How to Maintain a Happy & Productive Solar System

 
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Spring cleaning reminder!  When we receive a call to check on a solar system that isn’t fully functioning, we can often diagnose the problem from hundreds of yards away. However, please remember in order for our warranty department to properly maintain your system, minimal weed growth and accessibility is critical.  Poor maintenance on a solar system such as weeds, animal droppings, or layers of dirt or mud will obstruct the panels and interfere with the inverter functionality. Specifically, this will greatly affect production and can cause items to be damaged or inoperable.

A clean solar panel is a working solar panel. Here’s our quick guide to help you make the most of your investment.

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Weed out weeds. Weeds can cause big problems for your solar panels: They can become ensnared in between them or grow over them and create shade, which will dramatically reduce the output of your solar system. We suggest spraying to control weeds biannually, or as needed, and being especially diligent during good rain years — which means you should pay special attention to what’s happening around your panels this spring. If you choose to use a weed whacker, be very careful as rocks and debris thrown up during weed whacking can damage the panels.  If spraying, be cautious and avoid spraying the panels.

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Banish birds. Birds pose many threats to solar panels. Their droppings can obscure surfaces and their nests can create shade and wreak havoc on panels and the wiring underneath. Deter birds by installing plastic predators to frighten them, or use an outdoor, ultrasonic repeller. If you notice a birds nest on the back side frame of the array, please remove it immediately.

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Give your panels a wash. We recommend washing panels three to four times a year under normal conditions, and even more frequently during dusty drought conditions. Only use water — no soap, no chemicals — and a brush and squeegee. It’s especially important to use a squeegee to remove water if you’re washing with hard water, which includes calcium that can build up on the panels. Also, make sure to wash your panels during cooler parts of the day to avoid thermal shock!

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Rodent Management. Rodents will be encouraged to nest in weeds, tall flowers, and grass. We’ve seen wires chewed and solar systems damaged due to rodent infestation.

We want you to get the most out of your investment.  If you see weeds start to pop up, nip it in the bud to protect your financial investment before it causes production loss. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us for more information at (209) 668-5303.

 
Chad Cummings