When it comes to harnessing the sun’s energy, solar panels are one of the most efficient ways to do so. But as with any technology, they require some maintenance and upkeep in order for them to work properly. One question that many people have is the need for solar panel cleaning.
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The answer is yes – solar panel cleaning is an important part of keeping your system running efficiently. In this article, we will explain why and how often you should clean solar panels in order to maximize their performance and get the most out of your investment.
Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?
Solar panels are designed to be durable and long-lasting, with the ability to withstand various weather conditions. Most solar panels come with a self-cleaning mechanism, which helps to keep the surface of the panels clean. However, this self-cleaning solar panels mechanism is not foolproof and may not be enough to keep your solar panels in top condition.
The answer to whether solar panels need cleaning depends on a few factors. Let’s take a look at what those are.
Depending on your geographic location, certain environmental conditions such as humidity, wind, dust storms and other factors may cause dirt and debris to accumulate on the surface of your roof-mounted panels.
Even if you live in an area with little precipitation, the build-up of dust and bird droppings on the solar panel array can reduce the efficiency of your system.
Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on the amount of dirt or debris that accumulates in your solar PV system and clean it accordingly.
2. Type Of Module
Different types of solar panel modules have different cleaning requirements. For example, monocrystalline modules require more frequent cleaning than polycrystalline ones as they are more sensitive to dust and dirt accumulation. However, this does not mean that polycrystalline modules are completely maintenance-free; it’s important to check them periodically for signs of dirt and debris buildup.
If you live in an area with dust storms or frequent storms, then a regular cleaning routine is highly recommended, as these can cause significant accumulations of dirt on the modules. Additionally, if you have trees or other large objects that cast shadows on the modules and reduce their efficiency, these should be trimmed frequently to prevent dirt from accumulating.
3. Age Of Panels
The age of your solar panels also has an effect on their cleaning requirements. Older panels tend to be more susceptible to dirt and debris buildup due to wear and tear on the protective coating that helps keep them clean. If your panels are older, you may need to clean them more often than newer panels.
However, in general, regular cleaning is still necessary for all types of solar panelling. Doing so helps to ensure the most efficient performance and longest lifespan for your system.
These factors, along with the size and orientation of your solar array, will all influence how often you need to clean your panels. However, as a general rule of thumb, it’s best practice to perform regular visual inspections and clean them every 3-6 months.
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How To Clean Your Solar Panels?
Cleaning your solar panels is a simple process that can be done using common household items. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your solar panels effectively:
Step 1: Check The Weather
Before you start cleaning your solar panels, check the weather forecast to ensure there is no rain predicted for the next few hours. Cleaning your solar panels when it’s raining can be dangerous, and it may not be effective as the rain can leave streaks on the panels.
Step 2: Turn Off Your Solar System
Before you start cleaning your solar panels, turn off your solar system to ensure your safety. This will also prevent any damage to the solar panels and the inverter.
Step 3: Gather Cleaning Supplies
You will need a few items to clean your solar panels effectively, including a soft-bristled brush, a bucket of warm water, and a non-abrasive soap. Avoid using abrasive cleaners on hot panels, such as bleach, as they can damage your solar panels. Spraying cold water can also damage the panels, so always use warm water.
Step 4: Clean The Solar Panels
Dip the soft brush into the warm soapy water and gently scrub the surface of the solar panels. Avoid using too much pressure, as this may damage the panels. You can also use a hose to rinse off any dirt or debris.
Step 5: Dry The Solar Panels
Once you’ve cleaned the solar panels, use a soft, lint-free cloth to dry them. Avoid using paper towels or any other abrasive materials that may scratch the surface of the panels.
Step 6: Turn Your Solar System Back On
After you’ve finished cleaning your solar panels, turn your solar system back on and monitor its performance to ensure it’s working efficiently. Solar panels cleaned on a regular basis will ensure your system is running at its highest efficiency.
These are the steps you need to follow in order to effectively and safely clean your solar panels. Keeping your solar panels clean will help maintain their efficiency and ensure that they last for many years. If you’re thinking about installing solar panels, make sure to factor regular cleaning into your solar panel maintenance routine.
In summary, solar panels do require cleaning, especially if you live in an area with a lot of dust, debris, or pollen.
Regular cleaning can help to keep your solar panels in top condition, reduce energy bills and ensure they continue to produce renewable energy efficiently. Every recognized solar panel manufacturer recommends professional cleaning of your panels once every 3-6 months.
When cleaning your solar panels, it’s essential to use the right tools and products, as well as take safety precautions such as turning off your solar system.
As solar cells are delicate, avoid using abrasive materials or too much pressure when cleaning. With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can ensure that your solar panels will continue to operate at their peak performance for many years to come.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your solar panel system or maintain your existing one in the UK, ProGuard Exteriors has you covered. We specialize in providing reliable and efficient maintenance services that will keep your solar panels running at peak performance and ensure they last for years to come.
Our experienced technicians know exactly how to clean and maintain your solar panels so you can enjoy the full benefits of solar energy. Contact us today to find out more!