A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Panel Maintenance

Solar Panel Maintenance

What does this blog cover?

  1. Electrical Maintenance
  2. Cleaning solar panels
  3. What areas are more susceptible to issues?
  4. Bird Proofing
  5. Conclusion


This blog post is a comprehensive solar panel maintenance guide. We do a deep dive into how best to maintain your solar system so that your solar system performs as consistently as possible. Solar panels are a long lasting solution for saving on your electricity bills. They can last for over 25 years, but the better maintain them, the longer they can last. The cost of solar has been declining in recent years and with the rising costs of electricity, it is a great time to invest. Keeping your solar panel system well-maintained Is a great way to maintain the efficiency of your system for longer.

In this post, we’ll explain how to maintain a system so it can perform at it’s best for as long as possible.

Electrical Maintenance: Preserving the Power Flow

Keeping the electrical components of your solar panels in top-notch condition is essential for sustained energy production. As with any electrical equipment, do not do any electrical work without training, if for some reason there is damage to the electrical equipment for example a broken isolator switch, ask an electrician to check it is safe and to replace it if necessary. As with all electrics, it is recommended that you have a periodic inspection every 5 years. Routine electrical maintenance safeguards against potential issues that could compromise efficiency or, in worst-case scenarios, lead to system failure.

Regular Inspections

Regularly check that there is no visible damage such as cracks, chips, and other signs of damage on your electrical equipment. Check your inverter for signs of wear, corrosion, or damage. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent more significant problems down the line. With your solar panels, from a ground level try and see if all of the mounting equipment, clamps etc are still tight and there are no obvious issues. If required, use a pair of binoculars. It is worth noting that most inverters last around 10 years and usually have a 5 year warranty (which can be extendable to 10 years for some brands). Costs for replacing inverters will vary depending on the type of solar inverter, but it should cost around £750-£1800.

 Testing and Monitoring

Conduct regular monitoring of the output of your solar panels using monitoring systems. You should be able to do this by using your online or mobile app. If when you compare production data there is a clear decline in performance, ask that a trained professional electrically test the solar panels. This proactive approach allows you to detect any unnecessary deterioration in performance.

Inverter & battery Maintenance

Regularly check and maintain inverters, ensuring they are free from debris and well-ventilated. Inverters play a crucial role in converting DC to AC, and their proper functioning is integral to the overall efficiency of the system. For systems with battery storage, follow manufacturer guidelines for routine checks, ensuring proper charging and discharging cycles.

Solar Panel Cleaning: Maximising Efficiency

Solar panels accumulate dirt, dust, and other debris over time, diminishing their efficiency. Regular cleaning is a simple yet effective way to ensure optimal energy production.

How to Clean Solar Panels

There is an obvious obstacle for most people when it comes to cleaning their solar panels. How do you clean solar panels safely? In our experience, customers opt for our solar panel maintenance package which includes us cleaning their solar panels once per year (usually March so that they are ready for summer).

How do I clean PV panels myself?

You will need a soft brush attached to an extendable pole which has a water spraying feature (the same type of brush that window cleaners use),  and a hose. Avoid abrasive materials that could scratch the surface of the panels. If you don’t want to get an extendable brush, using a hose can be enough.

Step 1: Rinse with Water

Begin by rinsing the panels with water to remove loose debris. This step helps prevent scratching during the cleaning process.

Step 2: Gentle Scrubbing

Use the soft brush and water, to gently scrub the surface of the panels. Focus on areas with stubborn dirt or bird droppings.

Step 3: Rinse Again

After scrubbing, thoroughly rinse the panels with clean water to remove any remaining detergent residue.

Step 4: Air Dry

Allow the panels to air dry.

Cleaning Frequency

The frequency of cleaning depends on environmental factors. In areas with more dust or pollen, more frequent cleaning may be necessary.

Which areas are more susceptible to issues?

If your solar panels are surrounded by trees then you will probably get a significant amount of shading and have an increased risk of branches falling on your system and potentially damaging the PV panels. Homes closers to the sea, farms/countryside, have an increased chance of having debris on the panels and may require more frequent cleaning.  If you live in an area with birds it would be beneficial to have bird protection/bird mesh installed. Having bird protection installed is more costly if it is not installed at the same time as your solar panels.

Solar Panel Bird Proofing: Guarding Against Unwanted Guests

Birds can pose a unique challenge to solar panels. Bird-proofing measures are crucial to prevent damage and maintain the integrity of your solar power system. Consider installing bird mesh or netting around the perimeter of your solar panels. This acts as a barrier, preventing birds from accessing the space beneath the panels.

Conclusion: A Bright Future with Regular Maintenance

Incorporating these solar panel maintenance practices into your routine will not only safeguard your investment but also ensure that your solar power system continues to shine brightly for years to come. From electrical maintenance to solar panel cleaning, bird-proofing, and equipment upkeep, a well-rounded approach is the key to unlocking the full potential of your solar panels. Embrace the brilliance of solar energy by maintaining and nurturing your solar power system – a sustainable investment for a cleaner, greener future. If you are interested in a quote for our solar maintenance package, get in touch.