Thursday, November 30, 2023

How Often Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning

Will It Void My Warranty To Have Them Cleaned

Do solar panels need to be cleaned | How often do I need to clean my solar panels

Always read your warranties and understand them, but we have not experienced anything we do that would void your warranty. We have worked with many solar panel installers to give service for their clients. In fact, many customers call us because the solar panel companies recommend them being cleaned prior to their service call. Too much dirt can affect the output when there is nothing mechanically wrong otherwise.

Cleaning Your Solar Panels: Is It Even Necessary

Your solar panels need to be exposed to sunlight in order to produce power. However, unless you live somewhere with high amounts of smog, dust, dirt or sand blowing around, solar panel cleaning is generally not necessary. In most cases, occasional rain will be enough to naturally and safely keep your solar panels clean and free of debris that could lower production.

Why Hire A Professional To Clean Solar Panels

It is safer for you and your system to hire solar panel cleaning experts because you will want to avoid scratching the solar panels surface areas. You have to be careful about what chemicals you put on solar panels, and you have to be cautious about the amount of pressure you are using on them. Solar panels on the roof also carry the danger of cleaning them to prevent the homeowner from falling. Expert solar panel cleaners know what cleansers to use, how much pressure, and what to clean the panels with so that there are no particles left behind. Professional solar panel cleaning crews are highly trained, licensed, and insured with years of training and service.

We here at Squeegee Squad can take care of your solar panel cleaning needs and other household needs such as professional window washing, gutter cleaning, and pressure washing. Give your local Squeegee Squad a call to see how we can help you keep your entire estate clean and running like a dream.

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When To Call A Pro

There are three times when you might want to call a professional for your solar panel cleaning and maintenance:

  • When its part of the warranty. Some solar panel installers will offer a solar panel cleaning, or two, as part of the package deal when you purchase your panels. If so, it doesnt hurt to take them up on their offer.
  • When you dont feel comfortable doing it yourself. Not a ladder person? If youre afraid of heights, injured, infirm or otherwise unwilling or unable to climb onto your roof to tackle the job of cleaning solar panels, its best to hire a professional to clean yours. You can expect to spend about $150 on average for this type of service.
  • When something has caused your solar panels to be really dirty. If your property has heavy tree coverage, you can expect your solar panels to quickly fill up with bird droppings. This can be difficult to remove, especially when it becomes baked on by the sun.

Abm Window Cleaning Specializes In Commercial Solar Panel Cleaning

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Solar Panels?

Are you a solar panel installer in need of having hundreds or even thousands of solar panels clean? We have worked with solar panel companies in the area to do the maintenance cleaning they are required to provide. We have a fast and efficient process to get those panels cleaned at an affordable rate! The last thing you need is to overpay for those maintenance cleans your contract requires.

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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.

Will My Panels Lose Efficiency If I Dont Clean Them

No, that wont happen. The reason solar panels lose efficiency is because the sun is not shining directly on them. With the sun shining directly on them, the solar cells are directly exposed to the sun, causing the photovoltaic cells to work harder and produce more electricity. If you dont clean your panels regularly, they will eventually become ineffective.

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What To Use When Cleaning Solar Panels

One of the cardinal rules when cleaning solar panels is dont use any detergent stronger than dishwashing liquid. This is all you need to get your panels back to that super clean condition as they were when first installed.

More potent chemicals like bleach could easily leave indelible marks on your panels, affecting their efficiency.

Another question is whether you can use a high-pressure washer on your panels, and again, a standard hosepipe or bucket of water is more than enough. High pressure can potentially dislodge components on the system.

All you need is a sponge even for those problematic bird stains and a cloth for the rest and, as an added tip, try and use a long-handled sponge or similar tool to clean your panels as this will make accessing the whole surface more controllable.

Is Cleaning Solar Panels Worth It

Do Solar Panels Need to be Cleaned?

Some feel that cleaning solar panels is far too much trouble to even consider, but this causes the efficiency level to drop as more and more dirt accumulates on the surface of the panels. It could drop a few percentages, or by a massive amount, over the course of several years.

