Maintaining a Solar PV system

Solar generation systems require little maintenance, but there are some procedures that may be required.

These may include:

  • Solar module cleaning. The solar modules should have been installed with a minimum tilt of 10° to allow for self-cleaning with rain. However, modules may benefit from a guide clean if there’s been no decent rain for a while, or if dirt (which reduces modules’ output) is accumulating at their edges. Clean solar modules using water and a non-abrasive cleaning material, and avoid getting water near any of the electrical components. Before cleaning, ensure the solar PV system is shut down. Always ensure the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions are followed. 
  • Cabling check. Cabling should be checked for any loose connections or damage. Remember that a solar array generates electricity whenever light is hitting it, so cabling in solar arrays should always be treated as if it is live. Before checking the cabling, the solar system should be shut down. 
  • Mounting system check. Check that the mounting system is stable and mechanically secure. 
  • Vegetation maintenance. Any vegetation around the solar array should be maintained to ensure that it does not shade the array. Some grazing animals, such as sheep, may be suitable for keeping grass levels below the array.  It must be ensured that the grazing animals will not attempt to bite any connecting wires or equipment. Leads must be kept out of reach. 
 Sheep can help to maintain vegetation levels around a solar array.
 
Energy

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