Solar Maintenance Blog

5 Ways to Protect Your Solar Panels

August 21, 2019

Going solar is a huge investment as many homeowners are paying tens of thousands of dollars (upfront) for a new system. However, the investment is justified given the carbon offsets and monthly savings that installing photovoltaic (PV) panels can deliver.

But this is only true if your solar PV system consistently holds up throughout its warranty lifetime.

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee this will happen. 

Any number of problems can arise over the next 25+ years. Many of these issues won’t be covered by warranty protection, meaning you’ll have to pay for repairs and replacements out-of-pocket. Unexpected expenses like these can quickly eat into your solar savings and push back the payback period of your investment.

However, there is a cheaper alternative.

Rather than wait for issues to creep up, you can take proactive steps to protect your PV system and maximize your solar returns.

Below are 5 proven strategies to get you started.

1. Solar PV Monitoring

For your solar installation to function correctly, all individual components must be in sync – from the wiring to the inverters to the panels themselves. A malfunction anywhere in the PV system will cause the energy output to dip. 

In some cases, your solar installation may stop working altogether.  

But of course, you won’t know about these performance-related issues until you receive your next utility bill and discover how much money you didn’t save.

However, it’s possible to avoid these issues with solar monitoring. You benefit from real-time tracking of your PV system’s performance, complete with instant alerts if anything goes wrong.

Most solar monitoring solutions work at the macro level, and repair technicians have to source the root cause of the problem by testing different components within the installation. 

But if you have micro-inverters or optimizers, then this real-time monitoring happens at the individual panel level allowing solar repair technicians to pinpoint the exact cause quickly so your savings remain on track.

Learn more about our Solar Service and Membership Plans.

2. Solar Panel Cleaning

Solar panel cleaning is one of the easiest ways to protect your PV system. As dust and debris slowly build up over time, they prevent sunlight from hitting your solar modules. And as a result, your system won’t generate as much power (or as many savings).

Washing down your PV panels with a garden hose is a start. But it’s not always that easy. In order to truly restore your PV system’s performance, you need:

  • The right cleaning solution to prevent streaking 
  • Safety gear for those hard to reach places

And if you clean your solar panels during the wrong times of the day, you actually risk damaging them permanently.

This is why many homeowners choose professional solar panel cleaning services instead of doing the job themselves. Not only is this approach easier, but the results are significantly better. With our annual and one-time solar panel cleaning services, for example, we can boost your PV system’s performance by up to 10%.

Learn more about our Solar Panel Cleaning solutions.

3. Solar Installation Maintenance

PV technology is often marketed as 100% hands-off. Once they’re installed, you won’t have to think about your solar panels any more.

But as most homeowners eventually learn, this simply isn’t true:

  • Wires degrade
  • Panels shift
  • Connections break
  • Fuses blow
  • Components rust

High-quality solar panels installed by expert technicians can help minimize these issues. But there’s no way to avoid them entirely.

This is why routine solar servicing is essential.

Just as with annual dental checkups or yearly auto inspections, it is important your PV system receives a “clean bill of health” on a periodic basis. Each audit gives technicians a chance to repair damaged parts and optimize your installation to produce the most clean energy possible.

At Stable Solar, we offer comprehensive member and non-member services– both as one-time and ongoing services.

Learn more about our Solar Service and Membership Plans.

4. Solar Pest Protection

The dark crawl spaces between your solar panels and roof are ideal habitats for squirrels, mice and pigeons. And these uninvited guests can cause irreparable damage to your system by:

  • Gnawing wires
  • Building nests 
  • Leaving droppings

The good news is that preventing pest infestations is straightforward. At Stable Solar, we use a 3-step process including:

  • Thorough cleaning to remove pests
  • Repairing any damage that might exist
  • Installing pest guards to keep vermin out

It really is that simple.

Learn more about our Solar Pest Control services.

5. Solar Hail Damage

Many areas (like Colorado) are affected by hail storms – especially during the warmest months of the year. And there aren’t many steps you can take to protect your solar panels from this type of damage.

But you can minimize the time and money required to repair your broken panels.

Normally, you would have to call in 3 different professionals to do the job:

  • One to fix your damaged roof
  • Another to remove any broken solar panels
  • One more to reinstall new panels (after you get replacements)

A better solution is to find a professional who specializes in all 3 of these jobs. Doing so means fewer scheduling conflicts, delays and mistakes.

At Stable Solar, we can quickly connect you with that specialist if and when hail damage occurs. 

Learn more about our Solar Hail Damage solutions.

Peace of Mind in Knowing Your Solar Investment Is Secure

The #1 reason why homeowners go solar is to lock in decades of lower utility bills. And the #2 reason is to reduce their respective carbon footprints.

Both of these are laudable goals. And society should continue investing heavily in renewables like clean and affordable solar power.

But if you want to maximize your returns and keep the dividends flowing for as long as possible, you need to take commonsense steps to protect your investment.

The above is just a partial list representing the lowest-hanging fruit.

To learn about the complete range of solar service and membership plans we use to safeguard your solar savings, contact us today!

Solar Service Membership Plan

For less than $10 per month, Members receive:

Monitoring and regular monitoring reports
Initial system analysis and detailed performance report
Discounts on service visits, system upgrades, cleaning and other services

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