If you own a solar system, you probably already know that maintenance is crucial to keep it running at an optimal level. But is it better to manage your system maintenance in-house, or to call in the professionals to ensure maximum output? With more than 1,500 systems under the watchful eyes of our Smart Active service team, we know a thing or two about keeping commercial solar systems in peak condition. In this blog, we'll explore the best practices for your solar maintenance and share our expert advice on when to seek professional assistance.
What Should Be Involved in Routine Solar Maintenance?
Routine solar maintenance is important to keep your system performing well. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be a complicated process — in general, regular visual inspections and remote health checks are enough to combat the environmental conditions that can hinder your system's performance.
On a basic level, keep an eye out for dirt and debris build-up, loose cables and wirings, water seepage, and cracked panels which can all impact the efficiency of your solar panels. Beyond these issues, unless you notice an unexplained change in the performance of your panels, they typically won’t require any additional maintenance.
Should You Clean Your Solar Panels Yourself?
DIY-cleaning your commercial solar panels is a tempting idea - why pay for professional cleaning when you can just do it yourself? But before you get out your ladder, consider the risks involved.
Cleaning commercial solar panels is a task that demands serious attention and precautionary measures. It's highly recommended that untrained employees should refrain from attempting it. Without specialized equipment, such as ladders, safety harnesses, and professional cleaning solutions, cleaning commercial solar panels can be dangerous. Moreover, working at heights comes with a high risk of falls and injuries, which inexperienced employees can easily encounter without proper training and equipment.
For this reason, in recent times we’ve seen the development of robotic solar cleaning machines, which provide a safer and more efficient method of keeping panels sparkling clean.
How to Maintain Your Solar System Like a Pro
While it's always best to seek professional assistance when it comes to maintaining your solar system, don't underestimate the power of simple self-maintenance activities. By taking some proactive steps, you can easily extend your system’s lifespan and potentially reduce the need for costly repairs down the line.
- Conduct Visual Inspections - Regular visual inspections are like a checkup for your solar system and can make all the difference in maintaining its efficiency and lifespan. Take a few minutes every week or month to identify any visible damage that could be affecting their performance, like loose or broken components. Don't forget to document any unusual findings with pictures for your maintenance or service provider.
- Solar Performance Tracking - Monitoring the performance of your solar system can help to detect any irregularities before they become significant problems. For instance, if you notice any sudden drops in energy production, don't hesitate to inform your service provider right away.
- Employee Training - Educate all facility management staff or anyone who interacts with the system on correct conduct and safety protocols. This can include identifying potential hazards, such as electrical risks, and knowing how to properly shut off the system in case of a fire. Don't take any chances when it comes to the safety of your employees and ensure that they're well-equipped to handle any situation that may arise.
What Should I Expect During a Solar Inspection?
So, what exactly is involved in an annual professional solar inspection? Well, the purpose of this service is to ensure that your system is still operating in excellent condition and that all elements are functioning as they should be. Here's a general rundown of the process.
- Panel Cleaning and Inspection - During an annual inspection, a trained technician will give your panels a deep cleaning to remove any dirt and debris. But that's not all - your system will also be thoroughly examined to check for any potential issues like cracks in the panels, loose wiring, and signs of corrosion.
- Component repair and replacement - If any issues or faults are detected in your system, the technician will take the necessary actions to repair or replace the faulty components. This could involve replacing items such as inverters, wiring, or mounting hardware to ensure that your system is operating at optimal performance.
- Relocation and Reinstallation of Systems - If you're considering moving or reinstalling your solar panel system, a professional technician can assist you with this process. They have the expertise to provide guidance on the best location for your panels and can handle the entire removal and reinstallation process. You can trust their knowledge and skills to ensure that your solar panel system is installed properly and efficiently in its new location.