There’s no doubt getting a rooftop solar system is a memorable moment in any household’s story. It’s of course wise that time is taken by any would-be solar owner to research and make enquiries with a quality solar installer.But ultimately, acquiring a system and getting it installed are the two biggest steps in a household’s solar power journey. What follows these two landmark moments will typically be a very easy process indeed, but ultimately there is indeed a process of ongoing maintenance following installation, which it’s essential to commit to in order to get the best out of the solar system.
Quality solar products can certainly be expected to fare well. It can be presumed well-made solar panels will be tough enough to withstand weather events like high heats, chilly colds, fierce winds and rain (with realistically only truly extreme weather events like giant hailstones reigning down generating a potential complication). Yet, it also can’t go unsaid that - as with just about any piece of complex machinery - if not properly maintained the performance of a solar system can diminish, and issues can arise. It’s known Aussies love DIY tasks - the aisles being full of people at the local hardware store each weekend is a testament to that - but is it actually OK to self-service a rooftop solar system? Let’s discuss now.
Why DIY Maintenance on a Rooftop Solar System Shouldn’t Occur
The clear-cut reality is that it is not safe to self-service your own rooftop solar system. While solar panels might look like pretty straightforward technology, they are ultimately a very sophisticated product, and part of a complex system. It’s why it’s essential that only those with suitable qualifications and expertise actually work on them. This is the case not only when it comes to installation - as a quality solar installer should always be sought out, and any questionable one totally avoided - but also ongoing maintenance. Put simply, it’s plain and easy to understand that doing complex electrical work such as dealing with a switchboard would be unwise, and the same principle applies to a solar system.
It’s also essential to recognise that the need for suitably qualified personnel to service a solar system isn’t just about personal safety - though that’s of course most important - but also outcomes. A trusted solar installer will do a great job on any servicing task, whereas someone without the necessary skills and understanding may fail to do a proper job, and this can put the system at risk, as well as potentially the wider household, if an issue is missed by a questionable solar professional, that a quality one would spot. This is why it’s vital to always have a rooftop solar system serviced only by a reputable and suitably qualified solar professional.
What a Regular Solar Enthusiast Can Do
Although as discussed above self-servicing a rooftop solar system is ultimately not an option, there are still a number of steps that can be taken to monitor one, and help keep it in good working order via means of observation. First and foremost, if a property allows for a suitable vantage point (or a solar owner can safely observe out on the street), making it a habit to visually inspect the solar panels regularly from a distance on the ground is worthwhile. Even though the inspection occurs from a distance, it may still be possible to notice if by chance any damage has been sustained by the panels - which is very unlikely with a quality solar system, but in rare instances sometimes a freak storm or other hazard could inflict some harm - or if the panels have had an obstruction fall on top of them like a tree branch, or perhaps have just become quite dirty recently due to dirt particles being blown through the air.
As well as a visual inspection of the panels, it’s of course wise to monitor the system’s inverter regularly. Commonly, inverters will display key information via a digital panel, and there’s no need to actually touch the inverter at all in order to be able to read it. Furthermore, numerous inverter companies offer a phone app which can be downloaded and linked up with the household’s inverter, so it’s easy to monitor the system without needing to actually go and read the display information off the inverter, where it’s physically located.
Most important of all, it’s of course essential to arrange regular cleaning and inspection of a rooftop solar system. The frequency with which a routine cleaning and check should occur can vary depending on the unique considerations surrounding a home’s location - as some rooftop solar systems will be more prone to accumulate dirt participles faster than others due to the particular composition of the surrounding environment - but as a rule of thumb having the panels cleaned at least once every 6 months is important.
Maintaining a Powerful Solar Advantage
If you already own a rooftop solar system, did you know it may be possible to add more panels to your existing system? Or, potentially install a new rooftop solar system altogether which can provide a major boost in renewable energy to your household? The benefits of using a grid-connected _and_ off-grid rooftop solar system on a property is something numerous households across the country enjoy today.
If you don’t yet own a rooftop solar system, there’s arguably never been a better time to change that. A rooftop solar system can reduce the cost of electricity bills today, provide a defence against any rise in energy costs tomorrow, and it also provides a source of clean and green energy to your home. This makes a small, but significant contribution to making Australia - and the whole world! - more sustainable. Alongside this article, there’s many other resources here at STC which can be read, for anyone now keen to learn more about all the ins and outs of rooftop solar systems.