How Dirt & Pollution Can Damage Solar Cells
Not only will dirt and airborne pollutants affect the production of solar panels, but they will also harm the solar cells themselves. A conventional and regular cell shaded by dust gatherings will act as a resistance to the power generated by other cells and this, in turn, causes the shaded cell to heat up and damage the cell..
Many solar systems are not independently connected to a microinverter and rely on the surrounding cells to maintain solar productivity. SunPower cells, however, are all independently connected to the microinverter and the cells around one another are not affected in any way by each other. If one cell were to be shaded or covered in dust, the others will continue working fine without damaging the shaded cell. But the production of that one cell will still be affected by the dust.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost
Solar panels range across the scale of costs, but there are many factors that could contribute to this. When you understand the factors that affect the overall cost of an individual item, you will be able to plan your specific expenditure around it. Lets take an in-depth look at what these factors are, and how they might affect the price of your solar energy system.
As demand has grown, the prices have come down considerably. There are even certain incentive programs that allow people to claim a rebate based on the amount of energy their solar power system generates which will obviously lower the overall costs of the solar panels. Whether this rebate allows companies to do the installation at a reduced cost, or whether it takes the form of credits that can be claimed in the form of grid electricity in times of low solar activity, the benefits are undeniable.
Dont Use Abrasive Materials
Abrasive Materials are likely to scratch the surface of your Solar Panels causing damage that will impact your Solar Generation and in many cases warranty. The best tools to use for cleaning your Solar Panels will be a water fed pole with a soft brush, combined with a Squeegee. You can water your Solar Panels using a hose on a low pressure setting, scrub off the dirt with a soft brush and then squeegee the surface dry.
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Watersentinel Inline Deionized Water Garden Hose
About the Product
Last on our review of solar panel cleaning tools is this inline hose. The WaterSentinel garden hose is a non-invasive way to remove hardness from the water before cleaning solar panels. It comes as a tube that fits between your garden hose and the nozzle.
The WaterSentinel SF-20W Inline Hose comes with a flex extension and a tube. The tube contains DI media, which dissolves minerals in hard water. On the other hand, the flex extension connects the tube to the nozzle of your garden hose.
Besides deionization, the tube also filters the water that goes through it. It comes with a sediment pack on the inlet and outlet, which helps to remove substances like chlorine, sand, rust, dust, and slit from the water.
So, overall, the quality of the water that comes out of the WaterSentinel SF-20W Inline Hose is pretty topnotch.
To use the deionized water garden hose, attach the inlet end of the tube to the outlet of your garden hose. Then attach the outlet end of the tube to the inlet end of the flex extension. Then lastly, attach the outlet of the flex extension to the open end of your nozzle.
Besides offering a 2-way water purification process, the it is pretty durable. It is also easy to use, much more so than complicated large deionization systems. However, one drawback is that it can only be used for a limited number of washes.
- It is only useful for a limited number of solar panel cleaning sessions.
How To Clean Solar Panels: What Products Should You Use If Any
When cleaning your solar panels, the most important consideration to keep in mind is that scratching or damaging the glass in any way will reduce a panels energy production. Its best to approach panel cleaning the same way you might clean your car. Dish soap and warm water applied with a soft sponge or cloth is the safest and easiest cleaning method. It may also be helpful to use a squeegee to remove dirty water. Remember avoid damaging or scratching the glass at all costs!
On rare occasions, oily stains can appear on your panels. You might find these if you live near a common truck route or an airport, and they can be tackled with a little isopropyl alcohol and a rag. It is essential to avoid using strong cleaning fluids, however, as these can streak and damage the glass.
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Best Solar Panel Cleaning Equipment At A Glance
A good solar panel cleaning brush should be the softest you can get. If you clean a solar panel with a hard brush, the intense abrasive force will most likely scratch the panels surface and damage it.
But apart from having soft brush bristles, an ideal solar panel cleaning brush should come with an extension pole that allows you to clean the solar panel safely from the ground. It should feature a squeegee to wipe off excess water after the final rinse. The best solar panel cleaning brushes may also have a design that allows water to flow through the brush head, so you can spray the panels down rapidly and rinse easily after cleaning.
Ideally, water is the best fluid for cleaning modules of a solar system. But when the grime and dust are very tough, rain water alone is not enough. You might need a cleaning solution because regular soaps and detergents will delaminate or damage the surface. Good quality solar panel cleaning solutions are formulated without harsh chemicals, so you never have to worry about ruining the surface of your solar panel while cleaning.
In place of a water pump, you can get a water softener/deionizer. This will help convert your hard water to deionized water, so you never have to worry about mineral deposits.
