Need help understanding which products are best for your needs? Call us on 01684 607002
Home > Blog

The Complete Guide to Solar Panel Maintenance: Keeping Your Panels in Tip-Top Shape

Solar panels are a fantastic investment for your home, providing clean energy and potentially saving you money on your bills. To ensure they continue performing optimally, regular maintenance is essential.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about keeping your solar panels in tip-top condition.

This information works whether your panels are on a caravan or home — they both need to be looked after the same way.

Solar System Maintenance: The Basics

Low maintenance, long lifespan

Solar panels are remarkably low maintenance, with no moving parts. They can last 30 + years with proper care.

Here are the key maintenance tasks for this part of the system:

Regular servicing

From ground level, inspect your panels for dirt accumulation. Perform this visual check at least twice a year.

You will find that the lower part of your solar panels will slowly build up dirt and sometimes even moss. As long as this is on the bottom of the panel and not covering any of the cells within the panel, your system will still be working well, but it’s a great time to book it in to get cleaned.

If the moss/dirt is already covering the cells in the panel, your system will not be working to its best potential, and we would recommend cleaning them ASAP.

Monitor output

If you notice a sudden drop in energy production, investigate promptly. Please keep a record of your system's performance. The easiest way to do this is to keep a simple record of the generation meter every quarter.

You should find the system will generate about the same power per quarter per year. For example, my 4Kw home system produces around 5900Kw during the winter months i.e. from the start of January to the end of March each year, give or take 10%.

If you see a sudden drop in power produced, then there could be a problem with your system and it's time to get someone to come out and look at it.

Cleaning your solar panels

Washing solar panels

Clean your panels every five years, unless they get particularly dirty due to factors like coastal salt buildup, bird droppings, and moss.

For effective cleaning, use a hose (from ground level if possible) to gently clean the panels. A stiff broom on a long pole will also help remove any stubborn dirt.

Avoid using detergents or high-pressure water sprayers, as they may void the warranty on your panels. If you can’t reach your solar panels, then calling out a company that will professionally clean them might be your only option.

However, you might find a local window cleaner will also have the equipment to clean solar panels.

Check the local surroundings

Check around your solar system for obstructions casting shadows over your panels, as this will cause a large drop in your yearly generation.

Things like trees, tall bushes, etc., that have grown over the last few years that are now causing shade over your panels may need to be trimmed down.

Don’t forget, if you’re doing this check in the winter, that the tree may not be in leaf yet so whilst not creating any problems, yet it may in the summer.

Inverter check

If you're seeing flashing or steady green lights on your inverter, it’s a good sign that your system is functioning correctly. However, there may be more lights on your inverter showing a possible problem with your solar system.

If you're unsure, check the user manual you should have been supplied with in your welcome pack from your installer.

If you have lost or misplaced the manual for your inverter, make a note of the manufacturer and model number and search for it on the internet as more often than not it will be there.

Maintenance Logbook

It’s a nice thing to do but not essential, to keep records by maintaining a logbook with details of any servicing, cleaning, and any other observations as you go.

Keep it near the inverter so you know where it is as it will help track performance over time and show you when you last cleaned the panels or checked the system.

If you have any questions about this blog or just want to understand more about solar panels, then contact us.