Cleaning your Solar Panels
Why clean solar panels?
Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels require minimal maintenance once they are installed, and are designed to operate for a really long time. However, it is still important to keep them clean to continue achieving optimal power generation. Accumulated dust, dirt, leaves and other debris on solar panels can result in energy losses, from 10 to 25%.
When to clean?
The most obvious way to tell when solar panels need cleaning is when the efficiency of the system begins to decline, which can be observed through your solar monitoring system. Also inspect your panels to see if there is any debris.
How to clean?
There are several ways to keep solar panels clean, from manual washing to fully automated technologies. While rainwater can remove some of the dirt that collects on panels over time, it can also cause dirt to accumulate at the bottom of the panels, and in general, rainwater isn’t sufficient to remove everything.
When you are cleaning, the most important consideration to keep in mind is that scratching or damaging the glass in any way will reduce a panel’s energy production. For this reason, make sure you use sponges, cloth or soft brushes. Just using water will do the trick, and avoid high-pressure washing, as this can damage the panels and can create cracks.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your solar panels:
- Shut off your solar panel system – this will help ensure your safety and that equipment is not damaged.
- Use a soft brush to clean the surface of your dirty solar panels to remove any debris like dirt and dust.
- When cleaning your panels with water, be sure to use a standard garden hose and water. You should avoid using a high-pressure hose that you might use to do things like power washing your house, as they have the ability to create cracks or otherwise damage your system.
- After you have finished the cleaning process, monitor output to see the difference in efficiency that cleaning has made!
How often do you need to clean?
As a general rule, t is recommended that you clean your solar panels every six months to a year in order to maximise the efficiency of your solar panels.
But in some locations, your panels may benefit from more frequent cleaning. This is specifically in areas with high levels of pollution, very sandy or dusty areas and when there are a lot of leaves or animal droppings.
The angle of the panels also has a big impact. Panels that are installed at an angle receive more cleaning from rainwater runoff than flat-mounted panels, where water can collect in pools and leave behind a residue.
Please contact us if you would like our assistance to clean your panels.