Take Care of Your Solar Energy Source
Like any electronic device exposed to the elements, including varying seasons, solar panels occasionally need a little bit of care. Solar panels today are built to last through rough weather, including hail. This, however, does not mean that solar panels are not potentially vulnerable to age, theft and weather, with weather able to possibly affect the ability of your solar panels to absorb light from the sun, reducing the amount of energy going into your home or business. While this is not a guaranteed concern for all solar panel owners, it is always good to be aware of the possibilities that could compromise your solar panels.
Though a concern, age actually seems to be the least cause for concern. Some of the original solar panels, created in the 1940s, are not only still intact, but they are still running, even out-performing expectations of the length of their lives. Warranties on solar panels vary, but most all companies guarantee that their panels will produce at least 80% of their rated power after 25 years. This means that, assuming there is a less than 1% power loss per year for the first 25 years of your ownership of your solar panels, you can assume that your panels will produce at least 80% of what they did when they were first installed. Again, original solar panels, decades of years old, have a tendency to outperform their original projected life expectancy. With that, and considering the fact that newer materials are more durable, you can rest assured that your solar panels will last, with minimal concern that they will fizzle out.
Recently, a small market for solar panel parts has emerged. Solar panel theft and dismemberment is a tedious process with no guarantees, but it is still a small concern that is worth being knowledgeable about. Thieves will occasionally target solar panels mounted on roofs of homes and businesses, but are more likely to pursue panels on the ground. There is less work to be done to separate panels from the ground, and they will be easier to load into a car or truck. To protect your solar energy source, make sure to tell your home insurer that you have installed solar panels. They are usually no additional charge to cover under existing premiums, but your insurer will know for sure. Bolting your panels to their mounts, whether they are on the ground, or on the roof, is another quick and easy way to protect them.
Needless to say, when your solar panels are covered by eight inches of snow, it will be difficult, maybe impossible, for them to produce the energy that you would expect on a sunny summer day. After a large snowfall, cleaning the snow off of your solar panel, when it is safe, is recommended. There is no need to worry about shielding your solar panels from heavy rains, or even hail – older solar panels again prove their worth by surviving and thriving after extreme weather.
Solar Panels are a Great, Low-Maintenance Way of Getting Clean Energy
It is always recommended that you check with your solar panel manufacturer if you feel compelled to clean, or replace your solar panels. It is nice to have the peace of mind that you will not likely need to replace your solar panels for decades. Installing solar panels means you will have a long time to enjoy the energy-saving benefits.