Solar panel servicing?

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  • DaviesRa's Avatar
    Level 1

    We moved into a house a year ago with solar panels and we transferred over our EON FiT account. Do the solar panels need servicing? And if so, how often? and is that something EON do?

    Any advice appreciated.
    Thank you
    Last edited by EmmaN_EONNext; 25-09-23 at 12:27.
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  • Best Answer

    retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    Best Answer

    No, solar pv is pretty much maintenance free as far as the panels themselves go.

    The only thing they ever really need is the occasional wash every year or so. Many window cleaning firms that use a pure water system can easily do this for you. Right now, your problem is more likely to be snow on the panels. They'll thaw out soon enough.👍
    Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.
  • Han_EONNext's Avatar
    Community Team
    Ah @retrotecchie thanks for that info!!

    I actually had no idea 🤔. I'm currently on the waiting list to get them myself - so that's good to know!
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  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    Ah @retrotecchie thanks for that info!!

    I actually had no idea 🤔. I'm currently on the waiting list to get them myself - so that's good to know!

    I had an off-grid system many years ago on the roof of a garden shed. Imagine my horror when I got home from work on a nice sunny day, went to check on the state of charge and found zero output from the panels. My next door neighbour had used a powered sprayer to treat all his garden fence and all the overspray from his efforts had completely coated my panels!

    Fortunately he'd used a water-based preservative for his fence so it only took me ten minutes with a kitchen scourer and warm soapy water to scrub it all off.
  • Han_EONNext's Avatar
    Community Team
    That really is interesting and good to know @retrotecchie 😊. Imagine the hassle that would've been if the system was actually damaged! There's quite a few folk with Solar Panels in my wee' little village - so I'll spread the word 📣, we don't want poor old Doris down the road being ripped off by buying 'special solar sauce' ya'know.
  • wizzo227's Avatar
    Level 21
    The silicon solar photovoltaic panels on my roof are still there and generating after more than ten years. Do have a look to check yours just in case you want somebody to give them a wipe and do the gutters while they are up there. Most types newer than 15 years have a non-stick coating which is self-cleaning when rained on. The ones on my roof at 40 degrees slope have never needed anything doing. On top of my shed, I tried putting up two more perfectly horizontal solar panels, which was not such a great idea because horizontal collects dust and needs a wipe once a year. I used plain water from the rainwater barrel and a sponge.

    The inverter in my attic did stop working at year 7, which was obvious from the meters downstairs failing to go up as usual on a sunny day. You should budget for possibility of that happening. Suppose that you opened a save every month account with one of the banks which pays a little bit of interest and allows very few withdrawls per year without penalty. That should be the right place to drop your savings from having solar, and is available for you to deal with any other sudden replacements, for example the washing machine; whichever needs it first.

    I got a replacement inverter of a better design than the original one and swapped it in. That is not for the fainthearted though - most people would ask any qualified electrician capable of swapping in a new cooker to do most of the work. There was a country code mentioned in the small print in the instruction manual which I would not expect a kitchen electrician to find. If you pay extra for someone with 'MCS', you are paying for them to know about things like that.

    Trees and obstructions :
    Do look at any shadows of trees and where they fall on your roof. A tree can grow a lot in ten years and get in the way of generating.
    Two of my neighbours cut down their trees eventually, for being too big and too near their houses.

    Sunny day one off performance testing : write here if you'd like a step by step which you can do quite easily.
    Routine servicing : No
    Budget for major inverter swap : preferable to stash a few hundred pounds of savings ready for that. It will safely stop generating if anything needs doing.
    Last edited by wizzo227; 03-04-23 at 19:39. Reason: spelling fainthearted