Worried about solar panels and hail? Fret not! Solar panel systems are incredibly durable and require little to no maintenance over their productive lifetime, which can span 25 years or more. In the event that something does go wrong, your solar PV system components have very long warranties that would cover replacement and repair costs. If you lease your solar panel system, repairs and maintenance are the leasing company’s responsibility, not yours.
How to maintain your solar panels
As we mentioned above, solar panel systems generally do not need much (if any) maintenance over their lifetime. Solar panels are made of tempered glass, so they’re built to withstand hail and other rough weather. With the exception of tracking mounts, solar panel systems don’t have movable parts, which cuts down on the possibility of any problems. For the most part, keeping your panels clear of debris is all you’ll need to do as far as maintenance goes. Any issues with solar panel performance are usually related to electricity production, which is why most installers recommend monitoring your system’s production. By paying attention to changes in production, you can identify and address issues proactively.
Should you clean your solar panels?
Generally, solar panels don’t need to be cleaned – rooftop panels at an angle will naturally clean off with rainfall. If you live somewhere where there is a lot of smog, dust, or dirt, you may see a dip in your production (especially during times of low rain) over time that can be remedied by cleaning your panels. If your panels are mounted on your roof, however, your best option is to hire a professional cleaning service rather than try to clean them yourself. Your installer will be able to recommend someone local to help you.
How do I know if my solar panels need maintenance?
A solar system that is either damaged, not clean, or otherwise malfunctioning will leave a trail of breadcrumbs in its energy output stats. By monitoring your electricity bill, system software, or installing a solar monitoring system, in most cases you can narrow down the culprit for faster-than-usual degradation. By paying attention to changes in production, you can identify and address issues proactively.
Solar panel warranties: protection if something goes wrong
Solar panel manufacturers provide a range of warranties that guarantee you will have support and coverage in the unlikely event of an issue, such as hail or falling tree branches. Power output warranties guarantee that panel performance won’t fall below a specified level over the term of the warranty (usually 25 years). For instance, a manufacturer might provide a warranty to guarantee that peak power output won’t fall below 85 percent for 25 years.
Some manufacturers will also include an additional warranty that promises a higher output level over a shorter period of time. As an example, a secondary warranty might guarantee no less than 90 percent of initial power output for the first 10 years.
Panels typically come with a workmanship warranty that protects consumers against defective panel parts, generally for the first five years of operation. Solar inverters also come with warranties, usually for 10 years. In many cases, these warranties mean that you’ll pay little to no solar panel maintenance costs over the lifetime of your system.
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