Most people do not clean their solar panels as often as they should, and this can impact the amount of energy generated to power your equipment or home. If the climate where you live is dry, and you do not receive a lot of rain, it is even more important to clean your solar panels as there will be much more buildup of dust on them.
Rainwater will clean solar panels to some degree as it does help clear dust off of them. When the rainwater evaporates, however, it will leave rings of debris and dust that will impact how efficiently your panels produce solar power. The following is more information on what you should know about solar panel cleaning.
Why Solar Panels Need Cleaning
Keeping your solar panels clean will go a long way in extending their life as well as how efficient they will operate in the long run. It is estimated solar panels degrade approximately .5% each year. Regular cleaning of the panels will slow this deterioration down significantly. Regular cleanings also keep your panels producing power at a maximum rate. According to one study done on the benefits of cleaning solar panels, it showed dust and air pollution reduced solar energy production by as much as 17 to 25%.
Some of the causes solar panels become dirty and work less efficiently include leaves, dust, and bird droppings falling onto them. Birds are considered the number one enemy when it comes to solar panels becoming dirty. These droppings cause more damage to the panels than dust can as they chemically damage your solar panels. Another problem with birds is they like to nest underneath solar panels which restricts the airflow around the panels. Restricted airflow can cause the panels to overheat and become damaged. If you notice birds nesting under your panels, you may want to consider building a bird barrier to the underside to prevent them from building underneath.
How to Clean Solar Panels
It is possible to clean solar panels yourself, but there are some things to learn before beginning the process. You will need the right equipment before beginning your solar panel cleaning project, and there are some solar panel cleaning kits available on the market. A safer and more effective method to clean your solar panels would be to contact Gwyndow’s Window Cleaning Service.
If you are continuing with a DIY cleaning project on your solar panels this is some cleaning equipment you will need:
A garden hose to spray the panels down. Do not use a pressure washer as to much pressure could damage the panels.
A brush with soft bristles is recommended to scrub the grime and bird droppings off the panels.
Create a gentle cleaning solution with mild detergent, vinegar, and water. Do not use harsh chemicals when you clean solar panels.
Follow these steps to clean your solar panels:
Pick a time during the day when it is cool to clean your solar panels. If it is too hot, the water will evaporate too quickly and leave marks behind on your panels. Another problem with cleaning when it is too hot, is the cool water hitting the hot panels can cause them to crack.
Make sure your solar panel system is shut down before beginning to clean your panels. If you have gutters or rainwater collectors, you should disconnect them before beginning to clean them so dirty runoff water does not flow into them.
Remove all loose leaves or debris from the panels with a soft cloth or brush. It is safer to clean solar panels from the ground so it is recommended you use a brush with an extension to make the reach easier. If it is not possible to reach your panels from the ground, you should consider contacting Gwydow’s Window Cleaning Services for safer cleaning of your solar panels.
Spray the panels with the garden hose to wash away loose debris and dust.
Use a soft brush and a safe panel cleaning solution to remove stubborn dirt and bird droppings from the panels.
Spray panels again to rinse away loosened debris and use a squeegee to wipe leftover water from the surface of the panels.
Clean panels every 6 months or less to keep them operating at their best production.
Option to Cleaning Your Solar Panels
If the task of cleaning your solar panels sounds too overwhelming, or they cannot be reached safely from the ground, contact Gwyndow’s Window Cleaning Service. We are a locally owned, women-operated business using eco-friendly products to give you the best clean possible. We are fully insured and offer excellent customer service for all your residential and commercial cleaning needs.