Once your solar panels are installed on your home, it is tempting to just leave them alone and let them do their job. However, solar panels need maintenance and cleaning if you want them to efficiently generate electricity at full capacity.
While you do not have to get up on your roof and scrub your solar panels daily, cleaning them every so often will help them function better. There are also ways of preventing too much dirt from accumulating on them, for example by using a solar panel bird proofing kit. Here is everything you need to know about cleaning your solar panels.
Why Do You Need to Clean Solar Panels?
Most people assume that they do not need to clean their solar panels. After all, they’re on the roof and get cleaned by rainwater. Rain indeed gets rid of most dust and pollen; however, it cannot do everything. Stickier substances such as bird poop or sap cannot be washed away with just rain.
When dirt or gunk accumulates on your solar panels, it blocks the light from entering the cells in that part of the panel. That means that the panel is not operating at full efficiency and you are not getting all of the energy that you need to power your home. If you go to the trouble of installing solar panels, you want to be able to benefit from them fully.
When Is It Necessary to Clean Panels?
Solar panels don’t need to be cleaned very often because they are partially self-cleaning. Most experts recommend cleaning them every six months.
However, there are a few occasions when you should clean your solar panels more often. If they are installed at a shallow angle, you will need to clean them more often. That’s because the angle makes it more difficult for rain to wash away all accumulated dirt.
You should also consider your surroundings. If you are near a source of pollution such as a factory or highway, then there will be more dirt build-up on your panels. The same applies if birds like to nest on your roof.
How to Clean Your Solar Panels
You can always hire a professional solar panel cleaning company if you do not feel like clambering on top of your roof. However, if you have the right tools, cleaning your solar panels does not have to be that difficult.
First, use a gentle brush to dust off loose dirt and particles. Do not scrub too vigorously as that could damage the panels. Then, mix a solution of water and biodegradable soap or cleaning solution. Spray down the panels with water, then use a gentle sponge and your soapy water to scrub at any bird droppings or dirt build-up.
Once you are done washing your panels, use a squeegee to wipe away excess water and soap. You should not have to repeat this process for several months.
When washing solar panels, try to be as gentle as possible. Use soft-bristled brushes and sponges. Under no circumstances should you use any metal objects, even though it is tempting to speed up the process by scraping off the gunk. You should only clean the panels when they are cool, so early in the morning or late in the evening, as applying water to hot panels can cause damage.
To make your next solar panel cleaning day easier, take steps to prevent the build-up of dirt. Cleaning regularly will eventually make the job go faster because you will only have to brush away dirt as opposed to scrubbing at layers of congealed gunk.
One of the most annoying things making solar panels dirty is bird poop. However, with a solar panel bird proofing kit, you can stop birds from getting near your solar panels and damaging them.
Regularly cleaning and maintaining your solar panels is crucial to their functionality. The build-up of dirt and gunk blocks panel cells from receiving the sun’s light, which in turn decreases the amount of energy that they produce. By cleaning your panels with a gentle brush every few months and taking steps to protect them from dirt build-up, you can have solar panels that produce energy for a long time to come.