Solar panels are created with a protective layer on them that keeps them protected from bad weather. Over the course of several years, the accumulation of dust and other materials will reduce the overall efficiency. For a typical 5kW solar system in a residential dwelling, yearly cleaning would only result in a few pounds worth of electricity production being gained.

Dust gathering on solar panels does make a difference in terms of performance, but in some locations, it is not a large enough factor to warrant cleaning. If the decline in power output is only small, and the power consumption of the household is still covered by the panels, then the cleaning might not be worth the further investment.

For the larger commercial rooftop system, the financial losses are bigger if the solar panels do not perform at optimal levels. However, it is still enough to warrant the cost of washing the panels, especially as it does not tend to happen too often.

If you invest in a cleaning company to wash and tidy your solar panels, there is no return on your investment. So the cost of cleaning tends to be more than the results that are produced.

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New Research To Keep Solar Panels Clean And Efficient

While there are still DIY services and professional solutions to eliminate any soiling on your array, industry innovations are also paving the way for easier upkeep.

These include:

  • Special coatings for glass to repel dust and reduce soiling.
  • Robotic cleaners to remove dirt at night without using water they use soft brushes and air blowers.
  • Kipp & Zonens commercial tool designed to measure dirt levels.

Kipp & Zonens DustIQ monitor for example uses LED and a photodiode to monitor the amount of dirt building up on the array. Solar farm operators can then choose when and how often to clean their installations for maximum performance.

In addition to this, expert facilities management companies like industry leader Royal Flush recommends cleaning your system at least twice a year. Doing so keeps your investment in tip-top shape to ensure better efficiency and cost-savings for the future.

But if this isnt enough to tip you over the edge and get your system in best working order, the Royal Flush team has also shed light on just how much energy you could be losing by avoiding a productive maintenance routine for your array. And where youre losing energy, youre also losing money.

For example, you could be losing up to the following percentages per quarter, if cleaning isnt on your agenda:

Maintain Your New Solar System With Green Convergence

A SunPower system is a great investment. Once you begin saving with solar, you dont need to worry about constant maintenance with SunPowers 25-year warranty – even though overtime we do recommend keeping your panels clean to maximize your highest performance. Investing in a house comes with certain upkeep costs, investing in a car has certain maintenance costs, and investing in a solar system naturally comes with certain polishing procedures.

Don’t lose out on efficiency.

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A Quick Overview Of Solar Panels

Before we look at that, lets recap what solar panels are made of and how they generate electricity for your home. Solar panels are made from silicon and layered in silicon wafers with a conducting material .

The wafers are then compacted into a matrix configuration and glass added with an anti-reflective coating that encourages the absorption of sunlight. Electricity is generated as the silicon looks to balance its electrons as the sunlight strikes the panel.

That is a very simplified version, but the point is that the glass and the coating are critical to ensure the panels efficacy, which is why they need to be cleaned regularly.

Where Can I Find A Solar Panel Cleaner In Cambria

How To Clean Solar Panels From The Ground : Solar Panels ...

There are several solar panel cleaning companies out there. You can find solar panel cleaner companies listed on search engines. If you need a solar panel cleaner service, a solar panel cleaner company will usually know which solar panel you have and the type of cleaning you need. If youre looking for an insured and bonded solar panel cleaner company with years of expertise, check our services and get a free quote.

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Why Do Solar Panels Need To Be Cleaned

Solar panels are mostly silicon-based, which means that they can be easily affected by the presence of dirt and dust in the environment.

Various kinds of dust particles especially those found in urban areas contain elements like carbon, nitrates, sulfates, etc.

Besides being composed of quartz that will eventually cause your solar panels to produce less energy.

When exposed to the sun, these dirt particles absorb their heat and result in a reduction of power.

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Rainwater Doesnt Do It For You

Most solar panel owners dont clean their panels after it rains because they think they dont need to because the rain water will do it for them. But thats not true. Similar to how you need to clean your cars windshield more often during the rainy season, your solar panels need to be cleaned more often as well. So, it is recommended that you dont rely on rain water to clean your panels automatically, because it just doesnt happen.

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How Does Extreme Weather Impact Your Solar Panels

Solar panels are made for durability, which means you can keep on using them for years to come. Best of all, theyll keep performing at peak efficiency even after years of wear and tear, thanks to their advanced design. This includes rain, wind, snow, and even hail. Not only that but theres evidence that they survive hurricanes, with places experiencing hurricanes having little damage to their solar panels.

