Have your system cleaned at least twice per year.There are lots of factors that come into play when determining how often you should get your panels cleaned (proximity to highways, Harmattan & Dust) but it’s recommended that they be cleaned at least twice per year. Not sure if your system needs a cleaning? There’s an easy way to figure it out. Just take your finger and wipe it across the panel – much like checking to see if your car is dirty – if you see a distinct difference between the area you wiped and the rest of the panel, it’s time to get it cleaned.
We recommend that you hire a professional cleaning service instead of taking on the task yourself. After all, you wouldn’t rebuild your car’s transmission all by yourself, would you?
However, if you do decide to do it on your own, keep in mind that not all solar panels are created equally, and some may have materials in their housing that is sensitive to certain cleansers. If you do any drying or scrubbing, make sure to use a non-abrasive cloth to do so.
Trim any branches or plants that may be shading your panels. The idea here is straightforward. The more shaded your panels become, the less light they’ll absorb and the less electricity they’ll generate. By trimming any plants that are shading your system’s panels you’ll help to maximize the amount of energy they can produce.
Visually inspect your system’s cabling. Any cracks or breaks in the cabling throughout your system could cause it to generate less electricity, or even worse, not work at all. Take a flashlight and be sure to carefully look over every cable on your system. If you do notice any breaks or cracks, we recommend that you have a professional maintenance service come out and repair or replace them for you.
Check the readings on your system’s inverter. Before the electricity generated by your PV system can be used throughout your home it needs to converted from direct current (DC) to an alternating current (AC). This is done using an inverter. Now, not all inverters are the same, but they’ll all be able to tell you just how much electricity your system is currently producing. Consult your owner’s manual and check the readings on your inverter periodically throughout the week and be sure to take note of any dips in power production as well as weather conditions (since your system will produce less energy on cloudy days). If you notice that your system is producing less energy, especially on clear sunny days, then it’s likely that your system is in need of some maintenance.
Keep a log of your system’s maintenance. Keeping a log of your system’s maintenance and performance is a great way to keep it running efficiently. A detailed log will be able to give you a good insight into when your system starts to under-perform and what may have caused it to do so. We recommend sharing this information with a certified maintenance technician when they come to service you system.