Tag Archives: solar panel maintenance

cleaning solar panels

Solar panel cleaning: what you should know

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Your solar panels need to be exposed to sunlight in order to produce power. However, unless you live somewhere with high amounts of smog, dust, dirt or sand blowing around, solar panel cleaning is generally not necessary. In most cases, occasional rain will be enough to naturally and safely keep your solar panels clean and free of debris that could lower production.

It may be a good idea to freshen up your panels occasionally if you live in an area with heavy particulates in the air. Here are answers to some of the top questions solar panel system owners have about cleaning solar panels and how to do it safely.

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solar o&m plan

Should you get a solar operations and maintenance (O&M) package?

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For many, solar panel systems are mostly a “set it and forget it” investment, requiring very little maintenance over the 25+ years. However, if you’re looking for extra peace of mind, one upgrade to consider is a solar operations and maintenance (O&M) package. Simply put, O&M packages are essentially protection plans for your solar investment. You can think of them as a sort of “homeowner’s insurance” for your solar panels; if a tree falls on a portion of your house, a home insurance plan will likely cover a large portion of the repair costs –  the same is true of solar energy system repairs under O&M plans.

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solar operations and maintenance

Solar O&M plans and providers

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For most, a solar installation is a “set-and-forget” investment, but not always: problems may come up with your system over time, from damaged panels to faulty wiring and more. You may have heard of “operations and maintenance,” or O&M, plans designed to help catch problems as they come up and fix them quickly so you can keep generating free energy from the sun. In this article, we’ll take a look at what O&M providers actually do, different types of monitoring and panel maintenance plans, and who the major providers in the space are.

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top energysage articles of 2019

The best of EnergySage in 2019

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2019 was a big year for the U.S. solar industry: the country surpassed 2 million solar installations early in the year, California celebrated 1 million rooftops with solar this December, and in between the cost of solar reached historic lows. It was a year in which interest in solar–and energy storage–soared nationwide, but especially in wildfire-torn California.

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house with solar panels and a calculator

Costs of solar after installation

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For the most part, solar panel systems are “set it and forget it,” requiring very little (if any) maintenance over time – but what costs can you potentially encounter after installing your solar panel system? In this article, we’ll discuss four factors that could impact post-installation costs, and what you can do to avoid some of these costs from the get-go.

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roof angle for solar panels

How roof angle can affect solar panel performance

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There are a lot of factors that can affect the performance of your solar panels and the economic benefits they can generate—things such as where you live and how sunny it is, how much you pay for electricity, which way your house faces—even the pitch of your roof. Variety is the spice of life, but the diversity of our architecture can affect the performance of solar panels. It’s important to understand how those differences in production performance related to the angle of your roof will affect the overall financial performance of your solar power system.

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key solar panel metrics

Key metrics for comparing solar panels: PTC solar, STC rating and temperature coefficient

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So you’ve made the decision to go solar. Well done! If designed right, a solar power system is a great, long-term investment with both financial and environmental benefits.

solar panel quality and performance energysage

Choosing the right solar panels is one of the most important steps in designing your solar power system. There are hundreds of options, and while all panels are designed for one purpose – to convert sunlight directly into electricity, not all panels are created equal. Different solar cell technologies and the quality of manufacturing can impact the performance of your panels. For these reasons, comparing solar panels and finding the right one to meet your specific system needs can sometimes be a complicated task; but, it doesn’t need to be.

In this article we’ll explain important metrics like PTC power rating, STC, degradation rate, efficiency and temperature coefficient.

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south facing roof for solar panels

Does my solar roof have to face south?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

You don’t need optimal conditions for your solar power system to be a great investment. One of the biggest myths about the financial viability of solar is that it requires a really sunny location and a south-facing roof. While these may be ideal conditions, folks outside of Southern California with roofs that face other points on the compass, such as east to west-facing roofs, can still satisfy most of their electricity needs and reap significant financial returns when they adopt solar power systems.

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Top 10 Cities for Solar (Hint: They Aren’t the Sunniest)

Reading Time: 3 minutesAlthough many commentators, bloggers, and armchair pundits argue that solar power is only cost-effective in sunny locations, the fact is that just isn’t true. While the argument that more sun means more electricity means more savings may seem tenable at first, it isn’t consistent with what’s happening in today’s solar market. New Jersey certainly isn’t mounting a strong challenge to become the new “Sunshine State,” and yet, it’s installed more solar than any other state in the U.S. On the global stage, high-latitude Germany is the clear leader in solar installations. An endless summer is no longer a requirement for solar power success. Continue reading

Shopping for Solar Panel System: Don’t Just Focus on Dollars per Watt

Reading Time: 3 minutesWhen shopping for solar photovoltaic (also known as solar panel, solar electric) systems, many businesses and homeowners focus mainly on price. To that end, dollars per watt is a key metric when comparing quotes because it allows the consumer to adjust for differences in system size. While price is certainly an important factor, maximizing the value of your investment both financially and environmentally, involves consideration of several other, equally important factors. Here are some that we think are vital to making the right decision about your solar panel system.  Continue reading