Why Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning
If dust and leaves build up on the solar panels, you arent getting the most out of them. This type of debris, along with bird droppings, etc., can build up on the solar panels and cause energy loss. If you have a string inverter or micro-inverters on your solar panels, bird droppings can build up and stop the inverters from showing current flow. Rain can wash off some of these, but just like a car that sits out in the rain for six months, you know that your solar panels wont be sparkly clean afterward.
A study on dirty solar panels was done, and it found that they cause up to 5% lowered efficiency and that a thorough solar panel cleaning can boost it to 3.5% more efficient. Without monthly cleaning, research showed that dirty panels can see a 30% energy loss each year.
When Is The Best Time To Do Solar Panel Cleaning
As solar panels are absorbing the suns energy all day, they can be too hot to touch in the afternoon. Solar panel cleaning is recommended in the early morning, or late evening when the panels are less hot. Do be cautious when cleaning the panels even on a cool day.
More importantly, on a hot day the sun will evaporate the water too quickly, leaving smudges on the panel glass. This could affect energy output from your solar panels.
When To Clean Solar Panels And How
Making the world a greener and healthier place to live in, switching from fossil fuels to renewables like solar energy is a must. Especially when installing solar panels has multiple benefits like affordability and reliability. However, without proper solar panel cleaning procedures, it wont be easy to reap the benefits of solar power and its equipment.
Owning solar panels from any top solar panel manufacturers in India is a significant investment, and solar panel maintenance is essential to ensure your long-term benefits. Cleaning solar panels is an integral part of solar energy production. Without it, the solar PV module will not operate efficiently, which will reduce the life cycle of the solar panel, hence the availability of solar energy.
Lets see why Solar panel cleaning is essential, when it should be done, and how?
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How Often Should Panels Be Cleaned
The frequency of solar panel cleaning will depend on whats happening around your system. It could range from once every few months to once a year or longer. It all depends on how much dirt is being released into the air.
For example, a system on a farm will likely need to be cleaned more often than a system in a neighborhood. Additionally, systems near major highways and busy roads need to be cleaned more frequently.
Your solar cleaning contractor should help you set up a cleaning schedule that keeps your solar system in its best working order.
Still not sure whether or not your solar panels need to be cleaned? Reach out to JTK for a free site evaluation and estimate. Theyll come to take a look at your system and help determine whether or not cleaning solar panels can save your business or farm money.
How To Save More With Your Solar Panels
Now that you have nice clean solar panels, its time to increase your energy savings. Clean solar panels are often generating more renewable energy than can be used in a home. The excess energy generated is sent to the National Grid.
Storing excess solar energy in a solar battery will allow your solar panels to power more of your day-to-day life.
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Cleaning Solar Panels: Is It Even Necessary
CAUTION: READ MANUFACTURER INSTALLATION, SAFETY, AND MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE CLEANING OR MAINTAINING YOUR SOLAR PANELS. PARTICIPATING IN SUCH ACTIVITIES INVOLVES THE EVER-PRESENT RISK OF PERSONAL INJURY, PROPERTY DAMAGE, AND LOSS. THE USE OF HARSH, INDUSTRIAL-STRENGTH CLEANING MATERIAL OR SHARP INSTRUMENTS TO CLEAN OR MAINTAIN YOUR SOLAR PANELS MAY VOID PRODUCT GUARANTEES OR WARRANTIES.
Dutch Solar Panel Cleaning San Luis Obispo County
The typical cleaning services includes the following:
- Inspect site prior to work being performed. Note any hazardous conditions.
- Cover all electrical equipment, i.e. inverters and combiner boxes, beneath area to be cleaned with tarps prior to cleaning.
- Use of aerial man lift where required to reach surface of solar modules to be cleaned.
- No chemicals or abrasive cleaning are applied to solar modules during the cleaning process.Surface of solar modules to be visually inspected prior to cleaning. All accumulated debris to be removed from array surface.
- Spray down all solar modules with water at minimal pressure.
- Water to be conditioned through water softener prior to application. This is done to minimize mineral deposit.
- In heavy soil situations a soft bristle automotive style brush to be used to break free accumulated soil on surface of solar modules. Brushes are designed to avoid causing micro fractures or scratches on surface of solar modules.
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.
Do I Have To Clean My Solar Panels
Sometimes. Cleaning your solar panels is easy. In fact, rain does a great job of cleaning your solar panels for you. Otherwise, in times of heavy dust or other regional weather issues, you may have to rinse your solar panels to clear the dust and debris.
