Solar Panel Repair and Maintenance

man holding solar panel on roof

Solar panels are a great way to generate energy for your home, but they also have the potential to break or stop working if you don't maintain them.

In this article, we will discuss broken solar cells and how to repair solar panel systems. We will also go over how to prevent solar panel problems in order to keep them running smoothly and efficiently for years!

Common Problems With Solar Panels

If you are repairing solar panels, then the first step is to determine what has caused the malfunction. Some common reasons for damage include: lightning strike; puncture or tear from a bird, animal or person; physical impact (such as someone walking into them); and overheating due to improper installation of equipment.

Module damage is often caused by some of the following issues reported by homeowners with solar problems:

  • Damage to the inverter
  • Dirt build up
  • Birds and squirrels nesting
  • Electrical issues
  • Broken panel glass

Damage to the inverter

If the inverter is damaged or broken on your solar panels you can lose thousands of dollars in potential savings.

Inverters are essential for converting electricity from solar energy systems - they help transform direct current (DC) coming out of photovoltaic modules and turn them into alternating current (AC).

Solar panel inverters should be replaced at least once during the lifespan of your system. If an inverter is not completely broken, it may just need a reboot. However if it's actually damaged or not working properly, solar panel repairs or replacements should be considered immediately as faulty electronics can lead to lost money and wasted energy.

By repairing damaged or broken inverters instead of replacing them immediately, you save time and money while keeping your solar panel system running at peak efficiency. Solar panel repair is also better for the environment because it means that fewer products end up in landfills when they don't need to be replaced.

A typical inverter should last about 15 years but if it is damaged, repair it as soon as possible to ensure continued success with your system!

Dirt build-up

cleaning solar panel

Dirt build-up, debris and fallen leaves often cause your solar panel system to have problems and not run efficiently.

If any of the above are left to build up over a long period of time, it is likely that your PV components will have a reduced solar power output by blocking sun rays from hitting their cells or causing power loss due increased heat absorption.

You can avoid this by cleaning your solar modules as often as possible. You should be removing any debris that may have built up under your panels, and regularly wiping down the surface of your panels to remove any dust or dirt that may have accumulated over time, meaning more profit for you!

By not cleaning your solar panel components regularly, it is possible that you will lose money as your system may generate about 15-25% less electricity.

Birds and squirrels nesting

Birds and squirrels have a bad habit of getting comfortable and nesting in or around your solar panels, which can have a huge impact on your system's performance.

If you notice any signs of this, it is important to act quickly as the problem will only get worse and repairing them after they've been soiled by these animals could be more expensive than if you had acted earlier.

Even without nesting, birds and squirrels can have a negative impact on your system's performance because their droppings can cause PV cell staining and block expensive components like lenses from capturing sunlight

There are many options to prevent birds and squirrels from nesting or even resting on your panels, including bird decoys and bird guards.

Electrical issues

It is important to check your solar panels for damage, and to test all electrical connections regularly.

Electrical issues with your solar system are often caused by dirt accumulation, which should be cleaned and assessed to ensure there is no future damage to repair.

The solar panel wires can be a point of weakness if not properly taken care of, and any faults in the connections will have an effect on overall performance.

The connection points for your solar modules are one potential source of concern because they could easily become loose or even come apart over time with regular usage, and this will cause a problem.

A faulty wire at this level is also likely to result in decreased output efficiency across all connected module cells throughout the system, due to power flow through these lines being disrupted rather than flowing directly into each cell where it's needed most; so make sure you keep checking with performance checking tools.

Broken panel glass

damaged solar glass panel

It is rare to find that your solar panel glass cells will be broken or have any micro-fractures due to the way that solar panels are constructed.

The glass used for PV cells is encapsulated within an aluminum frame which serves to protect it from the elements, such as hail, so damage should be rare.

If you do have any broken panel glass on your system then a solar panel repair should be fairly simple. It may not be possible to replace the whole glass panel, but instead you can install a clear layer or filler over the top for protection.

A broken panel glass is not an emergency as your solar panel system should still work just as efficiently, though this should still be monitored. If it gets worse you may have power generation issues, so the panel may not last as long.

It is best to contact the customer service team of the manufacturer of your solar panels, or check the warranty, to see if the solar panel repair will be covered under a warranty.

Junction boxes

A junction box on a solar panel system is where the solar panels and wires are connected to a controller or inverter.

The junction box connects all of your current cables together to create one large cable, known as the main panel wire. The solar modules will then have a number of smaller cables running from this main circuit breaker that lead out to each individual solar module in order to provide the proper power to each module.

This particular product in solar panels is important because it contains a number of safety features, such as fuses and circuit breakers. It also helps to protect against voltage spikes by regulating the amount of solar current that can be drawn from the solar panels at any given time.

Junction boxes do not often need replacing, and your solar system should have cable glands that will keep water from entering inside the junction box.

If water does accumulate within the piece of equipment in the solar system, then repairs will need to be carried out!

Depending on the condition of the junction box you may need to remove the components from the PV laminates, clean out the insides and leave to completely dry before reinstalling.

What you should know before repairing your panels

Repairing solar panels can be a daunting task for many homeowners.

You need to know what you’re trying to repair on your solar panels, so it is essential to have discovered what issue you are planning on fixing. Then you can go ahead and find the appropriate tools and resources needed. If you are not confident to repair it yourself, look for local repair services in your area. A professional repair services provider will be able to do the job quickly and efficiently, and have your system back up and running properly.

If you plan to repair your own system, you need to make sure that you have all of the supplies handy and accessible before starting.

These supplies can include tools such as: screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutters, crimping tools. And don't forget the necessary safety gear which can include: goggles, gloves and work clothes.

You will also want to read through your warranty details before repairing a broken solar system because it may contain restrictions or limitations on repairing them yourself.

A solar system repair specialist should always be sought out if you are not confident that you are qualified or experienced enough for repairing solar panels or the damage is bad enough that the module repair should be carried out by a professional.

You can also find resources on the internet or at your local hardware store to help you learn how to fix and maintain solar panels.

How to repair solar panels

man checking solar panel

There is more than one way to repair solar modules. This entirely depends on what needs to be repaired or fixed on the solar power system.

The first and most common is repairing them with new materials. This is often done by, for example, soldering together broken connections of the solar cells. There are also kits to repair panels using epoxy resin which can be used for repairing larger cracks or holes in the panel.

The second way, much less common, is removing any damaged solar cells from the solar panel frames to repair them separately from other cells. It is often done with a heat source and repairing material that can be melted to the damaged solar cell.

This can also be done in solar panel repair centers or by solar panel repair companies, where any concerns will be solved and any cell breakage can be detected.

Another way of repairing a solar system, is replacing those panels that are broken or have been irreparably harmed. This requires removing all cells and using new ones in their place, which can also be costly.

Maintaining your system to prevent future repairs

In order to help your solar panels last as long and perform at their best, it is important that you stay up-to-date with any maintenance. This will ensure that if there are any problems in the future they can be solved quickly without costing a lot of money or taking too much time.

  • Check all of your solar panels regularly to find any signs of damage or wear and tear.
  • Keep a close eye on the connections, for they are prone to corrosion throughout time which can cause water leaks into the system - this will need repairing before it becomes too troublesome.
  • Make sure all connections are sealed and tight to avoid water leaks, which can lead to damage over time.

This will help you find issues before they become a big problem in the future!