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Tips for Protecting & Maintaining Solar Panels

Today I am happy to introduce a GUEST POST about solar panels – something that I have always dreamed of having, but haven’t yet been able to obtain. Bill Michaels has graciously shared about the process of getting and maintaining solar panels.

The Need for Solar Panels

As more people are becoming interested in the environment, they are investing in solar panels that are ground mounted, so that their homes are powered by solar energy instead. Since I have been interested in this phenomenon for years, I always refer customers to reputable solar panel suppliers where they can receive high quality 190w and 250w monocrystalline models.

If you are located in Australia you can purchase online or find brick-and-mortar shops in Sydney. Specialists will install the panels to your roof and hook them up to the local solar power system so they measure and deliver the appropriate power needed for your home. While solar energy is mainly powered by the sun, there are some things you can do to maintain your panels so they work even better.

Tips for Installing Solar Panels Correctly

In order for your solar panels to work properly, make sure you meet with the installation representative to decide where yours will get the best amount of sunlight. The panels need as much direct sunlight as possible so look for where shade and trees hide the sun and plan accordingly. Watch where the sun travels and decide the best spot to install your solar panels. Generally, solar panels are attached to a mounted railing system and not the roof itself to minimize the chance of damage to your roof.

Tips for Protecting and Maintaining Your Solar Panels

Typically, maintaining your solar panels is fairly easy as you only need to clean them around once a year, and they come with a protective glass barrier that shields them from storm damage from trees, leaves, and other debris. However, it is important to maintain them and clean them after snow storms for them to work at their highest power.

Cleaning Your Panels

Image by bkusler via flickr

Your panels should be cleaned annually with warm water and dish detergent or laundry detergent to remove grime, bird droppings, and other debris. This particular job is best done during the cooler part of the day, first thing in the morning or in the evenings, as they won’t be as hot. However, you should ask the representative who installed your panels to do the cleaning as they know which safety equipment like harnesses and safety equipment to bring.

Removing Snow

Depending on how much snow you get, you probably don’t need to clean your solar panels after every snowfall. The panels will continue to work in colder weather and if you install the panels on at least a 40 degree angle, the snow will melt and fall off faster, avoiding sticking for long periods. Solar panels also may receive additional power from sunlight that is reflected from snow off of your neighbour’s snowy roof.

However, there are other methods for removing snow from your panels though you should proceed carefully so you don’t make the issue worse. I’ve found the most effective way is to attach a squeegee device to a long pole or a roof rake to assist in removing the snow and preventing ice build-up. The squeegee helps to protect your solar panels. I’ve also tried the telescoping soft roof rakes, which allow you to see the areas you’re trying to cover better, and its soft foam material won’t hurt your panels.

Other Things to Inspect

Depending on what solar panels you purchase, you’ll need to inspect them routinely according to the manual’s specifications. If you live in a particularly dusty or stormy area, you may want to check more often. If you have an older solar panel with flat plate glass, they can cloud over and break, but the newer ones are up to six times sturdier and don’t need to be checked as often. However, modern solar systems are built sturdier to protect the glass from even strong wind and hail storms.

 

Bill Michaels has loved technology since he was playing with gadgets as a teenager. Even then, he was interested in seeing how solar energy worked. He has multiple degrees in Biotechnology, Ecology, and Electrical Engineering, and is now the department head of a renewable resource agency. He’s very passionate about energy resources and bettering our world and planet.