Four Ways to Safeguard Solar Panels from Environmental Damage

Solar
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BY:
Loren Henry

Broker

March 27, 2020

As one of the best renewable sources available, solar energy is recognized for its clean power and affordability. And like most equipment, solar panels and systems need regular maintenance to prevent damage and keep them running as efficiently as possible.

If you have clients with businesses that utilize solar panels, the following can help them to prevent unnecessary environmental damage to their energy systems.

Installing Severe-Weather Protection Safeguards
Today’s solar panels are tested in different weather conditions to ensure they can withstand a reasonable level of bad weather. However, during a lightning storm, it’s often necessary to take additional steps to protect systems from damage. The fact is, even lightning that strikes several feet away from a unit can cause damage, as these indirect hits introduce high voltage to systems and can cause them to ignite. Installing properly grounded lightning rods can protect a system and its owners from harm. For high-wind areas, ground-mounted panels that use earth anchors can help provide stability.

Sealing Solar Panels
Seals on solar panels can wear out. Over time, this can cause water to get inside the solar photovoltaic (PV) mechanism and cause short-circuiting. For panels that are showing signs of wear, regularly inspecting and resealing them with a silicone-based sealant is a simple, cost-effective way to protect systems. Keep in mind that, eventually, the seal between the roof and the panel may also need to be resealed.

Installing Retainer Walls
Solar panels that are installed on the ground are subject to damage from soil erosion. If too much of the earth erodes, panels can lose their foundations, causing them to collapse. Retaining walls made of precast concrete provide an impenetrable barrier against erosive forces such as rain and wind, and they can last for decades without having to be repaired or replaced.

Clearing Vegetation
Falling debris from trees and other vegetation can scratch solar panels, reducing their ability to effectively absorb sunlight. Over time, an accumulation of dents and scratches can cause equipment to become ineffective and unusable, requiring costly repairs or even panel replacement. Trees and greenery growing near a PV system should be cleared away and properly maintained.

At Worldwide Facilities, we’re experts in renewable energy. From solar to wind, biomass to geothermal, we have the market reach and comprehensive risk management programs to serve virtually every sector of the energy industry.

 

To learn more, contact Loren Henry at lhenry@wwfi.com or 619‑541‑4265.

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