How Do You Clean Solar Panels Properly?

Solar Panels on Roof at Dusk

Solar panels are only able to produce electricity when they are facing straight into the sun. If your commercial solar installation is subjected to a bigger amount of sunlight, it will be able to create a more significant amount of electricity.

In this area, we will discuss some methods for cleaning solar panels, as well as some ways to maintain a high level of solar production with minimum effort.

Because of this, you will be able to maintain a high level of performance over the lifetime of the panel in your installation.

Why Are Solar Panels Dirty?

As time passes, solar panels are subjected to the pollutants and dust that float through the air, which causes them to get dirty. Dust collection on solar panels is more likely near construction sites or industrial complexes.

Residential solar installations on farms gather nitrogen-rich particles or fertiliser, which can gradually damage solar components.

Solar installations on farms have also been known to accumulate dust. Bird droppings are a form of shadow that hinders energy output and can cause spots on solar panels.

Solar Blockers Including Leaves, Dust, And Water Are Frequent

Beyond the accumulation of filth over time, dust often causes issues. However, your precise location also significantly impacts how much this can affect your system and what causes it.

According to the Solar Installers, a small amount of dust might not impact light because light can still get through. They advise letting nature take its course because rain will handle most of the chore of cleaning solar panels.

According to a study conducted by one company, the efficiency reduction is minimal—maybe 5% or less. And with a typical 5.2 kW system might result in an energy bill decrease of roughly $25. Another business discovered that a thorough cleaning increased the panels’ efficiency by 3.7%.

If that weren’t convincing enough, an analyst calculated a potential annual loss in energy yield of 31.5% if they weren’t cleaned every month.

But it’s equally crucial to remember that leaves also impede light. After 15 months of operation, cleaning flat designs in an experiment by the business Mountain View “doubled their energy overnight.”

The testing did reveal that rain on rooftop panels can also be adequate.

PV arrays located in dustier areas should be considered if they are close to agriculture or a major road. These arrays need to be cleaned more frequently because there is much more dust and debris to contend with.

Bird Poop & Feathers

Bird droppings on solar panels are worse than dust. Does your array have string or micro-inverters? Systems with microinverters (one attached to each panel) can display harmful components. In these cases, the inverter won’t show the current flow.

Several trees, especially deciduous ones, will attract birds and drop leaves on your roof. Regular solar panel cleaning efforts or services are even more important because these processes cause accumulation and dirt over time.

One thing to consider is the array’s inclination. Flat panels may need more cleaning since water may collect and leave a muddy residue when it evaporates. Raindrops that are angled receive the benefit of keeping clean.

Which Methods Of Cleaning Solar Panels Are The Most Effective?

Whether you are a seasoned solar panel cleaner or a domestic solar system owner, it would be best if you had the appropriate equipment to clean solar panels effectively and safely.

Make Precautions Your First Priority

Stop to think about your well-being and safety before you grab your cleaning supplies and head up on your roof to do some work. No one should ever climb up on their roof unless they are secured by a safety harness and donning a hard hat. Please look at some of our material here working safely at heights.

It is best to wait until it is cooler outside before climbing up on your roof to clean it, as roofs tend to retain a lot of heat, making your job much more difficult.

Running A Hose From The Ground Up Usually Works

In most circumstances, the risk-free approach to cleaning solar panels on rooftops is to do so from ground level using a hose.

It is recommended that the water spray be directed towards the solar panels like rainwater and that gravity be allowed to perform the work.

Be patient if bird poop proves to be a difficult opponent for your manufactured shower.

After the water has moistened the bird droppings, a next pass with the water hose should be sufficient to remove them.

Keeping one’s feet firmly planted on the ground reduces the likelihood of suffering a fall.

Isopropyl Alcohol Removes Stains

If you can safely get onto the roof to clean it more thoroughly, use isopropyl alcohol to remove greasy without leaving any trace. We do not recommend using detergent to remove tough stains since they frequently create a film on panel glass that attracts future grime.

Under no circumstances should you position yourself as standing on the solar modules. Any pressure applied to the solar panels runs the danger of generating microcracks, which can decrease the amount of energy produced.

Plastic Sponges And Soft Brushes Remove Scum Easily

When cleaning solar panels with water, only brushes created explicitly for use with solar energy should be used. Scratching the solar glass with inappropriate scrubbing equipment, such as a steel brush, can cause shade, which is detrimental to producing solar energy.

When removing caked-on scum, it is necessary to first soften the scum with water before using a plastic scourer to remove it.

