December 7, 2022

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Things to Keep in Mind for Smooth Operation for your Solar Power

What Maintenance is Required For Solar Electric Systems? - Generation Solar

Having solar panels and relying on solar energy is extremely beneficial in general, and they do not need much maintenance, but of course, you need to take care of it in order to reap the full benefits of your solar panels. How much does solar maintenance cost?There are  solar operations and maintenance by Solar Alternatives that you could look into for your solar power maintenance. Make sure to give them a call in case you need maintenance for your solar panels.

What are the maintenance procedures for a solar installation?

  1. General Checks

General checks would usually include adjustments, lubrication, replacements, cleaning, repairs, and the extension of equipment life for at least twice a year. 

During this inspection, technicians:

  • Check for loose hanging wires in the array
  • Check for signs of animal infestation under the array
  • Check for corrosion on the outside of the enclosures and the racking system
  • Check for ground erosion near the footing of a ground mount system
  • Ensures roo drainage is adequate, roof drains are not clogged and confirm that here are no signs of water pooling near the array
  • Ensure roof penetrations are watertight, if there are any
  • Confirm electrical enclosures are only accessible to authorised personnel
  • Check for cleanliness through the site in order to ensure that there are no debris in the inverter pad area or elsewhere
  1. Specific Checks
  • Water Quality

When you are cleaning the modules, you have to keep in mind the tidal dissolved solids (TDS) levels, water specifications, and all of the certain wiping details. This would all depend on where you live, the TDS level, chlorine, and the water level, as well as the electrical conductivity. The quality of the water is usually tested after every six months if you want to ensure that the set standards are maintained.

  • Frequency of Cleaning

Cleaning is carried out on a fortnightly basis in normal conditions, where there is not too much dust and dirt. Cleaning frequency is increased to once a week in dusty areas.

  • Post Wash Care
  • Transformer

The transformers that are located at the site are installed in megawatts, parameters like the operating temperature, oil temperature, winding temperature and oil levels are monitored daily and if there are any disturbances in the transformer, then it would reflect in all of these parameters.

  • Inverter

You have to service inverters on a quarterly basis, but there are some cleaning companies that could do that on a monthly basis, especially in dusty areas. You have to provide ventilation through a filter, and this filter should be cleaned frequently so using high quality filters is advantageous. Engineers would check on the voltage of the string inverter and then record it in the periodic log book to give you an understanding of voltage fluctuations if there are any.

  • MC4 Cabling Connector

You have to make sure that there is no gap between the male and female connector pipes under preventive measures. If there is any gap, whether it be irrespective of size, it could easily cause a fire and possibly damage the modules.

  • Remote Monitoring

You need to monitor your solar power plant constantly in order to detect breakdowns and optimise its operation. You could retrieve all of the data from the inverter or from other communicating equipment like probes and meters could also be performed either on site or remotely.

  • Protection from External Elements

The module should be sealed properly to make sure that the plant is working smoothly and without any shutdown, or else rats and other rodents may or may not enter, and may get electrocuted. This would then cause a short circuit and affect the entire plant. 

  • Innovation in Cleaning

The sprinkle-type cleaning system would have nozzles placed on the module itself, which would automatically start the system when you are using remote monitoring, pressurised water, and then pour it all over the modules. This would be useful when it’s hard to install a water source at the site, but it is a costly way to clean.

  • Quality of Cleaning Equipment

The brushes that are used for cleaning the modules should be brushed without the hard bristles (fibre brushes) and low-quality bushes would negatively impact the glass surface of the modules. Engineers would use detergent to clean the surface for cases where there are substances (like bird droppings) that are stuck on the modules, but detergent is not highly concentrated and it would have very high-water content.

Maintaining and monitoring your PV panels are extremely important if you want to get the full benefits of your solar panels. This would include the inspections. Supervisions, sending signals and messages, and receiving signals from the environment about irradiation.