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Cleaning Solar Panels - Is it necessary and How to do it?

4th October 2021  

Have you got dirty panels? Solar panels may require cleaning in some cases, but most research suggests that they are self-sufficient and low-maintenance. If you reside in a region with many airborne particulates, regularly cleaning the panels would be ideal. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about 'do solar panels need cleaning, and how to do it properly; solar panel system operators have about solar panel maintenance.

Is cleaning solar panels necessary?

Rain cleans a large portion of the obstructive debris or pollen on most solar panels, making them self-cleaning. Nevertheless, there are a few instances where you must think about whether solar panels need cleaning and how solar panel washing may be beneficial. When solar panels get positioned at a shallow angle, this is one example.

Because this location prevents all collected dirt from being rinsed away, it is vital to clean your solar panels regularly.

Is it true that dirt and debris reduce the efficiency of your solar panels? And, how much would it cost? In a nutshell, yes and no. And there isn't much. Yes, dirt and debris can reduce the amount of sunlight that can get converted into energy. However, the reduction in efficiency is minimal — about 5% or less.

Another situation that needs regular solar panel cleaning is a specialized and localized circumstance. It is an excellent example of living near an agricultural field, an airport runway, a factory, or a highway. These areas generate more dust and dirt than you clean regularly.

If you have set your panels at less than a 5-degree slant, you should conduct solar cleaning and wash them regularly because rain alone may not be sufficient to remove the debris. Furthermore, bird droppings can impede sunlight, lowering the efficiency of solar systems.

Have you read: Types of solar panels - Find the Right Solar Panel That Fits Your Home

How to clean solar panels?

Cleaning solar panels is dependent on the type of dirt that has accumulated on the modules. When your solar panels aren't heated, it's the most fantastic time to clean them. Also, the best times are early in the morning or late at night.

If you decide that they need cleaning and understand how to clean solar panels, you have two options: contact a contractor or do it alone. Many solar firms will provide you with this service for a price, of course. They may include it as part of an annual maintenance package or recommend that you get it done when they come to install the equipment.

The truth is that the amount you save on your energy bill does not exceed the money you must pay these providers to complete the work. Solar firms frequently charge a high fee for washing solar panels, with little return on your energy expenditure.

Washing them in the middle of the day could shatter the glass, or if this does not crack, the glass/metal barrier may get damaged due to excess heat.

It would help if you never cleaned the solar panels of dust. Exfoliation can remove any non-reflective treatments on the boards and irreversibly harm the glass on the window.

You can use sweeping to remove loose dirt during solar cleaning; this approach saves water and is simple to use; all you need is a decent broom. If your area receives a significant amount of rainfall, you can also count on the rain.

In addition, to get the most out of your solar panel systems, you must maintain them.

When cleaning your solar panel system, keep the following in mind:

  • To remove dirt and mud build-up from your panels, use a gentle cloth and non-toxic soap.

  • When the panels are hot, such as in the middle of the day, avoid using water on them. Washing solar panels best gets done in the morning or evening.

  • To remove items such as bird droppings, never use sharp pointy tools.

Read more: What is the best time to use Solar System?

Solar Cleaning Process

  • To eliminate any debris or grease, spray all screens with water.

  • In the containers, combine the cleaning fluid and water.

  • Wash the solar panels with a soft bristle brush dipped in the bucket.

  • Continue this process of cleaning the solar panels until all of the muck gets removed from the panel (this may take a little time since bird droppings and gum are difficult to remove).

  • Begin squeegeeing the panels until there is no more water on them.

  • After six months, put everything away and resume the process. Your solar panels will stay clean while producing as much power as possible if you do it this way.

Why is cleaning solar panels necessary?

To generate electricity, the solar panel must be directly exposed to sunlight. Solar cleaning usually is not required unless you reside in an area where there is a lot of smog, dust, dirt, or sand blowing around. In most circumstances, a little rain now and again will suffice to keep your solar panels clean and free of debris that could reduce production.

There are expert choices for washing solar panels, much like car washes; your solar panel installation may even do it for you for a fee.

If you have a roofing network, it's advisable to employ a cleaning service, even if it's just for safety. Cleaning companies won't do a faster or more thorough job than what you can, but they get trained to manage and sanitize rooftop units securely. When it comes to ground-mounted units, the service price may not be worth it once you can wash your panels efficiently and properly using a hose, dish soap, and a soft towel.

Bottom line

We all believe that rain cleans our solar panels. However, this is not the case. Because bird droppings and soot from surrounding facilities adhere to the panels, precipitation cannot wash them away. Washing solar panels will ensure that they are well-maintained.

Where you live determines how often you clean your solar panels. If you live in an area where there are no farms or manufacturing companies, you should clean your solar panels every two years. However, washing your solar panel twice a year is recommended if you reside in an active region.

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You can also read: The Complete Guide to Solar Panel Maintenance

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