Snow is a beautiful yet occasionally problematic part of life for much of Canada. While wintry weather allows us to enjoy snowboarding and hockey, Snow can also present challenges when it comes to managing many of the systems we take for granted; solar panels included.
If you’re setting up a solar array, you will need to choose an inverter. An inverter is the piece of electrical equipment that turns DC power coming from solar panels into AC power, which is the usable power in your home or business. This can be done in variety of ways and is a little complex, so we’ll present a simplified version.
Fortunately, solar panels don’t need a lot of maintenance because there are no moving parts. The only thing required is a good cleaning and the frequency of cleaning solar panels will depend on where you live. If you live in a dusty area or close to a lot of trees, it may require more frequent cleaning to improve your solar panel efficiency.
What you’ll need:
Ask your solar panel dealer if they have a cleaning kit and if they don’t they will be able to recommend the proper equipment to suit your solar panels. Make sure to read all your product information and warranty. You don’t want to use something that will void your warranty or do damage to your system. The basic supplies needed are:
- Soft bristle brush with long handle.
- Liquid soap or a simple water and vinegar mixture
- A wiper
- Garden hose, preferably warm water
- Bucket of warm water
It’s best to do the cleaning during the morning or evening, and not mid day when the solar panels are hot from the midday heat. You’ll want to begin with a rinse with warm water. If you use cold water on an extremely hot day, you could risk cracking the solar panel with the difference in temperatures. Remember to avoid big temperature fluctuations to prevent cracking.
Some solar panels are located in areas that are rather dangerous to access. You will want to make sure you use the proper safety equipment like a harness. If you don’t have the proper equipment, it’s best to hire a professional instead of putting yourself in harms way. Talk to a solar panel profession near you to see if they provide a cleaning service or if they have a recommendation. It’s important to hire someone who knows how to handle solar panels and electrical equipment, and your average handyman may not have the necessary equipment or experience.