Best Method To Clean Your Solar Panel
The best solar panel cleaning method uses only water, a soft sponge, and mild soap . Consider doing the cleaning by yourself as hiring professional cleaners might not be worth the money.
Cleaning solar panels is quick and easy. If you plan to do it yourself, always consider the safety measures because you might have to climb on the roof. Below is a stepwise process of the basic cleaning process.
- Step 1: Check your solar panel manufacturer if they have any specific recommendations for cleaning the panels.
- Step 2: Consider cleaning in the morning or late afternoon. You can also do it on a cool day.
- Step 3: Clean gently with a garden hose at first. Usually, if there is not much dust and dirt, that will do it. However, if the panels are still dirty and contain bird droppings and other particles, you need more cleaning.
- Step 4: Take a bucket with clean water and mild soap. Use soap water to clean the surface of the panels gently. However, make sure that you dont leave any residue. You do not have to clean the wiring underneath the panels.
- Step 5: Rinse the panels with clean water with the hose and use a squeegee to dry off the panels. But you can also leave them to dry naturally.
- Step 6: Repeat the process until all panels are clean.
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For More Extensive Mess: Scrub Them Down
If the mess on your panels is more than just dust and dirt, and includes sticky substances such as bird droppings or sticky plant materials, then you might need to give the panels a good scrubbing.
Once again, you dont want to be too hard on the panels. Pick a soft scrubber, squeegee, or brush, that wont scratch or damage the panels. Also pick a very mild soap, that doesnt contain any chemicals which could harm or degrade the panels.
From there, heres how you clean the panels:
- Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of mild soap.
- Rinse solar panels with a hose, or with another low-pressure sprayer.
- Use soapy water and the scrubber to gently scrub the panels and clean them of any debris or buildup.
- Rinse solar panels thoroughly to remove any soapy water.
- Allow panels to dry in the sun.
And there you have it, its quite the straightforward process, and doesnt require much beyond a scrubber that is capable of reaching across your panels. But remember, solar panels get very hot on sunny summer days. You might want to schedule your clean for early in the morning or late in the evening.
Solar Panel Cleaning Systems In Phoenix Az
Alternative Energy, LLC can help with automatic solar panel cleaning systems installation all over Arizona including Phoenix, Cave Creek, Mesa, Carefree, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, Glendale, Chandler, El Mirage, Gilbert, Maricopa County, Fountain Hills, Peoria, Surprise, Sun City, Youngtown, Arizona cities.
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How To Tell When My Solar Panels Need Maintenance
In most cases, your solar panel system won’t need much maintenance outside of your regular inspections and cleaning. But there are some red flags to look out for that may indicate your panels require maintenance sooner than scheduled.
The best indicator that your solar panels need maintenance is a reduction in your energy output. If you suddenly notice that your solar panels aren’t producing as much energy as they normally do and that your electricity bill has gone up, it’s a good sign that you should schedule a service appointment.
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Best Solar Panel Cleaning Equipment And Tools In 2021
Various solar panel cleaning tools go into achieving the best solar panel cleaning equipment, from solar panel cleaning brushes with extension poles & squeegees to cleaning solutions, water pumps, and water deionizers/softeners. While getting all of these items in one solar panel cleaning kit is uncommon, you can get the best of each tool and create your own perfect solar panel cleaning equipment.
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Cleaning Your Solar Panels
Many homeowners are concerned about weather conditions damaging their panels or roof. Solar systems are installed in all types of climates. Whether you live somewhere with severe winters, a heavy rain season, coastal weather systems, or heat waves your solar system can and will handle it all.
Keeping your panels clear of debris or snow is crucial to ensure your panels are performing at maximum capacity. There are ways to assure your panels are putting out maximum energy production.
For debris from trees, birds, and general dust build up you can use:
- A leaf blower
- A simple quick rinse with a hose
- Or even a light rain can wash away panel build up
For removing a heavy layer of snow:
- Throw a soft football to shake the snow lose
- Use a leaf blower
- Use a long pole with a squeegee at the end
- Spray your panels with lukewarm water
If it is a light layer of snow, it will likely slide off, cleaning your panels in the process
When cleaning your panels NEVER:
- Spray hot water on cold panels
- Use RainX
- Use car wax
- Rock salt
How Much Does Solar Panel Cleaning Cost In Arizona
FOn average, solar panel cleaning in Phoenix costs about $225 for a one-time cleaning, with average prices ranging from $100-$350 according to HomeAdvisor. For manual cleaning, the average price over 25 years is $338.92 . For the automatic solar panel cleaning system, the average price per cleaning is $0.96.
