Did you know that in just one hour, the sun radiates enough energy to cover the energy needs of humanity for a year? With this kind of renewable energy, it would only seem sensible to invest seriously in solar energy. There are two main ways that solar power can be harnessed: through photovoltaic cells and solar thermal systems. The typical solar panels that are found in homes use photovoltaic cells to convert solar energy into electricity. The benefits of this eco-friendly source of heat and light are countless for those using it. However, proper maintenance is needed to enjoy these benefits to the fullest.
Cleaning the panels
Solar panels contain semiconductors which absorb sunshine and free electrons. Electric fields control the flow of electrons. If the solar panels are covered in grime and dust, the absorption of light will not be efficient, and the panels will not give as much electric energy as they would when working at maximum capacity. One of the simplest ways to clean the panels is to use a garden hose to spray water and remove the dust. In case there is stubborn grime that doesn't come off after hosing, a squeegee and soap can be used to do some light scrubbing.
It is essential to keep track of how well your panel is performing in energy production. Most companies that sell photovoltaic cell solar systems also sell monitoring systems that will help you figure out if the solar panel is converting energy at maximum capacity or not. The monitoring system is programmed such that it can be accessed remotely through the internet. The system can tell which part of the system has malfunctioned. Professionals should always be consulted to do troubleshooting and repair.
Dealing with cell natural degradation
The photovoltaic cells that make up the solar panels will degrade over time, regardless of the environment. Monocrystalline silicon cells degrade at a rate of 0.8 percent a year, and polycrystalline silicon cells undergo a degradation of 0.7 percent each year. However, if the cells are degrading faster than this rate, there are companies whose warranties cover the replacement of these cells.
The best way to keep PV solar panels working is to ensure professional advice is sought during maintenance. The professionals should also recommend the best cleaning supplies. At the end of the lifespan of the solar power system, they will advise the owner of the systems on removal and if recycling is a possibility for the owner.