February 27, 2024

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Consistent Peak Solar Performance Through Commercial Solar Maintenance

solar panel operation and maintenance: Solar panel operation and maintenance:  Popular packages, processes, services and cost involved - The Economic Times

Do your commercial solar panels need to be cleaned?  For all solar installations in a commercial setting, consistent peak solar performance can be achieved through commercial solar maintenance by Solar Alternatives.  

Solar panels are like any machine that needs regular cleaning and inspection to make sure that your system stays in peak condition running at peak performance.  Maintenance by solar installer professionals is a cost-effective solution to maximize and protect your solar investment for years to come.

Factors That Affect the Performance of Solar Panels

There are many reasons why solar panels would decrease in their efficiency to produce the optimum amount of energy for commercial use.  Among the factors that cause solar panel soiling are:

  • Location

Solar panel systems that are near industrial zones, heavy traffic, and heavily populated areas can suffer from above-average soiling levels. Solar installation near the ocean can encounter issues with salt crust on panels.  Birds can also make quite a mess on the surface of solar panels because their droppings cannot be washed away with rainfall.

  • Wind 

In dusty and sandy locations with high wind, solar panels can get cleaned easily because the wind blows a lot of the dust off the panels. However, high wind may also blow material on the surface of the panels reducing panel efficiency.

  • Tilt

One of the biggest contributors to efficiency losses on solar systems through soiling is the degree to which the panels are tilted. The flatter-tilted panels of commercial solar systems receive a higher level of soiling.  They accumulate much grime therefore needing regular maintenance procedures.

  • Rain

Light, drizzly rain makes soiling worse in commercial and residential solar set-ups.  Likewise, when the panels are less-tilted, the less effective the rain will be in washing away accumulated dirt and grime on the panels.

How Much Efficiency is Lost Through Dirty Solar Panels

A comprehensive study concluded that panels titled at 30 degrees showed losses of between 1-8% from soiling.  In commercial setups where relatively flat solar modules are used, the efficiency losses were between 8-22%.  This can equate to an additional $1,800 per month on your energy bill because your solar panels are not clean!

Cleaning a Commercial Solar Panel System

Similar to residential solar panels, commercial solar maintenance involves the proper and regular cleaning of the solar panel system, especially in areas where it doesn’t rain a lot.  These cleaning tips should be considered:

  • Do not use the following cleaning materials that can damage the panels and void the warranty:
  • Harsh scrubbing  equipment
  • Pressure hoses
  • Chemicals
  • Correct timing.  Manufacturers recommend that panels should be cleaned before or after your solar system has reached its maximum working temperature because applying cool water over hot solar panels will cause cracking.
  • PV modules should only be cleaned with specifically designed equipment.  Strictly follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in cleaning.
  • Use deionized water that removes minerals and salts from tap water leaving your panels with a clean, streak-free finish.

Commercial Solar Maintenance Services

To maximize the efficiency of your solar panel system and to make sure that it is operating safely and correctly,  you can avail of commercial solar maintenance services from solar installation companies that offer them.  You can expect that they will perform maintenance procedures similar to the following:

  • Operations and Maintenance Services
  • Warranty administration
  • Module washing
  • Vegetation control
  • Accelerated field response
  • Curve tracing
  • Diagnosis Issues
  • Energy Monitoring and Controls
  • System monitoring including wiring and electrical checks
  • Reporting
  • Mobile data access
  • Dashboards:  internal and customer-facing
  • Third-Party Repairs and Inspections
  • Systems upgrades
  • Inverter inspection and replacement
  • Module inspection and replacement
  • Reroofing support
  • Battery inspection and replacement

Commercial solar maintenance is not an easy task.  Look for companies with an in-house team who are fully insured and qualified in working at heights and trained at commercial solar cleanings and inspections. They should not push you to get your panels cleaned if it does not make economic sense to do so.

Maximizing Commercial Solar Energy Efficiently

The most important step in order to maximize commercial solar energy efficiently is consistent and proper commercial solar maintenance.  You can keep your solar panels producing energy at peak levels, increase your system’s lifespan, and maximize savings on your power bills for many years with routine maintenance that can be done by experienced and skilled professionals.