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How to protect solar panels

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In this Canstar Blue guide, we provide some tips to help you protect your solar panels.

As the cost of energy rises and environmental awareness increases, more people are exploring ways to save money on their electricity bills by installing solar panels. As a homeowner or investor, you already recognise the benefits associated with utilising a renewable resource like solar energy; however, you may be wondering how to protect your investment.

Fortunately, there are several important steps you can take that will help ensure your solar panels remain safe and operational for years to come. In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of essential tips that will help keep your solar panel system working efficiently while increasing its lifespan — all while protecting it from unforeseen threats like damage due to poor weather conditions. Ready? Let’s get started.

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Five ways to protect your solar panels

Like any large investment, the need to safeguard your solar panel system is a top priority for homeowners. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to make sure your solar panels stay protected and function efficiently for years to come. Here are five easy and affordable ways to protect your solar investment:

  1. Regularly trim trees and shrubs:
    Trees and shrubs can provide shade and improve the aesthetics of your home, but they can also block sunlight from reaching your solar panels. Regularly trimming your trees and shrubs ensures that they do not cast too much shade on your solar panels, keeping them running efficiently and free of obstructions.
  2. Keep the panels clean:
    The accumulation of dirt and debris on your solar panels can significantly reduce their efficiency. To keep them working at their best, it is essential to clean solar panels regularly. You can do this by spraying them with a garden hose or using a soft-bristled brush and mild soap. Avoid using high pressure or abrasive cleaning methods as they can scratch the surface of the panels.
  3. Monitor on a regular basis:
    Monitoring your solar panels regularly will alert you of any issues or unusual activity. It is essential to check on your panels’ performance and energy output to ensure that they’re working correctly. Monitoring can be done using online tools or apps that are generally provided by the solar installer or manufacturer. It is vital to contact a qualified professional immediately if you detect any abnormalities.
  4. Keep your panels safe from wildlife:
    Birds and critters can be incredibly destructive to solar panels. They can cause scratches and cracks on the surface of the panels, reducing their energy production capacity. Making sure that your panels are protected from animals like birds and possums with a mesh or barrier will prevent them from causing any damage. It may be best to talk to a licensed installer or electrician to run through your options.
  5. Schedule maintenance and check-ups:
    Regular maintenance by a licensed solar professional can significantly increase the lifespan of your solar panels. They can detect and repair any damage on your solar panels before it gets worse. Professional check-ups can also ensure that your solar panels are working at their most efficient level.

Protecting your solar panels from hail

Hands holding hail stones

In Australia, we all know that weather patterns can be unpredictable, with sudden hail storms being one of the top concerns. As a proud solar panel owner, you need to make sure that your precious investment remains protected from such hail events.

Fortunately, there are many safe and effective measures you can take to ensure the longevity of your solar panels. From installing toughened glass panels to using hail-proof brackets, there are a variety of safeguards that you can implement. These measures will not only protect your panels, but also give you peace of mind knowing your panels are safeguarded from whatever weather comes your way.

Can birds damage solar panels?

While solar panels are built to be incredibly durable, birds and other animals can cause damage to your PV installation. Whether it’s a droppings or a nest, birds can be destructive to solar panels. Other animals that may cause harm to your solar system include possums, rats and snakes.

Covering the panels with a specialised mesh or installing fake owls can prevent birds from landing. Additionally, trimming the trees near the panels can help keep possums and other critters away. With a little bit of effort and the right preventative measures, you can keep your solar panels safe from wildlife.

Does rain damage solar panels?

Solar panels damaged by hail stones

As we rely more and more on renewable energy, it’s natural to wonder about the durability of solar panels, especially in areas prone to heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. The good news is that solar panels are designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions, including rain and moderate hail. However, prolonged exposure to heavy rain or hail can cause damage over time, leading to a decrease in the efficiency of the system. 

To protect your solar panels during inclement weather, you can invest in sturdy mounting equipment and angle them properly to allow rainwater to run off easily. Additionally, it’s recommended to have your solar panels inspected regularly by a professional to ensure that any damage is addressed promptly. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your solar system continues to operate at peak performance even during rainy seasons.

Why fixing broken solar panels is important

While solar panels are generally reliable and long-lasting, they can still experience damage or wear and tear over time. When your solar panels are broken or damaged, it’s important to get them fixed right away to ensure that you’re still getting the maximum energy output from your system. However, it’s equally important to make sure that you’re using a professional to fix your broken solar panels, as this will ensure that the repair work is done safely and effectively.

There are a few different ways that you can fix broken solar panels, including replacing individual cells or panels, repairing cracks or other damage, or even replacing the entire panel if necessary. Regardless of the specific repair needed, working with a professional will always be the best choice to keep your solar panels operating at their full potential.

Compare solar plans

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 3911kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4613kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on SA Power network in Adelaide but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4011kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Jared Mullane
Energy Contributor
Jared Mullane covers Australia's retail energy market and has been cited as an energy expert by media outlets ranging from 9News, the ABC, The New Daily and 2GB. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Griffith University and has worked in the comparison industry for over half a decade.

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