Tips on How to Clean Solar Panels
Solar panels don’t possess any moving parts, which makes their maintenance fairly easy compared to other energy sources. However cleaning is one aspect of dealing with them that cannot be taken lightly, as this will only make them function at a reduced capacity.
This article will give you more information on making solar panel cleaning easier and more efficient:
- Check with your solar panel manufacturer first, as they may have a specific set of recommendations when it comes to cleaning. Solar panels can become really hot in direct sunlight, so you should clean them during the afternoon or early morning as well as cool days with overcast weather. You should try using a garden hose to see whether this will help get the job done. If there is a lot of dust and dirt stuck to the panels, then you may need to clean with a lot more effort.
- Fill a bucket with soap and warm water and you will need no other special equipment. Clean the surface of the solar panels by using a sponge or a soft cloth instead. That way you will not have to worry about scratching it, not to mention you will not have to clean the wiring underneath.
- Take extra caution when you are dealing with solar panels that need you to climb roofs. Professional cleaners will help make that type of cleaning easier to handle, so consider making a call and using them if you need them.
- Why should you work on cleaning your solar panels to begin with? Well as a result of continued exposure to the elements and other sources of pollutants, such as dust, pollen, dirt, bird droppings and a whole lot more can affect your solar panels in a very negative way. As Google found out with their Mountain View solar farm in California, the cleaning of solar panels can more than double their power output if it is done regularly.
- How much money would it cost if you neglect your solar panels and avoid cleaning them? Well it would be reasonable to consider that panels can lose about 25% of their efficiency if they are not cleaned often. This is a serious problem, as it means your panels will produce less electricity and you will need to supplement your power somehow. This would obviously slow down the payback time as well.
- How often should we deal with cleaning our solar panels? Well for starters, there will be more pollution in the winter, believe it or not so spring will be a good time to deal with your major annual cleaning job. Solar panels that have been cleaned once or twice a year will be more efficient than the ones that were not touched at all. Certain locations require more care than others however.
- Some regions that see limited rainfall will see faster accumulation of dust and dirt, especially if the solar panels have been installed near freeways, factories, airports and so forth. These will need cleaning a lot more often than others. You should also make sure you remove snow and leaves during winter and the fall seasons.