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How to Avoid Common Causes of Solar Panel Damage

While solar panels are built to last, they’re not immune to damage. In our latest blog post, we’re on hand with our top tips on avoiding common causes of solar panel damage so you can increase their lifespan. If you’re keen to get the most out of our solar panels, keep reading. 

External factors contributing to solar panel damage 

As solar panels sit on top of your roof, they’ll experience some wear and tear over time. While they’re strong enough to withhold the elements, damage can lead to a drop in performance. Below are some of the most common culprits when it comes to external solar panel damage. 

Failing debris 

Failing debris such as leaves, dirt, and twigs may cause micro-scratches on your solar panels. While some scratches can be purely cosmetic, noticeable scratches can lower the energy output of your solar panels. The scratches can keep the sunlight from reaching the cells, ultimately producing less energy. So, when installing your solar panels, you should try and ensure no trees directly overhead or nearby.  

Hailstorms 

When it comes to protecting your solar panels against hailstorms, there’s not much you can do once they’re installed. However, during the installation stage, you should consider installing smaller solar panels. This is because if one solar panel gets damaged due to hailstorms, it will be cheaper to replace. Smaller panels also mean that if one is to get damaged, you will have more working panels to produce energy. 

Rainfall 

We live in England, so rainfall is a given. Unfortunately, water damage from old or deteriorated seals is a fairly common problem for solar panel owners. As the seals on your panels get older, they become less effective. 

To ensure that water damage isn’t a concern, you should have the panels resealed by a professional.  

Dust build-up

When solar panels sit on sloping roofs, it’s likely the module frames will collect rainwater. Once the water evaporates, dust residue is left behind. The dust residue can cause unwanted shade, which in turn reduces energy production from your solar panels. 

Thankfully, all of the above issues aren’t major. The simplest way to ensure you’re doing what you can to prevent solar panel damage, it’s highly recommended that you have your solar panels cleaned regularly. By doing so, you’ll ensure your solar panels are at optimal performance.  

If you’re cleaning your solar panels yourself, you can use a microfiber cloth and a hose pipe. For more on cleaning your solar panels, check out our guide here

Common internal causes of solar panel damage 

Like all other energy-producing devices, the components in solar panels are also prone to damage over time. Fortunately, most solar panel damage can be fixed, especially when spotted early on. Below are some of the most common causes of internal solar panel damage. 

PID Effect

PID, also known as potential induced degradation, refers to any solar panel damage caused by voltage fluctuations. To avoid PID becoming a significant issue, you should consider regular maintenance of your solar panels to ensure their performance is stabilised over time.  

Loose wiring 

The wires in solar panels connect individual PV cells to both home solar batteries and inverters. If your solar panels have loose wiring, it may cause failed connections. As above, regular maintenance is recommended to ensure you avoid any issues caused by loose wiring. Repair professionals will use a maintenance meter and other tools to assess if your panels have any loose wiring and rectify the problem if needed. 

Inner module damage 

Internal solar panel damage can be caused by faulty production or poor-quality components. To ensure your solar panels are in tip-top condition, it’s highly recommended that you choose a reputable supplier and keep on top of continued maintenance. 

If you’ve noticed an issue with your solar panels but you’re unsure what the root of the problem is, it’s always best to consult a trained professional. While you may be comfortable cleaning and maintaining your solar panels, you should leave the troubleshooting and repair to a professional. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.