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What Is The Best Way To Clean Solar Panels
What Does Solar Panel Cleaning Involve
Our solar panel cleaning service involves fully restoring the health of your solar panels by using water to remove any dirt and debris, along with a gentle soapy brush where needed to remove tougher built up residues. Your solar panels will be restored to full capacity, and clean up is always included in our service, leaving you with complete peace of mind.
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How To Maintain Your Solar Energy System
Aside from an annual $150 inspection, the key to maintaining your solar equipment is keeping it clear to absorb as much sun as possible. These systems are built to be extremely durable and long-lasting. If the sun can reach them, they are set to produce energy for 20-25 years.
- Clear Obstructions: Fallen leaves and outstretched branches can block sunlight.
- Remove Build-up: Excessive pollen and debris can reduce your energy output.
- Monitor Changes: Check your monitoring system for output changes.
- . Automatically wash and rinse year-round.
Why Use Clean Solar Solutions Ltd
We are one of the most experienced solar panel cleaning companies in the whole of the UK, our whole business is solar panel cleaning. We have equipped ourselves with professional solar panel cleaning equipment, know how to clean solar panels safely and effectively and have positioned ourselves to offer a high quality professional solar panel cleaning service. We are fully insured specifically for solar panel cleaning. Because health & safety is of paramount importance when dealing with solar panels, we hold an IPAF cherry-picker license which enables us to hire access machinery up to a height of 110ft. From these access platforms we can work safely and clean your solar panels without having to set foot on the roof at all. This is not necessary for residential solar panel installations, but invaluable to commercial solar panel installations. We are able to safely reach and clean virtually all solar panel arrays.
So in conclusion, why clean solar panels? Solar panels are prone to accumulating dirt. Why is solar panel cleaning important? Solar panel cleaning keeps your warranty in tact, helps your solar panels produce the maximum electricity and importantly, saves you more money in the long-term.
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Solar Panel Maintenance & Inspections
As mentioned, these systems will not demand much care throughout their lifetime. Cleaning is the primary concern. This equipment typically comes with a monitoring option which you can watch and measure yourself. With this monitoring ability, you can catch dips in energy output and equipment failures right away. If you notice a change, an inspection by a local professional is the best way to make sure you solve the problem correctly. If you don’t notice a change, an annual inspection could still turn up issues and you’ll be glad you caught before they became more serious. Small cracks, for example, could leak moisture into your panels at a slow rate, causing failure that requires expensive repairs.
During an annual inspection, which averages $150, the contractor will check important components. They will search for corrosion, wear and loose wiring and bolts. They may find cracks in your panels or broken glass and suggest repair work or replacement. Solar panel repair costs average$650. Your inspector may also find that tree branches or new construction are obstructing the system’s sun exposure. They may suggest tree trimming or even relocating your system on the roof.
How Much Does Solar Power Maintenance Cost
Solar panel maintenance costs can vary greatly depending on each solar provider because system installations are often tailored to the unique energy needs of each homeowner.
Sunruns BrightSave MonthlyTM and BrightSave PrepaidTM plans include worry-free professional maintenance and monitoring for two decades. However, if youre looking to purchase your own solar system, our BrightBuyTM or BrightAdvantageTM plans also have your back by letting you receive the equipment warranties directly from top manufacturers in the industry.
And if you have more questions about which maintenance routine your future solar system will need, our team of advisors is ready to discuss your energy needs and help you find the ideal solar solution for your home. Start with a complimentary solar quote today!
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How To Replace A Solar Panel Or Inverter If They Are Faulty
Solar power equipment should always be handled and replaced by a Clean Energy Council qualified electrician. If you intend to claim a warranty, then typically solar panel manufacturers will look for evidence of the fault supplied by an electrician.
If you are not replacing a solar panel with the same model from the same manufacturer, care should be taken to ensure that the solar panel replacement meets the same specifications as the other solar panels installed in the array, otherwise it could bring down the performance of the whole system.
Another Option: Have Them Serviced
Another option, if you dont feel like doing the work yourself, is to have the panels serviced by a professional. If you purchased directly from a solar panel company, then check the manufactures website to see if there are providers in your area that can have them serviced.
Many companies offer service plans upon purchasing the panel itself. These plans might include regular maintenance and upkeep. They might also include regular checkups to ensure that the panels are running as efficiently as they should.
But if it were up to us, we wouldnt choose this option. These services might end up costing you a fair bit. Youre essentially spending money so that you can save on your electricity bill down the line. Youre cancelling out your own cost savings! And since cleaning solar panels isnt a very difficult task to begin with, wed recommend against hiring someone for this job in most circumstances.
Remember, youre essentially comparing the cost of servicing the panels against the cost youd save by generating more energy with cleaner panels. These costs will rarely offset.
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