Choose A Cool Mild Time Of Day
To clean the solar panels on your roof, you should always choose to do it when its a cool and mild time of the day, preferably early morning or in the evening. It is because the glass of the solar panels usually gets really hot because of direct sunlight falling on them. In that case, if you try to wash them with water, there are high chances that the glass of the solar panels might crack easily.
Moreover, even if you are lucky enough and the glass doesnt crack, the sudden evaporation of water from the panels can leave marks on the glass. Apart from that, cleaning the panels on a cool and mild day is good for you too, as no one likes to work under the scorching heat from the sun.
Need A Solar Provider Near You
Finding a residential solar company in California provides the convenience of getting to your bay area location without the added stress or cost of waiting around. Instead, your solar panels or solar energy system can start to receive the necessary energy efficient upgrades right away.
Westcoast Solar Energy is one of the top commercial and residential solar companies on the West Coast located in the heart of Wine Country in Sonoma County.
Westcoast Solar Energy also provides solar panel service and repair on solar systems installed by other solar panel companies. So call the best solar company near you at today.
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.
- 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:
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The Best Way To Clean Solar Panels Is Through Professional Help
As of May 31, 2020, Australia now has more than 2.43 million solar power systems installed across rooftops. According to the Clean Energy Council, 2018 also saw a 45 per cent growth in commercial solar power systems.
Many homeowners opt to clean their own solar panels. If you choose this approach, remember that it is safer to do so on the ground, where possible. To help you, we recommend you read our cleaning solar panels guide for more tips.
But tidying up these systems isnt always as straightforward as it seems.
A new whitepaper by solar measurement company Kipp & Zonen explores the issue of dirty panels in terms of economic, geographic and technical factors.
For instance, dirt is worse in desert areas like the American Southwest, where the air is dry and dusty. Flat-tilt array designs also trap more dust.
Meanwhile, air pollution is also a culprit. Build-up happens on arrays close to local factories or composting facilities, the whitepaper informs.
So when is it worth enlisting expert help to sort these challenges out?
Adopting professional solar panel cleaning services may not be worth it for a bit of dust building up over time. However, its highly effective when the job becomes too much of a hazard to do yourself. When the going gets tough and suddenly theres a significant risk involved, we recommend using experts to ensure your system is tidied up to the best possible standards.
How To Clean Solar Panels On Your Roof
What is the best way to clean solar panels? For the DIY-minded you should find the materials at home. Because you dont want to scratch your system in any way, its best to use just water and a non-abrasive sponge to apply soapy water.
Use a mild detergent, if you feel like you need some extra help.
And if youre asking yourself if you can use a pressure washer to clean your solar panels, we encourage you to only use a normal hose. Using anything with high pressure may cause damage. Use a sponge if the birds have made a mess and nothing stronger than the detergent you would use with your dishes. You dont want any strong chemicals marking the panels.
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Whats The Cost Of Not Having Clean Solar Panels
This is a question thats quite reasonable since its not thought of very often. The truth is shocking, however. It turns out that a solar panel can lose almost 25% of its efficiency if not cleaned regularly or in a way thats suitable. Youll have less power for your home or whatever youre using the panels for. Furthermore, youll have to pull power from other sources which will cost you more money!
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Why Clean Your Solar Panels
The positioning of solar panels on roofs or in open spaces means theyre usually exposed to everything. So depending on your location, climate, and installation factors, its not uncommon to see bird droppings, leaves, pollen, dust, and even grime covering the surface of solar panels.
And as youve probably figured out, anything that stops light from passing through isnt good for your panels efficiency. Thats why experts recommend cleaning solar panels at least two times a year.
Dust is the most common culprit when it comes to cleaning panels in the country. But even then, its effect on a panels efficiency isnt as devastating as it may seem at first glance.
Researchers from the University of San Diego found that the average dirty panel loses about 0.05% of its daily production. For a 5 kW system, thats around a $20 loss on electricity bills over three months.
Another study conducted in Spain measured an average performance drop of only 4.4% after a years worth of dust accumulation. Most people wont notice this drop unless they have a much larger system or the dust accumulates for at least a year.
