Tutorial on cleaning solar panels:It only takes 4 steps
Solar panels have become increasingly popular for meeting home energy needs. By absorbing sunlight, they create a current that’s converted to usable electricity. The amount generated depends on the absorption of sunlight, so we need clean them to keeping our solar panels at their best, and ensure that they continue to provide energy to our home or business for years to come.
This article tackles the most significant questions surrounding solar panel maintenance. We will discuss the main sources of dirt, Learning how to clean solar panels can improve the efficiency of solar energy systems and reduce home energy costs.
Before You Begin…
Learn about common solar blockers – dust, leaves, and Bird droppings
Dust is one of the most common barriers to solar panels.The greatest factors that contribute to dust build-up are your geographical location and the surrounding elements that might pollute your system.Due to the accumulation of dust the efficiency of solar modules and panels in terms of power can be reduced up to 60%.
Solar systems installed in dust-prone areas, such as near main roads and farmlands, will require more frequent and thorough maintenance. Failure to clean dust off panels installed in such areas can see a detrimental impact on solar production.
While dust is a common pollutant, leaves also block sunlight, thus affecting your panels’efficiency.
Compared to dust accumulation, guano has a greater impact on panel performance. If the guano covers only part or all of one solar panel in the PV system, the common series inverter PV system may be seriously affected.
Branches attract birds as well and cause bird droppings,proper-angled arrays can take advantage of rain without having muddy residue and will wash away fallen leaves . This is because rain can effortlessly slide across them, keeping them mostly free of dust and pollutants.
how often do solar panels need to be cleaned
If you notice a lot of debris, dirt, bird spots on your solar panels, or if you observe degraded panel performance through a solar panel monitoring system or micro-inverter, it’s time to start cleaning your panels. But it doesn’t have to be too frequent. Generally, once or twice a year is enough
Homeowners should also judge their ability to work safely.If there is too much stubborn grime on the array that will require you to go up on your roof, always follow safety precautions. Use appropriate safety equipment including wearing a safety harness and hard hat when doing a regular cleaning.
Suppose the solar panels are too high to reach comfortably with tools or are set in a steep or slippery location. In that case, homeowners should hire professional assistance to avoid potentially serious injuries.
When is the best time to cleaning solar panels?
Pick a cool, cloudy day to wash solar panels, because when it’s hot, water evaporates too quickly and leaves residue. Also solar panels don’t like sudden changes in temperatures and by applying cold water to them on a hot day, you risk cracking them.
STEP 1:Turn off your solar panel system
Solar panels are electrical equipment and should not be cleaned while active. Manufacturer specifications will explain how to make sure electrical currents—both produced by the panel and going into the home—are turned off.
STEP 2:Dislodge any dust, dirt, or leaves
Leaves, bird poop, and dust accumulate on solar panels. Even though rain clears away some of this, it doesn’t get everything and can create dirty residue when puddles evaporate. Debris should be removed with gentle brushing from a soft-bristled tool to start the cleaning process.
Applying dish soap and warm water with a soft sponge or brush or rag is the safest and most effective way to clean. Be sure to avoid damaging the solar panels.If the cleaning is not proper, it may lose 15%-25% of the efficiency. This means that solar panels will now use 15%-25% less power, which is bad for the whole system.
STEP 3: Use a hose to spray the panels clean.
Spray down solar panels. Just take a hose and wash all the debris away.Water is a major player in solar panel cleaning. After dry debris is removed by brushing, a garden hose can remove most remaining dirt on solar panels.
Some people may use water torch to get clear work done quickly, but high-pressure cleaning is likely to create fine cracks on their surfaces. This will ruin the efficiency of the solar system and invite future problems.
STEP 4:Scrub the places where water wasn’t enough with brush or sponge
After spraying away most of the mess, problem areas can be given extra attention with a sponge, squeegee, or soft cloth dunked into a bucket of clean water. Gentle, focused cleaning in a repetitive motion—with some patience—is best since aggressive scrubbing can scratch the panels.
Make sure your brush is very soft and has no metal components, and avoid using cleaners as these can leave streaks and may affect the surface of the panel. Of course, you should never use abrasive cleaners. The high-quality glass used in solar panels doesn’t easily pick up dust and dirt, so you don’t need to scrub too hard.
STEP 5: Monitor your home’s solar output
Normal operating conditions cause fluctuation within the predicted range. When solar panels are dirty, however, they produce energy at the low end of the range.
Grid-connected solar energy homeowners should review their energy bills before and after the cleaning. Off-grid solar owners should check their daily power storage.