If you have a solar generator for your home in case of emergencies, you may wonder if there is anything you should do to make sure it works correctly if your power goes out. If so, use the three-step guide below to clean and inspect the solar panels on your generator.
Step 1: Clear Away Leaves And Branches
This first step involves clearing away any leaves, branches, or other large debris that could be preventing the sun's rays from reaching the panels. If any of the panels are covered, they are unable to fully absorb the solar energy and charge the generator.
After you have removed any loose debris, observe the panels at different times of the day to see if any bushes or trees are blocking them. If so, trim the foliage until the panels have full sun.
Step 2: Spray Off Dirt And Mud
Once the sun is no longer blocked by branches and leaves, the next step is to remove any dust, dirt, and mud covering the cells. For this, you will need a spray bottle hose attachment, dish detergent, and a garden hose.
Put a teaspoon of dish soap in the bottle, and attach it to your hose. Set the nozzle on a gentle mist, and spray the panels with soapy water. Let the soap sit for about a half an hour to give it time to fully break up the dirt.
Once the time has passed, remove the bottle, and attach a regular sprayer hose nozzle. Set the nozzle on a medium-strength stream, and thoroughly rinse the panels.
Step 3: Inspect The Individual Cells For Damage
Now that the panels are clean, you can fully see the condition of the solar cells. Look for any signs of damage. This damage could range from small cracks to the cells being loose around the edges.
Since the cells are what absorb the sun's energy, even one broken cell could diminish your generator's power. If you find any that are damaged, you will need to replace it to keep the system's levels at its optimal level
Using the above guide periodically can help you keep your solar panels intact. However, if you find that the cells are damaged, you may want to contact the manufacturer of your solar generator to see about ordering a do-it-yourself kit to replace the cells and keep your generator ready for when you need it.