Solar panel maintenance: do you need it — and how much does it cost?

Solar panel maintenance

Introduction


Solar panels require maintenance twice to thrice a year. Before moving to the question what’s the maintenance cost of solar panels, first look into why you need solar panel servicing. The solar panel is an integral part of a solar PV power system; without a solar panel, there is no medium to convert the sun irradiance energy to electricity. However, solar panel maintenance also takes a great place in affecting electricity production. It’s crucial to keep your solar panels clean and free of aerosol particles to achieve optimal output performance. It shouldn’t cost too much money. Most solar companies offer a maintenance plan that costs about $120-$150. But how often should solar panels be serviced? How much does solar panel maintenance cost? And How often should you clean your solar panels? This article will answer these questions and more below.

Figure: solar panel servicing


Do solar panels need servicing?


Solar panels are a form of renewable energy, which means they don’t require any fuel or electricity to generate power. They’re made up of semiconductors, which are very small and can produce an electric current on their own.

The problem is that these semiconductors can degrade over time. If they wear out, they won’t work as well anymore. This means the solar panel needs regular servicing to maintain efficiency and brightness.
If you have confusion about whether your solar panel needs maintenance or not–do you need it. Solar panels are fabricated with silicon and other materials that lose their efficiency over time. As a result, they can lose their efficiency with time.

Inspecting the solar panel’s current and voltage every month is essential. If you notice that your solar panel current and voltage are less than optimal, it may lose its efficiency; hence it might be time to consult the solar panel service provider. You can consult the solar panel servicing opportunities near your area; however, Solar Panel Costing provides the best solar panel maintenance services in the UK.

Figure: solar panel needs servicing


How often should your solar panels need servicing?


It must be cleaned twice-thrice per year, approximately every six months. However, when your solar panel needs maintenance, it depends on your area (polluted, greenery, flat landscape). Additionally, in this case, solar panel efficiency is also a concern. The more efficient solar panel requires a cleansing once a year, but the regular standard solar panel needs maintenance and inspection twice to thrice a year. Cleansing a solar panel is beneficial to get the optimal Power output from it. The solar panel is responsible for generating the maximum kW output power from it. The Specific Solar PV Output (PVOUT) is responsible for producing solar panel output per day. For 3.08 Kwh/kWp, the per-day specific PVOUT yields about 31%, which is quite a good figure. Therefore, if the solar panel contaminates with dust and with air particles, a thick layer starts to settle on the exterior solar panel membrane surface; hence the solar irradiance does fully absorb into the solar panel and affects its specific PVOUT yield, and doesn’t produce power that fulfills the load demand. Therefore it might be worth checking that dust particles do not contaminate your solar panel.

Figure: solar panels in different areas


How much does it cost to maintain my solar panels?


This varies from system to system, and If your system is of small panels (home), then you don’t need to worry about any maintenance. These systems are relatively inexpensive; as the average maintenance cost of solar panels of about 20 solar panels, the maintenance cost will be 4-150 dollars in a year or two if necessary.
If you clean one solar panel, its maintenance cost will lie between 10-20 dollars; the average maintenance cost of solar panels will be 9 dollars.
If you clean 40 solar panels on the ground, their maintenance cost will lie between 70-110 dollars; the average maintenance cost of solar panels will be 90 dollars.


Is solar panel maintenance cost worth it?


The average maintenance cost of solar PV panels is $100 per year. However, solar panel cleansing is worth it because dirt will drop the efficiency of the solar panel by about 1-25%, and it might lead to replacing the solar panel before its warranty. Hence it will be worth the investment at both residential and commercial levels.

Figure: the average maintenance cost of solar panels


How to clean Solar PV Panels at home– DIY solar panel maintenance– Six essential tips and methods for solar PV panel maintenance


You can clean your solar PV panels; if you think you can do it without damaging the solar panel surface, then you are good to go for this. But if you cannot do it yourself and have doubts that you will scratch the solar panel, the second way is to hire the solar panel cleansing service providers near you. However, it will be a better way to tackle this. However, Solar Panel Costing provides the best solar panel maintenance servicing in the United Kingdom.
Because debris particles in the air work like a solar irradiance stopper for the solar panel, its efficiency suffers. Here are the guides to clean solar PV panels.

  1. Turn off the solar power system
    Turn off the solar power system completely when you decide to clean the solar panel. DC drives devices wholly shut down; however, AC drives devices shut down through the main supply or turn off the main solar supply switch. By doing this, you can save from the energy security risks like electrocution.
  2. Best time for solar panel cleaning
    However, it is a factor that people neglect but significantly impacts your solar panel. Choose a scorching day to clean the solar panel and take cold water to clean. It will be a bad combination (unstable temperature for the solar panel), which will increase the chances of cracks on the solar exterior membrane surface, eventually leading the solar panel to lose its efficiency.
    As a result, early in the a.m, mild-moderate air temperature, and early evening are the best atmospheric weather conditions and moments to clean a solar panel because the dust particles on the solar panel dampen and require less time and effort to clean (at early morning and evening time).
  3. Solar panel cleaning tool kit
    For cleansing the solar panel, you need soft cotton fabric, newspaper, and mild soap, along with the addition of the long rolling soft brush. If your panels damage while cleansing, contact a service provider who can help you.
  4. Don’t use harsh fabric (silk) or chemicals for cleaning.
    Start by cleaning a small area, use a vacuum cleaner or soft brush with mild temperature water to resin it. Do not use cleaning agents (such as bleach), which may damage the panel’s surface. When you are done cleaning, dry it with a towel or newspaper.
  5. Use an acid-based cleaner like white vinegar or lemon juice.
    To clean them correctly, use an acid-based cleaner like white vinegar or lemon juice. Make sure the solar panel membrane surface is dry before using these cleaners. However, if the solar panel exterior membrane surface is wet, the natural acidic-base cleaners will eventually damage the surface of your panels. Don’t clean the solar panel with total effort; scrub lightly until it looks bright.
  6. Mix both mild water(not too hot) and baking powder in an adequate ratio
    If you notice dark spots on your solar panel, this could be caused by mildew on the solar panel membrane surface due to the dust particles and leaves. To remove this type of dirt from solar panels, use a mixture of warm water and baking powder—scrub lightly at first until the spot disappears.
    New Robotic technology performing solar panel cleaning tasks.
    With the up-gradation of new technology, there is also an advancement in the solar sector. Now robotic technology involves the maintenance of solar panels. Many solar panel autonomous and semi-autonomous robotic projects have started cleaning solar panels at the commercial level. The most famous solar panel robots in the technological world are Serbot, HyCleaner, Eccopia, Boston, Jetson Robotics, and many more.

Figure: New Robotic technology performing solar panel cleaning tasks


Conclusion


This solar panel cleaning help guide provides you with what you exactly need. Solar panel maintenance procedures require professional skills and examination if your solar panel plant is enormous. The average solar panel cleaning and maintenance cost for residency of about 9-10 solar panels will be about $50-$10 per solar panel, including labor costs. The average solar panel cleaning and maintenance cost for residency of about 9-10 solar panels will be about $50-$10 per solar panel, including labor costs. But solar panel servicing requires getting the full potential from the solar panel. Otherwise, you have lost your investment in the long term, as solar panels lose efficiency, shortening their lifespan.

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