What Maintenance do Solar PV systems require?

Once your Solar PV system has been installed, it actually requires very little maintenance at all. The systems work very reliably and only very gradually decline in efficiency over a period of up to and above 25 years. Maintaining your solar PV panels is mostly quite simply a case of keeping them clean and able … Read more

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Once your Solar PV system has been installed, it actually requires very little maintenance at all. The systems work very reliably and only very gradually decline in efficiency over a period of up to and above 25 years.

Maintaining your solar PV panels is mostly quite simply a case of keeping them clean and able to absorb as much heat as possible. In the UK, it is possible to aid cleaning by placing the panels on roofs of 15˚ or more. This will allow rainfall to clean the panels for you. Ground-mounted panels are more prone to collecting debris. During the 25 year lifespan of the panels the inverter is likely to require replacing at a current cost of about £1000.

Cleaning your Solar PV Panels

In cases where any debris, dust, snow, or bird droppings come to collect on the surface of your solar PV panels a simple cleaning process can restore full efficiency. Simply wash away the debris using warm water, perhaps mixed with washing-up liquid or similar soap solution. Your installer might be able to recommend a specific soap for cleaning the panels. Use a brush, telescopic cleaning pole, or high pressure hose if the panels themselves are difficult to reach. Be sure to work safely if cleaning at a high height or at the top of a ladder.

Professional solar PV cleaning

If cleaning your solar PV panels is not a viable option for you, it is possible to hire a specialist window cleaning company to carry out the task for you. This can usually be done for a cost of around £30 depending upon the size, location, and extent of your panels.

Solar PV Maintenance checks

Once your installer has fitted your solar PV system the company should supply you with details of the necessary maintenance checks to be carried out periodically to be sure that the system is operating at the greatest efficiency.

The maintenance checklist should include details of the main inverter fault signals and some trouble-shooting advice for the more common issues which may arise at some point in the future. The checklist should be gone through with you in detail by the installer once the solar PV panels have been fitted.

Keep an eye on your system and be aware of how it operates in all sorts of weather conditions. Try to note how much electricity is produced whilst the sun shines and on overcast days to gain an understanding of how the system can be expected to run. Any irregularities in the operation of your solar PV system should then be easy to spot and reported to the installer.

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