Years ago, it would have been important to include a lot of information in this kind of article about why homeowners and business owners in Connecticut would consider investing in solar power. We would share important statistics and anecdotes showing that solar power:
- Is better for the environment
- Dramatically reduces energy costs
- Qualifies you for both state and federal incentives
- Produces a staggering ROI in very little time
However, while state legislation around this alternative power continues to be hotly debated, it’s not because Connecticut’s homeowners and business owners don’t understand that drawing power from the sun is a good idea.
Another aspect of the benefits of solar power does need to be addressed, however, and it’s something that we, at ENCON, have been thinking about for a while now:
How to maintain the benefits of solar power
Like any other mechanical system, solar panels and other necessary components need to be regularly maintained if they’re going to continue to function at the highest level.
Since solar cells and other equipment needs to be exposed to the elements 24/7 to accomplish its purpose, it stands to reason that these powerful devices are going to get wet, dirty, and sustain occasional damage. And, when that happens, performance is going to suffer.
So, what sort of maintenance does the average residential or commercial solar power system need on a regular basis?
By far, the most important aspect of solar panel maintenance is regular cleaning.
Often a more thorough cleaning is called for to remove all the accumulated dirt and grime.
After all, for the solar panel to function, it needs to collect direct sunlight into its photovoltaic cells. Even the thinnest layer of dust or dirt getting between the sun and those cells will reduce the panel’s efficiency, and it only gets worse over time.
While some solar array setups are easy to reach for this kind of simple maintenance, many are not, which is why a lot of homeowners and commercial building owners rely on solar maintenance companies to handle this important job at least once per quarter.
In addition to regular cleaning, it’s important to inspect solar panels, mounting systems, and all associated wiring and electronics, to identify any damage, rust, or other issues before they become big problems.
Especially after heavy storms, it’s not uncommon to find minor damage from flying branches or heavy wind. Often, if it’s caught right away, it can be easily repaired. But, if you don’t realize it’s happened, it could weaken the integrity of the mounting system or any number of connection points, and then every gust of wind from that point on can potentially worsen the damage until it’s a major repair.
Mechanical and electronic maintenance
For most simple, stationary solar systems, the need for mechanical and electronic maintenance is minimal. These systems are built and installed to last for decades under all but the most extreme of conditions, and it’s pretty rare for major mechanical or electronic issues to develop, unless the necessary cleaning and visual inspections are neglected.
However, if you have invested in an automated solar tracking setup — a mounting system that automatically adjusts the angle of the panels to maximize their exposure to sunlight — there are going to be a number of additional parts that will require specialized mechanical and electrical maintenance that should be maintained by a professional.
What are the benefits of properly maintaining your solar panels?
Just like your vehicle, your commercial HVAC, or any other mechanical system, proper maintenance is going to yield the same basic benefits:
- Improved efficiency
- Increased durability
- Longer lifespan
- Enhanced ROI
And, it’s those basic benefits that make routine maintenance of your solar power generation equipment the smart decision for Connecticut’s homeowners and business owners alike.
That’s why, starting very soon, ENCON is pleased to announce the launch of our newest value-added service for residential and commercial properties across Connecticut: Routine Solar Panel Maintenance programs customized to your unique equipment and circumstances. Professionally trained service technicians will handle regular cleaning, inspections, and needed maintenance on all components in your solar power system to ensure you’re getting the very most from your investment in clean energy generation for years to come.