Seasonal Repair and Maintenance Tips for Solar Panels in Ballarat

By: Miles Hingston


Seasonal Repair and Maintenance Tips for Solar Panels in Ballarat

With weather conditions more severe in Australia than ever, seasonal repair and maintenance of solar panels have become even more important.

Living in Ballarat, we’re no strangers to the whims of Mother Nature. Our weather can be as unpredictable as a cricket match – sunny one day and overcast the next. This variability isn’t just a topic for small talk; it plays a significant role in how we care for our solar panels. 

Regular maintenance isn’t just good practice; ensuring your solar panels perform at their best, rain or shine, is essential.

Let’s now answer some of the most pressing questions concerning the repair and maintenance work of your Solar Panels as the season changes in Ballarat. 

How Often Should You Conduct Seasonal Solar Panel Repair and Maintenance

How Often Should You Conduct Seasonal Solar Panel Repair and Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your solar panels. Seasonal maintenance, in particular, is crucial as it addresses the specific challenges and wear and tear that come with each season. Here’s a guideline on how often you should conduct this maintenance.

Spring Maintenance

Timing: Conduct a thorough inspection and cleaning once in the spring. This is crucial after winter, as harsh weather can leave debris, snow residue, or even cause minor damage.

Focus Areas: Check for any damage from winter storms, clear any accumulated debris, and ensure all connections are secure.

Summer Maintenance

Timing: Mid-summer is a good time for a check-up, especially in areas with high temperatures and lots of sun.

Focus Areas: Look for any signs of overheating, ensure the cooling systems (if any) are working properly, and clean the panels to remove dust and pollen.

Autumn Maintenance

Timing: An inspection in early autumn can prepare your panels for the coming winter.

Focus Areas: Clear leaves and other debris that can accumulate during this season and check for any damage from summer storms.

Winter Maintenance

Timing: Before the onset of winter or in early winter, depending on your local climate.

Focus Areas: Ensure the panels are secure against heavy snow and strong winds, and check the wiring and insulation.

Addressing specific seasonal solar panel maintenance issues

Who Conducts Seasonal Solar Panel Maintenance

Regular cleaning during Spring and Summer

Dirty solar panels can reduce their efficiency by 5%. The accumulation of dirt and dust on the surface of solar panels can block the rays of the sun from reaching parts of the cells, thereby reducing their output. 

The winter season can bring with it fallen autumn leaves and dirt accumulated after rains, which should be cleaned before the spring season begins to make the most of the summer sunshine.

Birds, squirrels, and other small animals may try to find shelter under the solar panels during the winter season. This can lead to nests, accumulation of debris, and sometimes serious damage due to chewed wiring or broken panels. 

To prevent such issues, consider installing mesh or screens creating a perimeter around the panels. 

Inspection for damage after extremer weather conditions

Extreme weather conditions such as hail storms can pose significant risks to the integrity and functionality of solar panels

From immediate damage to solar panels, such as cracks, breakage, or loose wiring, to serious issues such as exposed wiring, short circuits, or risk of fire, anything thing can go wrong. 

Heavy rains, storms, or floods during winter and bushfires during extreme summers, can leave your solar panels vulnerable to damage. Such events might also create favorable conditions for pest infestations. 

It’s a good idea to call a professional help and get your solar system inspected for any minor defect that may have occurred due to the weather. This will ensure they keep working efficiently and do not pose any risk of fire or electrocution. 

Monitoring performance during heat waves

During a heat wave in Ballarat, can your solar panel get too hot and produce less energy? The short answer is yes! For a 1-degree Celsius rise in the temperature over 25, the efficiency of a solar panel goes down by about 0.5%.

There are several ways to ensure that your panels keep working optimally during this time of the year. 

First of all, you need to monitor the temperature to which your panels are exposed. This can be done by using a thermal camera or infrared thermometer. Next, you need to monitor the output. Any significant drop in the energy output indicates a temperature rise.

You can ensure proper ventilation around the panels to keep them from overheating. You can also consider trimming vegetation, if any, that might be restricting the airflow. 

Keep the panels clear of dirt. When the panels are already heated, this may worsen things. You can use cool water to clean the panels to lower the surface temperature. 

Extreme weather conditions can also result in heat damage. Make sure to inspect your panels for any signs of discoloration, warping, or melting. 

Also consider reducing your energy use during peak heat hours, to reduce the load on your system. 

