How Do I Know When My Solar Panels Need Cleaning
Do a monthly visual inspection to look for any noticeable dust buildup. Also, you can watch your electric bill or check your solar system monitoring app for any noticeable drop in production. Only then should you worry about cleaning your solar panels. And even then, nature is most likely going to clean them for you.
Who Can Clean Solar Panels
Any able-bodied person can clean their own solar panels, as long as they do so from the ground, or have professional knowledge of carrying out rooftop solar panel cleaning. If this isnt possible, you will need to hire a Clean Energy Council accredited technician with the appropriate safety and equipment training instead.
S To Remove Snow Off Solar Panels
Removing Snow is Part of Maintenance
Just as you need to make sure you check on the roof every so often for debris and do a bit of cleaning, snow removal is equally important. If you want your solar panel system to function and continue to produce power throughout the winter season, making sure your panels are free of obstructions is critical. Luckily for most of California, snow isnt as heavy here and is limited to a smaller region. However, if you happen to live in a snowy area , then the following tips may certainly be helpful.
If your roof is easily accessible, then its certainly recommended however, many rooftops are not easy to get to and can pose great risks to your safety. So for those cases, its best to just save the snow removal for the aftermath of a heavy snow storm.Do you need to clean solar panels every time it snows?
What are some different ways to remove snow from solar panels?
Lets get down to the nitty gritty, shall we? The following are 5 methods to remove snow from solar panels. Depending on the type of roof and house, one or more of the options mentioned below may work better than others:
1. Wait for it. Waiting for the snow to melt on its own is the simplest solution for those who own solar panels that are pitched at an angle of at least 35 degrees. In this case, snow will melt and run off on its own the steeper it is, the faster snow will essentially glide off.
You May Like: How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Ohio
How Often Should I Clean My Solar Panels
If possible, we do recommend getting your panels cleaned once or twice a year. Using your garden hose should be enough to rinse your panels. However, when a garden hose doesnt seem to cut it due to dust and ash can be caked on, you may need a deep clean. Washing truly dirty solar panels may require a cleaning solution to remove the layers of dust and deposits. Check out our in-depth process below to help remove all of the mineral deposits on your solar panels.
How To Clean Solar Panels
In most cases cleaning of roof mount systems is a job for the professional. But if you have a ground mount system to clean here are some general guidelines.
Safety first Before working on the panels, we would recommend shutting down the system. Instructions can be found in the schematics provided after the installation. But remember that the roof cabling will still be live can carry dangerous voltages. You cannot turn the sun off!
If you see any damaged cables, stop, and report them.
Roof mounted panels are clearly best cleaned from the ground. If this is not possible, please do not attempt to access the rooftop without appropriate access, equipment, and training.
Recommended Reading: How Much Do Solar Panels Lower Your Electric Bill
Ways To Clean Solar Panels
After you have checked your solar panel system , the panels need to be cleaned. There are also several ways you can do this, some of them easier than other, and some of them cheaper than you might expect.
Cleaning it yourself. The first, and perhaps most obvious, the option is to clean the panels yourself. The surface of each panel can be cleaned quite easily with regular products that you would find around your home. For example, warm water and dishwashing soap will remove dirt that has built up over time. The only challenging part is reaching them safely. If you can do this, then excellent, but if not, the second option might be a better way to go.
Use a professional service. There are actually solar panel cleaning services that you can hire. The main issue is actually finding one that is good and reputable. Your installer is the best person to ask when it comes to a recommendation, as they can also give you advice on how much it should cost and how often the panels need to be cleaned preventing you from wasting money. If you do use a cleaning service, make sure they are insured in case of any accidents.
Winaico Solar Panels Have Unique Water Grooves To Drain Rainwater Easily
A good way to facilitate solar panel self-cleaning through rainwater is by using WINAICOâs unique WSP frames.
The WSP corner keys have specially designed drainage grooves to make sure dirty water can run off smoothly and quickly to keep rooftop solar panels clean and maintenance-free.
To learn more about how WINAICO solar technologies can help with your rooftop energy production, please get in touch with us.
Dont Miss: How Are Clay Roof Tiles Attached
Don’t Miss: How Much Solar Power For Tiny House
Does Cleaning Solar Panels Make A Difference
As with most things, a quick clean can be the trick to help ensure everything works smoothly, and its no different for solar panels. Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electrical currents, which in turn is converted into electricity to power your home. But if something is blocking your panels such as dirt, grime, leaves and the bane of homeowners everywhere, bird poop then not all of the sunlight that your panels could be capturing is turned into electricity, which could be affecting your bottom dollar.
