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Everything you need to know about solar panel maintenance
22nd August 2022

At Low Carbon Energy, we not only supply and install your solar panels; we also offer a Solar Panel Maintenance service too.

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While commercial solar panels generally require little maintenance, regular service checks are immensely useful for keeping them operating at peak condition, ensuring that you’re always getting the very best out of your solar PV system throughout their operational lifespan – normally at least 25 years.

With regular maintenance, your solar panels will:

  • Maintain optimal performance, generating the maximum energy for your business
  • Be less likely to develop future faults
  • Maximise your Return on Investment

Maintenance of your solar panels also fulfils all your warranty requirements and helps to mitigate the risk of fires, complying with IEC 62446.

Our maintenance service is available to all properties and buildings with solar PV systems – even if we’re not the original installers. Our service encompasses everything from annual servicing to ad-hoc repairs. So, what does it typically involve?

Our solar panel maintenance service: what it involves

Our Solar Panel Maintenance service comprises a series of checks all designed to help us evaluate your solar panels, and ensure that they’re in full working order – generating the maximum amount of energy and savings for your business.

Cleaning your solar panels

When we come to perform a review of your solar panels, one of the first things we’ll do is make sure that they’re clean. The gradual accumulation of dirt and grime can be one of the biggest factors affecting the efficiency of your solar panels.

Happily, most solar PV systems are designed to be self-cleaning to a certain extent. Solar panels at a high angle tend to have the best self-cleaning mechanisms, but those pitched at lower angles can sometimes benefit from a quick, professional once-over on a regular basis, which is exactly where our experts can help at Low Carbon Energy.

We generally recommend that your solar PV systems are cleaned and services twice a year, with the first appointment falling around Spring if possible. That way, you stand to gain maximum benefit from the abundance of natural light around this time of year.

Inspecting the components

We’ll also inspect the PV system itself, testing and measuring all the DC circuits and individual components as well as the module glass – looking for damage, discolouration, irregularities and more. While we’re doing this, we’ll also conduct testing of electrical strings, isolators and safety devices.

Our maintenance programme also covers checks and maintenance of the inverters, mounting frame, and security – testing the serviceability of CCTV and fencing system as appropriate.

We check for any environmental degradation and resolve any issues that may have occurred with your solar panels since they’ve been installed. Finally, we’ll also future-proof your solar PV system by assessing it for any other developing issues, resolving them before they evolve into more complex or costly problems.

Detailed engineer’s report

Following your service, we’ll provide you with a report that covers the ins-and-outs of the service, and any work that may have been required. At this point, you can schedule your next maintenance service or leave your next appointment until you’ve got a solar panel-related issue that needs sorting.

Our solar panel maintenance service plans

One of the best things about this service is that you choose when you want your solar panels looked at. We don’t ask our customers to sign up to any pre-paid service plans or routine maintenance plans – instead giving you the freedom to book an appointment when required.

For those of you who’d prefer the assurance planned maintenance service, we do have that available too.

While it’s not compulsory, we’d generally advise opting for preventative maintenance if you can. In the long run, it’s usually a lot cheaper than relying purely on reactive callouts, as regular checks can help us to identify and deal with emerging faults before they develop into serious problems, which might be a lot more costly and complicated to fix.

To book your Solar Panel Maintenance service check, just fill out our online form and we’ll sort out an appointment as soon as possible.

If you’re looking for other ways to make the most of your solar panels, why not consider battery storage? By storing the excess electricity generated from the panels by day, you’ll benefit from greater energy independence as you’re able to use stored electricity for “free” at night. Battery storage is also ideal for those regions that suffer from electricity blackouts – ensuring you don’t have to go without.

Our most Frequently Asked Questions about solar panel maintenance

Throughout all our decades in providing solar panels for businesses here at Low Carbon Energy, we’ve noticed that a lot of the same questions tend to crop up quite frequently around solar panel maintenance – so just in case you’re wondering the answers to any of these yourself, you can find them right here!

Do solar panels need maintenance?

Yes, but not very much. This is why so many people find that an annual maintenance check tends to be quite sufficient for keeping their panels in peak condition – and not, say, one that needs to be done weekly or monthly.

It’s worth bearing in mind that solar panels are largely static – there are no moving parts, no wires to get frayed, no worn surfaces, or broken mechanisms, so there’s essentially very little to wear out. The annual cleaning helps to maintain their efficiency, rather than their basic functioning. It helps ensure they’re clean of any minor contaminants that can sometimes start to gather, like dust or dead leaves or debris. And we handle that bit for you here at Low Carbon Energy!

How do I clean my solar panels?

You’ll be happy to hear that you don’t need to – they’re designed to be self-cleaning to a certain extent. Obviously, they still need a bit of external assistance every now and again, which is why our experts are here to give them the once-over on an annual basis.

However, to be clear, we’d always advise against trying to clean them yourself. It’s very difficult to do without the right tools and equipment (both in terms of cleaning materials and access equipment), and they need very careful treatment, or you risk causing them damage. And if you accidentally do end up damaging them, the repair costs will probably end up costing you a lot more than just some lost efficiency – so we’d always recommend leaving the job to the professionals!

How can I maximise efficiency for my solar panels?

As we’ve said previously, the efficiency of your solar panels is largely influenced by the way in which they’re installed. However, once they’re set up, if you’d like to maximise their efficiency, there are a couple of simple checks you can carry out every so often.

These include:

Checking the generation meter for any warning lights (which are typically red)
Tracking and analysing the figures on your generation meter
Comparing your actual output to the original quote

You can also keep an eye on any nearby trees throughout the year, to ensure that they don’t start to overshadow your panels – which can obviously limit the amount of sunlight that reaches them, and start to impact their efficiency.

If you’ve noticed a particularly severe drop in the efficiency of your solar panels at any stage, feel free to talk to us.

At Low Carbon Energy have over 30 years of combined experience, having helped SMEs, large corporations and public organisations over a wide variety of sectors to transform their business’ energy supply. Feel free to take a look at some of our case studies for just a few examples of our previous projects, or give us a call today on 01282 421 489 to find out what we can do for you!

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