What Kind of Maintenance Do Solar Energy Panels Need?
Since the 1970s, solar panels have come a long way and made some pretty nice improvements. Roof-mounted solar panels are four times more energy efficient and are much more durable and better able to withstand harsh climates. The design of solar panels has improved by creating nearly seamless connections and easier roof mounting systems.
Contrary to many people’s idea, solar panels are surprisingly low maintenance and come with warranties that can last for more than 20 years.
How Many Solar Panels Will I Need?
The size of your solar energy system will be in proportion to the amount of power you need on a daily basis. The number of panels you will need will also depend on the type of solar system you decide to install.
How Much will a Solar System Cost?
The installation of a solar system for a typical home will cost between $12,000 and $24,000 – but you will not pay all that out-of-pocket. There are government incentives and tax brakes that can reduce the cost by upwards of 30% (that is until 2021 when some of the programs end). We have seen solar installation prices slashed by almost 50% over the last decade and as demand increases and technology improves, we anticipate prices will continue to fall.
How Much Maintenance Will a Solar System Need?
Solar systems are designed to be extremely low maintenance and professionally installed systems have a life span of at least 30 years. The most common maintenance item is the battery. Solar batteries will need to be replaced every 5 to 15 years. That means that over the 30-year solar system lifetime, the batteries will need to be replaced 2 to 6 times.
Batteries are impacted by temperature. Batteries in a freezing environment require more voltage to reach their maximum charge. Batteries in high heat (90F or higher) will take less of a charge. Thus, the best way to maximize power output and minimize maintenance costs is to provide a moderate and steady temperature. Also check with your installer to see if the battery is included in the solar system warranty.
Like batteries, solar panels do not do very well with sudden extreme changes in temperature. If you live an area that has freakish weather, check with your solar contractor to see if they have more advanced systems to deal with the rapid temperature changes.
If you live in an area with heavy snow, you will need to remove the snow that piles up on your roof – just like you would anyway. Careful attention needs to be given when removing the snow so that the panels are not damaged. Your solar contractor will either offer this service or can recommend someone to help you.
Thus, maintenance of solar panels is really hardly an issue – no more thought than what you would give your roof system. While the initial installation cost may seem high, picture the freedom of 30-years of bill-free green-energy and with nearly no annual maintenance costs.