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What is involved in maintaining and operating a solar array?

Maintaining a solar panel system is relatively simple because there are no moving parts. For grid-connected systems, minimal maintenance is required, including keeping the panels free of any debris such as fallen leaves, bird droppings or excessive build-up of dust. Some solar installers will include this service as part of the installation, or will charge a nominal fee for regular cleaning.

For stand-alone, off-grid or battery-backup systems, the batteries usually require the most maintenance. Unless it is a maintenance free battery, you will want to maintain the water levels to manufacturer specifications.

For solar panels, the installation manual or user guide will provide instructions about simple maintenance that you can do yourself. This usually involves hosing off the panels once or twice each year, especially if there is little rainfall to clean the panels naturally.

In case of snow, it really depends on the amount of snow and the temperature. Typically, the heat from the Sun will cause the snow to melt and fall off the solar panels rather quickly. Heavy snowfall, can significantly reduce electricity production, even in full sun. Use a soft broom or window squeegee to remove the snow if you want to help mother nature along. Never use a hard object like a car window scraper.

Learn more at SHOULD YOU CLEAN YOUR SOLAR PANELS?


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