Can Solar Panels Break?

September 10, 2023

Your solar panels are an investment, as they reduce your energy bills and provide great tax benefits while helping the environment. But you might be wondering what to do if your solar panels break, or how much maintenance they require.

SunPower panels are one of the most efficient and resilient solar systems on the market. They thankfully don’t need much maintenance, and the 25-year warranty we offer is the best in class, but it’s understandable that you want assurance of their durability.

Salt-Resistance

Solar panels in coastal towns, like those in Cape Cod, can be at risk for salt build-up as spray from the Atlantic Ocean is carried by the wind. Conventional solar panels use metal paste that is fragile and breaks easily, or will become less efficient when there’s salt buildup.

Thankfully, we don’t use conventional solar panels. The SunPower panels we install have solid copper backing, not metal paste. Why does this matter? Because copper is non-corrosive, it can withstand the harsh salt water of the Atlantic Ocean. These copper backings also allow for optimal power conversion, so even if there’s salt buildup on the panels, they are still efficient at drawing power from the sun.

Wear-and-Tear

By design all solar energy systems have no moving parts, making them resistant to wear and tear. SunPower panels are designed to further minimize any decrease in efficiency, even after years of exposure to the four seasons. Because this minimizes all of the most common degradations, our solar panels have proven to last up to 30% longer than competitor’s panels. Since there are no moving parts, we take extra care while installing your solar panels to position them so they get the most exposure to the sun, so you’re always at peak solar efficiency.

At most, you’ll just have to keep an eye on the panels to ensure none of the local wildlife think your solar panels are a good place to make a home. Birds and squirrels are the most common culprits in Massachusetts, but these skittish creatures are easily scared off. Be sure to watch your system production and monitoring data – if there’s a sudden dip, a squirrel could have chewed through a wire or a bird’s nest could be an obstruction.

Solar panels have no moving parts so they are resistant to wear and tear

Debris

One of the things you should keep an eye out for is tree limbs or other debris falling onto your solar panels and damaging them. A good way to prevent this from happening is to trim back any trees that might overhang onto your roof. This is good practice in general, as branches can also block light from the sun, which means the panels aren’t converting it into electricity as efficiently.

However, if something does get blown onto your roof by the next Nor’easter, take a moment to quickly inspect if any damage appears to have been sustained. You can do this by going outside to look at your roof and by checking your monitoring data. If something is off, you can count on BlueSel to fix any damage sustained.

It’s important to get solar panels repaired as soon as possible if they are damaged, as damage severely reduces their energy output. Plus, leaving damage unattended can lead to even more expensive repairs later on. So if a major storm has blown through, monitor your energy readings closely. If you notice dips or fluctuations, give us a call and we’ll head out right away to repair your panels.

Solar panels can break and need maintenance, but when you choose BlueSel as your solar provider, it’s rare. More importantly, even when they do sustain damage, you’re covered under our best-in-class warranty.