The Importance of Regular Maintenance for Your Solar Panel and Battery Storage System

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Regular Maintenance Solar Panels

Solar systems are on the rise due to their versatility, efficiency, and positive impact on the environment. These systems have been around for quite some time and are by far the best bet for renewable energy.

Powered by the sun and a combination of photovoltaic panels and batteries, solar systems are an excellent way to not only cut down on your total electricity bill but also reduce your carbon footprint.

However, to get the most out of these systems, you will need to make sure that the panels, batteries, inverters, and related wiring equipment are all in top condition.

Failure to maintain this equipment can result in reduced efficiency over time, and if you completely ignore the maintenance of solar systems, you will eventually begin losing money instead of saving it!

In this guide, we will discuss the basics of solar systems, how they work, and the importance of regular maintenance of solar panels and battery storage systems.

Powered By the Sun

The technology behind solar panels has been around for quite some time – it’s only now that the hardware has caught up and is affordable enough for mass consumption.

Since the 1990s, the cost per watt of solar energy has steadily decreased. Today, the cost of solar energy has gone down significantly and almost every household can install some solar system setup to bring down their carbon footprint and electricity bill.

Solar systems work using, you guessed, the sun. So, logically, the only way to make sure that the system works as efficiently as possible is to keep the panels clean to ensure maximum exposure, right?

Well, not exactly.

While keeping the panels clean is incredibly important in improving the efficiency of capturing energy, the entire system needs to be maintained to get the most out of it.

Let’s look at some of the components of a typical solar system:

Photovoltaic Panels

The main component of any solar system is the panels. These panels, also known as photovoltaic panels, are made from various materials that can absorb photons from sunlight.

Panels can be made from either monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, or thin-film technology that adheres photovoltaic material to a substrate (like glass, plastic, or metal).

These panels are the main input system, so the better the quality of the panels, the better the efficiency of the system.

For example, monocrystalline silicon panels are one of the most efficient panels on the market. These panels have the highest capturing ability and are an excellent choice for people who want a long-term solution.

Polycrystalline silicon and thin-film panels are also great but have relatively lower efficiency than monocrystalline panels.


Inverters are the heart and soul of the solar system. These devices convert DC, which is collected directly from the panels to AC, which is the most commonly used type of electricity for homes and commercial spaces.

The conversion of DC to AC is incredibly important because while you may be able to use DC on compatible devices, for the best experience, you will have to use AC for all your appliances.

Inverters are installed separately and play a huge role in managing the electricity to and from the batteries.


Solar batteries are what make solar systems so feasible! In the past, lead-acid batteries were commonly used to store energy. However, these batteries had a limited life span and could only hold about 4000 charge cycles before they began deteriorating.

This is where lithium-ion batteries come in. These batteries are the same type of cells used in mobile phones, laptops, electric vehicles, or virtually any modern device. The benefit of these batteries is that they can hold charges for longer and have double the lifespan.

Batteries are integral in solar systems and their quality (along with the panels) usually dictates the efficiency of the overall system.

Here are some common types of solar batteries:

DC battery systems

DC (Direct Current) battery systems are directly connected to the solar panels and do not require an additional inverter since they are connected before the main grid meter.

AC battery systems

Instead of being connected directly to the solar panels, AC (Alternating Current) battery systems are connected after the main grid meter.

These systems require an AC-to-DC inverter to first convert the electricity being generated into AC so that the energy is compatible with appliances.

Hybrid battery systems

Hybrid batteries combine DC and AC technology to provide the best of both worlds. Using this system, you can store power in the battery before it is converted into AC.

Smart Batteries

Smart solar batteries combine the benefit of computational power and AC/DC battery technology.

These batteries are designed to think in terms of the best way to utilise solar energy throughout the day. For example, on a particularly clear and sunny day, the battery can decide to directly provide solar power to the electrical installation rather than taking it from the grid.

Wiring and Structure

Solar systems use extensive wiring to produce, store, and distribute electricity. Wiring is an essential part of the system and enables every component to interact with each other. For example, the wiring from the panels carries the initial DC load that leads to the inverter. Once the current is converted, the load is sent through another set of wires to the batteries.

Depending on the type of system installed, the wiring of the system can vary greatly but, in any case, high-quality and high-capacity wiring is essential for any solar system for maximum efficiency.


Now that you know the components of a solar system, let’s look at how these components are maintained.

Solar Panels Maintenance

Solar panels don’t require regular maintenance per se; however, they do require cleaning. Since these panels are always out in the open and exposed to the environment, they can accumulate dust, grime, or even bird poop!

As mentioned above, if the panels are covered, then the total efficiency of the system will go down. Weather events like dust storms and hail can also affect the performance of the panels.

For example, regularly maintained panels could generate 3KW of energy on a particular day, but if there are obstructions on the panels (like dirt), then you might generate half or even a quarter of that energy!

This is why cleaning the panels is so important!

