Is any maintenance for my solar PV system required? How often should I clean my solar panels?
With limited maintenance, your solar system will operate at peak performance for many years. Cleaning intervals will vary depending on site-specific factors such as annual rainfall and proximity of factors causing dust or debris on the panels. This includes things like trees or high traffic dirt roads. It is best to consult your solar installer for a recommended cleaning schedule. Cleaning solar panels is as easy as using a garden hose to rinse them off!
How do solar systems fair in extreme weather conditions? Do they hold up to snow loads and hail?
Our solar panels are tested in extreme climates, from the desert to the extreme conditions of the artic, to ensure structural integrity. High wind and snow loads won't pose an issue for solar panels as they are built to withstand all extreme conditions. They can even withstand large hailstones up to 1inch They come with a 25 year manufacturer warranty
Does snow covering my solar panels affect their performance?
A five-year study led by Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s (NAIT) Alternative Energy Technology program found that the impact of snowfall only results in three percent loss of solar energy.
Tim Matthews, technologist in charge of the NAIT study, said previous predictions expected as much as a 20 percent loss in energy production due to accumulating snow.
Instead, the study found that the tilt of solar panels has a bigger impact than the amount of snowfall. According to Matthews, accumulating dirt and dust on panels can affect the production loss more than snow.
“We had no idea,” says Matthews. “Obviously, we were overestimating dramatically.”
The reference array snow study was launched in 2012 in collaboration with the City of Edmonton and Solar Energy Society of Alberta. Twelve solar modules were installed on the rooftop of Shaw Theatre at the NAIT campus, to measure the impact of snow on the system and how the tilt of each panel affects energy production.
Matthews says the real loss in production was much smaller than predicted, and the annual performance loss of three percent was the “worst case” recorded at the lowest tilt — 14 degrees