The Importance of Proper Maintenance for Solar Panel Efficiency
Solar power is a great way to generate clean, sustainable energy for your house or place of business. But if you’re wondering how to improve solar panel efficiency, you’re in the right place.
To get the most out of your solar panels in the UK, though, maintenance is essential. Your panels may run less effectively or perhaps fail earlier than expected if you don’t do proper maintenance. This article will discuss the importance of proper maintenance for solar panel efficiency and some tips for conducting regular maintenance.
Your solar panel system is a huge investment, so you’d want to make sure that it performs at its best. To that end, there are two things you should realise. One, as a homeowner or an investor in solar panels, it’s important that you understand what could affect your yield and how. And two, you don’t really want to be putting off maintenance and repairs just because they would be a hassle.
Regular maintenance will optimise efficiency
First and foremost, proper maintenance of your solar panel system is essential for ensuring its efficiency and longevity. By regularly cleaning and inspecting your panels, and having them professionally maintained, you can ensure that your system is operating at its best and generating maximum energy for your home or business.
To keep your panels clean, it can be as simple as using a soft, dry cloth or a specialized solar panel cleaning solution. It is generally best to avoid using water to clean your panels, as it can cause streaks and leave behind minerals that can damage the surface.
The performance of your solar panel system not only depends on the quality of the system itself but also on how you maintain it. Generally, solar panels in the UK produce electricity through photovoltaic (PV) technology, alongside several other affecting factors. On average, you can expect a typical commercial and modern solar PV panel to have an efficiency between 15 and 20%.
Recently, researchers have achieved a new world record for the highest energy efficiency with 32.5% from tandem solar cells. And while these efficiency numbers seem low, –especially compared to 300% – 400% efficiency you can get from heat pumps– it is good to keep in mind that energy from the sun is free.
Because solar panels rely on sunlight, it makes sense that the efficiency may be hindered if the solar PV panel is obscured. For instance, dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate on the surface of your panels, reducing their ability to absorb sunlight and generate electricity. This can be particularly problematic in areas with high levels of air pollution, sandstorms, or snowfall. The effect can range from 0.5% to 3% energy loss just from obscured panels alone. This is not to mention the regular efficiency deterioration overtime.
Another important aspect of how to improve solar panel efficiency through solar panel maintenance is regular inspections. You should periodically check your panels for signs of damage, such as cracks, scratches, or discolouration. If you notice any issues, it is important to have them repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage and loss of efficiency. You should also make sure to check the connections between your panels and inverter, as loose connections can cause problems with your system.
In addition to your own visual inspections and regular cleaning, it is recommended to have an annual inspection by a professional solar panel installer to ensure that the solar panel system is still operating properly. This can involve a variety of tasks, such as checking the inverter, replacing worn components, and ensuring that the system is properly grounded. A professional maintenance team will have the knowledge and expertise to identify any potential issues and fix them before they become major problems.
Quick tips for maintaining your solar panel system
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your solar panel system is operating at its best and generating maximum energy for your home or business.
- Keep your panels clean: Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate on the surface of your panels, reducing their efficiency.
- Inspect your panels regularly: Check for signs of damage, such as cracks, scratches, or discoloration. If you notice any issues, have them repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage and loss of efficiency.
- Check the connections: Make sure the connections between your panels and inverter are tight to ensure proper operation of your system.
- Trim trees and plants: Keep trees and plants trimmed to prevent shading on your panels. Despite solar panels being able to operate on cloudy days, you’ll want to optimise all the sunlight you can get. Even a small amount of shade can reduce the efficiency of your system.
- Have your system professionally maintained: A professional maintenance team will have the knowledge and expertise to identify any potential issues and fix them before they become major problems.
- Use a solar panel cover: A cover can protect your panels from weather and other environmental factors, helping to extend their lifespan.
- Monitor your system: Use a monitoring system to track the performance of your panels and identify any issues that may arise.
Final tip for new and old solar panel owners
As you can see, maintenance plays a large role in how to improve your solar panel efficiency. And as solar panel popularity rises, solar panel owners should make it a habit to schedule an annual maintenance checkup by their local solar company. This inspection will ensure the panel continues to operate effectively.
In solar panel-related cases, prevention is the best safeguard for breakdowns and to protect your green energy investment. A little extra care will go a long way toward maximising the efficiency of your solar panels in the UK.