To find a solar panel cleaning company in your area, please give us a call and we will connect you directly to an approved solar panel cleaning company.
If you decide to clean your own solar panels, we have a few recommendations:
- Spray your panels with a hose from the ground do not get on your roof.
- Do not use harsh cleaning chemicals that could damage the panels.
- You should not clean your solar panels during the hottest part of the day because the extreme temperature difference between the water and the solar panels may cause the glass to crack.
Some notes about solar panel cleaning and your Sunnova energy plan:
Although Sunnova home solar systems come with the Sunnova Protect warranty1, you will want to keep your solar panels free of debris and obstructions in order to keep your solar system operating at optimum levels.
Regularly trim any trees around your solar system so they dont block sunlight from reaching your solar panels. The analysis performed at your home during the pre-installation site visit established a benchmark for tree shading, which you are expected to maintain for the lifetime of your solar energy plan.
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How To Clean Your Solar Panels
1. Review your warranty
Always remember to review your warranty before doing anything else. Some solar panels come with warranties that include regular maintenance and cleaning. Why do it yourself when you can get a professional in for free?
2. Clean when your panels are cool
Using water and soap on your solar panels during a hot day or when the temperatures on the solar panels are high can be damaging to the panels themselves. Water poured over a hot solar panel can cause the panel to crack and even break. Always clean your solar panels on a cool day or early in the morning before the sun has fully risen.
3. Wash with water
Every homeowner is familiar with the challenge of cleaning their roof. Not only does dust from the rains build up on your panels, but dirt from trees or other plants can also get stuck on your solar panels, causing them potential damage over time if not cleaned off regularly which means even more money spent at home improvement stores! So why take unnecessary risks when theres an easy solution right in front of you? A water hose hooked up conveniently next door will come through during these kinds of emergencies by rinsing away everything without compromising any warranties while saving yourself some serious cash too.
4. Use a glass cleaner if necessary
5. Repeat once or twice a year
Should I Get A Solar Battery
A solar battery stores excess energy generated by your solar panels. That way, instead of the electricity being sent to the National Grid, you can use it to power your home once the sun has gone down.
These are a few of the many benefits of adding a solar battery to your solar PV system:
- Save more on your energy bills
- Continue to benefit from solar energy in the evening and at night
- Theyre extremely quiet
- Some solar batteries can continue to power your home when theres a power cut
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Consider Maintenance Over Cleanliness
Considering something like the cleanliness of your solar panels tells us that youre an intelligent person. Along with panel cleanliness, we recommend that you also focus on maintaining the function of your solar energy system, including your panels and any other equipment installed on your home. Although solar panels can last for a long time, they probably wont last forever. Regular maintenance will help improve the longevity of your panels much more than frequent cleaning will.
If you have a Vivint Solar system, be sure to use Account Center to monitor your solar power production on a regular basis to ensure there are no visible dips. If youre concerned about your production, you can go to our website for help with commonly asked questions, or Contact Us about it and well review some options over the phone. Any service provider would be willing to check your panels to ensure they are working properly and efficiently.
How To Clean Solar Panels: Your Go
So what if you do need to clean your solar panels? How do you do it? Spray them? Wipe them? Wave a magic wand?
Solar panels are an investment, so the last thing you want to do is damage them in the cleaning process.
The truth is, the actual cleaning of your solar panels is pretty simple. Youâre more likely to have trouble reaching them than anything else.
And we really have to emphasise this point. Whatever you do, please donât endanger yourself. If you canât reach your solar panels safely â and they absolutely must be cleaned â then itâs time to bring in the professionals.
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What Are The Materials Needed For Cleaning Solar Panels Thoroughly
Compared to cleaning solar panels installed on taller buildings, those installed on one-story structures are safer and easier to manage. To get started with the cleaning process, you need to prepare some materials to get the job done.
The Materials Needed:
- soft-bristled brush
- glass cleaners or mild soap and water solution
- squeegee or soft cloth
- water hose
Luckily, all these cleaning materials are readily available in local stores, so finding them wont be a hassle for you.
Some reminders before removing the dust particles from your solar panels:
- Make sure that you are cleaning the panels in a safe spot.
- Thoroughly apply the mild cleaning solution to the panels.
- Gingerly wash off the solar panels.
Heads Up: You might already be aware that solar systems are protected by warranties. We strongly suggest reviewing the terms and conditions of the warranty first before you clean the panels. This is especially crucial if its your first time doing so.
