Solar panels work best when they’re free of dirt, dust and other debris. If this builds up, it’ll negatively impact their performance and power output.
Fortunately, a little maintenance goes a long way toward keeping your solar panels working efficiently for years. Follow these tips to keep your system running at its full potential.
Clean the Panels
Solar panels are prone to collecting dirt and dust over time. They are also susceptible to hot spots, which can decrease their efficiency.
Clean the panels at least once a year. This can be done with a garden hose or by a professional.
When doing solar panel maintenance, use only mild soap and water and a non-abrasive cloth or brush to clean it. Avoid scented soaps as they can stain the glass.
Scratching the glass can negatively affect a panel’s energy production and damage its components.
The optimal time to clean your solar panels is early morning or late in the day when it is not sweltering.
You can use a garden hose to wash your solar panels, but you should not use high-pressure hoses as they can cause damage to your solar panels. This is why it is better to hire a professional for this job.
Check the Mounting
Whether you are installing flush mounts or roof-ground solar panels, the mounting system is one of the most critical components of the solar panel system. It is necessary for the safety and durability of the system.
Use a quality torque wrench to tighten the rails to ensure your mounting system is solid and secure. Keep your racking report handy during this step, as it specifies rail size and spacing.
Once the rails are attached, make sure that all of them are parallel. Check this by comparing the diagonal distance between the top and bottom of each fence.
Once your mounting is complete, you can begin wiring the solar panel system. Use insulated tools and a multimeter with fresh batteries to work safely on your electrical system.
Check the Connections
Your solar panels need to be connected correctly. If not, your commissions will not be able to produce the energy they are designed to.
To check the connections on your solar panels, use a multimeter. Set your meter to the correct voltage and current settings for your panel.
You’ll also want to ensure the wires are not damaged or corroded. This can lead to inefficiency losses and a shortened lifespan of your panels.
Most solar panels have MC4 connectors, the industry standard for PV wiring. These connections are weatherproof and are used for connecting panels in series or parallel.
Check the Wiring
When it comes to a solar panel system, wiring is one of the essential parts. It affects the system’s voltage, current and power output, so it’s necessary to understand how to wire your panels to maximize the production from your solar array.
If you’re not an experienced electrician, installing in a professional is best. They will be able to inspect your entire electrical system and provide recommendations on what repairs are necessary.
Using a multimeter, check the voltage and current ratings of each panel. This will allow you to see if the present affects the performance of your meetings and the charge controller.
Most solar panels are wired in series or parallel, so you’ll need to find out which method works for your specific panel’s operating current and the type of inverter you have. Once you know, it’s simple to wire your solar panels together to optimize their performance.