Maintenance Requirement of Solar Panel Systems
The maintenance requirement of solar panel systems is not high, but it is present. It concerns not only the solar PV panels and the solar panel mount but also the solar power inverter, the cabling and if necessary the battery.
1. Solar PV Panels
The maintenance requirement of solar PV panels is comparatively small. There are no “rotating parts,” which reduces the maintenance required on the solar PV panels.
On the other hand, the solar PV panels are exposed around the clock to the weather effects. Therefore, it must regularly be checked. It is recommended to make a six-monthly visual inspection.
The aim of this inspection is to check the tightness and intactness of solar PV panels, occurring soiling, tensions in the attachment and the formation of “hot spots.”
In the article “What You Should Know About Cleaning Solar Panels?” there is more information about this topic.
The solar cables are also exposed directly – at least in part – to weather effects.
Even if the cables are intended for outdoor use, the connectors to the solar PV modules and the intactness of the cable sheath must be regularly – recommended every six months – checked.
3. Solar Power Inverter
The solar power inverter is a component, which is less robust than solar PV panels. The shorter lifetime of the PV inverter (ten years) compared to modules reflects the higher need for its maintenance.
Besides, the software of the PV inverter should be regularly updated. The maintenance of the PV inverter also includes the examination of the connectors on the DC side as well as on the AC side.
If the feed-in meter belongs to the plant operator, then it must be calibrated at regular intervals. However, if the feed-in meter is the property of the grid operator, then the maintenance, as well as the calibration, falls within its own sphere of responsibility.
The meter readings should be regularly (monthly) recorded.
5. PV Mounting System
The PV mounting system is significant for the security of the solar PV system. Therefore, its visual inspection should take place at least every six months.
By a high wind loading, a clamp or screw connection on the PV mounting system can also become loose, which can endanger the security of the whole plant.