Solar Batteries

When purchasing solar equipment for your home, it's important to consider the estimated lifespan for that equipment when determining the long-term cost of your investment. This is true of everything from your solar panels to your solar batteries. Of course, how you use and maintain your equipment will also impact the lifespan of the equipment. While solar panels are especially low-maintenance items and don't typically require much attention after installation, you can do a few things to improve their lifespan and get more use out of them—and, therefore, more power per dollar of your investment. Keep reading to learn how to extend your solar panels' life.

Keep Your Panels Clean

One of the simplest things you can do to maintain your solar panels is to clean them occasionally. This doesn't have to be a weekly or monthly task; typically, most dirt and debris will slide right off the panels, and the occasional wind and rain will help wash off anything else. However, spraying down your panels every few months can help prevent any dirt and dust from accumulating on the panels and causing unnecessary wear and tear.

Additionally, cleaning those panels every once in a while will help them to be more efficient. Any amount of dirt accumulation on the photovoltaic cells will impede their ability to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. So, the occasional spray down with your hose will have double the benefits when it comes to getting the most from your solar investment.

Monitor Their Production

Proactively monitoring your panels' production can help you notice any sudden changes in their efficiency that might indicate a problem with one of the panels. The issue might be as simple as an overgrown branch now blocking sunlight, but it can also be an issue concerning the panel itself. Monitoring their production can help you to detect these problems early so that you can have them fixed before they become more serious.

You can check your panels' productivity in two main ways: on the inverter screen or via a monitoring app. Inverters can provide information regarding the overall system's productivity but will only sometimes have data for each panel. Depending on your type of inverter and monitoring system, a mobile app for your solar power system can more easily pinpoint the exact malfunctioning panel, so it's easier to troubleshoot the problem.

Perform Annual Inspections

Most solar panels can keep running for decades without needing much attention, but that doesn't mean you should take their independence for granted. Getting up on the roof—or better yet, having a solar professional get up there—once a year to check on your panels is a good idea. This can allow you to look for signs of damage to the panels or connecting wires so that you can get them fixed quickly. You can also inspect the mounting equipment to ensure everything is still completely secure; the last thing you want is a panel falling off your roof. If you don't do these inspections annually, at least make sure to inspect your panels after any severe weather, so you can ensure that wind, debris, or hail didn't damage them.

Cover Your Panels in Extreme Weather

Speaking of extreme weather, if you have any in your forecast, try to cover your panels to protect them from the damage mentioned above. Of course, you should only do this if it's entirely safe for you to do so. Solar panels are made to withstand a lot of what Mother Nature can throw at them and can stand up to 1-inch hail falling at up to 50 miles per hour. However, if you're expecting a severe hailstorm, or other extreme weather like tornadoes or hurricane-force winds, strapping a few tarps over those panels can help protect them from any damage.

Consider a Protective Coating

If you're purchasing new solar panels, you can find many of them that have protective coatings already installed over them. However, if your panels have been installed for a few years, they may have a different protective coating. Consider speaking with a solar installer about the type of panels you purchased and whether or not adding a protective coating could be beneficial.

There are many brands of protective solar panel coatings on the market. Some are designed merely to add a layer of protection over the photovoltaic cells. These are typically crafted from clear ceramic so that they won't impede the collection of sunlight in any way. Others, however, are nano-coatings that add protection and reduce the refractive index between air and glass. This means that when sunlight hits the panels, there is a far higher transmission rate due to reduced refraction and reflection. This can further increase your panels' efficiency while protecting them from damage.

Trim Back Your Trees

Finally, consider the difference a bit of yard maintenance can make in protecting your solar panels. We've talked about trimming back tree branches before in order to prevent shading and increase panel efficiency. However, this is also a great way to protect your panels. Trimming back those branches reduces the likelihood of a damaged branch falling on your panels in high winds. Additionally, it helps keep twigs, leaves, debris, bird droppings, and pollen from accumulating on top of your panels, causing wear and tear and further reducing panel efficiency. If you spot any branches hanging over your rooftop solar array, trimming them back is worth the time and effort.

If you're looking to install solar panels or want more tips, contact us or visit our website to learn more about The PowerStore, our products, and how we can help you design and install your solar power system. Call now to speak to one of our solar experts!