Solar panels are a great investment for homeowners who want to save money on their energy bills, combat the ever changing stages of load-shedding, and reduce their carbon footprint. However, dirty solar panels can reduce their efficiency and decrease their lifespan. Regular maintenance is important to ensure that your solar panels are functioning at their best.
Do I have to clean my solar panels?
The simple lazy answer is ‘no’. If you want your solar panels to generate power, they must be exposed to sunlight. But, unless you reside in a location with high levels of smog, dust, dirt or sand, it is usually not essential to clean your solar panels. Generally, periodic rain is sufficient to keep your panels clean and free from debris that could hinder production. However, occasional cleaning can improve your panel’s photovoltaic (PV) production. Therefore, if you decide to clean your solar panels, we can help you identify the best way to do it.
Can I clean my solar panels myself?
Yes, you can clean your solar panels yourself, but it is important to take the necessary precautions to avoid injury and damage to the panels. Before cleaning your solar panels, you should read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean and maintain them properly.
Professional solar cleaning & expertise
If you are not a fan of the ‘DYI’, you can also hire a professional solar panel cleaning service can help ensure that your solar panels are functioning at their optimal level and can ultimately help you save money on your energy bills. It is recommended that you have your solar panels professionally cleaned at least once every 1-2 years, depending on your location and environmental factors.
Professional solar panel cleaning companies use deionized water, soft brushes, and other specialized tools to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants from solar panels without damaging them. These companies also have experience in dealing with different types of solar panels and can help identify any potential issues or damage that may affect the performance of your solar panels.
Here are some tips and steps on how to clean your solar panels:
Turn off your solar panels
Before you start cleaning your solar panels, turn them off to prevent any electrical shocks. This can be done by turning off the main switch or circuit breaker that supplies power to your solar panels.
Check for debris
Inspect your solar panels for any debris such as leaves, bird droppings, and dust. These can reduce the efficiency of your panels and should be removed before cleaning them.
Using a hose or pressure washer, rinse your solar panels with water to remove any loose debris. Be careful not to use too much pressure as this can damage your panels. If you have hard water, you may want to use filtered water to prevent mineral buildup.
Use a soft brush
For stubborn dirt or debris, use a soft brush to gently scrub your solar panels. Avoid using abrasive brushes or harsh chemicals as these can scratch or damage your panels. Try not to use other cleaners such as laundry detergents or chemicals as they can react badly with solar cells. You can use a mixture of water and mild soap if necessary.
Rinse and dry
After cleaning your solar panels, rinse them thoroughly with water to remove any soap residue. Then, use a squeegee or soft cloth to dry your panels. Avoid using paper towels or rough cloths as these can scratch your panels.
While it is sufficient to let seasonal rains do the cleaning for you, do check on your solar panels once in a while. Keep it simple with some water and soft cloths or call a cleaning service just to maintain their efficiency and prolong their lifespan.
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