Solar panel maintenance at home is indeed doable! As PV systems demand little maintenance effort, you can keep them clean quite easily. Here, we will discuss some genuinely helpful tips to clean solar panels, and also understand how they get dirty in the first place –
Let’s learn about the details one by one.
How solar panels accumulate dirt?
Whether it’s a ground mount solar or a rooftop one, your PV modules are at exposure to dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris. The amount and intensity of the piling up grime directly depend on the locality and surrounding of the house/property. The most common causes could be:
- Dust and leaves: If your house surrounds trees, leaves might pose a problem. If the leaf-fall is alarming and frequent, then solar panels can be a victim of covering, and you could notice a compromised performance of your PV modules.
Less or no dust isn’t a point of worry as the PV array can still produce energy from the sunlight reflecting on them. However, if your house is near the main road, or if it gets very dusty, the situation needs your attention. Tripping of energy production becomes highly likely.
- Bird dropping: If there are trees, many birds going to be around. Bird dropping & pollen could be more consequential than that of leaves and dust. Negligence to this cause will lead to messed up panels and significantly fallen output range.
- Snowfall: Technically, snowfall does nothing harmful to a solar system. If your PV module is tilted at the right angle, most of the snow will slide down. On the contrary, if your area observes high snowfall, the accumulated snow could drastically alter the system performance.
Unattended solar panels for a prolonged timeframe might result in being less efficient. Gathered dirt may affect energy production considerably. Therefore, inspecting the PV modules now and then and cleaning them becomes quite essential.
Let’s now understand how to clean solar panels at home
How to clean solar panels at home?
It’s time to do the homework.
- Solar panel cleaning kit: the kit comes with biodegradable soap, a wiper, a small brush with or without a long handle. The process is quite simple. Think of it as cleaning the sliding windows. Take a bucket; make a mixture of water and soap. Dip the brush and start wiping the panels. Remember to be gentle. You can even use plain water. Brush out all the accumulated grime, as the last step, swipe the wiper over the panels.
- When the solar panels are wet or moist, clean them. Due to dampness, the residue and dirt come off quickly.
- Caution: do not use rough, abrasive brushes or soap on the solar panels. There are fair chances of scratching of glass and damages. Always use soft brushes and biodegradable soap.
- If you maintain a strict schedule of cleaning the panels, eventually, just running a hose over and along them will remove the dirt and other debris. It will minimize your efforts drastically.
- Safety comes first. While cleaning your rooftop solar panels, use harnesses or ropes. Let the water drain out else it could get slippery. Possibly use a long-handled brush for cleaning up.
- Most importantly, keep checking the panels every other day. Less dirt, pollen, residue = more energy generation.
- Under any extraordinary conditions, you can always turn to solar panel cleaners. They will clean the PV panels most professionally and accurately.
“REGULAR MAINTENANCE ESSENTIAL TO KEEP YOUR SOLAR POWER SYSTEM IN PEAK CONDITION” – Clean Energy Council
Choosing a time to clean the solar panels:
Monsoon is most effective when it comes to solar panel cleaning. Rains wash out any piled up grime on the panels and contribute to keeping them clean and shiny. Thus, monsoon does your job of maintaining the panels.
As to summer, opting for a morning or evening session is advisable. The intensity of the heat coming from the sun will be low, and your solar panel cleaning will go smoothly.
In winter, inspect your panels daily. Even if the snow automatically slides down, complete removal will ensure steady energy production.
Let’s address unique property conditions: if your house is located near factories, freeways, airport or dense greenery, dust, dirt, pollen, and bird dropping can get worse. In all such cases, stay alert, check the system weekly, fortnightly, or monthly and swipe the panels clean.
Solar panel cleaning benefits:
- Steady performance by the photovoltaic system: cleaned solar panels are likely to produce consistent or even higher levels of energy. The Clean Energy Council said that solar panel maintenance is crucial in ensuring long & consistent performance by the PV system. One can note down the energy statistics before and after the cleaning session, to know the difference.
- Solar panels’ durability: carefully looked after solar panels tend to work efficiently for years to come. Solar panel maintenance by professionals or at home extends the life of the system.
Cleaning of the solar panels shining on your property is equally essential as getting the desired energy output from them. In fact, both of these factors are interlinked. If PV panels get covering of any kind, such as dirt, dried leaves, residue, or anything, the performance gets affected. So, for a persistent good functioning by the PV system, maintenance is inevitable.
Now you know the ways to clean solar panels at home. If you think your panels need professional attention, feel free to contact solar panel cleaners.