This post is Part 10 in our Home Solar Energy Systems series. The Home Solar Energy Systems series is designed to take you step-by-step through the process of adding a solar energy system to your home or small business.
Our Solar Energy Journey
This is the final post in our multiple article series that is all about adding a solar energy system to your home or small business. We have taken you step by step through the entire process and hopefully have answered your questions and addressed your concerns. We started by providing an outline of topics to be covered, and with a few adjustments along the way, have finally arrived at our destination. This last article is going to be about maintaining and monitoring your new solar energy system in order to convert the most solar energy possible.
The Good News
The good news is that there is very little maintenance required for your solar energy system. There are no moving parts to your system and photovoltaic solar panels are generally very dependable. You should expect 30 to 40 years of near trouble-free service. Your new solar energy system is going to save you money with very little additional effort from you.
The Not As Good News
The “Not As Good News” is that the environment conspires to leave dirt and debris on your panels constantly. Efficient energy production is going to depend on how clean you can keep your solar panels. The remedy to this problem is to clean your solar panels on a regular basis. Usually, a simple “hosing off” of your panels is a sufficient solution.
A Short Video Showing Solar Panel Cleaning
The video explained the need to clean your solar panels to remove various types of debris and contamination. You will need to visually inspect your solar panel array to determine how often they need to be cleaned. This will vary in different areas and locales.
You may be able to rinse your panels off every six months or so, while other people may need to clean their panels every month. Dirt and debris on solar panels can seriously reduce their energy output, so a regular inspection and cleaning is warranted.
Monitoring Your Energy Production
Monitoring your solar energy production is also a good way to know if your system is operating efficiently. There are various monitoring systems available depending upon the type of system that you have. They will help to troubleshoot problem areas and also let you know if your system is operating at a peak efficiency. Monitoring systems are also very interesting to watch.
Video of a Sample Monitoring System
The sample system shown was the Enphase “Enlighten” monitoring system. You can get more information about this particular system at Enphase monitors. There are a multitude of monitoring systems available for nearly any system that you may have. It is a good idea to purchase your monitoring system at the time of installation. Most solar contractors and suppliers will recommend a monitoring solution for your system at the time of purchase. This is a very important component of your solar energy system.
Home Solar Energy Systems: Series Recap
It has been a rather lengthy journey on the way to our home solar energy system. Let’s take a look at some of the important points that were discussed. We talked about the need to work with your local utility and have a home energy audit performed. We talked about getting a solar site analysis for your home and performing a cost benefit analysis. Benefits of owning a solar energy system were discussed and also your return on investment. We gave you a link that showed all of the various Federal, State, and Local rebates and tax credits that are available to you. We presented a solar check list and then talked about solar system design and components. Solar leasing and the purchase of your system were compared and discussed. We showed you how to find a solar supplier and/or contractor and discussed various installation options. Finally, we suggested ways to choose the supplier or contractor that was right for your particular situation. Maintenance and monitoring systems for your new solar energy system were also discussed.
In this article, we have talked about the maintenance and monitoring of your new solar energy system. Proper cleaning and monitoring of your solar panels is important to the overall efficiency of your new system. An overall recap of our multiple article series was also presented. This concludes our multiple article series about home solar energy systems. We hope that we have answered all of your questions and given you the needed information to move forward on your path to a “greener” and more secure energy future.
Incoming search terms:
- systems monitoring wind and solar system
- solar energy system