More and more people are thinking about switching to solar panels. They are using clean and renewable energy, they are also environmentally friendly, and last but not least, they save you quite a lot of money. It might seem like an expensive investment, but it will save you a lot of money during its lifespan. Some people still aren’t convinced that solar panels really save you money, as they believe that you have to maintain them very often and that the maintenance is expensive. So, what maintenance do solar lights need?
Solar lights need to be cleaned two to four times a year, or more often if you live in a polluted and dry location. The solar installer should maintain your solar panels once a year. This will ensure that your solar lights work properly for a long time.
You can choose to clean your solar lights yourself, or ask the solar installer to do it. If your solar panels are on the ground, it will be much easier for you to clean them yourself. You only need some lukewarm water and a non-abrasive sponge. If your solar panels are on the roof, you might want to get a telescopic sponge, or ask your solar installer to do it. Most people like cleaning their solar panels after winter. Keep reading to find out how to maintain your solar panels and how long they will last.
Do solar panels need regular maintenance?
Solar panels use energy from the sun, called solar energy. Solar energy started to develop some 100 years ago. In the beginning, people used solar energy just for producing steam, which was then used to power machinery. When Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect, the conversion of sunlight to energy became possible.
Becquerel’s discovery allowed Charles Fritts to discover the first real solar cell in 1893. This solar cell was coated with selenium sheets and with a thin layer of gold. This led to the production of solar panels. An American scientist Russel Ohl, who worked for Bell Laboratories, patented the first-ever solar cell in 1941.
After this invention, the first-ever solar panel was produced in 1945 by Bell Laboratories. At first, they were only used in the production of space satellites. Most people came into contact with solar panels around the 1970s when they were used in calculators.
Nowadays, we use solar panels for many different things in many different fields. While solar panels are still used in calculators, they are still used in calculators, but they are also used to produce power for buildings and homes.
Routine maintenance for solar lights is important.
How Solar Lights Work
Many people use solar panels but don’t know how they work.
Solar panels use energy from the sunlight and use it to produce electricity, which then provides power. They are made out of many solar cells that are composed of silicon, phosphorus, and boron. The phosphorus is used to provide the negative charge and boron is used to provide the positive charge. Solar panels work by absorbing the photons. This initiates the electric current.
The energy is generated when photons strike the solar panel which knocks electrons out of their atomic orbits. They are then released into the electric field which was generated by the solar cells. These solar cells pull the free electrons into a directional current. This whole process is known as the photovoltaic effect.
An average family home has enough roof area to produce enough power to supply all the needs.
Using solar power allows you to live off the grid. This means that you live somewhere where there is no main electric utility grid. Solar panels are also used in cabins and remote homes.
Solar power is clean and renewable. Using solar panels to power your home is environmentally friendly and helps you save money. You might think that using solar panels is very expensive since the installation costs between $15,000 and $25,000.
Solar Lights Installation
However, once you install them, they will help you save money since they use their own power. The higher your electricity bill is, the more money you will save when you use solar power. That being said, your savings will fluctuate as the electricity rates fluctuate.
In most cases, solar panels don’t need a lot of maintenance in order to work properly. They are made out of tempered glass which means that it can stand almost any weather.
The only part of the solar system that can move are tracking mounts, which minimizes the possibility of any problems. The problems that most often occur with the production of electricity. Many installers advise on monitoring the production of your system.
In most cases, you don’t have to clean your solar panels very often. However, if your home is located in a place where there’s a lot of dust, smog, and dirt, you will have to clean your solar panels regularly. If you don’t your solar panels will be less and less productive as the dirt accumulates on them.
How do you maintain solar lights?
The easiest solar panels to maintain are the tilted solar panels. This is because the rain will wash down any dirt that is on the solar panel. That being said, if you live in a dry area, you will have to clean them manually.
Most manufacturers recommend that you clean your solar panels twice to four times a year. This might sound like a lot, but cleaning your solar panels doesn’t require a lot of work. You can clean your solar panels with a leaf blower and a garden hose.
During winter, you will probably have to clean your solar panels after a heavy snowfall. Make sure you use lukewarm water when cleaning your solar panels. To make cleaning solar panels more convenient, use a squeegee with a long handle. Never use hot water when cleaning your solar panels because they are made from tempered glass and the hot water can make them crack.
There is no difference between how you should maintain a roof and ground-mounted solar systems. It will, however, be much easier for you to clean ground-mounted solar systems because they are easier to reach.
Before you get solar panels, make sure you choose a great solar panel warranty. This is very useful in case the efficiency of your solar panels starts to decrease because you will have to get a professional to fix them. This could cost a lot of money, maybe not at once but definitely over years.
You should only accept a warranty of between 15 and 25 years. You should get a guarantee that the panel’s productivity stays above 85% or above during the time you have the warranty.
How often should solar lights be serviced?
Getting your solar panels serviced is called solar panel preventive maintenance. You have to call your solar installer who will tell you whether or not your solar panels are working properly. You should book an appointment with your solar installed at least once a year.
