According to the Australian Energy Council report, there were 290,000 new solar installations in 2022. It is one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the world today due to it being cost-efficient and sustainable. It also does not contribute to carbon emissions.

If you are using solar power, it is essential that you improve your solar efficiency with regular solar maintenance. Here are a few tips for deciding when and how often you should schedule solar panel maintenance.

Solar Maintenance

Most solar power systems are designed to last over 20 years, but the panels and other components need maintenance to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.

Solar panels are made of photovoltaic cells (numerous solar cells) which are made up of silicon semiconductors. These semiconductors create electricity upon interaction with sunlight. To make sure your solar panels work well, ensure regular maintenance of your solar panels. Lack of routine maintenance, including cleaning and checking that everything is functioning well, will reduce efficiency by 20%.

Cleaning Your Solar Panels

One of the most effective ways to maintain your solar system is by cleaning the panels regularly. This will help prevent dirt from building up on the panels. Be sure to clean any leaves or other debris that may collect on them too. This may mean clearing bushes or tree branches that could prevent your solar panel from getting maximum sunlight.

Here are some of our top tips for cleaning your solar system:

  • Schedule regular cleaning: Solar panels should be cleaned on a regular basis, ideally every 6 months. However, the frequency of cleaning will depend on the local weather conditions and the amount of dust and dirt that accumulates on your solar panels.
  • Clean during the morning or evening: The best time to clean solar panels is early in the morning or late in the evening when the panels are cool. Avoid cleaning during the middle of the day when the panels are hot, as this can cause the cleaning solution to evaporate too quickly. This is particularly important for us who reside in Brisbane and experience longer seasons of high heat.
  • Use the right cleaning solution: Use a mild detergent or specialised solar panel cleaning solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the panels.
  • Use a soft brush or cloth: Use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub the panels, taking care not to scratch the surface. Do not use a pressure washer, as this can damage the panels.
  • Rinse thoroughly: Rinse the panels thoroughly with water to remove any remaining dirt or cleaning solution. Use a squeegee or soft cloth to dry the panels, taking care not to leave any streaks.

Check for Damages

Solar technicians can improve the efficiency of your solar system by checking for damage. Cracks in the glass or other damage can lead to decreased efficiency or even failure of the entire system. A qualified solar professional will check for any loose screws or bolts and ensure they are in place so that the system works as intended. Additionally, your solar professional at Solahart will also look for damage caused by vermin, such as chewed cords and any deposits they may leave.

While solar panels are built to last, there are some common damages they experience that are out of our control. These are the most common types of damage that your solar technician will check for:

  • Physical damage: Solar panels can be damaged by impacts from hail, falling debris, or even by people walking on them. This can result in cracks, chips, or other forms of physical damage to the panels.
  • Water damage: If water seeps into the panels, it can cause corrosion and damage to the electrical components inside. This can result in a loss of efficiency or even complete failure of the panel.
  • Environmental damage: Extreme weather conditions such as high winds, and extreme temperatures can cause damage to solar panels. This can lead to cracking, warping, or other forms of damage to the panels.
  • Electrical damage: Electrical damage can occur due to lightning strikes, power surges, or faulty wiring. This can cause a loss of efficiency or even complete failure of the panel.
  • Degradation: Over time, solar panels can experience a gradual degradation in performance due to exposure to sunlight, temperature fluctuations, and other environmental factors. This can result in a gradual loss of efficiency over time.

Inspect Your Wires and Connections Regularly

If your wires aren’t connected properly or if there’s a break somewhere in the system, your solar power won’t work as it should. Inspecting your wiring regularly allows you to catch problems early before they become too serious.

Advantages of Solar Maintenance

A residential solar panel has an average lifespan of 20-30 years, withstanding cold, wind and heat. Schedule annual inspections from reputable professionals so that your solar panels can be in top-notch condition, guaranteeing a longer lifespan and that will save you money in the long run.

When to Schedule for Solar Maintenance

One of the best ways to ensure energy efficiency is by making an appointment with a trained solar technician.

If you’re just getting started with solar power, it’s best to hire a professional to undertake an inspection soon after installing your solar panels to ensure that everything is working correctly and that your system is optimised for maximum energy production.

To start, here are some signs that should prompt you to call in an expert:

  • The panels are covered with dust and dirt
  • There are cracks in the glass of your panels
  • You notice your panels aren’t providing you with very good results

You can find these problems early if you regularly inspect your solar panels. Preventative maintenance is the key to enjoying your solar panels to the fullest.

Additionally, scheduling an inspection is a great idea if:

  • You notice a dip in productivity
  • You live in a place experiencing dust storms or hail

If you are looking for a reputable company for your solar installation and solar maintenance, then look no further than Solahart. We live and breathe solar power and are reputable professionals who undertake solar installations and maintenance in the Brisbane area.

We specialise in Brisbane solar power installations for homes and workplaces so contact us at Solahart Brisbane South East to find out how we can help you get the best out of your solar panels.