Do you have solar panels that need cleaning? Not entirely sure how to?
If you’re new to having them and don’t know how to clean solar panels. It might be overwhelming figuring out where to start. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you through the process of cleaning your solar panels and make it as simple as possible.
We’ve compiled all the information that you’re going to need. This covers when you have to clean them, what to you, and a guide to how to clean them properly. Keep reading and follow along so find out how to tend to your dirty solar panels.
Table of Contents
When to Clean Your Solar Panels
Cleaning your solar panels can be a tedious job. If you live in an area where rain is very common, you might not see the need to clean them yourself. As any dirt or dust accumulated on the panels will most likely get washed away by the rain.
If this is the case, it removes the purpose of having to clean your solar panels. There are some instances when the rain won’t be enough to clean the panels, like when they’ve got a lot of bird droppings. This also applies to places prone to drought or doesn’t have rain strong or long enough to clean off the panels.
When you notice a large accumulation of dirt and debris, then you might want to clean them off.
Do these accumulations influence the efficiency of the panels? The answer is yes, a build-up of dirt won’t let the panels absorb as much sunlight. The more dirt, dust, pollen, leaves, or bird droppings on your solar panel, the less electricity gets produced.
The electricity lost can range around 25% for those who don’t clean their solar panels. You can conduct a simple physical inspection to check if your panels need cleaning.
Alternatively, you can also use a monitoring service. This is to check on whether you’re getting the most out of your solar panels and how well they’re performing.
What to Use to Clean Solar Panels
If you’re looking to start cleaning your solar panels on your own, you need to look up the company first. Check with your solar panel provider if they have any restrictions or recommendations when cleaning the panels. However, most solar panels cleaning methods should be the same.
A simple bucket of water/hose and a non-abrasive sponge should do the trick. Make sure the sponge or similar type of cleaning material won’t scratch the surface of the panels. You can also use a small amount of soap if you need to, just make sure you don’t let the soap dry up and leave streaks.
If you need to, choose soaps that don’t have any strong chemicals like dish-washer soap. Avoid using any high-pressure hoses directly on the panels, this may end up damaging them.
When taking up hard to remove droppings or stains and you need to use something a tiny bit rougher. Don’t use anything with hard bristles, make sure everything you use is soft and won’t scratch.
How to Clean Solar Panels
The hardest thing about cleaning solar panels is going to be trying to reach them. Make sure you’re way up is safe and remember to be careful when on your roof.
Solar panels can heat up immensely on hot days. Try to time your cleaning session when the sun isn’t as high or on cloudy days. You don’t want to be burning your asking on the hot panels or get sunburned trying to clean them.
Much like cleaning your car, the same principle can apply when cleaning your solar panels. Go ahead and bring up your hose or bucket of water and gently rinse away the dust or dirt lying on top of the panels. If this doesn’t do the trick, and you need deeper cleaning, bring out your sponge or similar cleaning material.
Apply the soap you’re going to use on the sponge. Make sure that the panels are already wet before scrubbing in with the sponge. This is to avoid leaving any streaks from the soap and prevent scratches from appearing.
Don’t touch any of the wirings underneath the panels so you don’t accidentally damage them. Gently rub away any stubborn dirt or dropping on the panel. Unless you need to, try to stay within the area of concern.
Once you scrub everything away, take your hose or water bucket again and give one last rinse on the panels. Make sure not to leave any residual soap to dry up. Be generous with the amount of water you’re using to assure proper cleaning.
Maintaining Your Solar Panels
Solar panel maintenance is an important part of keeping your solar panels effective.
Again, if you live in an area with plenty of rain, you shouldn’t worry too much about cleaning them regularly. Remember to keep an eye on your monthly electric bill, if you see any changes, it might be from the cleanliness of your solar panels.
If you have panels from a top solar company, then you shouldn’t be running into these problems too much. The amount of electricity produced should still be the same.
Still, it’s important to check every once in a while if there are any leaves or bird dropping that have found their way on your solar panels.
Start Cleaning Your Solar Panels Now!
We hope this article was useful in helping you learn how to clean solar panels. Remember that you shouldn’t worry too much about solar panel cleaning or washing them too often. Always check when your solar panels have collected too much dirt and debris.
Make sure that you don’t use high-pressure hoses or rough sponges when you do clean your solar panels. Be as gentle as possible and avoid any of the panel’s wirings. Follow the guidelines above when cleaning and you should be fine.
If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, check out the rest of our posts for more!