We’ve often heard that rooftop solar power plants seldom require maintenance. This is owing to the fact that there are no moving parts in these systems. Most consumers are not technically sound enough to troubleshoot any problems encountered by their systems. But there are simple measures one can take to ensure that optimum performance is achieved from the installed power plants.
An efficient and long-lasting PV system will require a periodic check on system components and completion of any maintenance works, if necessary. Strictly adhering to the installer’s or vendor’s advice regarding this is simply the best solution to optimize the performance of your PV system.
Here is a comprehensive list of maintenance tips for each component of rooftop solar power plants.
Required Frequency of Action
Cleaning the panels in order to get rid of dust and other debris accumulated over time is an absolute must.
Cleaning the panels can be done either with normal water or gentle soap water.
Check the panels for any sort of animal infestation and remove it when found. Also check them for any sorts of cracks and other mechanical defects
In places with frequent rainfalls, manual cleaning is seldom required. Annual cleaning would suffice in these places.
Quarterly cleaning up of solar panels is ideal for other places.
Visual inspection of the solar panels can be done every week
They seldom require any maintenance unless if they come with tracking systems.
Tracking systems have moving parts which need to be lubricated with grease.
Remove any vegetation around the trackers.
Lubrication of the tracking systems must be done as often as per the manufacturer’s maintenance suggestion.
Any sort of dust or dirt accumulation on the inverters need to removed.
Usually inverters come with display interfaces. Go through the inverter manual and check whether the indicator lights are in accordance with that as given in the manual.
Ensure that the wires that come to and go from the inverters are not loose.
Inverters can be checked weekly once or more.
Check for any electrolyte leaks, corrosion at the terminals or cracks.
When using deep cycle lead acid batteries, check for the electrolyte level and use distilled water to top up the batteries.
The gel type batteries are usually maintenance free although they come at a high cost.
Inspection of the batteries can be done weekly once.
Checking for the electrolyte levels can be done once every month or as per the manufacturer’s suggestion.
Balance of System (cables, junction boxes, etc.)
Check the cables for any cracks, breaks or deterioration in the insulation. Physical damage to these can be caused by rodents or other animals.
Check the junction boxes and make sure that there is no animal infestation there. Also inspect connections for corrosion.
Visual inspection of these can be carried out once a week.