Solar equipment can last for many years if properly maintained, but many people forget even the simplest measures. Like any type of sensitive equipment, solar panels, solar powered generators and other equipment, need regular maintenance. Solar systems are an investment you want to last as long as possible.
When to Maintain Solar Panels
If your solar panels are outside and exposed to the elements for any portion of the year, then you’ll want to be careful of dust and other buildup on the surface. The point of solar power is to efficiently transform the sun’s rays into electricity, but if your panels are covered in dirt and debris, then it lowers efficiency.
If you live in an area that experiences snowy winters, then they should be cleared following snowfall. Make sure to dry it thoroughly as the sun can dry the water quickly and cause streaking. The biggest culprit of lowering efficiency is dust and dirt. If you live in a desert or dusty environment, then you should clean more frequently.
If you use solar energy products only occasionally such as on camping trips, then they should be cleaned before each use.
How to Clean Solar Panels
Solar panels are sensitive, but cleaning them is a straightforward process. Use warm water and a wash cloth to wipe and remove debris from the surface or if the panels are out of reach, a garden hose. For stains that don’t come off easily such as bird droppings, then use dish soap, but rinse thoroughly to reduce the changes of soap residue.
Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers on the panels as they can be damaged.
Maintaining Backup Solar Generators
Since these generators cost thousands of dollars, the last thing you want is for something small and avoidable to end up ruining it. If your solar generator is located in a shed or other building, then every month you should go out for small routine maintenance such as dusting, removing cobwebs, removing moisture, using anti-corrosive paste and checking connections.
Once a year, it should get a thorough inspection preferably from a professional service. The biggest issue with backup generators is corrosion, especially for battery bank cables. Corrosion causes resistance and that translates to heat. As the corrosion worsens and the resistance increases, it can melt the battery connection.
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