A person standing on a solar panel

With the global shift towards cleaner, more sustainable energy, solar panels are a viable solution for homeowners and businesses across many sectors. Their ability to utilise sunlight and convert it into electricity makes them an excellent choice for those looking to improve their environmental responsibility. However, to get the most out of your solar energy, you need a keen eye on maintenance practices to guarantee efficiency and durability.

In this blog, we will discuss the importance of solar power maintenance, explaining how it contributes to excellent performance and the lifespan extension of these eco-friendly energy generators.

Solar panels on a roof

The Lifespan of Solar Panels

To maintain your solar panels properly, you must first have a realistic expectation of their lifespan. They typically boast a lifespan of 25 to 30 years, but various factors come into play when determining how long they will generate electricity efficiently.

For instance, material quality is a critical influencer of longevity in both residential and commercial solar panels. High-quality materials translate into improved durability, making the investment more sustainable in the long run. Additionally, environmental conditions should not be underestimated; panels exposed to harsh weather elements might experience a faster deterioration compared to those in milder climates. Understanding these factors allows commercial and residential solar users to make informed decisions about their investments and encourages manufacturers to prioritise durability in their designs.

Solar panels on a roof covered in snow

The Ageing Process of Solar Panels

Just like any other technology, solar PV panels go through a natural, progressive ageing process that can affect their efficiency over time; while the decline is gradual, it is part of their normal life cycle. As we mentioned earlier, factors such as exposure to weather elements, such as sunlight, temperature fluctuations, and environmental wear and tear massively contribute to this phenomenon.

To put it into numbers, the decline in efficiency typically ranges from 0.5% to 1% per year. While this may seem unimportant, it emphasises the relevance of regular maintenance to counteract these effects. As for anything else, a well-maintained solar panel system can slow down and ease the signs and impact of ageing, ensuring continuous operational efficiency throughout its lifespan. As complex as it may sound, you must understand this gradual decline to get the most out of your clean energy.

A group of men in safety vests and helmets on a roof

Professional Inspections and Routine Maintenance Steps

Routine professional inspections of solar panels are an essential part of responsible ownership to uphold their health and efficiency. These inspections go beyond what the naked eye can see and into the many complexities of the solar panel system. Solar panel suppliers and experts like us conduct these inspections to easily identify potential issues before they escalate to something more serious or expensive to fix, like loose connections, wiring problems, or inverter malfunctions.

In addition to professional inspections, routine maintenance steps are essential for prolonging the lifespan of solar panels. For instance, regularly cleaning panels from dirt, dust, and debris guarantees that sunlight can be efficiently converted into electricity. This not only boosts performance but also prevents potential damage caused by the accumulation of materials on the surface. These are just a few simple yet impactful steps that contribute significantly to the overall health, efficiency, and longevity of solar panels.

Solar panels on a roof

The Best Practices for Cleaning Solar Panels

Cleaning solar panels might seem like a straightforward task, but it may turn out more difficult than expected as it directly impacts their performance. Numerous effective practices keep solar panels shiny and perfectly operative; however, we feel the following are the best ones to adopt:

·       Use a gentle cleaning solution and a soft brush or sponge to remove dirt and grime.

·       Avoid abrasive materials that could scratch the surface and diminish the panel’s efficiency.

·       Clean regularly, especially in dusty or polluted environments, to maintain optimal efficiency.

For regions experiencing plenty of seasonal changes, we recommend a more frequent cleaning schedule, especially during heavy pollen or leaf-shedding periods. These practices will generally help you actively contribute to the prolonged life and sustained efficiency of your solar panel systems.

A hand with dirt on a solar panel

Spotting Issues Early: from Loose Connections to Debris Accumulation

Beyond routine maintenance and cleaning, being proactive in identifying potential problems can save solar panel owners from costly repairs down the line. Regularly checking for loose connections, for instance, is vital, as these can hinder the flow of electricity and impact the system’s efficiency. Debris accumulation, such as leaves or bird droppings, should also be promptly removed to prevent any shading or damage to the panels.

Inverter malfunctions are another common issue that can significantly impact solar panel performance. You must monitor the inverter for unusual sounds, lights, or error messages to detect potential problems early. Addressing these issues in time, whether through DIY solutions or professional inspections, guarantees a smoothly functioning solar panel system.

Solar panels with clouds in the sky

Go Green Solar Group: Solar Panels for a Greener Tomorrow

At Go Green Solar Group, we understand the importance of maintenance practices to optimise your solar panel system for long-term efficiency, from routine cleaning to professional assistance. We are committed to a sustainable future and are here to support you every step of the way with our solar panels across the North West of England, including the Lancashire and Cumbria counties.

Contact us today for reliable maintenance advice and services to let your panels shine brightly and keep using the sun’s energy to its fullest potential. Our team is ready to offer help with routine checks and can promptly address any concerns.