This explains why homeowners need to clean solar panels it helps keep your solar system operating at maximum efficiency.
The decision for solar panel cleaning will also depend on:
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Does Rain Help Clean Your Solar Panels
Years ago, many people, including some panel manufacturers would happily tell you, dont use anything but rainwater. Sadly, many solar panel owners took that information and ran with it.
While rainwater does have the ability to somewhat rinse your solar panels it is not capable of doing a good enough job on its own.
Not entirely convinced? Lets use an analogy involving a car.
If a car is dirty and has been standing outside for some time, what do you suppose it would look like after a rainfall? The answer, not that much better.
Why? Because even though some of the dirt has been washed away, the majority of it will have just shifted to different areas of the car.
All of that dirt will accumulate and turn into muddy streaks that run down and stick to the outside of your car. The exact same thing happens to solar panels.
During rainfall, the dust and dirt begin to shift further down your solar panels, causing streaks. Even worse, it accumulates at the bottom of the solar panels, obstructing the lower cell row and hindering the production efficiency.
Sure, very heavy rain may help a little bit more, but it is not a substitute for mechanical solar panel cleaning.
How Often Should You Clean For Maximum Efficiency
How often you should clean all depends upon where you live. Drier regions, like the Southwest, should probably clean once a month because of the dirt and grit being blown about. Southeast regions may not need that much cleaning depending on how much rain there is, but debris from trees will have to be cleared off periodically.
The best tip is simply to keep an eye on how dirty your panel system gets and set up a maintenance schedule around that.
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How To Repair Or Replace Solar Panels
You should call your solar company in case of a panel malfunction. If theyre losing efficiency and still under warranty, they will repair or replace the panels to keep you under warranty for power output for maximum performance.Solar panels typically have a 25-year warranty, and even after that, the manufacturer will usually buy them back at close to their retail value. However, if there is physical damage, it is important to repair or remove them immediately for safety reasons. Call a professional!
Shut Down Your System Entirely
Before you start cleaning the Solar Panels, you must ensure that all the power connections are disabled first. You cant continue to wash a Solar Panel while it is still active as it can be highly dangerous. If you have a DC system installed in your home, you will have to completely shut it down. And, in the case of AC systems, shutting down the main switch of solar supply will be good enough to proceed.
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Diy Ways To Clean Solar Panels
One of the perks of installing solar panels is that theyre fairly easy to maintain. Needing no more than a good cleaning once a year or as needed, this energy system can last for years, providing you ample amounts of energy to power your entire home.
Many of those who are new to solar energy dont actually know that solar panels need to be clean in order to properly work. Thats why it comes as a surprise to most when theyre told that solar panels require routine cleaning. Without it, your panels could generate anywhere from 15-25% less energy depending on the extent of filth.
What gets a solar panel typically installed on the roof of your home dirty in the first place? And how can you clean it? Heres a rundown on everything you need to know.
Solar panels work best in areas where theres lots of direct sunlight. So naturally, people living in hot regions are those who are most inclined to having solar panels installed in their homes.
In places like Nevada are prime locations for solar panels because of the ample amounts of sunlight they receive in a single calendar year. But since these regions also tend to have lots of sand, individuals with solar panels should be particularly keen on cleaning their panels.
Dirt can be the most common pollutant on any solar energy system, so frequently inspecting your panels for an accumulation of dirt should be on your maintenance routine.
How to Clean Your Solar Panels
Things To Be Considered While Cleaning Solar Panels
1. Cleaning Method
It is recommended that you check with your solar manufacturer first to find out if your panels have any specific requirements before settling for a method of cleaning.
2. Personal Safety
The panels are mounted on the rooftop that can get pretty high off the ground. Safety always comes first, especially when you are not a professional. You must consider the roofs stability, water buildup, slickness, and weather conditions in your location. It is best for you to find ways to clean your panels without getting on your roof.
3. Local Weather Conditions
If the sky looks grey as if it would rain soon or if your local meteorologist predicted high chances of rainfall, you should wait. Let nature take care of all the dirt collected on your solar panels.
