While a solar energy system is typically a "put it and forget it" system that passively generates renewable energy for your home, you may occasionally need to clean your panels. Even though cleaning solar panels isn't required, you may be wasting money and efficiency by not doing so. This article will answer some of the most often-asked questions about solar panel maintenance and how to execute it properly.
Should I clean my solar panels?
Your solar panels must be exposed to sunlight for them to generate electricity. Solar panel cleaning is normally unnecessary unless you are in a region with significant levels of smog, dust, dirt, or sand in the air. In most circumstances, sporadic rainfall will be sufficient to keep your solar panels clean and free of debris that could reduce their output. However, periodic cleaning can enhance your panel's photovoltaic (PV) output. Therefore, if you need or desire to clean your solar panels, we are here to assist you in determining the most effective method!
Can I personally clean my solar panels?
Similar to washing your car, you can certainly perform solar panel maintenance yourself, but professional solar panel cleaning services are also available to make things easier. Your solar installation may do it for you for a small price! If you have a rooftop system, it may be prudent to hire a cleaning service for safety reasons alone. A solar panel cleaning business may not perform notably better or differently than you, but they are better qualified to securely clean and maintain rooftop systems. If you can safely and effectively clean your ground-mounted solar panels with a water hose, dish soap, and a soft cloth, paying a service fee may not be worthwhile.
Types of commercial cleaning services
There are numerous types of professional cleaning businesses available to assist you. Robotics firms utilize semi-autonomous cleaning machines that require less direct human labor. Some repair businesses also employ soapless brushes and sponges to remove potentially hazardous residues off panels. Other high-tech cleaning methods, including waterless vibration and nanoparticle coatings, are developing.
Does your solar leasing cover panel maintenance?
Solar lease agreements typically include a maintenance clause if your panels are rented. Some firms may perform routine solar panel maintenance, including washing services, while others would fix any reported damage. It's crucial to remember that solar panels typically require little care and that sometimes wiping them down with a hose would suffice.
How to keep solar panels clean
Here is a detailed instruction for cleaning your solar panels:
- Turning off your solar panel system can protect your safety and prevent equipment damage.
- Use a soft brush to remove particles such as dirt and dust from the surface of your unclean solar panels.
- Be sure to use a common garden hose and soapy water while cleaning your panels with water. You do not need to acquire any special cleaning solution to clean your panels; normal dish soap will suffice. You should avoid utilizing high-pressure hoses, such as those used for power cleaning, because they can cause cracks or damage your system.
- After you have completed the cleaning procedure, monitor the output to determine how much the cleaning has improved efficiency!
What method should be used to clean solar panels?
When cleaning your solar panels, the most important thing to remember is that scratching or harming the glass will diminish the panel's energy output. It is preferable to approach panel cleaning in the same manner as car cleaning. Dish detergent and clean water applied with a soft sponge or towel is the most secure and straightforward cleaning method. Additionally, a squeegee may be useful for removing polluted water. Remember to avoid breaking or scratching the glass under any circumstances!
- On occasion, your panels may develop oily stains. A small amount of isopropyl alcohol and a rag can be used to eliminate them if you live near a major truck route or an airport. It is vital to avoid using harsh cleaning detergents, as these might leave streaks on the glass and reduce the efficiency of the panel.
How often should solar panels be cleaned?
The frequency of solar panel cleaning is mostly determined by location:
- In desert areas, such as the southwest of the United States, a solar energy system requires more frequent cleaning due to the enormous amount of dust and sand that could influence its production.
- Solar panels in polluted locations like highways, factories, and airports should be cleaned more frequently to prevent the accumulation of pollutant residues that may be caused by surrounding heavy machinery.
- To prevent obstacles caused by overgrown vegetation and bird droppings, solar panels should be periodically cleaned in heavily forested locations.