Solar energy systems require periodic inspections and routine maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. Also, from time to time, components may need repair or replacement. You should also take steps to prevent scaling, corrosion, and freezing.
Here are some suggested inspections of solar system components. Also, read your owner’s manual for a recommended maintenance schedule.
Visually check for shading of the collectors during the day (mid-morning, noon, and mid-afternoon) on an annual basis.
Shading can significantly affect the performance of solar collectors. Vegetation growth over time or new construction on your house or your neighbor’s property may produce shading that wasn’t there when the collectors were installed.
Dusty or soiled collectors will perform poorly. Periodic cleaning may be necessary for dry, dusty climates.
Collector Glazing And Seals
Look for cracks in the collector glazing, and check to see if seals are in good condition. Plastic glazing, if excessively yellowed, may need to be replaced.
Plumbing, Ductwork, And Wiring Connections
Look for fluid leaks at pipe connections. Check duct connections and seals. Ducts should be sealed with a mastic compound. All wiring connections should be tight.
Piping, Duct, And Wiring Insulation
Look for damage or degradation of insulation covering pipes, ducts, and wiring.
Flashing and sealant around roof penetrations should be in good condition.
Check all nuts and bolts attaching the collectors to any support structures for tightness.
Pressure Relief Valve
(On Liquid Solar Heating Collectors)
Make sure the valve is not stuck open or closed.
(In Solar Air Heating Systems)
If possible, make sure the dampers open and close properly.
Pumps Or Blowers
Verify that distribution pumps or blowers (fans) are operating.
Heat Transfer Fluids
Antifreeze solutions in liquid (hydronic) solar heating collectors need to be replaced periodically.
Check storage tanks, etc., for cracks, leaks, rust, or other signs of corrosion. Suppose you need a solar hot water system repair. In that case, maintenance or installation, the best company at your disposal is Hot Water Systems Online!
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