How To Clean Solar Panels: A beginner’s guide!
A solar panel is a cell that absorbs sun rays and converts them into electricity. Solar panels have become essential in every household to live a sustainable life.
The energy produced by the panels depends on the energy absorbed. Regular cleaning is essential because dirty solar panels block the rays by 30%.
Clean solar panels produce more electricity as the rays activate the panels’ electrons to produce more energy. However, cleaning solar panels requires a lot of water. Therefore, scientists are trying to find alternate ways possible to reduce water wastage.
Why do solar panels need cleaning?
A dirty solar panel decreases the efficiency of a solar system. Below are three reasons why it is necessary to clean solar panels. Have a look!
- Regular cleaning ensures that your solar panels are in perfect working condition. It reduces the cost of changing the panels often.
- Many solar company manufacturers have made frequent cleaning a warranty requirement. You might not be covered under a guarantee without confirmation of routine cleaning. As a result, it is advisable to regularly clean solar cells to be on the safe side.
- If you live where it rains regularly, you might think it is unnecessary to clean the panels, but rainwater might have dust in it. This can ruin the plates.
What to use to clean solar panels?
Solar panel cleaning can be done independently if certain conditions are met. One must look out for relevant information and recommendations about solar cleaning.
Cleaning your solar panels with a hose and a bucket of soapy water is the most effective method.
Using any harsh cleaning objects might scratch the panels, reducing their effectiveness. Therefore, using a non-abrasive sponge and washing with soapy water is essential to clean solar panels without damaging them.
Do not use any high-pressure water because this might damage the panels. There are many solar panel cleaning machine options available on the market.
For instance, automatic cleaning machines use waterless technology to clean the panels. It comes with scheduled automatic cleaning.
Top 4 Tips for cleaning solar panels
You can follow the tips given below to clean solar panels.
- Keep a solar panel cleaning toolkit ready with all the tools, like the brush, wiper, etc. Dip the sponge brush in the water and gently rub the panels. It is advisable not to scrub the panels too hard. Harsh scrubbing will ruin the surface of the panels.
- Another crucial point is to clean solar panels only by making them wet, or the dust particles stuck on them can bring scratches.
- While cleaning the roof, using caution is necessary because the roof will definitely get slippery. Hence, it is advisable to use harnesses and safety equipment.
- Do not use harsh chemicals or detergents to clean solar panels. This might cause damage to the solar panels.
Safety considerations to follow for cleaning solar panels
There are certain things to keep in mind while cleaning your solar panels.
- Do not clean solar panels when the weather is terrible.
- Make sure the roof has a strong build that can hold your weight.
- It is crucial to wear safety equipment before cleaning the panels. Good shoes that have the necessary grip, harnesses, helmets, etc are some of the most important safety gear.
Top 5 steps needed to clean solar panels
Step 1: Remove the dust using a soft brush
Cleaning the solar panels manually is the best and most effective way. Using the latest technology (waterless sprinklers) is innovative. But waterless sprinklers are pretty expensive to invest in.
The easy way is to dust the solar panels using a soft brush. One must take care of the bristles used to clean the panels. Anything that’s not soft might damage the plates.
If you live far away from the city, there are not many dust particles that accumulate on the plates; therefore, dusting the panels without water will do the job.
Step 2: Use a water hose to spray clean
You can clean solar panels using a water hose; however, keep the water pressure in mind. Use a nozzle to control the pressure of the water.
While using water to clean the panel, it is essential to check the temperature of the water. The difference between the temperature of solar panels and water should not be more. Excessive temperature differences might lead to the cracking of the glass cracking.
Water hoses are a straightforward and traditional way to clean the panels as you can control the amount of water you want to use.
Step 3: Scrub dirt areas with a soft brush and water
It is essential to scrub the dirt with a soft brush to ensure the solar panels don’t get damaged.
If it’s just dust, you clean the surface of the panels with a soft brush and then use water to further clean the area.
However, dirt like bird poop cannot be cleaned by spraying water. Therefore, using a mild soap to remove it can be tried.
Either way, it would be best if you were mindful of the chemicals used on the solar panels because they might react negatively.
Step 4: Measure the cleaning effect by monitoring the solar output
After cleaning the solar panel – with all the necessary precautions and using the right equipment – you can measure the effectiveness of the clean solar panels.
If the panel is working correctly and generating the required amount of electricity, then the cleaning procedure has been successful.
However, at times, if you don’t clean solar panels regularly or are cleaning after a gap of many months, the dirt accumulated on the panels might not come out quickly. For this, contacting a professional is needed.
Always bear in mind that maximum effectiveness can be achieved by placing the panels in areas where direct sunlight is received.
Step 5: Contact professionals for complex cleaning and maintenance
Solar panels are subjected to extreme weather conditions, pollution, snowfall, and bird poop. At times, even insects get stuck inside the panels, making them dirty.
If dirt of all sorts is not cleaned, the panels lose their efficiency. Sometimes, it is not possible to do the cleaning manually and at times like these, calling a professional to clean the panels is necessary.
A professional knows all the terms and conditions to clean the panels, which you might not be aware of. Moreover, the system needs regular checking and maintenance from time to time to deliver electricity for a longer run.
Is it worth cleaning solar panels?
Some people believe that cleaning solar panels is just too difficult or expensive even to contemplate. However, a dirty panel reduces efficiency.
Many people install a solar rooftop cleaning system so they don’t have to clean solar panels themselves.
Solar panels have layers that protect them but those layers might catch rust if not maintained properly.
Usually, a 15-day-cleaning-regimen is recommended by most EPC installers. If you want your solar system to last for decades, you must understand that cleaning them is very important.
Installing solar panels is expensive, but it goes a long way and is very environmentally friendly.
It’s always a good idea to clean solar panels regularly on your own. But, nothing can replace the value of timely maintenance and cleaning by experts.
1. How much does it cost to clean solar panels?
The cost of cleaning a solar panel depends upon the size of the panel.
2. How often should I clean my solar panels?
It is advisable to clean your panels almost every day on your own. Gentle cleaning with a soft cloth is good enough.
Don’t forget to get the panels cleaned professionally twice every month.
3. What is the best type of solar panel to buy?
The best type of solar panel depends upon the location where you live. Investing in a high-quality solar panel is advisable so that the output is high.