You’ve made the investment in a renewable energy system for your home. First of all, congratulations! You can now sit back and relax, knowing that your home is going to be powered by a cheap, sustainable form of energy that isn’t damaging the environment.
At some point, your renewable energy system is going to need maintenance, whether it is solar, wind or water-powered. Most manufacturers guarantee that their systems have a lifespan of 25-30 years. With some routine maintenance along the way, you can keep your renewable energy system in tip-top shape and trouble-free for the length of that time.
Maintaining a Solar Panel System
Once your solar panels have been installed correctly, they require minimal upkeep throughout their life. You will need to make sure there is nothing blocking sunlight from getting to the panel, as this will reduce your energy output.
This could be caused by trees growing close to their location. You can trim these. It can also be caused by a buildup of dust or debris over time. This requires a simple cleaning which can be done by you or a company.
You should also have qualified technicians check the electrical connections to your home as well as the inverters of your solar panel system if you notice a drop-off in the power output.
As your solar panels draw toward the end of their lives, you may experience solar power degradation, where their power output has reduced to the point that they have to be replaced. You can answer the question of how are solar panels recycled when this happens. You don’t even have to worry about your old solar panels eventually becoming pollutants because much of the material that goes into making them can be reused.
The sun’s energy can also be used to:
- Provide you with hot water with solar water heating
- Provide you with air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter
- Cook your food with a solar oven
As these innovations work on the principles that power solar panel energy conversion, maintaining the associated appliances is relatively easy as well.
Maintaining a Wind Turbine system
Wind turbines are a less common choice for home renewable energy Those who utilize them tend to live in areas less accessible to a regular electricity grid. Unlike solar panels, a wind turbine system is made up of several moving parts, all of which must be checked for wear and tear at least once a year. These include:
- Bolts and bearings
- Turbine blades
- Guy wires
- Mechanical parts
Like your solar system, it is also a good idea to occasionally check electrical connections and your inverters to ensure your energy output remains the same.
A well-maintained wind turbine system can last as long as 20 years.
Maintaining a hydroelectric renewable energy system
This type of renewable energy system is also relatively uncommon at an individual residential level. However, if you live near a river that meets certain requirements for electricity production, it may be an option for you.
Its main advantage is that the supply of river water to provide electricity can be more reliable than either solar or wind.
If you choose this type of system, you will have to ensure that the hydroelectric plant’s intake screen remains clear from debris so that the flow of water is constant.
Similar to the wind turbine system, it also has many moving parts that require regular checking including, drive belts and generator bearings. These should be checked and serviced every 2-3 years. There are parts of the plant that need grease lubrication once a month. The hydraulic fluid used in the plant should also be changed around this time as well.
A well-maintained hydroelectric home renewable system can last as long as 40 years.
Check your service contracts and warranties
Always confer with the company that installed your renewable energy system on when maintenance checks and replacements should take place.
Review your service contracts and the warranties provided by the company to see what repairs you are entitled to over the life of your system and how much and when you are required to pay.
Like anything in your home, your renewable energy system requires care for it to work efficiently and give you the best value for money over the course of its lifetime. As you’ve seen, the solar, wind and hydroelectric installations have the potential to give you decades of service, with minimal maintenance and cost. However, they do require periodic checks like those we have suggested here, to give you optimal performance.