Maintenance Tips for Solar Systems During Cold Weather
If you already have a solar system or you are considering getting one installed, there are a few things you should know about basic solar panel maintenance in the winter to keep your system running efficiently and producing energy all year long.
Tip: Make Sure Panels are Installed to Avoid Snow Buildup
This is less of an ongoing maintenance issue, and more of an issue when you get your panels installed initially. Talk to your solar energy company to make sure they know how much snow you expect in an average year and can angle your panels appropriately so the snow won’t build up and instead will be more likely to slide off, exposing the panels to sunlight even with snow on the roof. If your solar panel installer didn’t take that into consideration, you may need to have the angle adjusted now.
Tip: Clean Off Snow When It Does Build Up
If you experience a big snowstorm and the snow won’t quickly melt off your solar panels, make sure you have a way to safely remove the snow if you want your system to continue producing electricity. Most solar panels can produce electricity with just a light dusting of snow, but several inches will hinder their ability to capture sunlight. If you can’t safely remove the snow with a solar panel snow rake (only use a tool designed to clean solar panels to avoid inadvertently damaging them), consider hiring a professional who has the right equipment to clean them off rather than trying to climb up on a slippery and snowy roof yourself.
Tip 3: Adjust the Angle to Maximize Sun Exposure
Talk to your solar energy company when they come to install the panels about how to adjust the angle to capture the most sunlight in winter months when the sun is farther down in the southern sky.
Tip 4: Keep Track of Your Energy Capture
The easiest way to know if you are getting maximum energy from your panels or if there is something wrong during the winter months that is limiting the power you get is to monitor your energy capture regularly. If you notice something that seems strange, contact your solar company immediately to discuss it with them. As professionals with extensive experience they can often identify if it’s an issue with your panels or if there is something else going on, and provide tips or assistance with maintenance.
For more help with your solar panels in winter or with any questions you have (even if you didn’t get them installed by us), contact Intermountain Wind & Solar today.