Cleaning is an integral part of any maintenance process, especially for machines and devices that are exposed to external factors such as weather, changing temperature, dust, leaves, and pollution.
Solar panels are a great example where regular and proper cleaning is required to ensure their maximum efficiency and long term use.
Geographical location and surrounding elements are the two biggest factors that pollute and affect the system.
While heavy rain may help clear your solar panels from debris and other pollutants, it still cannot replace the proper way of cleaning your solar system.
Why Clean Your Solar Panels?
Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity. If dirt, leaves, animal droppings or debris lands on its surface, its efficiency will be affected. When dust, sand or any small particle accumulates and covers the surface of a solar panel, the solar panel will have a hard time absorbing the maximum amount of sunlight it can harvest, which will lead to reduced energy production. This is why it is crucial to find a way to keep the panels free or at least minimize exposure from any of these sediments/outside factors.
In addition, if there are trees or anything that may cover some portion of a solar panel, expect to see a drop or a lower than the average output from the panel. This is because the shaded area of the solar panel cannot receive as much sunlight as its exposed parts. The solution to this is quite straightforward. Make sure to place your panels away from trees or tall structures that may cover the panels. And if done by professional installers, this should not be a problem at all.
How Many Times Should You Clean Solar Panels?
The number of times in a year you need to clean your solar panels depends on where you live and how much dirt and debris accumulates on the panels over a period of time. In general, it is recommended to clean solar panels at least once a year. However, if you live in a place that is exposed to a lot of dust or pollution, you may have to clean your solar panels more than once a year.
Regular and proper cleaning ensures maximum efficiency of the solar panels and at the same time, it is one way of helping the device achieve its longest lifespan possible.
These solar panels are designed to work on Nature’s Generator line of solar powered generators. They are easy to clean and can be DIY but at the same time, if you need professional help, they will be more than happy to assist you.
How to Clean Your Solar Panel
Below are steps that you can follow to clean your solar panels and keep it running at its maximum efficiency.
Safety is always a top priority so before anything else, make sure that you turn off the power supply of your system to avoid possible electrical shocks.
The best time to clean your solar panels are either early in the morning or late in the afternoon or early evening. Cleaning in the middle of the day is not a good idea at all since that is usually the hottest time of the day making the panels hot as well and water may evaporate quickly leaving behind unwanted water spots.
For DIY cleaning, you need to use the right cleaning supplies for good results and to avoid damaging your panels. A soft-bristle brush, a bucket full of soapy water, a squeegee or a wiping cloth, and a hose with a gentle spray nozzle are all that you need.
Using the soft-bristle brush, gently brush the panels to dislodge any loose dirt, dust, or debris.
Pour the soapy water over the panels and then use the brush to clean the panels thoroughly. After that, use the hose with a gentle spray nozzle to rinse the panels. Start from the top part all the way down to the bottom.
After rinsing, use the squeegee or the wiping cloth to remove any excess water from the panels and prevent water spots from forming on the surface.
Once the panels are dry, thoroughly inspect them for any signs of damage or cracks. Contact the professionals if you see any damage in the panels so they can advise you about the best solution.
Following the steps above will keep your solar panels in tiptop shape and at the same time, help you save on money as it generates more power than a dirty one.
Should You Hire a Professional Solar Panel Cleaner?
Solar panels need regular cleaning to maintain their highest possible efficiency level. While you can DIY the cleaning process, there are events wherein it is better to get the services of a professional solar panel cleaner.
Below are some situations where it is highly recommended to hire a professional solar panel cleaner rather than to DIY.
If the location of your solar panels is hard to reach, let’s say they are installed on your roof, cleaning them on your own can be challenging and may even pose some danger to you and the panels. It is better to get the services of a professional solar panel cleaner in this event because they will have the tools and equipment to easily and effectively clean your panels.
Droppings from birds and bats can be extremely hard to remove on the panels especially if they’ve been there for a long time and have dried up. Professional solar panel cleaners will know exactly what to do and what tools and cleaning solutions to use to get rid of this gunk without damaging your panels.
Hard water stains are not only an eyesore but they can also affect the efficiency of your solar panels. Armed with the right tools, right cleaning agent and years of experience, professional solar panel cleaners can get rid of this problem in a snap. They can also share tips on how to prevent hard water stains from forming in the future.
Not everyone has the time or due to hectic schedules, a lot of people forget about things which can include the last time they had their solar panels cleaned. If your solar panels have not been cleaned for a long period of time, it is highly recommended to just get the professionals do the job. Thorough cleaning is best done by those with experience as they already know all the steps they need to take to ensure that your solar panels will function to their full potential again once cleaned.
When you hire a professional solar panel cleaner, they will not only thoroughly clean your solar panels. They will also inspect them for possible damage or potential issues so they can be resolved right away instead of waiting for it to become a bigger problem in the future. Clean and fully functioning solar panels will be able to produce more energy than dirty ones, making you save on energy costs.
Regular cleaning of your solar panels is needed if you want to achieve the full potential of your solar panels and enjoy maximum energy savings. You need to clean your system at least once a year and may require more depending on where you live and your exposure to pollutants and other surrounding elements. While it is possible to clean the panels on your own, it is important to recognize that there are also situations where it is best to just hire professional cleaners to avoid possible damage to your panels.
* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Ann Matthew, contributed research and content to this blog titled: Solar Panel Cleaning Thank you, Ann, for your contributions!