatively impacts the power output exponentially and not proportionally. What this means is that if 25% of a panel is in shade, the output is not decreased by just 25%, but closer to 50% output.
Keep your eyes on the prize
Your whole solar system, panels and inverter is the prize. Installing solar is not a “set and forget” proposition. This doesn’t mean that you need to monitor every single kilowatt, but it’s best if you regularly give your system a once-over to ensure that everything is on and producing electricity [you know, saving you money].
The simplest way to manage this is by checking your inverter to ensure that the green power light is on. Regular checking of the system will ensure that if the system is down, you can react to it quickly to make sure it’s fixed and back to saving you money sooner than later. Be sure to know the duration of your warranty as its most likely that your issue will be covered.
Just app it
One simple method for keeping your eyes on the prize is using an Energy Monitoring System [EMS].
An EMS will automatically monitor your systems output and track any issues, pushing that data direct to your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can easily follow your system’s real-time energy consumption and production. If your system did not come with a complimentary online application [App], ask your installer about options for retro-fitting one to your system.
These are particularly beneficial for businesses that rely on solar to run the day-to-day operations. More about EMS can be found [here].
Like everything else in your life, the better you treat your panels, the better they will treat you.
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