If your solar panels are close to a highway, airport, or farmland you will need to clean them more often. Pollen from surrounding vegetation and industrial smog will also build up on your solar panels.
It is best to clean your solar panels when the weather is cool and there is no harsh sunlight. It is also best to call in a professional if you are uncomfortable climbing on the roof or have physical limitations. Read on to find out more.
Washing solar panels is a quick and easy DIY home maintenance chore, especially when the panels aren’t too dirty. Just like cleaning a window or car, washing your panels with water and soap should keep them clean enough to maintain good performance.
Before starting, it is important to turn off the system (and make sure no one is working on them). Then use a garden hose with average pressure and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Be careful not to damage the glass, as this could reduce the panel’s efficiency and longevity. It’s also best to do this on a cloudy day or in the early morning, as solar panels get hot in the sun.
Cleaning frequency depends on local conditions, such as rainfall and pollen count. For example, panels downwind from trees and vegetation should be cleaned more frequently than those upwind. Similarly, those in areas with frequent rainfall may be able to wait longer between cleanings.
Solar panels are often installed on a roof. This means they are exposed to dirt, dust, and other debris that can affect their performance.
A good wash using clean water and a soft brush is all that is needed to keep most solar panels working at their maximum capacity. A nylon bristle brush is ideal as this type of cleaning tool does not damage the glass surface of a panel.
When washing, it is best to use a non-toxic cleaning solution, such as environmentally friendly dish soap. It is also important to only do a scrub down when the sun is low in the sky. This is because a sudden temperature change can crack the glass surface. In addition, if the solar panels are still hot when you wash them, they may heat up the soapy water and leave a residue that reduces efficiency. In addition, it is important to never allow a solar panel to dry with water, as this can cause nuisance water stains.
There are several brush-based cleaning solutions for solar panels, including flow-through solar panel cleaners and a variety of brushes specifically designed for use on roof surfaces. It’s important to select a soft-bristle brush that can remove dirt without scratching the surface of your panels. It’s also essential to wet the panels before using the brush to loosen the dirt and make it easier to clean.
When washing your solar panels, opt for a mild soap solution to avoid damaging the glass surface. It’s also a good idea to choose a cool day, such as in the evening or morning, to prevent the soap from drying on your panels and leaving behind nuisance watermarks.
If a simple hose rinse-down isn’t enough to completely remove the dirt from your panels, you can use a squeegee or sponge to scrub off any stubborn debris that clings to the surface. Once the cleaning is complete, dry off your panels with a soft cloth to prevent water stains.
The back sheet on solar panels keeps out moisture and is designed to flex during extreme weather events. It can develop cracks over time, however, and it’s important to keep these areas clean to ensure your solar panel system functions as intended.
Most ground-mounted solar systems and some rooftop solar on a typical one-story house can be cleaned safely from the ground with a hosepipe equipped with a long extension code and a soft brush or squeegee. Avoid using pressure washers or chemical cleaners, as they can damage the ARC and reduce energy output.
The key is to check the output of your solar panel system on a daily basis; if it seems that energy production has been reduced, it may be time to clean it. Regular cleaning helps your solar system function at its best, increasing your electricity savings and reducing the payback period. Click here for more interesting articles.