How Do I Maintain My Solar Panels?

The Most Comprehensive DIY Solar Panel GuideQuestion: I’d like to switch to solar energy but I am on a budget. I’d prefer to avoid costly replacements and make my solar panels last as long as possible. How do I maintain my solar panels?

Answer: Fortunately, little work is required to maintain solar panels. Solar panels come with an anti-reflective glass coating that protects the solar cells from debris and damage. Cleaning this glass coating as needed is enough to prolong the life of your system.

Check your manufacturer’s recommendations for how often they should be cleaned, and also use common sense. If you live in a dusty area, or your neighborhood has lots of trees that can potentially produce debris, you may want to clean them more often. Also don’t forget to consider our avian friends above, who may not be able to resist the urge of using your solar panels as target practice for their droppings.

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Unwanted debris on your solar panel’s glass coating ultimately causes shade, which can cause solar panels to malfunction and reduce the output of your entire system. So be sure and take a serious approach to the regular cleaning of your solar panels.

If your panels are installed properly, your solar energy system could work for as long as 30 years. But with time wiring or other electrical parts may go bad. Just as fuses can blow from time to time, so the inner-parts of a solar system may occasionally overheat or malfunction.

This isn’t common so you shouldn’t be alarmed. Replacing wiring or other electrical components (such as diodes) also isn’t as difficult as it may sound. Many solar energy systems are available as DIY kits so the handy consumer can install, repair and maintain their solar energy system as needed, without much hassle.

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