Best Practices for Solar Operations and Maintenance

A commercial solar panel installation can generate renewable energy to power your building. But this is only possible if you enact solar operations and maintenance (O&M) best practices. Many of these best practices include guidelines for installing and cleaning your panels properly, among other things. 

Solar Installation Best Practices

Financing Your Installation

Whether your solar array is ground-mounted or on your property’s roof, you should find ways to finance your solar energy system without blowing your business’s budget. To do this, you should research the solar power grants and financing options the federal government offers. You should also research state and federal tax credits and accelerated depreciation programs for solar electricity and clean energy sources. If you do your research, you can select a financing option that will allow you to install a solar array cost-effectively.

Observing the Installation’s Location

When you select a site or a position for the panel array on your building’s flat roof or surrounding ground areas, you should take note of its surroundings. If you’re installing a ground-mounted array, you should measure the land’s water drainage and ground cover. With ground-mounted and rooftop arrays, it’s important to observe how much sunlight your chosen location receives, and whether any surrounding trees or equipment may obscure the sunlight. Once you’ve made these observations, you can prepare the site for the installation.

Performing Solar Panel Maintenance and Repair

As far as energy systems go, solar panels for commercial buildings are quite low-maintenance. The buildup of dust, dirt, and pollen can affect solar panels’ performance or efficiency. Those debris sources can create a 15% efficiency loss for solar panels. Similarly, snow can affect solar panels’ performance, but it tends to melt on solar panels, since they attract light and heat, and the melting snow can even help wash dirt and dust off of the panels. 

You should make sure your solar panels are maintained regularly, and have a solar professional clean them if they accumulate excessive amounts of bird droppings, a thick film of dust and dirt, or your building is in a desert climate that’s prone to dust storms. You should also contact a solar company for panel repairs if you find that one or more of the panels stops working. Even if the panels appear to be working well, be sure to monitor their performance. Yearly maintenance can help them perform at their best.

Solar Energy System Monitoring

You should put solar monitoring software in place. This software will watch your panels for you and alert you if problems arise. Many types of solar monitoring software can transmit solar systems’ data to mobile devices as well as desktops and laptops, so you can access your data easily. Of course, you can also use this software to see how much energy your solar panels are producing.

Rooftop Solar Installations for Your Commercial Buildings

At C.I. Services, we provide commercial property owners with comprehensive solar roofing solutions. We work to install, maintain, and repair your rooftop solar system so you can use clean, renewable energy in your building. If you are interested in our solar installation and repair or maintenance services, or if you have any questions about them, please contact us today.