How to Clean Your Solar Panels ?
Clean solar panels are a must if you want to achieve their maximum energy output. Dust, dirt, dried leaves, or other debris can negatively impact the performance and efficiency of your solar panel system. We all want to ensure that our solar panels perform at their best. But first, here are the things you should consider before you clean your solar panels.
Should I clean my solar panels?
In some cases, it might not be necessary to clean your solar panels. If you live in a place that gets enough rain, nature could be doing the job of cleaning your solar panels just fine. However, if you live in a relatively dry, humid, and dusty area, your energy losses might be significant. Especially for solar panels installed in a flat position, the occasional rain might not be enough to clean the debris buildup.
Before you climb the ladder, try to assess if you need to clean your panels based on the following rubric:
- Do my solar panels lay flat? Solar panels tilted at an angle less than 5 degrees may accumulate more dust than others.
- Does it rain enough? If rainfall is sparse in your area, then dust buildup in your panels can occur. If you live in Brisbane, we thankfully get a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year.
- Do I live in a dusty area? If you live in a high-traffic neighbourhood, or a place near an airport or industrial factories, chances are your area has high amounts of dust particulates in the air.
- Am I surrounded by trees? Dried leaves, pollen, and bird droppings are some common culprits that reduce the performance of solar panels.
The best way to check if your solar panel needs cleaning is to monitor your energy output. If you see that your system is producing less energy over the months or years, then cleaning your solar panels might be the solution.
How do I clean my solar panels?
If cleaning your solar panels is necessary, make sure you do it correctly.
Before you attempt to clean your solar panels, carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions. Not all solar panels are the same and your manufacturer might offer a specific cleaning method that best fits your unit. The manual should also tell you what to avoid when cleaning your panels.
After learning the do’s and don’ts, check if you’re able to arrange for safe access. If you can access the roof safely through a ladder, then you can get to cleaning the solar panels yourself. In most cases, hosing down your solar panels with water should be enough. For sticky residue that’s stuck on your panels, use a soft scrubber and a squeegee to gently dislodge the debris.
Should I use soap to clean my solar panels?
We don’t really recommend that you use soap to clean your solar panels. Soap can leave a film or residue that not only affects the performance of panels but can cause other debris to stick on the panels more. Hosing down the panels with water should work for most cases. Use a sponge or soft brush for tough, sticky residue.
If you must use soap, dilute it and use soapy water instead. Also, make sure to wash it off completely with clean water.
How often should I clean my panels?
Ideally, you want to find a balance between your cleaning efforts and maximizing your solar panel’s efficiency. Unless you live in a particularly polluted area, cleaning your solar panels once or twice a year should be enough. Again, it’s best to monitor your energy output to find a cleaning schedule that works.
I can’t clean my panels, what can I do?
If you find that dirt and debris are significantly affecting your energy output, yet you can’t reach and clean your panels because of several reasons, then it’s time to ask for professional help.
Solar Panels Brisbane is your top specialist for installing and maintaining your solar panels. Call us at 07 3153 4178 or get a FAST FREE QUOTE through our website.
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