Solar Panels Systems – Maintenance, Long Life & Savings

You can’t just install a solar panel system in your home and expect it to work flawlessly for years to come. Much like any electronic device, appliance or other piece of technology, solar panels need to be maintained from time to time for the best possible results. Much in the same way that your car needs to have the occasional oil change or tire rotation, your solar panels will also need the occasional tweak or adjustment to help make sure that they keep functioning as efficiently as they possibly can.

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One of the first things you can do to maintain your solar panels is take steps to adjust your overall behavior by reducing the total amount of electricity that you export. Doing so will put much less normal wear and tear on your solar panels, which will in turn end up increasing the overall longevity of the units. Reducing the total amount of electricity that is being exported by your home will also end up saving you additional money, which is never a bad thing.

One of the many things that you can do to help make this a reality is to only use the various appliances in your home during the day whenever possible. Doing so will make sure that you aren’t depleting electrical reserves by using the appliances at night, as the solar panels will be fully operational during the day while the sun is out. You can also use excess electricity generated by your solar panels to generate both heat and hot water, both of which will increase the overall efficiency of your system.

Maintaining solar panels, Solar Panels at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Maintenance solar panels, Solar Panels at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge—USFWS Mountain Prairie (Flickr.com)

An additional behavior change that will put much less wear and tear on your solar panel system is to start storing the electricity generated by the system in batteries. It is important to realize that installing batteries won’t necessarily save you any money in the same way that the system itself does. Instead, the batteries will put much less stress on the system during situations like power outages, which will in turn allow the system to operate much longer than it normally would. An additional benefit is that any extra electricity that is generated will be available to you during those prolonged power outages, meaning that you can continue on with your normal routine while all of your neighbors are without electricity.

Maintaining solar panels, 20110420-RD-LSC-0776

Make sure that you are washing your solar panels a few times a year to keep them as clean as possible. Things like dirt and debris can block the panel’s ability to collect sunlight, which in turn will make it operate much less efficiently and can even lead to damage. If you don’t want to spend the extra money to install an automated cleaning system, you can always use something like a garden hose or even a bucket of water to periodically wash the face of each panel. Make sure that the water you use isn’t too cold, though, as the panels get hot and cold water could potentially damage them instantly.

Sam Jones, the author, has been looking into solar panels for his home and didn’t realise how necessary maintenance was.

 

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