Sometimes, rain can add to the existing mud on your panels. But solar panels are generally designed to serve you with optimal efficiency even when it is a little dirty.
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Will Neglecting Solar Panel Cleaning Cost Me Money
It is reasonable to assume that solar panels can lose 15-25% of their efficiency if not cleaned properly.
This literally means that they will generate 15-25% less electricity, which you now will have to source from the utility company at their price rates. This easily adds a couple of years extra to the payback time.
How Important Is This Step
Experts cannot seem to come to an agreement on this one. One side says that this effort or an investment if you decide to hire professionals, wont pay off. They claim that dirty solar panels will work with only five percent less efficiency, which is negligible, as they believe.
They are basing this theory on the fact that in sandy regions, solar panels are always impeded by these tiny particles, and that they were not found to be operating at reduced capacity. Besides that, solar panels are set at a certain angle, which means most of the dirt will run down to the bottom of the construction.
But others do not agree. They say that its reasonable to claim the solar system will lose 15 to 20 percent of its strength if not cleaned properly. And that means they will generate significantly less electricity.
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How To Clean Your Solar Panels For Maximum Efficiency
How to Clean Your Solar Panels for Maximum Efficiency
Installing solar panels to your house or business not only reduces how much electricity is being generated but also reduces your electric bill at the end of every month. Like any appliance or machine, however, solar panels need to be cleaned periodically to run efficiently. But how do you do that? Wouldn’t getting a professional to do be safer? This article will answer any questions you might have on how to clean solar panels.
Or Seek Professional Solar Panel Cleaning Services
Maybe you dont have enough free time for a little DIY project, lack the appropriate safety equipment, or cant quite bring yourself to trust a ladder with your weight. Whatever your reasons, dont hesitate to seek the services of a professional solar cleaner.
Professionals are well trained and equipped for this kind of work and will probably do a much better job than you. Fortunately, many solar panel installers also offer professional cleaning services, sometimes at a discount to their existing clients.
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Cleaning Solar Panels Is Very Easy
Welcome to Toolbox DIY. Today Im on the roof and Im going to demonstrate my method for cleaning solar panels. If youre joining me today, you are probably one of the many folks that have been told the rain will clean solar panels just fine, but then you discovered thats actually not the case. As you can see in the video and the thumbnail, I get a decent amount of grime that builds up on my panels. It takes more than a little water to remove this stuff.
Diy Solar Cleaning At Home Can Save You Anywhere From $3 $10 Per Panel
A lot of homeowners and business owners who have solar panels opt to have them professionally cleaned every six months from a solar panel cleaning company so they can make sure their solar panels are operating at maximum efficiency without actually having to get out there and do it themselves. Then there are the thrifty, active, DIY Solar Cleaning types. These people wouldnt dream of hiring someone else to clean their solar panels when they could really do it just as easily by themselves. Do it yourselfers tend to get a lot of enjoyment from taking care of a problem themselves instead of relying on someone else to do it for them. All of this points to DIY solar panel cleaning being very popular, especially if your solar panels are located somewhere that is easy to access.
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Factors That Can Negatively Impact Solar Production
There are a number of factors that will affect the efficiency of your panel. Let us take a look at a list of things that will harm the efficiency of energy generation.
- Large pieces of debris from an extremely windy climate.
- Heavy ash from volcanoes or fires takes a few days to dissipate.
- Heavy snow coverage takes a few days to melt away.
- Thick layers of dirt or mud that are hard to remove.
- Walking over the modules.
Bird Droppings: Enemy No 1
Bird droppings on your solar power panels are more detrimental than a film of dust. Does your array include a string inverter or micro-inverters? This is important because systems with microinverters can show where one part has been covered with droppings. During these instances, the inverter will stop showing current flow.
If you have a lot of trees nearby, especially deciduous ones, they will not only drop leaves on your rooftop, they will also attract birds. Both of these cause build-up and debris over time, making it more important to regularly employ solar panel cleaning services or efforts.
One thing to consider is the angle of your array. Flat panels will need more upkeep as water can pool up and leave a muddy residue when it evaporates. Angled ones take advantage of rain running across them to keep them clean.
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