After the initial purchase of a quality solar system, the ongoing costs of running a solar system are relatively low, with the main costs associated with maintenance, battery replacement (if applicable), and some repairs after a decade or so.
Regular inspections and cleaning of the panels are important to ensure the system operates efficiently and identifies potential issues early.
Repairs, if necessary, can vary in cost depending on the extent of the repairs needed. Still, the cost of repairs like for a new inverter after a 12 year lifespan for example is generally lower than for traditional power systems, such as a new gas hot water system.
Proper maintenance every few years by your local installer and regular inspections can help minimise the need for costly repairs.
The costs of solar panel maintenance
If you’re considering switching to solar, one of the biggest questions might be regarding the solar panel maintenance costs. Ultimately, no one wishes to make a substantial investment in a new system, only to face unexpected expenses later on. Fortunately, the good news is that the ongoing costs of running a solar system are relatively low.
Solar panel maintenance costs
There are a few key things to remember when maintaining a solar system. To start, experts recommend regular inspections of the solar system, ideally every two years, to ensure everything functions properly. This includes checking the panels for any dirt or debris, microcracks or other damage that may impair the performance and ensuring that all racking, connections, switches, and wiring are secure and in working order. This should not take long for an experienced installer to do so should be only around $10 to $20 per panel.
Cleaning your solar panels regularly is another critical aspect of maintenance. Dust, dirt, and other debris can accumulate on the panels over time, reducing their ability to capture and convert sunlight into electricity. You can help ensure your system operates at peak efficiency by regularly cleaning the panels. We do not recommend you do this yourself, except where the panels are easily accessible on a single-story flat roof with sufficient space to safely walk on the roof.
In many cases, this can be done with a garden hose (not high pressure), a bucket of water, and a soft sponge/ cloth. The solar system should be turned off before doing this. If you are not confident about doing this yourself or have a pitched roof, your solar installer can add this to their maintenance inspection for a small additional fee.
Overall, the solar panel maintenance requirements are low. Still, it is critical to stay on top of them to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently providing clean, renewable energy for years to provide clean, renewable energy for years to come by properly maintaining it.
Quality inverters typically have a shorter lifespan of 10 to 12 years compared to the panels, which generally last for 25 years. So you will likely have to replace the inverter at least once within the system’s lifetime. Depending on system size and quality, you may be looking at under $1k for a small or cheaper model through to $3-4k for a larger, premium quality or hybrid inverter. We recommend not skipping on quality when it comes to the heart of a solar system, which is the inverter. Brands in Australia that have stood the test of time are Fronius, SMA and Sungrow when it comes to string inverters and Enphase as well as Solaredge when it comes to microinverters and DC Optimisers.
Home storage battery
Another potential cost to consider is the cost of battery storage if you decide to go that route. Batteries are essential to many solar systems, allowing you to store excess energy when the sun isn’t shining. However, batteries have a limited lifespan and will need to be replaced eventually. Again, though, the costs of maintaining and replacing batteries are typically much lower than those of fossil fuel-based power systems.
When repairing a solar system, the key is to catch any issues as early as possible. By staying on top of regular inspections and maintenance, you can help identify potential problems before they become more severe and costly. In addition, if you need to repair your solar system, it’s essential to hire a qualified and experienced technician to do the work. Attempting to fix the system yourself, or hiring an unqualified technician, could result in further damage or even injury.
The cost of fixing a solar system can vary depending on the extent of the repairs needed. Sometimes, a simple repair, such as replacing a faulty component, may be relatively inexpensive, while more extensive repairs could be more costly. In general, though, the cost of repairs for a solar system is usually much lower than that for a traditional fossil fuel-based power system.
Overall, staying on top of regular solar panel inspections and maintenance is the key to minimising the need for repairs to your solar system. In addition, doing so can help ensure that your system continues to operate efficiently and reliably for many years.
No high ongoing costs are associated with a solar system. Regular inspections are minimal but can also prevent additional charges from wear or unforeseen factors. Keeping your panels clean means more output, more electricity for your house and a faster return on your investment.