Solar panels are a great way to generate clean and renewable energy, but they need to be protected and maintained to ensure optimal performance and longevity. With proper care, they can last for many years. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to protect and maintain your solar panels, so you can get the most out of them.
8 Tips to Protect and Maintain Your Solar Panels
As solar panels have become increasingly popular in recent years, it is important to know how to properly protect and maintain them in order to maximize their efficiency and lifespan. Here are some helpful tips:
Applying Methacrylate Layer
One of the best ways to protect your solar panels from scratches, dust, and dirt is to apply a thin layer of methacrylate on the surface. Methacrylate is a transparent plastic material that acts as a protective coating for your solar panels. It can also enhance the light transmission and efficiency of your panels by reducing reflection and glare.
Shield Panels With Wire Mesh
Another way to protect your solar panels from physical damage is to shield them with wire mesh. Wire mesh is a metal netting that can cover your panels and prevent birds, rodents, hail, or debris from hitting them. To shield your panels with wire mesh, you will need some wire mesh, wire cutters, pliers, screws, and brackets.
Adjust Panel Angles
One of the most important factors that affect the performance of your solar panels is the angle at which they face the sun. The optimal angle depends on your location, the season, and the time of day. Generally, you want your panels to be perpendicular to the sun's rays for maximum exposure and efficiency. To adjust your panel angles, you will need an adjustable kickstand or a mounting system that allows you to tilt your panels.
You can get more power from the sun with Anker 625 solar panel, with its built-in kickstand and our Suncast technology you can easily adjust the panel to capture maximum direct sunlight. Suncast technology is a smart sunlight tracking system that guides you to position your panel properly for optimal solar charging. You don’t need to worry about missing the best charging conditions again!
Inspect Panels Regularly
To maintain your solar panels in good condition, you should inspect them regularly for any signs of wear and tear, damage, or malfunction. You should also monitor their output and efficiency to see if they are working as expected. To inspect your panels regularly, you will need a visual inspection checklist, a multimeter or an indicator, and some basic tools. A quick guide to inspect the solar panels is given below.
- Visually inspect your panels for any cracks, chips, dents, discoloration, corrosion, loose connections, or dirt buildup.
- Use a multimeter or an indicator to measure the output voltage or current of your panels and compare it with the expected values.
- Use some basic tools to tighten any loose screws or bolts, replace any damaged wires or connectors, or repair any minor cracks or chips.
- If you notice any major damage or malfunction that affects the performance of your panels, contact a professional solar technician for assistance.
Protect Panels With Covers
If you are not using your solar panels for a long period of time or if you are storing them away for transport or storage, you should protect them with covers. Covers can prevent dust, moisture, UV rays, insects, or animals from damaging your panels while they are not in use. Covers can also reduce the risk of fire or electric shock by isolating your panels from other objects or sources of heat.
Check Your Homeowner's Insurance Policy
One of the ways to protect yourself from financial losses due to damage or theft of your solar panels is to check your homeowner's insurance policy. Some homeowner's insurance policies may cover solar panels as part of their standard coverage while others may require additional coverage or endorsements. To check your homeowner's insurance policy for solar panel coverage, you will need a copy of your policy document and some basic information about your solar panel system.
Keep Track of Weather Conditions
Another way to protect and maintain your solar panels is to keep track of weather conditions in your area. Weather conditions such as temperature changes, humidity levels, wind speed, rainfall, snowfall, or hailstorms can affect the performance and durability of your solar panels in different ways. To keep track of weather conditions, you will need a weather app or website that provides accurate and timely forecasts and alerts for your location.
Choose Panels Rated UL 61730 , UIC 61730 , or IP68
You can choose high-quality and reliable solar panels by looking for ones that have been tested and certified by reputable standards organizations like UL, UIC, or IP. These organizations have standards and ratings that measure the safety and performance of solar products under different conditions. For example:
- UL 61730 covers safety requirements for PV modules. It has two parts: general requirements and testing requirements.
- UIC 61730 covers safety requirements for PV modules used in railway applications. It has similar criteria as UL 61730 but with extra requirements.
- IP68 indicates that the product is dust-tight and waterproof. It means that it can withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes.
To choose panels rated UL 61730, UIC 61730, or IP68, look for labels, stickers, logos, or certificates that show that the solar products have been tested and certified by these organizations.
In conclusion, investing in solar panels is a smart choice for your energy needs, but it's essential to take steps to protect and maintain them. By following these tips, you can maximize the performance, efficiency, and lifespan of your solar panels. Remember that proper care and maintenance can improve the return on your investment in the long run.
Are Solar Panels Tough Enough to Survive Hailstorms?
Solar panels are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, including hailstorms. Most solar panels are made of tempered glass that can resist impacts from hailstones up to 1 inch in diameter at speeds up to 50 mph or 23 mps (meters per second). However, larger or faster hailstones may cause cracks or dents on the surface of the panels, which can reduce their efficiency or power output.
Can Solar Panels Continue Working Even With Cracks?
Minor cracks on panels may not affect electricity, but can lower energy output by blocking sunlight. Cracks can also let in moisture or dust, causing corrosion or short circuits. Repair or replace cracked panels soon to prevent more damage or inefficiency.
How Much Damage Does Hail Do to Solar Panels?
Hail damage to panels depends on hail size, speed, frequency, panel angle, position, quality, and durability, and protective measures. Smaller, slower hail, tilted or south-facing panels, high-quality or coated panels, and covered or shielded panels receive very less damage from hail.
Can You Fix Hail Damage to Solar Panels?
You can fix hail damage to solar panels in some cases, but it depends on how severe the damage is. Minor surface cracks or dents can be fixed with sealant or filler. Major electrical cracks or dents may require part or component replacement. You can also prevent hail damage by using protective covers, wire mesh, methacrylate layer, or pole mounting.
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