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How to Maintain a Productive Solar Energy Installation

By June 27, 2021June 29th, 2021Blog
Solar energy company employee reaching up a solar panel installation to fix a solar panel.

A key part of any solar installation – especially larger commercial and industrial solar in California – is upkeep and maintenance. Commercial solar panel maintenance can help ensure that the installation stays efficient, and that any potential issues are quickly dealt with. While solar panels are very durable, they do benefit from this type of scheduled care – here are several important steps that maintenance can take care of.

Solar Panel Cleaning

Solar cells are designed to function even if they grow a little dusty. However, a buildup of dust or grime over time may start to affect efficiency. Maintenance includes cleaning any solar panels that need it, improving their conversion efficiency and preventing issues like mildew or moss. This may be especially important for agricultural solar energy systems, where dust and dirt may be more common – additionally, wildlife guards on such systems can be a good way to reduce potential damage.

Cleaning intervals can vary, but best practices typically include two yearly cleanings. Fall cleanings can be particularly important because of falling leaves and related debris, while spring clean is an excellent time to prepare solar panels for the sunniest times of the year.

Trimming Brush, Grass & Trees

Solar installations near brush, grass, or trees can become a little overgrown over time. Even small changes in nearby flora can impede how much sunlight reaches the solar panels, along with other issues involved in operation. So maintenance can also include trimming services to ensure that panels stay clear and in proper operation (note that crops can be grown around and even under solar panels but require maintenance visits to spot any developing issues).

Inspecting for Damage

Solar installations have few moving parts and are quite durable, but occasionally damage can occur. Maintenance includes inspections to spot any damage and arrange for repairs, which is especially applicable during the first couple of years of operation when warranties can still apply. Important components to keep an eye on include:

  • Wiring: Wiring may be susceptible to weather-related damage, and failed wiring can lead to other malfunctions or even fire hazards.
  • Connectors: Connectors where wiring is attached to specific components are often where damage begins and are worth a particularly close look.
  • Inverters: The inverter is one of the more complex components in a solar installation and is responsible for converting solar panel DC current to usable AC current. Because of its importance – and technical complexity – Coldwell Solar always includes inverter inspection during maintenance visits.

Solar Storage Inspection

A solar energy company in California like Coldwell can also offer solar storage maintenance. The batteries and associated connections used for deep cycle electricity storage need to be cleaned, cared for, and watched for any potential issues. Storage inspections can also help provide more accurate timelines for when batteries may need to be updated or replaced. The same is true of additional components like EV charging stations.

Remember, if you are interested in commercial solar energy solutions in California, Coldwell Solar is happy to help you with planning, financing, construction, maintenance and more. If you already have a solar installation and it’s been a few years since you have arranged for an inspection or maintenance, our commercial solar company can take care of the details: Contact us today!

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