A slight damage to your panels can nullify the warranty. If that happens, that is going to be a big loss on your part.
Is Solar Panel Cleaning Worth It
Most experts say that it is not worth it to clean your solar panels by hiring cleaning services. The return on such investment doesnt justify it.
The average change in the efficiency of solar panels when they are dirty is 5 percent. But, in most climates, the next rain will wash off the dirt and allow the panels to return to their maximum output. So, just because there is some dirt on your panels, you do not have to clean them immediately unless it has extensively affected the efficiency.
Furthermore, solar panels are installed in a tilted form. So, most of the time, the bottom of the panels will collect dirt or water runoff. But this will not decrease the output of the panels. Even if it does, it will be very little. So, it is not something you should be worried about.
Cleaning solar panels can require a lot of effort. It is not easy to climb up on the roof and clean them yourself. It might not be worth it because that amount of effort will only provide a little outcome. However, solar panel cleaning is worth it only if the efficiency has been affected due to the dirt collected on the surface. Especially in the winter seasons, the panels can get dirty when it does not rain for months. During such times, it will be worth it to clean them and regain the panels’ performance. Furthermore, cleaning solar panels can increase the system performance and, as a result, reduce your electric bills.
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Solar Power Equipment And Maintenance Safety First
The best way to get the job done is on the ground with a long-handled implement. But if thats not possible and you choose to go on the roof, you must take precautions.
For example, a rope should be attached to a safety harness to prevent falling to the ground a method often used by professionals.
Additionally, no one should be on a roof without a hard hat and a safety harness. It is a potentially fatal environment. Check out this advice about working at these heights before you start. The task of solar panels cleaning is not worth your life!
When Do I Need To Hire A Professional
You can hire a professional to clean your solar panels like you would hire someone to wash your car or clean your house.
If you have a roof-mounted system, you should consider hiring a solar cleaning professional. Apart from the convenience of not having to climb up onto the top of the roof yourself, professionals are well-equipped for rooftop safety. When hiring a licensed cleaner, make sure that they are certified and bonded. The service fee for ground units may not be worth it because you can safely clean your panels with hose water and liquid soap.
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Save Money On Your Electricity Bill
Sunlight costs you nothing. So once you’ve paid to install your solar panels, your electricity costs will be reduced.
As long as your solar panels are installed correctly, your house should use the electricity generated by the panels first, before it draws any from the grid. You might even make some money back .
You can find out how much you could save on your bills by using the Solar Energy Calculator.
The Economics Of Paying For Solar Panel Cleaning Dont Pan Out
Paying people to clean your solar panels costs more than its worth. Even in a situation that is as close to being best case as is realistically possible.
Lets say you rescue a panel cleaners poodle from drowning during the great poodle flood of 07. As a reward she gives you a great deal on cleaning panels, only $5 each, and you pay her to clean them twice a year.
Your rooftop solar system is 5 kilowatts with 20 panels. Its in a sunny location that, without cleaning, generates an average of 25 kilowatt-hours a day. You have a 44 cent feed-in tariff and because you are never home during the day you receive it for every kilowatt-hour generated.
If solar panel cleaning twice a year results in a 2% increase in average solar generation, then you will earn around an extra $80 a year, but you will have spent $400 having your panels cleaned. So even under excellent circumstances it makes no financial sense. Even if having your panels cleaned twice a year increased their average output by 10% a year, which is extremely unlikely, you would only just break even.
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Will Failing To Clean My Solar Panels Cost Me Money
It is important to note that solar cells can lose 15 to 25 percent of their efficiency if not maintained regularly.
This means they will generate 15 to 25 percent less electricity, which you will need to source from the power company at their specified rates. This quickly adds a few extra years to the payback period.
Get The Most Out Of Your Solar Panels
Solar panels must stay clean and it is important that they are cleaned effectively by an expert. Solar Panel cleaning utilizing a weight washer can break the seals between the glass and the board.
Unforgiving chemicals will separate the elastic gasket seals. The wrong sort of brush will scratch the glass, bringing about shading and conceivably breaking.
When solar panel cleaning is done correctly your panels will be without spots and dirt giving you the best energy results from your solar panels.
Solar panel cleaning is an essential component of any solar maintenance program. Dirty panels produce less electricity than clean panels. Our maintenance team is available to clean solar panel arrays on homes, businesses, or large ground mount systems. As a part of the cleaning service, we perform a visual inspection of the solar array to make sure that everything appears to be in good working order.
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