Solar power is a clean and renewable energy source that doesn’t emit any harmful gases or toxins into the environment. As with any form of energy, solar power technology is constantly evolving to meet the ever-growing demands of the market.
The solar panel, one of the most important components of a solar system, comes through.
Getting solar panels cleaned isn’t only important for preserving their efficiency but also for your own comfort and peace of mind.
If you’re wondering when to clean your solar panels and what cleaning products to use, read this blog.
Why Clean Your Solar Panels?
There are a few reasons you should clean your solar panels. The first is that dirty solar panels can lead to reduced efficiency and shorter life spans for your solar power system.
Not only will this cost you money in the long run, but it could also jeopardize the safety of you and your family if there’s an emergency situation requiring energy output from your solar array.
Secondly, cleaning regularly helps remove any build-up of dust, dirt, or grease that can reduce panel performance and increase energy costs over time.
Last but not least – keeping your panels clean improves air quality in and around.
How to Know When Your Solar Panels Need Cleaning
There are a few indicators that your solar panels might need cleaning. If you experience any of the following, it’s time to give your panels a good clean:
– Reduced system performance
– Dust and dirt buildup on panels
– Unusual smells coming from solar panel systems
Solar panels should be cleaned once every six months, although in more polluted areas they should be cleaned more frequently.
What to Use for Cleaning Your Solar Panels
When cleaning solar panels, it is important to use the correct cleaning materials and techniques to avoid damaging the surface.
Water can be used to safely rinse solar panels from the ground, but avoid using water with high mineral content to prevent mineral build-up.
besides, use a window wiper or a microfiber cloth to dry solar panels and remove any residue.
For hybrid solar panels, use soft, lukewarm water and a non-abrasive sponge to preserve the heat transfer fluid and panel components.
When to Call a Professional for Cleaning
If your solar panel system is not performing as it should, or if there are signs of build-up on the panels, If the panel is installed on a dangerously sloping roof. call a professional solar panel cleaning service.
Homeowners often opt to hire a professional solar panel cleaner to clean and inspect solar panels, due to the high rooftop location of solar panels.
How Often Should You Clean Your Solar Panels?
Cleaning solar panels once every six months is generally enough for a typical solar installation.
Solar panels systems located in regions that get a lot of rain need to be cleaned less frequently.
Annual inspections and additional maintenance appointments may be necessary depending on the condition of your solar panels.
Best Practices for Cleaning Your Home Solar Panels
If you have solar panels installed on your roof, it’s important to clean them regularly to ensure they’re performing optimally and prolonging the lifespan.
Here are some best practices that can help you do this with minimal effort and cost.
use dedicated solar panel cleaning equipment to perform the cleaning.
Start by rinsing the panel with a garden hose on an overcast day. After washing the panel, use a soft brush or sponge to scrub it clean.
Avoid using water with a high mineral content when cleaning solar panels, as this can damage the panel’s surface. Instead, use water with minimal minerals, such as purified water or water from the water supply.
If you have professional solar panel cleaning services available, consider hiring them to help you clean and inspect solar panels annually.
Some of the important Solar Panel Maintenance checklist
A good solar panel maintenance checklist includes checking the racks and roof penetrations for signs of corrosion, checking the wiring, performing technical maintenance by a professional once a year, and cleaning panels periodically to maintain efficiency.
These simple steps can help solar panels stay clean and efficient for years to come.
Examine your Solar Panel that they are clean and secure:
It’s important to regularly evaluate your solar panel system for signs of wear and tear.
You should inspect your panel for damage and weathering at least twice a year, checking for cracks in the vacuum-sealed back sheet of your solar panel.
You can also look for rust, corrosion, or discoloration in spots that could be signs of corrosion.
If you notice any issues with your solar panel system, such as rips or tears in the backsheet, check to see if there are any warnings or precautions accompanying the solar panel warranty.
Check your Solar Panels aren’t Corroded:
It is important to check your solar panels for weathering, rust, and damage twice a year. To ensure the health of your solar panel investment, it is essential to inspect the rack and roof penetrations for signs of corrosion.