Squeegeeing Helps Prevent Water Stains

Squeegees should be used to complete cleaning glass or window, and they can also be used to wipe the dry surface of solar panels to avoid water stains from casting shadows on solar panels. Squeegees should also be utilised for cleaning windows in the same manner.

Do Cleaning Solar Panels Make A Difference?

Like most things, a short clean can help solar panels perform properly. Solar panels transform sunshine into electricity for your home. If dirt, dust, leaves, or bird faeces obstruct your panels, not all of the sunlight they may be capturing is turned into electricity, which could harm your bottom line.

A analysis reported at the World Renewable Electricity Congress showed that unclean solar panels can lose 4 to 20% of their performance, therefore cleaning them can affect how much energy you receive. How much cleaning helps depends on the amount of solar panels, how dirty they are, and weather conditions.

How Should Solar Panels Be Cleaned?

Solar panel cleaning is simple to undertake on your own, but it’s wise to make sure you’re safe before climbing up on the roof. For panel cleaning, adhere to these steps:

  • Initially, switch off your solar panels and direct any roof water away from your rainwater storage tanks (if you have any).
  • Second step, Use a hose to clean the solar panels gently. Most of the dust should be eliminated by doing this.
  • The third step involves using liquid soap and a soft cloth or rag to remove harder streaks or stains.
  • Fourth Step To prevent the panels from developing streaks and blockages, blot up any excess water with a different towel or a squeegee.

It’s advisable to avoid using scourers, sprayers, or other rough cleaning agents on your solar panels because they could harm its surface or mechanical components. You can always pay someone to come clean your solar panels for you if you’re uncomfortable climbing up on the roof.

When Did You Clean Your Solar Panels?

Solar panel manufacturers and installers recommend cleaning your solar panels once a year. The amount of precipitation in the area and how dirty the panels get determine how often they need to be cleaned.

It is possible that solar panels that are set at an incline will require less maintenance and cleaning than those that are installed horizontally. It’s possible that environment will perform most of the cleaning for you, especially if there is a lot of rainfall during the year and your solar panels are set at an angle. First thing tomorrow morning, while the panels are still somewhat cool, wipe them down.

How Much Does Solar Panel Cleaning Cost?

The expense of cleaning solar panels professionally is several hundred bucks. The quantity of panels you have, how simple it is to access your roof, and the typical call-out fees for contractors will all affect how much it will really cost.

You should budget a few hundred dollars for the service if you want your solar panels to be cleaned by a professional.

However, the majority of experts also offer a quote, allowing you to compare various possibilities and conduct research to select something that falls within your budget.

If you are interested in having your solar panels cleaned by a professional, you should first contact one of the firms who installed solar panels as they typically offer cleaning services.

When Is The Appropriate Time To Seek The Assistance Of Professionals?

As was mentioned earlier, the average amount of dust will be cleaned for you by the rain, and it will not be worth your time to engage professional cleaners to come in and do the work because the dust will be removed for you by the rain.

  • On the other hand, if you happen to live in a highly polluted area or in close proximity to the water, you might want to give each and every one of them a ring.
  • You have deciduous trees nearby your solar panels.
  • You make the startling discovery that your panels have a particularly challenging buildup, such as droppings from birds.
  • Either you are a significantly older person, or you do not feel comfortable walking up on your roof. Neither explanation makes sense.

TIP: If you want to evaluate the state of your solar panels without climbing up a ladder, you may want to consider installing a surveillance camera that aims toward the panels. This will allow you to view the panels without getting on a ladder. Because of this, you won’t have to use a ladder to get to the higher level.

What Should One Not Do?

Make sure you have the right tools and resources to avoid causing any damage to your panels when you clean them on your own. Never make use of:

Harsh soaps, such as solid detergents or soaps that contain chemicals, should be avoided while cleaning solar panel units since the surface of the panels can be harmed by their use.

Rough cleaning tools such as abrasive cloths and sponges, as well as brooms with a densely packed set of bristles, might scratch the surface of your panels.

It should go without saying that you should never stand on top of your solar panels because the weight could cause cracks.

Always Remember To Perform Routine Checks On Your Panels

In addition, don’t forget to perform routine checks on your solar panels to ensure that they are free from damage or fractures, as well as nests, which tend to be made by birds and rats!

Keeping an eye on your solar panels to ensure that they receive the maximum sunlight possible may help you save money on your monthly electric bills.

FAQs

Solar systems are getting too big these days to capture in a photo! Congratulations to Louise who has chosen to install 6.6kW of Trina panels with a 5kW Fronius inverter to ensure her solar production is always high. With the Vic Gov Solar Rebate of around $2,000 we calculated the payback on this system being around 3.5 years. Happy days for Louise and the environment!

