Solar energy systems are typically
very low maintenance. Solar PV systems have virtually no moving parts to
wear out or break, and most solar panels come with a 25-year performance
warranty. However, for your information, here are the basic components of
a PV system, and a general idea of what might require maintenance:
Wind Power Systems
Wind turbines do require periodic
maintenance such as oiling and greasing, and regular safety inspections.
Checking bolts and electrical connections are recommended semi-annually.
Check wind turbines for corrosion and the guy wires supporting the tower for
proper tension annually.
If the turbine blades are wood, paint to protect from the elements. Apply a
durable leading edge tape to protect the blades from abrasion due to dust and
insects in the air. If the paint cracks or the leading edge tape tears away, the
exposed wood will quickly erode. Moisture penetrating into the wood causes the
rotor to become unbalanced, stressing the wind generator. Inspect wooden blades
annually, and do any repairs immediately. After 10 years, blades and
bearings may need to be completely replaced. With proper installation and
maintenance, wind turbines last 20-30 years or longer. Proper maintenance
will also minimize the amount of mechanical noise produced by the wind turbine.
Mounting turbines on rooftops is generally not recommended unless a wind
turbine is very small (1 kW of rated output or less). Wind turbines tend to
vibrate and transmit the vibration to the structure on which they are mounted.
As a result, turbines mounted on a rooftop could lead to both noise and
structural problems with the building and rooftop.
Monitoring, Inspections and Repairs
maintenance measures suggested above, you can keep tabs on how your system
is performing either by direct observation of the system power meters, or by
incorporating a PC-based remote monitoring program. These programs are
very versatile and will give you all the information you might want to know.
If you notice anything that seems out of the ordinary, you can call your
installer or the equipment manufacturer for advice.
If all of the above
is more than you have time for, New Mexico Solar and
Wind will be happy to
set up a scheduled periodic system inspection and performance test for you
at a nominal cost. New Mexico Solar and Wind technicians are also available for any
service calls you may have, and can even set your system up for remote
off-site monitoring that will alert us of any problems that arise. If
you are interested in talking to us more about our maintenance services,
contact us at