Many things in life require maintenance. Your car needs oil changes after a certain number of months or after a certain number of miles. Your gutters usually need to be cleaned out every fall. Lawns and gardens look their best with weekly maintenance. And children often require and desire loving attention. So it’s not unreasonable to expect your SunPower solar panels need some maintenance, but you may be intrigued with how little is needed to take care of them.
Maintaining Peak Efficiency
Keep in mind that solar panels convert light into energy. Cloudless days are the best days for solar, in summer or winter. Depending on your location, debris and dust might accumulate on the surface of your panels. And after wildfires, you might see that ash is added to it! When enough dirt and particulates rest on the solar cells, light is blocked from coming in – just like a dirty window. The dirt needs to be removed so your panels remain at peak efficiency.
In most cases, the accumulation is so slight that strong breezes and seasonal rains are enough to clean off your panels. What’s more, nearly all solar panels are installed on inclined roofs or tilted surfaces, allowing gravity to assist with natural rinsing efforts. That makes your solar panels virtually maintenance-free on your part! Some owners take out their garden hose with a spray nozzle every so often and shoot a stream of water across their panels, but merely for good measure. (Avoid this practice when the panels are hot, and if you have significantly hard water, consider filtration to avoid water deposits.)
When More Effort is Required
If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, your panels require more attention. A squeegee with a long handle or other specialized tool helps keep panels clear enough for light to get through. You might live where your roof is frequented by birds. Sure, watching them flutter about is mesmerizing, and their songs are relaxing, but their poop is disrupting, especially when it blocks light from reaching your PV cells. Spraying water likely won’t be enough for this cleaning job, meaning you may need to get up on the roof with some soap and water to get your panels clean. Of course, there are also bird deterrents you can apply to discourage them from roosting on your home, but we highly recommend getting professional consultation before taking such measures.
Knowing When to Act
Using your SunPower solar panel monitoring system, you can keep an eye on the energy production of your photovoltaic panels at any time of day. If you start to see a drop in efficiency, it’s a good sign to step outside and take a closer look at your panels. The monitoring system will also tell you if there are any malfunctions.
If a malfunction is detected, give Solaron a call. Your SunPower panels come with a 25-year warranty to cover any maintenance on your panels that goes beyond the realm of the regular. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about maintaining your SunPower panels, we’re here to help with those too. Feel free to give us a call or schedule an appointment online.