Are Solar Panels Reliable?

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So, you’re really getting into buying solar panels for your new home. You’ve read about the multiple benefits and they convinced you of their worth. Regardless, you’re still not dismissing their negative sides. You’re actually being wise about it; after all, solar panels are your financial investment.

Solar panels are reliable, but...

...they can still degrade. Don’t let the inevitability of failure discourage you, though. Many studies have already proven solar panels’ reliability. In a span of 10 years (2005–2015), the U.S. Department of Energy found a 0.05% failure rate in solar panels. That’s only 5 out of 10,000 malfunctioned panels.

Naturally, solar panels in areas with harsher weather conditions break more often. So, if you live in a neighborhood where moody climates are myths, then you can relax. On the other hand, if you do, then this should not dampen your spirits. Recent technologies have paved the way for faster downtimes and fewer breakdowns. Besides, you can always contact your local service provider in case your solar panels or PV system stops working.

Why do solar panels fail, though?

There are many factors that add up to malfunctioning. It may be a defect on the machine or a hasty installation process. You might have missed some important instructions on how to use it. Meanwhile, the most common culprits to breakage are rough external factors like humidity freeze, UV exposure, thermal cycling, and damp heat. These are the ones you should watch out for.

  1. Humidity freeze - A freeze is when the air temperature drops below freezing. This is dangerous as it can damage the junction box.

  2. UV exposure - Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can discolor and degrade the solar panels’ back sheet.

  3. Thermal cycling - This is when an environment undergoes a drastic rate of changing between two temperatures. Thermal cycling can crack the cells and damage the solder bond.

  4. Damp heat - Manufacturers actually do a damp heat test on solar panels to test its endurance against the penetration of humidity. Extreme levels of damp heat can eventually cause corrosion on your solar panels.

Maintaining solar panels

Solar panel degradation will definitely occur if you don’t take care of your panels. That’s why you must be prepared ahead. You don’t have to act only when it’s too late and then rely on the service provider all the time. Even though the panels require very little maintenance, you should still be proactive and get ahead of breakage.

Once you have bought, installed, and used your PV system for quite some time, you can start by checking for any debris or dust accumulation on the panels.

Make sure to keep your solar panel cleaning kit nearby so you can clean them any time. A typical cleaning kit should contain a wiper, liquid soap, a small brush, and a bucket.

Schedule a cleaning session. If you have numerous PV systems, you can hire a professional solar cleaner. With the latter, you can save more time and energy. You can also avoid more errors as they have probably extra toolkits and solar liquid cleansers.

In a nutshell

Handle your solar panels with care. Never stop educating yourself about them, especially if you plan to add energy storage devices. The more you maintain your solar panels, the bigger the chunk you can cut from electricity bills.

Want to start saving with solar? Schedule your free assessment today or get a free customized quote!

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ALAIN JAMES RETUYA