Do Solar Panels In Australia Require Regular Cleaning?

The presence of dirt on solar panels typically has a very minimal impact on the efficiency of the panels. This is due to the fact that rainfall is sufficient to maintain solar panels clean enough to function adequately in the majority of residences throughout Australia.

There will be an accumulation of grime, but ultimately there will be enough rain to wash away the majority of it.

How Should Solar Panels Be Cleaned?

Water is the most effective cleanser for solar panels, particularly if it has been ionised or distilled. As a result of the water’s ability to attract additional chemicals, cleaning with it is more effective. If you do not have access to deionized or distilled water, softening the water from your hose with a water softener will help increase the water’s ability to clean.

How Are Solar Panels Maintained?

Do solar panels require any kind of maintenance? Solar panels require extremely little care on the whole in order for them to function, thus in most cases, the answer is yes, you can just leave them alone. The only maintenance they require is an occasional light cleaning to ensure that dirt, leaves, and other debris are not blocking the sun’s rays from reaching their surfaces.

Do Solar Panels Harbour Mould Growth?

You can think of solar panels as being similar to your home’s roof. They are capable of cultivating biological development like lichen, mould, moss, algae, and mildew over time.

In Australia, How Long Do Solar Panels Typically Last?

Approximately 20-25 Years Solar panels, on average, have a lifespan of approximately 20-25 years, according to several studies. Solar panels are expected to have a long lifespan provided that they are kept clean and free of debris throughout their use. Your solar panels’ overall quality is determined by a variety of factors, each of which has its own importance.

Conclusion

Solar panels are inevitably going to get dirty over time because they are constantly being assaulted by various pollutants and particles of dust that float through the air.

Dust accumulation on solar panels is more likely to occur in areas close to industrial or construction sites. It has also been observed that solar installations on farms tend to gather a lot of dust.

The droppings of birds on solar panels are an even greater problem than dust. Leaves also block light.

It’s possible that flat solar panels require more cleaning. To clean solar panels located on rooftops in the safest and most efficient manner, do so while standing on the ground and using a garden hose. Raindrops that fall at an angle have a greater chance of remaining uncontaminated.

Solar panels can benefit from a quick cleaning to help them function more effectively. It’s important to keep them clean because it can affect how much energy you get from the sun.

Number of a difference can be made by cleaning depends on the total number of solar panels and the current climate. Solar panels can be cleaned with little effort, but it is important to take precautions to avoid injury. It is recommended that you clean your solar panels at least once per year by the people who install them and manufacture them.

The frequency of the panels’ needing to be cleaned depends on the amount of precipitation that occurs in the area as well as how dirty they get. Solar panels that are tilted at an angle require significantly less cleaning and maintenance than flat panels.

The rain will take care of the majority of the dust for you, and it will not be worthwhile for you to hire professional cleaners because of the amount of dust that will be removed. If you happen to live in an area that is extremely polluted, you should probably contact each and every one of them.

Content Summary

  • Your solar power system will be able to generate a more significant amount of electricity if it is exposed to a greater quantity of sunlight.
  • When you consider the fact that dirt and dust might decrease the amount of money you make, it is easy to feel hatred towards unclean solar panels.
  • In this section, we will discuss some methods for cleaning solar panels, as well as some ways that you can maintain a high level of solar production with a minimum amount of effort. In addition, we will discuss some ways that you can maintain a high level of solar production.
  • Because of this, you will be able to keep the performance of the panel in your installation at a high level even after it has reached the end of its useful life.
  • Birds will be drawn to the area if there are multiple trees, particularly deciduous trees, and their leaves will end up on your roof.
  • When it comes to cleaning solar panels that are mounted on rooftops, the method that poses the least amount of risk is to do so using a hose while standing on the ground.
  • After the bird droppings have been wetted down by the water, it should only take one more pass with the water hose to remove all of them.
  • Sponges made of plastic and gentle brushes Scum Can Easily Be Removed. Only brushes that have been specifically designed for use with solar energy should be utilised when cleaning solar panels with water.
  • It is recommended that you clean your solar panels at least once per year by both the people who instal them and the people who manufacture them.
  • If you want a professional to clean your solar panels, you should set aside a few hundred dollars in your budget to cover the cost of the service.
  • If you want to evaluate the condition of your solar panels but don’t want to climb up on a ladder, you should think about installing a surveillance camera that is aimed towards the panels. This will allow you to do so without having to get on a ladder.
  • You won’t need to climb a ladder to check out the panels now that you have this solution.
  • When you clean your panels on your own, you should make sure that you have all of the necessary equipment and resources to keep from causing any damage to them.

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