Solar power products, can be game-changers for any homeowner. Not only are solar panels an efficient, financially favorable energy source, but they are also generally self-sufficient and low maintenance.
However, according to recent research, solar panels that aren’t cleaned regularly can accumulate dust and other debris, which decreases their efficiency and yields less solar power. There is something to be said for solar panel cleaning, and knowing when and how to do it is crucial.
When You Should Clean Your Solar Panels
Tilted solar panels require less cleaning than flat ones, as debris will slide off panels. Small amounts of pollen or dirt are typically inconsequential, but excessive build-up from bird droppings, storms, factories, fields, or nearby highways is a cause for concern. If you see significant grime accumulation or notice declining performance, a solar panel cleaning is probably overdue.
Solar Panel Cleaning Tips
If you want your solar panels working at their most efficient, you can keep them clean using the following tips:
- Check for specific instruction or recommendations from your solar panel manufacturer. Installation manuals can usually be found on the internet, if not included with your system.
- Clean your solar panels in the morning, evening, or on a cool or overcast day. Solar panels heat up significantly in direct sunlight, and water evaporates quicker, causing dirt to smear.
- As a safety precaution and damage control, turn off the PV system prior to solar panel cleaning. With DC electricity flowing through the panels, water could cause severe damage to the system.
- Conduct your solar panel cleaning from the ground, to avoid the risk of injury. An extension added to your squeegee and brush will help you reach the panels. If this is not possible, be sure to obtain proper training and suitable equipment before climbing onto your roof.
- Never use abrasive agents or materials. Anything sharper than a soft brush or sponge, and anything harsher than dishwashing soap can scratch the glass, reduce performance, and damage the module. No need for metal objects or detergents—a little soap and water is enough to do the trick.
- To avoid forcing water into the junction box, keep the hose water pressure at 40bar or below. This should be enough to remove even the most stubborn spots.
- Avoid using mineral-rich water, as it can form deposits on the glass over time. Deionized or distilled water is ideal, but a water-softening hose attachment also works. If hard water is unavoidable, make sure to squeegee thoroughly.
- For tough, oily stains on your panels, use isopropyl alcohol as a spot-cleaning substance
Efficient Solar Panels
A good solar panel cleaning process is undeniably essential to a worthwhile system that operates at maximum capacity.
If you are interested in alternative energy and looking for other ways to maximize efficiency through solar power, contact TinyHouseEssentials today!