In a previous post, we outlined general solar energy maintenance requirements. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at maintenance for solar panels in particular. Worried about potential issues because of extreme weather or harsh conditions? Here’s what you can expect.
Solar Panel Lifetimes
Today’s solar panels are designed to last 25 years or longer, and most legitimate manufacturers back their panels with warranties. In the event that something does go seriously wrong, chances are your panels can be replaced under warranty. At the same time, solar panels are built to endure even the harshest weather conditions such as hail, high winds, ice, and temperature fluctuations.
Solar Panel Warranties
The warranty backing your solar panels is one of the most critical factors to consider as you survey your options. Warranties can vary substantially in terms of scope, coverage, and stipulations depending on the manufacturer and intended application.
Power Output Warranties
Some manufacturers back their panels with power output warranties that guarantee a specific panel performance level for a set period of time. For example, a manufacturer may guarantee that peak panel power output won’t fall below 85% for 25 years.
In addition to a power output warranty, manufacturers also may offer an additional warranty that guarantees a higher performance level for a shorter period of time. A secondary warranty, for example, may back 90% power output for the first 10 years of the panels’ life.
On top of performance guarantees, manufacturers provide workmanship warranties to protect you from any defective panel parts. These warranties are generally offered for the first five years after installation.
Solar System Maintenance
Unless your solar panels are equipped with tracking mounts, your panels have no moving parts, significantly reducing the chances of a critical failure. Issues with solar panels are rarely mechanical and most frequently relate to panel performance and electrical generation. Using a monitoring system and noting the performance of your panels can help ensure your equipment is working as it should. Other than that, you don’t really have to worry about ongoing maintenance for your solar panels.
If you notice dust, dirt, or debris collecting on your panels, and it seems to be affecting performance, you should clean them, but generally, they don’t require cleaning if they’re operating as usual. You also can mount solar panels at a 15-degree angle or steeper to make them self-cleaning—rainwater simply runs off along with any dirt or debris.
Solar Panels and Snow
We get plenty of snow in Connecticut. When it snows, you don’t have to worry about removing snow from the panels. It should melt and fall off on its own without significantly affecting electricity production. Installing solar panels at an angle also can help prevent snow from building up.
Connecticut’s Solar Electricity Experts
Whether you’re ready to upgrade your existing solar infrastructure or you want a turnkey solution built from the ground up, contact the solar energy experts at Verogy today. With our free consultations and proposals, we’ll help you understand how solar can become a reality for your organization.