How To Get The Most Out Of Your Solar Panels
Solar panels, along with many of their other benefits, are low maintenance. Which is a big perk of installing them. However, there are a few ways that you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your solar panels. Having your solar panels producing at their peak performance is the best way to keep your energy bills and carbon emissions low.
Overtime panels can accumulate dust, dirt, droppings, and pollen on them. In most cases, rain will wash all of these away and keep your panels performing at their peak. However, when there are long periods without rain or if you live on a farm, more dirt is in the air, then you may need to clean off your panels. Dirt and debris can impact the amount of sunlight being absorbed and converted into energy.
If you decide that you want to clean your panels you can either hire a professional or do it yourself. When cleaning the panels yourself you want to emulate the rain with your garden hose. You want to gently spray the panels with water. Also, do not use any chemicals on them or use anything to scrape them. This can cause scratches and damage to the panels which may alter their production. It is best to be gentle when cleaning your panels or check the weather for the next rainfall and let mother nature do the work for you.
Reading through your energy bill every month will show you how much energy your system is producing. It will also show you if you produced more energy than you needed or if you had to draw from the grid. The portions of your energy bill that you should look include rate plan, solar production & energy use, net energy use, and other utility charges.
Rate Plan: This shows how much you are being charged for electricity and any rules for calculating the cost. Also, if your plan is based on Time-Of-Use, this section will show the rate for the different times of day.
Solar Energy Production & Energy Usage: Your solar energy production will be shown here in kilowatt hours along with how much energy you consumed.
Net Energy Use: If a negative number is shown here that means you produced more energy than you consumed and the excess energy was sent back to grid and is banked as a credit for future months. If you have a positive number in this section it means you used more energy than you produced.
Other Utility Charges: This is the charge for being connected to the grid.
Depending on the time of year will depend on the solar production numbers that you will see. It is common to produce more in the summer and then have those credits applied in the winter months when the days are shorter.
It is easy to monitor your solar system through your monitoring portal online. You can access it on your computer or through an app on your phone. In the monitoring portal you will be able to see real time what your system is producing and if any panels are not where they should be. Check your system when you get your energy bill to make sure that the production is the same in both places.
If you feel that your solar system is not performing where it should be, give us a call! We will be happy to come out and check what is going on to get your system back to peak performance.
If you have any questions about your solar system or monitoring portal we are here to answer them. We want you to be producing as much energy as possible with your system and be able to see the production as well. Reach out to us here with any questions that you have!