Maintenance of Solar Panels
Updated: Jun 9, 2022
The regular maintenance activity for a solar array (Solar modules connected in series), in India especially, is to keep the surface (glass) dust-free. Occasional inspection and checks of the solar module ensure performance efficiency at optimal levels.
To remove a layer of dust, panels are simply washed with soft water. If the module has thick dirt or grime and bird droppings, which are harder to remove, cold water is used, and the panel surface is cleaned with a sponge. Metal brushes should be avoided to prevent the wearing of the panel surface.
A visual inspection of the modules is done periodically to look for possible defects such as cracks, chips, de-lamination, fogged glazing, water leaks, and discoloration. If any obvious defects are found, their location is noted down in the system logbook so that they can be monitored for generation output. If the damage causes the modules to perform lower than the rated value, they should be replaced.
Solar module mounting frames are examined to ensure that the frames and modules are firmly secured and that mounting bolts are rust-free. Junction boxes are inspected to ensure that the wires are not chewed by rodents or insects.
Inverter / Charge Controller:
This component is maintained by minimizing dust accumulation. A dry cloth is used to wipe away any accumulated dirt/dust. After this, a visual inspection ensures that all the indicators such as LED lights are working and the wires leading to and from this device are not loose. If self-checks are done, note that the charge controller should indicate that the system is charging when the sun is shining.
Wiring and Connections:
Wiring installations are regularly checked for any cracks, breaks, or deterioration in the insulation. Panel boxes are scrutinized to prevent the box from becoming a home for rodents and insects. Moreover, the connections are inspected for corrosion and/or burning.
The above checks ensure that the life of the solar power plant is preserved. The details of which you can read here.
Tips for Maintenance of Solar Panels:
Keep solar panels out of shade as energy production become inefficient when they are kept from absorbing any sunlight.
Keep an eye on the solar panels and make sure the investors are flashing green lights. If they are not flashing, you are losing money by no longer compensating for your electricity use.
Document the day-to-day performance of the solar panels maintenance. It is important to write down how much energy has been produced at a consistent time every day and make special notes of dates when it is very cloudy. Some of the results will be inconsistent. (Your manufacturer would be able to provide you with the best monitoring system for your solar panels).
Monitoring systems help you see how much you are benefiting the environment and how much carbon dioxide you are emitting into the atmosphere. They can also help you know how much you could benefit from the feed-in tariff scheme.
You can also see information about your solar panels servicing on a wall-mounted display when you are at home.
If you have no time to clean the solar panels, you can install automated cleaners that work like sprinkler systems or even schedule appointments with solar panel cleaning companies.
Luckily, solar panels have no moving parts that could be affected by rust or breakdown, so solar power maintenance may not be needed.
Source - Google