Solar panels can be sensitive and frail, so it’s vital to know about the right way to clean Solar Panels. They are resistant to all weather conditions and are long-lasting with few maintenance requirements.
Manufacturers typically advise keeping the panels clean, dust-free, and free of leaves and pollutants, but in actuality, rain may naturally take care of all of these worries.
A simple suggestion would be to include manual cleaning and maintenance of the panels in addition to the rain to ensure that the solar panels work to their full capacity.
The best way to clean your solar panels is to first turn off your system, clear off the dust or dirt with water or biodegradable soap and use sponges or soft rags to wash away excess water. Do not use hard materials while cleaning your solar panels as they might cause damage.
When do you decide it is time to clean your panels?
Ideally, one cleaning of the panels every six months to a year is advised. You must manually inspect the solar panels for dirt, bird droppings, garbage, and other debris. However, if you have a monitoring system in place, you can clean if your panels aren’t functioning or working properly.
However, you should be aware that the warning could indicate a variety of technical or electrical difficulties, not merely a need for cleaning.
Allowing the rain to clean your solar panels is a piece of advice that is frequently given. Keep track of your device’s performance by keeping track of your monthly energy costs and use. If your energy bill begins to fluctuate, it may be time to consider cleaning or other forms of maintenance.
One thing to look for is whether your system has a string or microinverter. This is important because microinverter systems (which have an inverter tied to each panel) will show where one component has been coated in droppings.
Now that we know it’s time, here is a guide on the best way to clean solar panels.
How to clean the Solar Panels?
The best thing before cleaning your solar panels is to contact your solar panel manufacturer as they may have specific cleaning suggestions.
Otherwise, you can follow these tips on cleaning your solar panel-
- Turn off your system before you begin cleaning
- Use water, soap, and a soft hose to wash away the dirt and debris. Start by turning on the water and washing the panels with a garden hose. And you’ll see if there’s any dirt remaining.
- Note – Avoid high-pressure sprayers and harsh materials that can harm the modules.
- The underlying wiring does not need to be disinfected.
- Sponges are ideal cleaning tools for solar panels. Wipe away the excess water with a sponge. If you’re going to use a little soap on your sponge, use something you’d use to clean your dishes.
- If the panels are near airports, flight paths, or conspicuous roadways frequented by vehicles, they may develop greasy stains on their surfaces. In this scenario, you might want to use isopropyl alcohol as a spot cleaner. This chemical is present in everyday home items like sanitisers and aftershave creams.
What precautions should you take?
Cleaning a solar panel might seem easy but it is not. There are certain things that you need to keep in mind before you proceed.
Here is a list of precautions that you should take:
- Due to their heat absorption properties, solar panels can grow extremely hot in the sun. Do not clean your panel in the afternoon as it is detrimental to your panel health.
- Avoid using hard water (mineral rich) that can damage the panels over time. Use a whole house water softener or distilled water to clean.
- If you need to climb up the roof, have your ladders available and be prepared with all the appropriate equipment and training to avoid any tragic injury.
- To be on the safe side, you may always hire a professional cleaner to clean the solar panels.
What do experts say about cleaning solar panels?
Experts don’t appear to be able to agree on the last point mentioned in the previous section. One side believes that if you want to hire professionals, this initiative will not pay off. They claim that unclean solar panels consume only 5% less energy, which is insignificant.
This theory is based on the fact that these microscopic particles continue to obstruct solar panels and that they are not discovered to perform at a reduced capacity. Because the solar panels are tilted at an inclination to maximize solar heat absorption, the soil tends to collect near the bottom of the structure.
Other experts say that if the solar panels are not cleaned properly, they will lose 25% of their strength, resulting in reduced electricity generation.
Google conducted a ground-breaking experiment at their 1.6 MW solar farm in Mountain View, California. They discovered that cleaning the solar panels was the most effective approach to maximizing the amount of energy they produced. Solar panels that had been in use for 15 months were cleaned and their electricity production was doubled.
This is what we recommend:
- Keep watch on your solar energy system to check if and when the power output varies
- If you suspect your energy bill is changing because you need to clean your solar panel, examine if the quality returns to normal after a good rain. If that’s the case, that may be the end of it. Instead of just washing, if you think the functioning is still off, there could be something electrical that has to be fixed.
- It also depends on your geographical location. You’ll have to manually shake off all the snow from the panels if you reside in a snowy area. Solar panels are frequently the dirtiest during the winter. You may surely strip leaves from the panels when it comes time for them to shed in the autumn.
- Those who believe that cleaning solar panels makes a difference should devote some effort to doing so once or twice a year. This should ensure that solar panels are always operating at full capacity.
- If your home is near a highway, airport, power plant, or another source of pollution, you can do this more frequently. Your solar energy system would be bombarded with more junk.
- Depending on the weather, dust, and other pollutants that may accumulate on your solar panels, you should at least rinse them out regularly. Engage in safe cleaning practices and, if necessary, seek expert assistance.
- The solar panel company would also be able to determine whether cleaning of the solar panels is required and when it should be done, as well as provide instructions on how to complete the task. Before beginning the clean-up, conduct a complete visual inspection and assessment. This would aid in upkeep and maintenance while also saving you money on energy.
How Can We Help?
Hope this information about “Right way to clean solar panels” helps you.
If you are planning to start a solar business or install a solar solution, you can connect with Ornate Solar to get the best assistance with the best prices for solar panels. We are the official partner of Canadian Solar panels & Renewsys solar panels in India.
For more information, please give us a call at 011-4353-6666.
Thanks so much for the advice on when to have your solar panels cleaned. My uncle has a solar panel installed on his house and wants to be sure they’re working efficiently for as long as possible. Knowing when is a good time to have them cleaned is a great thing to know about regular keep-up.
very informative. really good information about panel cleaning