Solar panels are exposed to the extremes of weather such as heat, hail, snow and frost. They are also vulnerable to dust and other materials transported by wind. How can you protect your solar panels from being damaged by hail and from losing efficiency by being covered from dust or snow? Here are some answers:
Positioning of solar panels
Solar panels are traditionally installed on roofs to limit the amount of overhead shading. But solar panels can be placed anywhere there is a constant source of sunlight. Solar panels installed in ground-level racks are easier to keep clean than solar panels mounted on a roof.
Solar panels can be cleaned with warm water and dish-washing soap in order to remove dust, pollen, grime, bird droppings and everything else transported by the wind.
As we wrote last winter there are solutions for solar panel cleaning such as the German windshield wiper. Or you can construct your own wiper system for removing the snow from your solar panels.
Protecting solar panels from hail damage
With regard to hail or ice damage modern solar systems are constructed from unbreakable materials designed to protect the delicate silicon from strong winds and hail.
Solar panels need inspection on a periodic basis according to the manufacturer’s specifications and the location. In dusty areas inspections are required more often.
Other parts of solar panels requiring maintenance
Modern solar panels are covered with tempered glass which is up to 6 times stronger than normal glass. Flat plate glass is more breakable and can also cloud over time. Check the description of your solar panels to find out the glass type and any maintenance requirements.