However, they are not 100% indestructible. On rare occasions, thin-film photovoltaic panels can suffer damage due to extreme weather conditions, such as hail, hurricanes, tornadoes and lighting. This is why you should take advantage of a good warranty and/or have your solar panels insured by your homeowners insurance policy.Panels are affected by the weather, mostly with regard to heat. If it gets too hot, a reduction of 1% per degree will occur. However, if you lift the panels off the roof or ground, this may prevent overheating and keep them cool, thus maintaining their production level.

Even Washing Your Panels Once A Year Can Improve Efficiency

Do You Need to Clean Your Solar Panels?

Beyond basic debris removing, it is recommended by most solar experts that you give your panels a thorough cleaning at least once a year. An annual clean up has been found to improve energy output by as much as 12% when compared to panels that were only cleaned by rainfall. If you have time to bump it up to twice a year, even better!

There are a lot of products and cleaning solutions available that are formulated for use on solar panels. There are even solar panel cleaning robots – but most find that mild soap and a soft, glass friendly cloth do the trick just fine.

Youll want to do your cleaning early in the morning or in the evening. When the sun is out in full force, solar panels can heat up quickly and make the washing experience more difficult. This is especially true in the summer months.

If youre working with roof-mounted panels, be sure that youre going about it safely! If youre working with hard to reach spots, try attaching the cloth that youre using to an extendable brush so that you arent putting yourself at risk of falling.

Have any questions about solar panel maintenance?

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How Much Production Are You Losing With Dirty Panels

Anything that comes between your solar panels and the sun will have an impact on how much electricity the system produces. But whether or not you should do something about it depends on how much electricity youre losing out on. After all, professional cleaning services cost money.

In the case of typical dirt build-up on solar panels, the reduction in production is so small that its hardly ever worth taking action.

The same University of San Diego study found that less than 0.05% of your panels production was lost due to dirt each day – and thats in an area of the country infamous for infrequent rains. For a 5 kW system during Californias driest season, summer, washing the panels halfway through would lead to just a $20 gain in electricity production for the entire three months.

If you have a much larger solar system at your business or farm, youre probably thinking but I produce much more electricity, so Im losing out on more savings! Thats certainly true. If you have a larger system, youre probably losing out on a lot more than $20, but is it still enough to pay for professional cleaning services or risk damage to yourself or your system?

To get an idea of how much your dirty solar panels are costing you, you can calculate how much a daily production loss of .05% will cost in 30 days by using the following formula. Just keep in mind this number can vary based on your own situation.

Cost of Monthly Production Loss Due to Dirt = x x

How Dirt Dust And Bird Droppings Affect Your Solar Panels

An ongoing accumulation of dust and dirt on the panel surfaces will cause less and less light to reach the PV cells, and over time , this could snowball into a significant loss of energy.

Bird dropping is one of the biggest enemies of solar panels as not only would they cover the surfaces, but if it got into the microinverters , it could cause the units to show a no current flow.

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Solar Panel Cleaning Preventative Measures

If you can install your panels at a tilt greater than 10° and position them where they are free of shading from trees, you will prevent the likelihood that you will need to regularly clean your solar panels.

Not only will the solar shading from trees reduce the output of your panels, but leaf litter and animal droppings are more likely to be an issue from an overhanging tree.

How Do You Know If Your Solar Panels Need Cleaning

Does the âself cleaning glassâ in solar panels really need ...

Depending on where your solar panels are positioned, determining if they need cleaning could be a simple case of having a good look at them once in a while. If thereâs obvious dirt or debris on your panels then you know itâs time for a clean.

If that proves tricky, there are a couple of other ways to know whether you need to give your solar panels a once over.

  • Electricity output drops â if youâve been keeping track of how much electricity your panels produce over time, a sudden dip could be a clue that theyâre grubby.

  • Your solar panel monitoring system tells you â if you want to get a bit techy about it, you could invest in a solar panel monitoring system which monitors every aspect of your solar panelsâ functions. It should give you information about energy consumption and generation, optimising energy usage, and will flag any damage to your solar panels.

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