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March 3, 2020

Tips on Solar Power Installation & Repairs

Author: Lance Wiggers

Solar panels produce energy from UV rays with hotter days usually producing more sunshine and longer days for the panels to convert into electricity. Many customers are not aware that too much heat on the solar panel can have a negative effect on power production. This is actually true for most electrical devices. This is why our team at iBreeze highly recommend our clients regularly maintain their solar power systems and quickly repair any faults before more serious problems arise. The highly trained and qualified technicians at iBreeze Solar Power Mandurah provide repairs and servicing on all types of residential and commercial Solar Power Systems, in addition to completing full installations. Our qualified technicians are fully accredited with the CEC.

Solar Panels Mandurah Home

A Guide to Solar Panel Maintenance

Solar systems contain no moving parts, so little maintenance is required compared to other kinds of installations such as our ducted air conditioning or wood heater systems. But it is important that they remain clean and operating efficiently, so that they produce the amount of energy they are designed to produce and help reduce your electricity bill.

Here are a few tips for maintaining your solar panels

Monitoring your solar system

It is very important to first and foremost monitor your solar system. Most systems have monitoring Wi-Fi equipment either included or sold as optional add-ons, and keeping an eye on your electricity production can tell you if your system is performing to expectations. Monitoring of your solar power system does not require Wi-Fi and can be as simple as watching to see that the green light on your inverter is always on. If it goes off or starts flashing, it means your solar system has stopped working and will require a technical inspection. Monitoring can also involve accessing an online portal from your laptop or smartphone which update almost live information and history details. Another form of maintenance is to keep an eye on your solar panels. If they have been on your roof for some time, you’ll need to check that surrounding vegetation and trees have not grown to the point where they are now shading your panels. If they are, remove or trim the offending plantation. Solar panels mandurah also work more efficiently when they are relatively cool, so during really hot weather, it would pay to run the garden hose over them to cool them down during the hottest part of the day. Finally, a visual inspection of your solar power system will tell you if your panels are clean. They can build up a residue of dust, grime and bird droppings over time which blocks out UV, so keeping them clean will help to keep them running at maximum efficiency.

Cleaning your Solar System

If you live in an area with regular rainfall, the rain will do half the job for you, but if you live in a region that is dusty, close to the ocean, estuary or beside a busy freeway, chances are your solar panels will get dirtier faster and require more regular cleaning. Ideally your solar panels should be cleaned from the ground as this is the safest practice. This can be done using a long-handled window cleaning pole with a soft sponge and wiper on the end and a bucket of soapy water. You can also use a garden hose, but the panels should ideally be wiped before they dry, as tap water contains minerals which will form deposits on the glass. The best time to clean solar panels is in the early morning, when dew will help to soften up any bird droppings or deposits. Avoid cleaning them in the heat of the day, as the water used can evaporate quickly and the dirt will become smeared on the panels. If parts of your solar system are too hard to reach from the ground, consider using a professional solar panel company, as the small financial outlay would be preferable to damaging your expensive solar system or falling off your roof.

Professional maintenance

Every couple of years, you should have an expert check your solar system over to make sure it is still safe and performing well. A qualified solar maintenance technician will be able to; 1. Analyse overall performance of the system 2. Inspect for solar panel damage, wiring issues, moisture penetration or frame corrosion 3. Check cabling for integrity and measure voltages 4. Inspect junction boxes for tightness of connections, water accumulation and integrity of seals 5. Visually inspect inverters for damage 6. Check alignment and rigidity of the framing system

Why it’s worth doing

Maintaining your solar system requires very little outlay in terms of care and the benefits are well worth the effort. One solar farm found that cleaning solar panels regularly doubled their electricity output. The next time you’re out in the yard, look up at your solar panels. If they look a bit neglected, consider giving them a clean, so they can go on doing what they’re designed to do, which is saving you money on your energy bills.

3 Things to Check to Avoid Unexpected Solar Power Repairs

If you want to avoid unexpected solar panel repairs, it’s a great idea to protect your investment and get some regular professional maintenance. Caring for a solar power system isn’t too difficult, but if you’re not technically minded and/or you don’t like heights, it isn’t recommended that you attempt this type of work yourself. Let’s take a closer look at three things that you need to check to avoid unexpected solar power repairs.

1. Dirt and Debris

The solar panels need to be kept clean from dirt and debris if they are going to be efficient. Any obstruction on the surface on the panel will reduce the amount of power that’s generated, and this is money down the drain. Any type of debris, such as dirt, leaves, foliage and dust, needs to be cleared away to allow the solar panel to work as intended by the manufacturer. Don’t attempt to clean these solar panels if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s often quite risky to climb up on your roof, and this can be a fatal error even at lower elevations. Some solar panels are mounted lower to the ground, and these can be cleaned with a mop or soft brush that has a long or extendable handle. Be careful if you attempt to clean your solar panels, they can be damaged and if you’re unsure always hire a solar panel professional to clean them for you. People often think the rain will clean the solar panels but this isn’t the case.

2. The Roof and Rack

Every series of solar panels installed on a roof is held in place on a rack that secured to the roof surface. Fixings need to be established, and these penetrations can be weakened from a variety of sources, such as loosening fixings, corrosion, and environmental damage. Roof drainage issues can also create a significant problem; the water could enter the penetration and create structural weaknesses. For these reasons it’s a good idea to periodically inspect the solar panel rack and the points where it’s fixed to the roof. This will help to catch any minor issues earlier and avoid the roof rack sliding free of the roof and causing significant amounts of damage.

3. Look for Signs of Broken Glass

A modern solar panel contains thin silicon wafers that are protected by a durable sheet of tempered glass. This glass panel is rated to withstand a considerable amount of punishment, and it can survive most storms. However, this glass sheet isn’t invulnerable to damage and fallen tree branches or flying debris can break the surface. When the solar panel glass is broken the efficiency is compromised, and it’s important to get the glass replaced. In some solar systems the energy output ceases as soon as a panel is broken and in others, the power output will continue albeit at a reduced level. The repair must be carried out by a professional solar power repair technician, and the new panel will need to be carefully integrated into the existing system. If you need any further assistance with your solar power Mandurah system please call us on 95349491 or email us at – admin@ibreeze.com.au

Lance Wiggers
Lance Wiggers is the founder and managing director of iBreeze, having started the company back in 2016. His expertise spreads across air conditioning services, solar power and wood heating to provide customers with a more comfortable living or working space. Lance's tailored approach means he always chooses the solution best for your specific situation. You might have the pleasure of dealing with Lance as your first point of contact when you enquire with the iBreeze team!
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