The hardware itself doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. This is why you will commonly find up to 25 years of warranty for solar panels.

Battery Storage System Maintenance

Solar system batteries are frequently used to store energy and it is because of this frequent use that these batteries often require regular maintenance.

For example, lead acid batteries need to be checked for fluid levels every 2-3 months depending on the battery. These batteries use lead and sulphuric acid to function, therefore, to keep the batteries running, the level of battery acid needs to be monitored.

Lithium-ion batteries also need to be monitored for maximum performance. Although these are “dry” batteries, they need to be monitored for temperature changes. These batteries don’t perform well at high or low temperatures which is why they need to be kept at room temperature for maximum performance.

Inverter Maintenance

Inverters process high loads of electricity and can generate a lot of heat. Any system that handles electricity and carries huge loads needs to be maintained to avoid depreciation. If left unchecked, the components inside the inverter may fail and cause a malfunction in the solar system.

The good news is that the inverter itself has a long lifespan if it is maintained every few months. In most cases, you will need to have the inverter checked every quarter to make sure that it is working properly.

Wiring Maintenance

Maintaining the wiring is just as important as maintaining any other component of a solar system. For example, wiring that leads from the panels to other hardware needs to be regularly maintained. Since these wires are always exposed to the environment, they are prone to damage and wear and tear.

While wiring is the least likely component to fail in a solar system, if you don’t maintain it every few months, it can easily compromise the system. For the best experience, covering or insulating the wiring is the best way to protect it from the sun.


Solar system maintenance must always be performed by professional technicians. In most cases, you should always contact the installation team to get the most out of the maintenance of your system.

Professional installation companies, like Calder Electrical, provide customers with a dedicated maintenance schedule for solar systems. By opting for a professional installation company, you can skip the hard work yourself and let the professionals handle everything on their own.

You don’t need to call them either. The team will contact you before the scheduled maintenance activity so that you can provide them access to the panels.

Once the team arrives, they will perform various electrical tests and check the integrity of the installation. If they find a potential problem, they will report back to you and log the issue in a written report.

Furthermore, an installation company can also help you source replacement parts relatively easily and at much better rates than if you would on your own.

For example, batteries may need replacement every few years, so if your current battery is near the end of its life cycle, the maintenance team can simply inform you of your options and help you choose the best replacement for your system.

Finally, if you opt for smart solar systems, then you can even monitor the efficiency of the system yourself!

That’s right, modern solar systems are becoming smarter with the help of IoT (Internet of Things). By connecting the system to the internet, the solar system can send data collected from the various components to the manufacturer of the solar system.

This data can help reveal inefficiencies and can inform the user about the generation of current and even sun exposure.

In this scenario, you may be able to understand when the system might need maintenance – either way since the data will be monitored by a professional team, they will inform you beforehand when your system requires maintenance!


Here are some of the benefits of keeping a well-maintained solar system:

Impact on the environment

An efficient solar system doesn’t produce greenhouse gasses and does not use or pollute water. Furthermore, if the battery is well-maintained, you can get the most out of its life cycle and not have to worry about it deteriorating unnecessarily.

Reduced energy bill

A well-maintained solar system operates at full efficiency which can significantly impact your electricity bill.

When used with regularly maintained solar battery systems, you can produce even more energy and conserve it for later use. This way, you can be completely independent off the grid and be completely self-reliant when it comes to energy generation.

Energy generation during peak hours

Energy demand is higher during certain hours of the day and naturally, it is also when the tariffs are at their highest. However, if you regularly maintain the panels, you can extract maximum efficiency from the captured sunlight and produce energy during the peak hours, particularly from 11:00 to 16:00.

Support sustainable development

Solar energy is renewable energy that is enabling the world to achieve sustainable development. So, when you invest in a solar system, you are becoming part of a greener tomorrow!

This is also why it is important that you properly maintain your system to get the most out of it. Failure to maintain the system can result in inefficiencies that could lead to you relying on the grid more often!

However, if you regularly maintain the system and the panels operate at maximum efficiency, you can be completely independent of the grid and enjoy clean, renewable, and guilt-free energy.


Calder Electrical Services provides a wide range of solutions to help you play your part in making the world a more sustainable place.

If you wish to have solar panels installed on your residential or commercial property, our experts can conduct a site visit to determine your requirements and propose the best type of solar system for your needs.

We also offer solar battery storage installation so that you can minimise any wastage of the energy you create. This will help lower your energy bills and make you more independent from the grid.

We have been providing electrical services to residential, commercial, and industrial properties for over 40 years and are specialists in all aspects of electrical installations, maintenance, and testing.

All our work is fully insured and meets the current regulations and standards set by the NICEIC. Also, all the notifiable work is signed off by the local authorities.

Contact us here or call us at 0800 612 3001 to get in touch with our professional electricians for more information on solar panels and battery storage systems and the importance of having them regularly maintained.

Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash