For your residential solar system to effectively generate electricity, it requires direct exposure to direct sunlight. Even though they don’t necessarily require much maintenance, they will still need to be cleaned from time to time to enhance their performance.
At the beginning, residential solar panel managers advised homeowners to allow rain to take care of solar panel cleaning. Three to four years after panel installation, they noticed significant productivity degradation, which went down up to 50%. They now began advising people on the importance of giving their solar panels some extra attention towards their cleanliness.
While the rain will only clear the light dirt off, it doesn’t clean them thoroughly. The drizzling rain will worsen the panels as it will convert dust and debris to a thick layer of mud.
How Can I Clean My Solar Panels Better?
When cleaning your solar panels, ensure you prevent any safety risks by checking the manufacturer’s instructions. The solar system should always be disconnected during the maintenance process. Some other effective solar cleaning tips include;
- Don’t go up the ladder if you do not have proper fall-protection equipment and a secure ladder. If you don’t have these protective gears, we highly recommend hiring a professional solar panel installations and cleaning company to clean your residential solar panels.
- Only clean your panel when it’s not hot, either in the morning or evening. Too much sun will dry the panels too fast, leaving splotches behind.
- Avoid using mineral-rich or hard water as it will damage the panel with time. You can use de-ionized or distilled water. Otherwise, you can buy a water-softening to filter out minerals for your hose attachments.
- Only use a soft-bristle brush to loosen up accumulated dirt and dust.
- Wash the panels using a garden hose with a nozzle attachment. Better still, you can get a nozzle with a soap connected so that you can spray with soapy water first.
- Avoid using abrasive products that may damage the panels and only use soft brushes and squeegees.
How Often Do I Need To Clean My Solar Panels
How often you clean your solar panels solely depends on weather conditions and where you live. However, solar panels cleaned once a year produce 3.5% more electricity while the one cleaned twice a year produces 5.1% more than those left uncleaned. Cleaning your solar panels once or twice a year is enough. However, you might need to give them more attention if your area has minimal downfall and much higher dirt accumulation.
Another special case to consider is the angle by which the panels are installed. If the solar panels are tilted, they will not need frequent cleaning as the rainwater will also wipe away the dust. Solar panels that are mounted flat will require frequent cleaning.
In most cases and mostly when rainy, your solar panels won’t require frequent cleaning because any debris and dust will be washed away by rainfall. However, if you live in a dusty and dry area, you will need to clean them more often.
Even though solar panel cleaning isn’t a complex procedure, you need to remember that you are not supposed to use solar systems during the cleaning process. This is the reason you should consider hiring a professional to clean them more expertly and efficiently and ensure it’s up and running within minimal time.
Solar Panel key takeaways
- If your residential solar panels are mounted flat or near a pollution source or arid region, you might need to clean your solar panel more often
- Pollution, dust, and bird droppings lessen solar efficiency
- Allowing your solar panel to accumulate dirt for long will reduce its solar output
- Measure the impact of your solar output by observing it before and after cleaning and modify the cleaning regularity accordingly.