A study presented to the World Renewable Energy Congress shows that solar panels can lose between four and 20 per cent of their effectiveness if they become dirty, indicating that cleaning your solar panels can make a difference as to how much energy youre receiving. However, how much of a difference cleaning makes is dependent on a number of factors, such as the number of solar panels you have, how dirty they actually get and general weather conditions.
Diy How To Clean Your Solar Panels The Easy Way
DISCLAIMER Climbing on your roof is dangerous. DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK! Wear safety harness and use protection if in doubt. I VERY STRONGLY SUGGEST DOING THIS ON A COOL DAY OR IN THE MORNING BEFORE THE PANELS HEAT UP. DAMAGE CAN OCCUR IF YOU PUT COLD WATER ON HOT PANELS.Solar panel cleaning will help you restore efficiency to your solar system.Solar Panels are awesome! Go Green, Help save the earth with clean energy!If you are still reading this, I am betting you already agree and want to clean your solar panels. Solar panels get dusty, dirty, covered with pollen and the rain doesnt always clean it off. I use Liquid Dish Soap and a window cleaners squeegee. Its a mild soap, cleans glass great, and rinses off easily.Again its very important to do this when its cool out and panels are cool to the touch. If the panels are hot, the soap dries quickly and the job becomes more difficult. These glass panels are built to get hot and cold slowly, but I wouldnt suggest testing the thermal variance with cold water. I use a simple pole and soft mop that you may already have at home in the video, but there are professional level options available below. Again, BE SAFE KNOW YOUR LIMITS IF IN DOUBT CONTACT A PROFESSIONAL!
Get your cleaning supplies here from these affiliate links.Home level equipment:Water feed brush and pole kit:Mr. LongArm Flow-thru extension pole:Mr. LongArm Soft Flow-thru Brush:Mr. Longarm Flow-Thru Angle Adaptor:
Don’t Miss: A Solid Line On The Road Pavement Means
How To Clean Solar Roofing Systems
Rooftop solar panels let you turn ambient sunlight into power for your home, and they can generate serious ROI over the long-term. But in order to generate all that power and savings, its important that theyre kept clean! Solar panels are smooth and usually sit at an angle, so they generally dont accumulate much in the way of debris. Solar panels usually stay warm enough to prevent snow from building up on them, but if that is a problem, simply knock the snow away to clear them off. However, dust, dirt, and pollen can build up on solar roofing, so its necessary to clean them from time to time. Thankfully, thats a pretty simple task.
Often, a simple garden hose is enough to clean off solar panels: just give them a good spray to wash off any built-up grime. If the dirt is caked on, you may need to clean them manually. All you need is a washcloth or sponge and a spray bottle or bucket filled with warm water and soap. Simply wet the solar panel and clean it like you would any other glass surface, wiping it down with the sponge or cloth. Afterward, rinse it off with the hose.
Thats it! Keep in mind that solar panels get incredibly hot during the day, so its always best to clean them in the morning or at night.
Never Use An Abrasive Material To Clean The Solar Panels
Sometimes, homeowners or salespersons may advise you to use detergents to clean the modules. However, all that you truly need is the dish washing soap and water to clean them.
Using laundry detergents designed for other purposes is not recommended because they can create moisture or delamination at solar cell level which will void the warranty of the panels and will inevitably damage them.
You May Like: How To Find A Reputable Solar Company
How Do Solar Panels Work Solve The Energy Crisis With Clean And Efficient Photovoltaic Cells
Have you ever asked yourself how solar panels work? Solar energy is the energy springing from sunlight that has been converted into energy useful to us humans. Solar power can be used to heat our homes, to small power appliances, to water swimming pools, and even to run our cars. There are many different places solar power can be applied, from rural areas to large cities. Lets take a look at how solar panels work.
The sun provides us with countless numbers of different types of renewable energy. It is responsible for renewing the oxygen in our atmosphere, converting light into other forms of energy we use every day, and is responsible for heating our earths surface. Solar power is a valuable source of renewable energy because it has no pollution associated with it. Solar energy can also be used to heat our homes, to small power appliances, and to power our cars. All of these things can provide electricity for a much smaller home and maintain the lights on at the International Space Station.
