5 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Solar Array
1. Keep ’em Clean.
The simplest way to keep your solar panels in great working order is to keep them clean. A matter of fact, some manufacturing warranties require at least an annual cleaning. To extend the life of your array we suggest taking a look at your PV panels once a quarter to check how clean it is and giving it a good wash down every 6 months. Things like rain, dust, and pollution can build up on your solar panels preventing them from utilizing all the sunlight available to them. If your panels can’t do their job- that means you’re losing money.
2. Don’t Obstruct Airflow.
Don’t obstruct airflow by storing things in front of your inverter and it will absolutely extend the life of your solar array. Regardless if your inverter is indoors or outdoors we like to imagine a 3-foot box around your system to ensure optimal airflow. This is one of the most common mistakes we see solar owners make. Be mindful of what you are putting near your inverter that might be making it difficult for your inverter to breathe easy.
3. Keep Them Out of the Shade.
Make sure that there are no new shade issues. Look for things that weren’t there when the system was installed. In Spring especially you may need to check for trees that need to be trimmed back. Shade on solar panels actually works exponentially, not proportionally, to reduce panel output. So if 1/4 of the panel is shaded, you’re not losing 1/4 of the output for that panel, you’re likely losing more than half. Again, if the panels can’t do their job, you’re losing money.
4. Regular System Monitoring.
Looking at your inverter monitor screen regularly is a huge part of extending the life of your solar array. Is the green light on? Good. While technically you don’t have to look at your monitor every day, if there is a problem and the green light goes out, the longer it takes before you notice it the more money you are losing because your panels are no longer covering your electricity use. Chances are you won’t be able to tell what is wrong with the system, but don’t worry about it, that’s what professionals are for. Call our experts and let us sort it out.
5. Annual Inspections & Health Checks
Routine health checks are an important factor in identifying and resolving issues while they are still small and inexpensive. We suggest starting your maintenance and inspection routine the same year that you get your install but it is never too late to start. Annual inspections are non-negotiable for extending the life of your solar array. Routine health checks keep you in the know about every detail regarding your array from hardware to output. Keep your homeowner records updated and have certified documentation ready for any potential solar home sales down the road.