Daily Maintenance of Major Components in Photovoltaic Systems

Maintaining a solar power system is not a straightforward task.

This article will detail the routine maintenance required for the key components of a solar energy system, which include solar panels, solar inverters, and mounting systems. It will also discuss how to efficiently operate and maintain your solar energy setup.

ADNLITE offers high-quality components for solar systems. Feel free to contact ADNLITE for more information.

Solar Panel Maintenance

Manual cleaning of solar panels
  1. Regular Inspections
    • Conduct regular checks on photovoltaic modules to ensure that exposed wires are free from insulation wear and mechanical damage.
    • The modules should be securely attached to their mounts, and the clamping blocks must be tightly fastened.
    • If any issues are detected, such as cracked glass on the module or deformed, twisted, cracked, or burnt-out junction boxes, immediate action is required. Contact a professional immediately for adjustments or replacements if terminals are poorly connected.
  2. Keeping Solar Panels Clean
    • It’s crucial to keep the surface of photovoltaic modules clean. Dust accumulation, snow, and inadequate or infrequent cleaning can lead to dust buildup at the lower end of the solar panels. This buildup can cause severe internal marking and hot spots within the panels, significantly reducing electricity generation and potentially leading to fire risks.
    • Cleaning methods vary and can include hand washing, high-pressure water jets, sprinkler systems, or professional cleaning equipment.
    • For more information on how to properly clean solar panels, click to read the “Ultimate Guide on Solar Panel Cleaning 2023” at ADNLITE’s blog.

Maintaining each component of your solar power system is vital for efficient operation and longevity. Regular inspections and proper cleaning are essential steps in ensuring that your solar power setup continues to operate effectively and safely.

Solar Inverter Maintenance

  1. Condition and Cleanliness
    • Inverters should be free from rust and dust accumulation to ensure they operate efficiently.
  2. Cooling Environment
    • The cooling environment for the inverter should be optimal to prevent overheating and ensure efficient performance.
  3. Operational Noise and Vibration
    • Inverters should operate without excessive vibration or unusual noise, which could indicate mechanical issues.
  4. Warning Signs
    • All warning labels on the inverter should be intact and undamaged to ensure clear safety communication.
  5. Fan Functionality
    • The inverter’s fan should start and stop automatically as needed. It should operate without significant vibration or abnormal noise. If any abnormalities are detected, the power should be disconnected immediately for inspection.
  6. Monitoring Temperature, Sound, and Smell
    • Pay attention to any unusual temperature changes, sounds, or smells from the inverter. If the ambient temperature exceeds 40°C, measures should be taken to prevent direct sunlight exposure and avoid overheating, thus extending the inverter’s lifespan.
  7. Operational Interruptions
    • If an inverter stops working due to a protective action, the cause should be identified and rectified before restarting the machine.
  8. Regular Wiring Checks
    • Regularly check all wiring connections on the inverter for looseness; any abnormalities should be repaired immediately.
  9. Performance Monitoring
    • Monitor the power curve, daily energy output, and total energy output through the inverter. Use fault codes to diagnose and troubleshoot any issues.

Proper maintenance and regular monitoring of the inverter are crucial to sustaining the performance and longevity of your solar power system. These steps help prevent potential failures and ensure that the system operates at optimum efficiency.

Distribution Box Maintenance

solar panels for your home
  1. Understanding Equipment
    • Familiarize yourself with the functions and operating principles of all electrical equipment in the distribution box, and keep a record of the relevant parameters of each device.
  2. Physical Condition of the Box
    • Ensure that the distribution box is free from deformation, corrosion, leakage, and dust accumulation. Safety warning signs on the outer surface of the box should be intact and undamaged, and the locks on the box should operate smoothly.
  3. Internal Components
    • Check that the circuit breaker switches within the distribution box are functioning normally. Wiring terminals should not be loose, corroded, or discolored. The equipment should run without unusual noises, the operating environment should be free of odd smells, and all meters should display accurate readings.

Cable and Connector Maintenance

  1. Regular Inspection
    • Cable inspections are recommended once a month to ensure they are in good condition.
  2. Operational Load
    • Cables should not operate under overloaded conditions. Any damage to the cable’s outer sheath should be addressed promptly.
  3. Sealing at Equipment Entry Points
    • Cable entry and exit points at equipment should be properly sealed, with no holes larger than 10 mm in diameter. If larger holes exist, they should be sealed with fireproof material.
  4. Cable Stress
    • Cables should not be subjected to excessive stress during connection processes.
  5. Cable Management
    • Cables should be securely tied and should not hang in the air. The inner walls of cable protective conduits should be smooth. Metal cable conduits should not exhibit severe corrosion and must be free of burrs, hard objects, and debris.
  6. Connector Maintenance
    • Cable connectors should be securely crimped to ensure good contact. If a fault occurs at a connector, stop the inverter immediately and disconnect the connectors of other components linked to this inverter before re-crimping the faulty connector.

Proper maintenance of distribution boxes and cables is crucial for the safety and efficiency of electrical systems. Regular checks and diligent care will help prevent potential failures and extend the lifespan of the equipment.

Maintenance of Solar System Mounts

Ground Plug-in
  1. Bolt and Mount Connections
    • Ensure that all bolts and connections on the mounts are secure and reliable. Regular checks are crucial to maintain the structural integrity of the system.
  2. Surface Coating
    • The anticorrosive coating on the surface of the mounts should not show any signs of cracking or peeling. If such issues are observed, reapply the coating promptly to prevent further damage.
  3. Grounding
    • The grounding of the mounts should be well-maintained. Inspect the grounding system annually before the thunderstorm season to ensure all connections are solid and contact is good.
  4. Post-Weather Inspection
    • After severe weather conditions such as typhoons or heavy rains, inspect the photovoltaic array for any deformations, misalignments, or looseness. Expansion bolts and other fixtures used to secure the mounts should not be loose.
  5. Pre-Fabricated Base Installation
    • For solar mounts installed on pre-fabricated bases, ensure these bases are placed stably and neatly, and their positions should not shift. If mounts are fixed on rooftops, regularly check that the rooftop waterproofing remains intact and reliable.

Lightning Protection Ground Maintenance

solar panels for home
  1. System Integrity
    • If rust or paint peeling is observed on the welding points or exposed parts of the grounding system, perform rust removal and repainting as needed.
  2. Connection Reliability
    • The connections between the components, mounts, and the ground or rooftop grounding networks must be reliable. The grounding of the photovoltaic array should be continuous and secure, with a ground resistance of less than 4 Ohms.
  3. Seasonal Maintenance
    • Conduct a comprehensive check and maintenance of the grounding system before the onset of the rainy and thunderstorm season. Ensure that all connections are secure and that contact is adequate. If any issues are found, address them promptly. Also, inspect the lightning protection modules and replace any that are faulty.

Regular maintenance of the solar system mounts and lightning protection grounding ensures the long-term stability and safety of the solar installation. Addressing issues early can prevent system failures and extend the life of the equipment.