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Last updated: 06 August 2018

Solar Panel Installation and Maintenance

Solar System Components

Solar systems are made up of solar panels (modules), a mounting system and an inverter with computerized controller. Solar panels produce DC electricity from sunlight. Then the inverter converts the generated electricity into AC, so that it can be used in the household. The computerized controller manages the solar system and ensures optimal performance. If you want battery backup system or an off-the-grid solar system, a battery is required.

In the following video you can learn more about the components of a solar system.

Solar Panel Installation

The most common location for the installation of solar panels (solar PV) is the roof. Most roofs typically have the desired specifications for the installation. Nevertheless, if installation on the roof is not applicable or desired, the solar panels could also be mounted on the ground. You just need to make sure that there are not objects constraining their access to the sun.

Setting up a solar battery storage at the same time of installing a solar system can save you from worrying about the lack of usable energy during cloudy times, it can also lower the solar battery storage system costs during installation.

Read more: What Are PV Panels?

Inverter Installation

The inverter is typically installed near the main panel and it could be both indoors and outdoors. Inverters are more efficient if kept in a cooler place. If the inverter is outdoors it should be kept out from the afternoon sun. If it is installed indoors, the garage or the utility are usually the best places, since they stay cool for most of the year and have ventilation.

System Monitoring

You can use your computer or other device to check your solar system’s performance. For example, you can check how much electricity you generate at different times and decide what time is suitable for using your washing machine or other utilities.

Solar Panel Maintenance

Since there are no moving parts, solar panels require very little maintenance. Having said that, you should inspect them a few times per year for dirt or some other things that might have piled on top. It is important that the panels are clean and there is nothing blocking them from efficiently absorbing the sun.

Before cleaning the panels yourself, you should consult with your installer about the warranty conditions. Some solar panel manufacturers could terminate the warranty if any self cleaning is done.

For a general cleaning, you can just use a normal garden hose to wash the face of the panels. You should do this in the morning or evening. Also avoid spraying them with cold water while they are hot because that might damage them.

Moreover, If the panels need some more cleaning that the hose cannot provide, you can use a sponge with soapy water to scrub them. You can also get the services of a cleaning company. This is advisable if the panels are too high or need more thorough cleaning.

You should have your system examined every 4-6 years by an installer. It is also a good idea to ask your installer about specific maintenance requirements for your solar system.

Read more: What Is the Instalation Cost for Solar Panels?