How will you take care of your solar installation? After you get your solar energy system installed, there is a lot to learn!
You are now a power plant operator – you’re learning to use your monitoring apps, fielding all of your neighbor’s questions about solar energy, and reviewing your electricity bills to understand the impact your solar energy system is having on your monthly energy payments.
In addition to all of that, you want to be mindful and keep your solar installation in tip-top shape.
What are things to keep in mind when planning for routine maintenance and care of your solar panel installation?
We’ll answer that question and more in this blog post!
In Ohio and across the Midwest, you won’t need to clean your panels. You may find alternative information online, but double check where that information comes from. Panels installed in western states can get dusty or build up layers of pollen, dust, leaves or other contaminants. Here in Ohio, solar panels get cleaned regularly by rain and snow.
If you do feel like it’s necessary to clean your panels here are a few tips:
- Don’t get on the roof to clean your panels. Doing so without proper safety measurements is unsafe, and we do not want you to do anything unsafe.
- Panel cleaning should be carried out before reaching working temperature (early morning) and must only be cleaned with water at ambient temperature to avoid thermal shock.
- Ideally, de-ionized water should be used to clean solar panels.
- Ensure the water used is free from grit and physical contaminants that could damage the panel surface.
- Use a regular garden hose. If that doesn’t do the trick use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to clean the solar module.
- Please don’t use high-pressure hoses, pressure washers, metal sponges or blades to clean the panels! Doing so may harm the integrity of the panel and/or invalidate panel warranties.
- It is best to let panels air dry after washing.
Snow buildup comes on some of the shortest, lowest production months of the year. Thankfully, a day or two lost during snowy months is only a fraction of a day lost during a peak sun month, like July. We recommend not worrying too much about snow stuck on panels after a snowfall.
The snow will likely give the panels a nice cleaning and the panels will likely be the first place where snow melts, because the panels were placed with the intention of having the best access to the sun!
If for some reason you do need to clear your panels of snow, just remember not to use anything abrasive that could scratch them.
Neighborhood animals are prone to nesting underneath roof-mounted solar panels. This is especially true if you have foliage adjacent to your solar installation. If you don’t have any nearby trees or tall bushes, this is less of a worry.
Rooftop solar systems provide protection from the sun and a good space to create a nest for many neighborhood animals. If you aren’t proactive, animals can quickly become a problem for your solar array.
Your Solar Consultant will recommend Critter guards for your home solar array if it makes sense for your home. It’s most cost-effective if our crew install critter guards during your initial solar installation.
One downfall of critter guards is that they do tend to trap leaf debris under the panels. If you start to notice a buildup of leaf debris, you’ll want to take care to clear them out because it can lead to a wet roof.
Did you know you can monitor your solar installation in real time? And get day by day and month-to-month data?
For our customers, this is often their favorite part about owning a solar energy system.
Pay attention to your online monitoring. It will help you understand how your solar energy system is performing and how much energy you’re generating. Checking in on your monitoring app regularly will ensure that if something comes up with the system, you’ll identify an issue and contact our service team quickly.
Internet service change
When your internet service provider changes, you may need to reconnect your system to the internet. Similarly, when you need to toggle the Wi-Fi on and off on your laptop to get the system to receive an internet connection, your Inverter, which is responsible for getting monitoring data to your app, is a wifi-based device that needs a good connection to the internet to produce you with monitoring data.
If you change internet providers or notice that your monitoring data isn’t coming through like normal, give us a call, and we should be able to help you connect your inverter back to the internet.
Take Care of Your Solar Installation
We hope this information has been useful!
As always you can reach out to our service department at any time with questions you have about the service and maintenance of your home’s solar energy system.