PV Systems contain
complex electrical parts, and maintenance should be left up to experts for the
most part. However, regular monitoring is a great way to prevent future repair
and replacement costs, and to ensure that your system is effectively providing
(and storing) solar energy.
Preventive maintenance should be
scheduled on a regular interval based on environmental
conditions, which you will need to determine
with your contractor.
However, as PV systems require
specialized training, equipment, and certification for operation and
management, the best way to ensure your system is functioning correctly
is to regularly check your monitoring system, and contact your contractor in
the case of any major changes. Ask your contractor which key performance
indicators can best help you to determine if your system is functioning, or
when there is a problem.
When a contractor conducts
preventative or corrective maintenance, they may need to check your electrical
system, interver, roof condition, ballast or raft, ground mount, tracking
mount, environmental conditions, and more.
If you have a storage system
installed, your contractor will also need to check additional power inverters,
controllers, surrounding temperature and humidity, and battery colling system.
(National Renewable Energy Laboratory, “Best
Practices for Operation and Maintenance of Photovoltaic and Energy Storage
Here are some tips on what to do when
checking your system’s functionality:
- Panel shading: if your panels are in
the shade or not receiving direct sunlight at any point of a sunny day,
consult with your solar contractor if you need to have nearby branches
trimmed, or if changes to your roof are necessary.
- Panel soiling: dust and litter
may periodically obstruct your panels, but in most environments, rain will
be able to wash these obstructions off. In dusty environments, areas near
the ocean with air that leaves salt deposits, and during dry periods
without rain, you may need to have your panels cleaned with distilled water. Panels
should be cleaned at least once a year, either by rain or by a
- System monitoring: periodically
check to ensure that your system’s monitoring system is connected to the
internet and familiarize yourself with how to use your monitoring system
to check if it is working correctly.
(Solar Energy Industries
Association, “Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Energy,” 2023)