Solar power protection is the critical difference between solar power that lasts and solar power that requires constant repair. By installing protection systems, you will be able to get much longer service from your solar power equipment. There is a variety of technologies on the market you can install right now to keep your solar power system safe.
Whether you have solar power equipment installed in your home or you run a power generation facility, there are several reasons why protection matters. First, solar systems are made up of sensitive components such as solar power inverters, which may be damaged by theft and vandalism. Whether we like to admit it or not, solar power technology continues to command a high price, so some people may be motivated to steal it. Second, solar power equipment is generally exposed to the elements all the time. As a result, it may take damage. Such damage reduces the effectiveness of the solar power system over time. Third, maximizing solar power efficiency is one of the ways we can mitigate the impact of climate change. For all these reasons and more, it is important to invest appropriately in solar power protection.
Imagine you are a homeowner who has paid to install a solar panel on your roof. According to Energy Sage, the average cost of such an installation is between $11,000 to $14,000 after factoring in the value of tax credits and incentives. This upgrade ranks among the most expensive renovations you’ve ever installed. In that case, you probably want your solar powering to last as long as possible.
There’s just one problem: The solar panels are on your roof, and you probably do not go up on your roof very often. Unless you notice a significant drop in solar power output, you might not even see a problem in the equipment. Manually monitoring your hardware is simply too much work. Therefore, you need an easy way to keep an eye on your roof.
Before you rush out and buy something new, check to see if any of your existing hardware can be used for solar power protection monitoring. For instance, a smart camera might be helpful. If you have a spare smart camera, consider repositioning it so that it gives you a video feed of your roof. It is best to have a smart camera, rather than a simple video camera because you need advanced hardware features such as motion detection.
Remember that solar power protection problems fall short of major destruction. If a branch falls on your roof, that debris could obstruct a significant portion of your solar power and reduce power output. A smart camera with motion detection can help you detect problems like this.
From a hardware perspective, motion detection hardware involves a few different technologies. There are vibration sensors that can be helpful to identify a sudden impact (e.g., a heavy object landing on a solar panel). Also, you can use infrared technology to detect heat and light in an area. Infrared is helpful to consider if you are more concerned about vandals or wildlife threatening your home solar power. If you have the funds available, consider obtaining a remote detection system that uses multiple types of hardware detection.
In addition to smart cameras, you may also want to put a small weather sensing instrument outside your home. These devices give you accurate local weather data, such as wind speed, temperature and pressure. With a device like this, you no longer have to rely on conventional weather forecasts that are meant for an entire city.
Passively monitoring is your first line of defense in solar power protection. However, there is more you can do. What if your systems detect a disturbance? You need a way to test whether your solar power panels and equipment are damaged. Depending on your skills, you may even be able to repair your solar panels on your own. For example, you might have built a few electronics projects using the tips provided in our post, From Electric Skateboards to Drones: 5 DIY Projects To Hone Your Electronics Skills. In that case, you can use tools like wire strippers to carry out repairs.
Keep in mind that using electrical testing equipment carries some risks. If you are careless or less than methodical, you might end up hurting yourself. If the risks of direct electrical repairs and protection are not right for you, you might need some creative strategies.
Some environments pose unique hazards to solar power. For example, if you live in an area known for sand and sun like Arizona, then damage from sand is a concern. In that case, you may want to consider additional protection coverings for your solar power equipment. For instance, some people have experimented with using plexiglass coverings for solar cells, as shown in this YouTube video.
As a supplement, consider placing small portable solar panels inside your homes. Several companies design mobile solar power units. These devices are mainly made for campers and outdoor enthusiasts. By placing a device inside your home with access to light through a window, you would be able to generate some power. However, this high level of protection comes at a cost. You cannot expect significant amounts of electrical energy through a small unit.
Solar power protection is mainly a concern because solar power equipment is quite expensive. That may change if a new generation of technology arrives. According to the BBC, “The fastest-improving solar technology is called perovskites… These films… can be made inexpensively from solutions — allowing them to be easily applied as a coating to buildings, cars, or even clothing… Perovskites also work better than silicon at lower lighting intensities, on cloudy days or for indoors…” Until that technology becomes commercially available, take reasonable steps to improve your solar power protection.