Luckily, the phrase “it doesn’t come with a manual” usually won’t apply to your solar energy system. Unfortunately, when you install solar panels in Minnesota as a homeowner or commercial solar user, that manual may not give you the most in-depth maintenance instructions. To make the most of what is likely a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty on your panels, you’ll want to reduce external strain as much as possible.
How Soiling Affects Your Panels’ Efficiency
The biggest factor that affects the lifespan and efficiency of solar panels in Minnesota is called soiling. Soiling is when environmental debris such as snow, dirt, and dust accumulates on the panels and causes a decrease in their efficiency. To some extent, soiling is to be expected. However, there are several ways to cut back its impact on your panels. The most important component is vigilance: make sure to evaluate your panels seasonally for any wear and tear or debris. If you do notice any damage, it will be a lot easier to repair it when you catch it quickly. Keep reading to learn more about other ways to decrease strain on your solar panels.
A Professional Install Will Cut Back on Debris
Before your system is even operational, you should hire an experienced solar panel installation company to ensure your panels are properly installed. This way, you know your panels have not been mishandled and broken prior to being put on your roof. An experienced company can also help you determine potential risk factors for your system given your roof’s unique features. For example, the slant of your roof and the panels on it can drastically affect the ability of debris to “stick” to panels and affect their output.
Easy Maintenance Options for Home and Business Owners in MN
If you have trees hanging over your roof, you should consider their health when installing panels. If the limbs are old and dead, they will be more likely to break off in a storm with high winds and fall on your panels. Even smaller branches and acorns can fall and damage your panels.
You can avoid this trouble by trimming back branches of trees that hang over your solar array. It will also cut back on shade, which is another way to keep your panels producing energy at their optimal rate.
You can also rinse off your panels seasonally to cut down on the dust and debris on them. If you can reach the panels on a ladder, a basic garden hose will do the trick. If you can’t reach your panels or are a commercial user with a high volume of panels, you may want to consider installing a sprinkler system on your roof to rinse your panels regularly.
Operating and Maintenance for Commercial Solar Users
If you’re a commercial solar user, you’ll also need to be proactive and hire your solar company to oversee ongoing operation and maintenance of your panels. Many of the issues that arise with solar energy systems can be prevented through routine maintenance. This type of arrangement is a necessity if you hope to maximize your system’s ROI. By utilizing a solar operation and maintenance contract with your solar energy company, you will:
- Optimize your solar panel system’s ability to generate power
- Protect your assets and reduce your risks
- Ensure your system’s compliance with government and utility grid requirements
- Receive ongoing support when issues arise
Proper Maintenance for Solar Panels in Minnesota
If you adequately care for your solar panels and utilize the help of a solar energy company to maintain their production capacity, your system can last well beyond its 25-year warranty. Cedar Creek Energy has operating and maintenance contracts with many commercial solar energy clients. Our team helps our clients with preventive maintenance, including routine inspection, wear and tear, checkups, and servicing of equipment; condition-based maintenance, with real-time monitoring and preventing downtime; and corrective maintenance that includes reactive repair if there is a breakdown of equipment. Contact us today if you would like to install a solar system, or if you have an existing system that needs maintenance.