Corrosion can occur in solar panel installations over time due to environmental and human factors.
Check Wiring for any Damages:
It’s important for solar panels to have their wiring checked for any damage regularly.
Solar panels should have their wiring checked every 6 months for signs of damage, such as fraying or wearing, that could create a short circuit.
To check the wiring, carefully inspect it for signs of damage and wear, as well as signs of water intrusion or degradation (such as rust, corrosion, or discoloration).
Check Access to Isolator Switches are Clear:
Visual access should be maintained to isolator switches on solar panels for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.
Any devices that might be attached to the solar panel must also have access to the isolator switch as they could malfunction if they are not switched off.
Isolator switches can only handle a limited amount of current, so devices connected to the solar panel must be switched off before accessing the isolator switch.
Also, never store any items in front of the isolator switch as this may reduce its effectiveness.
Ensure Regular Electrical and System Fault Checks:
It’s vital that you conduct regular electrical and system fault checks to ensure the solar panel is working properly. You should inspect the rack and roof penetrations for signs of corrosion every month.
Professionals can also check the electric wiring, pump, expansion tank, and other electrical connections for integrity and safety.
Maintaining a logbook:
It is important to maintain a logbook for solar panels. The logbook can record inspections, cleanings, and component replacements. This can help ensure your solar panel system is safe and functioning properly.
Repairing or replacing solar panels:
Regular maintenance and cleaning of solar panels can help reduce the risk of needing repairs or replacements. When looking for signs of corrosion or rust, be on the lookout for patches of discoloration, streaks, or splotches on racks and solar panels.
High Quality Components like Charge Controller and Inverter
What Does Professional Solar Panel Cleaning Cost?
The cost of professional solar panel cleaning depends on the size of the solar panel system and the extent of cleaning required. It ranges from $130 to $500 per cleaning session depending on the brand and type of solar panel system.
Also, maintenance of solar panels includes annual inspection and cleaning sessions every six months, with an average cost of $150 per cleaning session.
Do’s and Don’ts of Solar Panel Cleaning
It’s important to clean solar panels regularly to keep them in good condition and avoid damage. Here are some tips for cleaning solar panels.
Use soft, lukewarm water and a non-abrasive sponge.
Don’t stand on solar modules as they will break or cause microcracks
Do consider cleaning panels very early in the morning, early evening, or on an overcast day. The less exposure the solar panel has to sunlight, the longer it’ll last and generate electricity.
Don’t use hot or cold water to clean panels as the temperature difference may result in surface cracks. Instead, use a solar panel cleaning kit specifically designed for solar systems to clean panels efficiently.
Finally, be careful not to damage solar cells with sharp objects such as knives, screws or coins.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it necessary to clean my solar panels every month?
Typically, solar panels need to be cleaned every six months. The frequency of cleaning should be increased in areas with higher levels of pollution, and may not need to be done as often in areas with more rainfall. Annual inspection and additional maintenance may be necessary.
What are some of the most common causes of solar panel failure?
Some of the most common causes of solar panel failure are due to dirt and debris buildup. This can reduce panel efficiency by up to 25%.
How to clean solar panels from the ground?
A cleaning tool with a pole can be used to clean the solar panels if your panels are installed at a low height.
Can a dirty solar panel affect the performance of my system?
Yes, solar panel systems located in drier and more arid areas need to be cleaned more often than those in wetter regions. This is because dirt on the surface of solar panels reflects away sunlight, lowering the efficiency of conversion from solar energy into electricity.
How to clean solar panels on roof automatically?
For large power plants, there are automatic cleaning robots that clean the solar panels automatically. For small solar panels for home or RV use, there is only the option of manual cleaning.
A solar panel cleaning is an important periodic maintenance task. It ensures the long-term efficiency of your solar panels and reduces potential damage from dust and grit, which could shorten their lifespan.
Besides, it enhances the performance of your solar system by removing accumulated dirt and other contaminants that reduce panel efficiency and performance.