Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity, so the cleaner the panels are, the more efficient they are in generating cleaner energy for your home or business. Cleaning and maintenance of solar panels are important because the physical efficiency rating may decrease when your solar panels are dirty. The average efficiency of solar panels is 18% – 25%, if they are dirty this rating may decrease over the years if left uncleaned. Whether your residential solar system is roof-mounted, pole-mounted, or ground-mounted, the panels are set at an angle. So, it’s quite natural that you see the accumulation of dirt, dust, and atmospheric pollutants, as well as leaves, branches, sap, bird droppings, and any blowing debris on your solar panels. Many solar panel manufacturers recommend cleaning of the panels up to four times a year, preferably in the early hours to avoid a great temperature fluctuation
Most of the time, seasonal rains usually wash off any dirt or animal droppings that may have accumulated. But when you are in areas where you have little precipitation and have dusty, windy weather, you will have to occasionally clean your panels. Some homeowners can do the cleaning job themselves or they may choose to have them professionally cleaned. Here are some pro tips for safer and better cleaning of your residential solar panel system.
1. Safety First: Turn off the system before you start your cleaning job. Follow the instructions given in the manual to see how to turn off the system, if you are not sure, consult our professional solar panel installers who are at your service.
2. As a rule, always stay on the ground, never get up on your roof without a secured ladder and proper fall-protection equipment.
3. Cleaning solar panels is easy when your solar panel is ground-mounted system, and rooftop solar system on a typical one-story house. We recommend homeowners use a soft-bristle brush with an extended handle, like the type used to clean off your car’s windshield.
4. Always choose an environmentally friendly soap to clean your solar panels to avoid damage of the panels.
5. If the panels are hard to access, such as those on a two-story home, it is good to use a high-pressure hose nozzle with an attachment that holds soap. You can check for these hosepipes at any home maintenance store.
6. You must look for a safe place to stand to spray soap water on the panels and then quickly rinse them off.
7. Avoid using hard, or mineral-rich water as using hard water can damage panels over time. If your area has only a hard water supply, you can buy an inexpensive water-softening hose attachment to filter out minerals. Otherwise, you can also use distilled or de-ionized water.
8. Cleaning solar panels are similar to cleaning a glass surface. So, always use soft brushes and squeegee. Using cleaning materials like abrasive brushes, pads or powders can cause severe damage to your solar panels, so make sure to use only soft cleaning material.
9. The right time to clean your panels in a day is in the morning or the evening when the panels are cool. During the bright day, water and soap can evaporate quickly, which results in smearing the soap and dirt.
10. When using a high-pressure water nozzle, don’t get too close to the panels. If you are applying high-pressure washing too close to the panels, it may cause damage to the panels.
11. Follow a monthly visual inspection to look for any dust or debris buildup. You can also watch your bill for any noticeable drop in efficiency. Only then should you worry about cleaning.
12. Never spray cold water on the heated solar panels as it could crack the glass. If in doubt, you can always reach us and we will send a professional to accomplish this task.
13. Lastly, do not expose yourself to any risk. If you have any doubts about your ability in cleaning your panels, you can always reach to your residential solar panel installers or also can hire professional service providers who are specialized exclusively in carrying out the job for you.
We hope these tips would help you understand the best ways to gain the maximum from your solar energy systems. We would be happy to help you with any further queries and maintenance of your solar panels– please contact us or mail us at email@example.com and we will ensure you a speedy response.