Is a portion of your automated gate system powered by solar panels? Anything that blocks or impedes access to the sun’s rays may decrease your panel’s efficiency. So there are a few basic maintenance tips to follow to ensure your solar panels continue to operate at peek efficiency year round.
Image to the left courtesy of Doorking Access Control Systems.
Panels are generally built from hard, tempered glass and resist breakage from hail or small objects. Solar panels themselves have no moving parts (except for mounts to track the sun if so equipped).
Easy Solar Panel Maintenance
Therefore the good news is maintenance is rather simply. You merely should clean or remove dirt, dust, grime, leaves, droppings or other items (i.e. plastic bags) you may find. Depending on your area’s conditions, you should check the panels at least several times a year.
For basic cleaning you can use a garden hose to rinse the panel off if it is close to a piped water source. If more aggressive cleaning is required you can use window washing equipment such as soapy water, a sponge and a squeegee. Ensure any excess soapy water is rinsed off.
Solar panel cleaning kits with extension arms are available online, as are window and car washing kits.
Always remember to check on the manufacturer’s recommendations before proceeding.
Generally small snow accumulations in the Chicago area should melt rapidly like snow melting off your roof in the sunlight or as temperatures warm up. But you might consider removing excessive accumulations. But always be careful when wintry conditions exist.
If you choose to perform basic maintenance yourself, please take the proper safety precautions, which include:
- If your solar panel is elevated you may need to use a ladder to reach it. Check the ladder’s condition and safety guidelines. And always, always proceed with caution.
- Use caution and possibly avoid working in adverse conditions such as heavy rain, snow, sleet, ice, high winds, excessive dusty conditions, etc.
- Do not spray very cold water on hot solar panels. This may cause the panels to crack.
If the task is too much for you to handle by yourself, you may always consider a professional service for doing recommended maintenance. ECI can provide inspection and cleaning of your solar panels. Read more information about our “Service and Preventative Maintenance”.
Please feel free to contact ECI for any questions at 847.949.0134 or click on the box below for contact information.