Cleaning solar panels is an important task that should be done regularly to ensure that they are operating at their maximum efficiency. Solar panels can accumulate dirt, dust, and other debris over time, which can reduce the amount of sunlight they are able to capture and convert into electricity. This can lead to a decrease in the amount of energy produced by the panels, and ultimately result in higher energy bills for homeowners.
It is easy to do semi-regular solar panel cleaning. This renewable energy source can be increased by performing a couple of cleans per year.
Solar panels, as with all aspects of home ownership require regular maintenance in order to function at their best and last for a long time. You can clean solar panels without the help of a professional if you are able to take safety precautions and work at heights. If you aren’t confident working on your roof, don’t take chances. Safety boots are essential, as well as a ladder in good condition. It’s a good idea to check the system for any visible signs of wear at the same time.
There are several different methods that can be used to clean solar panels, and the most appropriate method will depend on the specific needs of the panels and the location in which they are installed. Here is a step–by–step guide to cleaning solar panels to increase electricity production.
What tools do you will need?
You probably have these tools around your home already. Here’s what to grab before you start.
- Buckets or long hoses
- Soft brushes or sponges that are not abrasive
- Suitable ladder
- Liquid detergent or diluted vinegar
- Plastic blade
That’s all! Solar panels are easy to clean, but it can be difficult due to their technical nature and location.
3 Ways To Clean Solar Panels
When working at height, it is important to take safety precautions. You should contact a professional if you are unable to safely reach the panels and clean them.
1. Hosing down the panels: This is a simple and effective way to remove dirt and debris from the surface of the panels. The panels should be rinsed with a hose using a gentle stream of water. Avoid using high pressure or a powerful stream of water, as this could damage the panels.
2. Wiping the panels: If the panels are only slightly dirty, they can be wiped down with a soft, dry cloth or sponge. This can be done by hand or with the use of a telescoping pole with a cloth attached to the end.
3. Using a cleaning solution: For more stubborn dirt and grime, a cleaning solution may be needed. There are several commercial solar panel cleaning solutions available, or you can make your own by mixing water and a mild detergent. Apply the solution to the panels using a soft cloth or sponge, and then rinse the panels with water to avoid leaving residue.
It’s important to note that some solar panel manufacturers may have specific recommendations for cleaning their panels. It’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions before proceeding with any cleaning method.
In addition to regular cleaning, it’s also important to inspect the panels regularly for any damage or defects. This can include cracks, chips, or other visible damage to the panels themselves, as well as any issues with the mounting hardware or electrical connections. Any problems should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent further damage and ensure that the panels are operating at their full potential. This is the advantage of hiring a solar specialist for regular maintenance – they’ll spot any issues early and clean your panels perfectly.
Overall, cleaning solar panels is an important task that can help to maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of your solar energy system. By following the appropriate cleaning methods and inspecting the panels regularly, you can ensure that your solar panels are always operating at their best.
Additional tips for cleaning solar panels
- It’s generally best to clean the panels when they are cool, such as early in the morning or late in the evening. Avoid cleaning the panels when they are hot, as this can cause the cleaning solution to dry too quickly and leave streaks.
- Use a soft cloth or sponge to avoid scratching the surface of the panels.
- If you are using a cleaning solution, be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the panel first to ensure that it does not damage the surface.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaning materials or harsh chemicals, as these can damage the panels.
- Avoid using a pressure washer. High pressure can cause micro-fractures and rapid degradation of solar cells.
- If you live in an area with hard water stains, you may need to use a specialised hard water stain remover to remove these stains from the panels.
- If the panels are very dirty or difficult to clean, you may want to consider hiring a professional solar panel cleaning service. These companies have specialised equipment and expertise in safely and effectively cleaning solar panels.
- If you are forced to clean from a ladder then please use the appropriate safety equipment for working at heights. This includes a second person to hold it.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your solar panels are clean and operating at their maximum efficiency.
How much more efficient are clean solar panels?
The amount of money that can be saved by cleaning solar panels will depend on a variety of factors, including the size and efficiency of the solar panel system, the location of the panels, and the amount of dirt and debris that has accumulated on the panels.
In general, it is expected that cleaning solar panels can increase their efficiency by about 5-25%. This means that if a solar panel system is producing 1000 kWh of electricity per year and is cleaned, it could potentially produce an additional 50-250 kWh of electricity per year.
We can help you find a local tradie if you aren’t yet reaping the benefits of solar energy or need solar maintenance and repairs. Tradie Near Me is a professional tradie network with licensed electricians and solar specialists available Australia wide.