Maintenance Guide for Your Solar Power System

by Will
26 June 2019

So, you’ve decided to go green and get yourself a new solar power system. This is a great decision, as you’ll be saving money on utility bills and you won’t be as affected by a power outage. Not to mention that you’ll be doing a great part in the preservation of our environment. However, in order for all that to last for years, you need to maintain your solar power system. So, if you’re still new in this field, here’s how you can do that. 

Why do they need maintenance? 

Solar panels, in general, don’t require that much maintenance. They do need to be cleaned from time to time, though, in order to function properly. Dirt, leaves, and other smaller stuff can obstruct the sun and affect the effectiveness of the panels. However, in cases of heavy snowfall, you may need some more serious maintenance. This is also true if you notice that your solar power system is not working as well as it used to. This is why it’s important to monitor your panels frequently, so if some changes do happen, you can react as soon as possible and ensure that your system is back to full function in no time. 

Monitoring your solar panels

So, again, the best way to maintain your solar panels is to monitor them. Although they are designed to withstand the elements, they are after all, outside, so the external aspects do play a role in how well your solar power system can function. This is why you should pay attention to your environment. For example, if there are many tall trees around your quality 5kw solar system, you should expect some buildup of leaves on the panels in the fall. In the summer, you should be on the lookout for pollen. Similarly, as mentioned, in the winter, you’ll have to clean the snow a bit more often.

However, the biggest issue to keep in mind is the shadows. The thing is, if one part of your solar panels is not exposed to the sun, it can reduce the effectiveness of your entire system. This is because solar panels are connected into strings, so when one string is blocked, they are all affected. Therefore, pay extra attention to the trees around your solar panels and how their shadows fall. Also, be aware of any new buildings in the area, as they could block the sun. 

How often should I clean my panels?  


No solar power system is the same, so how often you should clean your solar panels depends on what kind of panels you have as well as surrounding trees, wildlife, angle, etc. There are also many modern panels that are self-cleaning, so they don’t really need to be cleaned at all. The best way to know for sure is to ask your manufacturer.

However, the safest way to know is to simply look at your panels. If you can see any dirt or leaves, it’s safe to say that you should clean them. However, if your panels are too high for you to check visually, you can also look at the electricity generation figures – if you notice any changes, it might be due to some deposits on the surface. 

Do it yourself

Luckily, cleaning your panels is something you can often do yourself. Of course, if your panels are on the roof, make sure you have the proper equipment for your own safety. Additionally, never walk on the panels directly, as you could easily damage them. Moreover, don’t forget to shut down the system before cleaning it, but keep in mind that all the wiring would still be live. 

Also, the time of the day matters as well; it’s best to clean your panels early in the morning, as they would be cool and easier to clean. And never add cold water to the hot panels – it can cause them to crack. Also, you should never use any metal tools that could scratch the panels and affect their performance. You should use softer brushes, soft cloth or sponge, and plain water. Moreover, make sure to check the manufacturer’s handbook before you do anything, as you might find some useful advice on how to maintain the system properly. 

Finally, cleaning them yourself gives you an opportunity to check for any damage, cracks, or chips. You may also find some unexpected residents, like birds or bees. In those cases, it is best to call the professionals, but otherwise, if you’re careful, you should have no trouble cleaning your panels on your own. 


To sum up, solar panels are not hard to maintain. First, they don’t require that much maintenance at all, and most of it is based on the monitoring. Second, when you do need to clean them, you can easily do it on your own. So, if you have a solar power system, or if you’re thinking of getting it, you’ll be happy to know that it can easily last you for decades with just a bit of care.


Will Sandford is a Sydney based wood architect, blogger and contributor on interior design and ecology blogs. Besides that, he is also interested in home improvement combined with green technology. In his spare time, Will enjoys surfing, cycling and rock climbing.


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