Ensuring optimum tilt and position before Winter and Summer

Does tilting your solar panel make a difference as the weather changes? Of course, it does! 

Winter Solar Panel Prep

When winter’s coming, it’s smart to tilt your solar panels more. Why? Because the sun is lower in the sky, and a steeper angle helps catch more sunlight. This is super important in winter when days are shorter. Also, check around for things like trees or buildings that might block the sun more than usual. For solar panels, it’s good that snowing is a rare occasion in Ballarat. For areas that experience snowfall, a bigger tilt also helps snow slide off your panels, keeping them clear.

Summer Solar Panel Setup

In summer, the sun is way higher in the sky, so you’ll want to lower the angle of your solar panels. This helps them get the most sun during those long, sunny days. But watch out for overheating – make sure there’s good airflow around your panels. And since summer can be dusty, remember to clean your panels regularly. Adjusting them for summer helps you get the most energy and keeps your panels running great.

Who Conducts Seasonal Solar Panel Maintenance

Addressing specific seasonal solar panel maintenance issues

DIY Maintenance

For Simple Tasks: Homeowners can often perform basic maintenance tasks such as cleaning and visual inspections.

Safety First: Always prioritise safety, especially when working on roofs.

Professional Solar Panel Maintenance Services

For Comprehensive Maintenance: It’s advisable to hire professional solar panel maintenance services at least once a year for a thorough inspection and maintenance.

Expertise and Equipment: Professionals have the necessary expertise and equipment to safely and effectively conduct maintenance, especially for complex issues.

Solar Panel Manufacturers or Installers

Initial Years: Some solar panel manufacturers or installers offer maintenance services as part of their package, especially during the warranty period.

Specialised Knowledge: They have specific knowledge about the type and model of your panels, which can be beneficial for maintenance.

Licensed Electricians

For Electrical Components: For any issues with the electrical components of the solar system, it’s important to involve a licensed electrician.

Wrapping up

From the heavy rainfall in the cooler months to the intense sun in the summer, our panels go through a lot. Regular maintenance ensures that they remain efficient, safe, and productive throughout the year.

The key is to stay proactive, ensure you always prioritise safety, and ask for professional help when needed. 

We at Ballarat Solar, are CEC-accredited solar experts with 25 years of experience in the field. We can help you with any solar installation, repairs, and maintenance needs in Ballarat. So call us for a free consultation and we would be more than happy to pay a visit and give you a quote. 

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Miles Hingston

Miles Hingston

Owner of Ballarat Solar Company and MJ Electrician Ballarat

I have been working in the electrical business for over 20 years, and have 5 years of experience in the solar industry. Ballarat born and bred, I am a very active contributor to the community and I’m also a member of Alfredton Rotary club.We look forward to assisting you with all your solar needs. So feel free to give us a call anytime.

Michelle Rigg
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This is the 2nd house I've put solar on. I shopped around enormously and Miles from Ballarat Solar was outstanding. They are a local company, nothing was ever too much trouble and he always answered any questions I had. Josh and the crew he has working for him are very professional, knowledgeable and helpful too, especially with the app. At the time of installation I couldn't feed back in to the grid but the moment he heard that I might be able to, he offered the assistance I needed to enable this to occur, and it was done in a very timely manner. I highly recommend Miles, Josh and the team at Ballarat Solar Company and will be referring them to my family and friends for any future solar needs. :)
Tony Cawood
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The Bacchus Marsh Lions Club chose Ballarat Solar Company to install a Solar System comprising of a 15kW Inverter and 57 Solar Panels on the local Scout & Guide Hall. The company was very professional to deal with. From quote to installation was carried out on time and the workmanship was first class. The certificate of Safety was issued without a problem. I would not hesitate in recommending this company for future installations.
Rob McDougall
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Ballarat Solar Company were great to deal with, attentive to our requirements and recommended a great system that suited our needs. Nothing was too much trouble, their workers were very polite, worked hard and even cleaned up after themselves.
Robert Floky
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My dealings with the Ballarat Solar Company was an excellent experience with from start to finish. The service was professionally provided and completed with a quick and smooth turn around and no issues. I would not hesitate to recommend them to all.
Dale Whytcross
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Ballarat Solar Company are a very professional company, they came as promised, the workmanship was first class and quote was very competitive. I would recommend Ballarat Solar Company.

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