Solar Repairs and Maintenance
DISCLAIMER: Our partners no longer take appointments for homeowners looking to benefit from the Feed-in Tariff, which is due to end on 31st March 2019
Although harnessing the sun’s energy to power and heat your home saves both money and precious energy reserves, a damaged or malfunctioning solar panel will negate all this good work and more. With no need for complicated wiring or external power sources, solar panels are normally quick and easy to install, and by and large require very little upkeep or maintenance.
When they do malfunction, however, it’s normally down to only a handful of reasons. Either way, a faulty solar panel needs swift attention - a solar panel is only cost-effective when it’s running properly, and like all solar panel customers, you want to see the quickest return on your investment through energy bill savings.
So if and when you run into issues with your solar panel, let The Eco Experts put you in touch with an experienced and reputable repairer, and one who’s local to you.
Solar Panel Maintenance
One of the reasons that solar panels are such a good investment is that they require very little maintenance. Most solar panel systems are fine with basic checks and cleaning 1-2 times a year. Some companies even suggest that solar panels do not need to be cleaned as they have self-cleaning glass which removes any residue or debris when it rains. However, solar panels are only cost efficient when they are working at maximum output and for that reason it is best to get them checked and cleaned at least once a year.
The solar panels themselves require little to no maintenance. However, the other parts of the system, such as the inverter and the cables connecting the panels to the inverter, may require some upkeep to ensure maximum efficiency.
When you have an inverter installed, usually in the attic, you should ensure that it will not be subjected to damp conditions as this could lower its lifespan. The most important thing is to check that the input and output displayed on the inverter is accurate to what your system is actually producing.
Some of these maintenance checks can be made yourself, however, if in doubt it is always better to bring in a professional service. This is particularly important for dealing with electrical systems and working at heights. These can be dangerous situations for those unqualified to carry them out safely. They may also negate your warranty, or your contract if you installed your panels through a free ‘rent a roof’ scheme. Some warranties or contracts state that checks and maintenance must be carried out by qualified professionals.
Durability of Solar Panels
Solar panels are built to endure harsh and unpredictable weather. This means that they are prepared for strong winds, snow, rain and even hail stones. In preparation for their life exposed to the elements, solar panels have become very durable and unlikely to crack or break. If you do see any cracks or changes in the surface appearance of your panels it is best to get a maintenance service to come and assess them. As solar panels come with such long warranties, usually 25 years, you are likely to be covered if the unexpected does happen.
Due to the simple nature of the solar panel system, which has no moving parts, they tend to have very long lifespans. Most companies offer 25 years warranty as standard and some systems have been known to last for double that time! The warranty should also guarantee how efficient your solar panels will be over the 25 years. If you notice that your panels are working at a lower efficiency than that promised then you should contact your installer.
Solar Panel Repairs
It is very unlikely that the solar panels will have to be repaired. It is more likely that the inverter or other parts of the system need to be repaired over time, due to the long life of the panels. If there is an issue with the inverter, or you notice any cables are damaged, it would be classed as an electrical problem. As such, you should only allow a qualified electrician, with solar power experience, to assess and repair any damage.
Do not attempt to fix the problem yourself if you are not qualified to do so. Not only will it be potentially very dangerous, but you could also void your warranty agreement. Many warranties and solar panel contracts state that only qualified professionals should attempt to fix the system in order for you to remain within the terms and conditions.
Cost of Solar Repairs
The cost of maintaining solar panels is not high compared to their potential income from energy bill savings and Feed-in Tariff payments. The first thing to do is check with your installers, as they may offer a maintenance package at a discounted rate. The next thing to do is shop around to find out which company offers the best deal for you. There are companies who offer annual cleaning and maintenance services from around £199. Others companies offer more expensive packages but these may include all repairs.
To compare quotes from companies who repair solar panels, fill in the form at the top of this page.
How Will the UK Weather Impact Your Panels?
There is no need to worry about the often gloomy British weather effecting the efficiency of your solar panels. Solar panels still work efficiently in most weather conditions, unless it is extremely cloudy. What you do need to look out for is trees or other buildings shielding your solar panels from the sunlight, as this will directly reduce their efficiency.
If you live in an area of particularly low light you could consider choosing thin film solar panels over tradition crystalline panels. Thin film panels have been known to work better in low light. However, you should check out all of the pros and cons of thin film vs crystalline panels before making your decision.
In general, British weather is very temperate, meaning that we do often see extreme weather conditions. This is good news for your solar panels as average weather conditions should not negatively affect them. If you decide to install solar panels on your roof, you can be confident that the British weather will not prevent them from working well beyond their 25 year warranty.