Sometimes Its Cheaper Safer And Easier To Call Professional Cleaners
Maybe youve considered the variables involved, taken stock of the resources you have on hand, and concluded that cleaning your solar panels on your own is not for you. For example, maybe youve realized:
- Your roof is too high, too steep, or too slippery to walk on.
- You dont own a ladder or adequate cleaning tools and the idea of buying and storing a bunch of gear you may only use once a year makes no sense.
- You have physical limitations that make climbing ladders and scrambling around on rooftops a sketchy proposition.
- Youd simply prefer not to be the one who does all that work.
For plenty of solar customers, professional cleaning can be the most worthwhile option. At that point, the obvious choice is to call the company that installed your panels in the first place to ask if they offer cleaning services. They should have information regarding your roofing materials, roof pitch, square footage of your solar array, and either photographs or digital renderings of how your solar panels are laid out across your rooftop. Armed with all that information, it should be very easy for them to give you an accurate price estimate right over the phone or at least point you in the right direction.
You May Like: How Does Solar Power Work On A House
Does Rain Help Or Hurt How Much
In a study conducted in Spain, researchers measured an average performance reduction of only 4.4 percent after a years worth of dust buildup. Most solar panel owners could probably live with that. But the study also found that in long periods without rain, daily energy losses can be higher than 20%.1 So, in a dry climate where dust buildup is the main issue, the problem remains pretty simple: a lack of rain results in dust buildup that might get progressively worse the longer the dry spell lasts.
Meanwhile, normal rainfall can rinse away dust and keep solar panels producing at around 95 percent of their maximum capacity. That conclusion might lead you to assume that solar panels in climates with frequent rainfall should require less maintenance. Not so fast! Most of the time theres more to the equation than just dust. Pollen, bird droppings, leaves, ash, and a hazy film that can form when smog or smoke hang heavy in the atmosphere can all combine into a layer of surface soiling, which may or may not wash away in the rain. Heres a report from Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews2 that digs into the many complex variables involved. The research concludes that allowing rain to do the work of cleaning solar panels is a fine decision if, and only if, you live in the right kind of place, such as:
How To Clean Solar Panels Without Damaging Them
How to clean solar panels effectively? When you choose to install solar panels you are making a fairly big investment towards renewable energy and a greener lifestyle. A small effort in cleaning and maintaining your solar panels can go a long way to make sure the panels are working at optimal efficiency. Here are 10 cleaning tips that you need to know:
Also Check: Do Solar Panels Heat Up The Earth
Tips For Cleaning Solar Panels Yourself
Use equipment thats fit for purpose
Avoid hard water
Check the weather
The Science Of Cleaning Your Solar Panels
Yes, rain helps wash solar panels and keep dirt at bay, but it comes with several downsides, which can lead to noticeable performance problems on panels set at low angles:
- Rainwater comes laden with pollen and dirt
- It can pool on the surface of your panels, especially if the glass surface sits lower than the frame
- Once the rainwater evaporates, it can leave behind a muddy residue
So, should we rule out the need for cleaning solar panels? Not yet. Researchers at Googles solar farm have a different story.
In one set of their experiments, they studied 1.6MW of horizontal solar panels on flat carports in Mountain View, California. These panels operated untouched for 15 months.
After cleaning them, they realized that the energy production from their carport solar panels had doubled overnight! Eight months later, they cleaned those same solar panels and learned that the output had gone up by 36%.
So, whats our conclusion? All solar panels still need frequent cleaning, especially if theyre horizontal or almost horizontal on your roof. If yours are tilted appropriately, a reasonable amount of rainfall will get them mostly clean, but a scheduled annual visit from Palmettos solar cleaning professionals will help your overall renewable energy output.
Read Also: How Many Solar Panels For 3000 Sq Ft Home
How Often Do Solar Panels Require Cleaning
Again, nature may take care of the routine cleaning for you. But keep an eye on your monthly electricity bill or monitoring app. If you see a noticeable drop in production, it might be time for a quick clean. As a general rule, cleaning your system about twice a year should be sufficient.
If you live in the western United States where wildfires are annual occurrences, be sure to check your solar panels for ash or soot build-up after nearby fires have been safely contained. Since they are different from typical dust or animal droppings, you may want to contact a professional to find out the best way to clean them from soot build-up.