How often you will clean your solar panels doesn’t depend on the type of panels, it depends on where you live and how fast the dirt builds upon it. If your solar panels don’t accumulate a lot of dirt, you can include cleaning in your annual inspection.
Keep in mind that solar panels that are exposed to bird droppings, sand, dust, or pollution will need more frequent cleaning. You will also have to clean your solar panels more regularly during drought as the rain doesn’t wash away any dirt from them.
Best Time For Solar Lights Maintenance
Many people wonder what is the best time to clean their solar panels. There isn’t really a straight answer to this question. Whenever you decide to clean your solar panels is the best time to do so. However, some people prefer to do it after winter, because the output levels rise as the sun returns.
That being said, if you will be calling your solar installer for this, you should keep in mind that the end of the winter is the best time to install solar panels, so they will be very busy.
Your solar installer can see whether or not your solar panels need to be cleaned just by looking at them, but they will also verify your solar output. If they notice an output level that is lower than the normal one, they will know that it’s time to clean your solar panels. Usually, a solar panel that needs cleaning produces between 2% and 7% less energy than a clean panel.
If you notice that the output levels drop by more than 10%, it could indicate that you have a technical problem, and you should have your solar panels serviced.
Tools required for solar light maintenance
There are some tools that you will need to clean your solar panels. You will need some lukewarm water and a non-abrasive sponge. If you apply cold or hot water to your solar panel, it could result in thermal shock which will damage your solar panels. If your solar panels are located on your roof, it would be good if you used a telescopic pole so you don’t have to climb on your roof.
Cleaning your solar panels seems very easy and straightforward, but there are some things you should never do. Don’t use harder water when cleaning your solar panels because hard water leaves a white residue, and this could lower their efficiency.
It is not advisable that you use abrasive sponges because they are likely to scratch the surface of your solar panel. Cleaning your solar panels with hot or cold water leads to thermal shock, which damages them. If you use high-pressure water, you can damage the joints in the panel frame. Using solvents, detergents, and other harsh chemicals leads to damage on the surface of your solar panels.
There are 3 types of solar installation, which are photovoltaic solar panels, thermal solar panels, hybrid solar panels.
Cleaning and maintaining photovoltaic solar panels
If there is anything that blocks the sunlight from reaching the photovoltaic solar panel, it won’t work properly. This is true for both dirt and shade.
In some parts of the world, the wind is strong enough to blow away all the debris that collects on your solar panels, so you only have to wipe them down every once in a while. As far as maintenance goes, photovoltaic solar panels don’t need any additional technical maintenance. You only have to get a verification of the cables, the output meter, and the inverter every once in a while.
Cleaning and maintaining thermal solar panels
Cleaning the solar panels is the first maintenance step for solar lights. You will clean this type of solar panel the same way as you would any other type. Just gently clean them with lukewarm water and a non-abrasive sponge.
What sets this type of solar installation apart is that it needs diligent thermal maintenance. This thermal maintenance will be based on what your manufacturer has recommended. The maintenance will happen once a year. Your solar installer will verify the water pressure with a pressure gauge to make sure that the pressure is higher than 1 bar.
If the pressure is lower than 1 bar, the circulation of the glycol water can be in danger, and this will have a negative effect on your solar panels. The solar panel installer will control how much glycol, the antifreeze, is there in your solar panels. These glycols stop your solar panels from freezing during the winter, so there has to be enough of it.
Manage the operation of your solar lights
The operation of your safety devices will also be monitored. These devices are the mixing valve at the outlet to the hot water tank or the solar safety valve.
Your solar installer has to make sure that your solar panels are sealed and waterproof and confirm that there are no fluid leaks on the accessible portions of the system. The solar installer will also verify your pump, the expansion tank, and all the electrical connections.
The solar installers have to write down everything they did in their maintenance notebook so that they can precisely track your solar panels each year.
Cleaning and maintaining a hybrid solar panel
Hybrid solar panels merge two systems into one. Photovoltaic panels are used on the front and thermal panels are used on the back of solar panels.
Hybrid solar panels are also cleaned with a soft sponge and lukewarm water. Maintenance for solar lights always starts with cleaning.
When it comes to maintaining photovoltaic panels, the solar installer will confirm the cables, the production housing, and the solar inverter.
There is a difference between maintaining a thermal side of the hybrid solar panel and maintaining the regular thermal solar panel. The biggest difference between these two types of solar panels is that hybrid solar panels don’t overheat.
This means that the heat transfer fluid is preserved for a longer time, as well as the panel components, which makes it necessary to replace the components. This will save you a lot of money.
Another thing that has to be maintained is the solar inverter, an indispensable part that is responsible for converting direct current output into alternating current. To maintain the inverter, you will have to clean the air inlets once a year, so that it can cool down properly.
Following these maintenance steps will keep your solar lights working for a long time.
What is the lifespan of a solar panel?
Most solar panels, if maintained properly, last around 25 to 30 years. That doesn’t mean that after 30 years your solar panel will just shut down, it means that its optimal efficiency will be decreased.
To try and prolong the lifespan of your solar panels, find a good and trustworthy solar installer, keep your solar panels clean, and maintain them regularly.
Maintenance for solar lights will make sure your lights continue working for years.