How to Clean Solar Panels

How to Clean Solar Panels

Maintaining the efficacy of your solar panels is crucial to reaping the maximum benefits from this renewable energy source. At Symons Energy, we understand the importance of routine maintenance and cleaning. But how do you clean solar panels on the roof automatically, from the ground, and what’s the best solar panel cleaner? Let’s take a dive into the world of solar panel hygiene.

Solar Panel Cleaning

Solar energy is gaining traction around the world, with Australia being no exception. According to the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, over 2.2 million rooftop solar power systems were installed across Australia as of December 2019. Thus, it’s essential to understand the best practices for maintaining solar panels.

How to Clean Solar Panels

Ensure Safety First: Disconnect your solar panels and ensure you’re equipped with safety gear. A non-abrasive scrubber, a squeegee with a long handle, and a bucket of soapy water are ideal tools for this job.

Begin the Cleaning Process: Using the scrubber, gently wipe off any loose dust or debris from the surface of the panels.

Apply Soapy Water: Next, apply the soapy water to the solar panels. It’s recommended to do this early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid rapid evaporation.

Wipe and Rinse: Use your squeegee to wipe down the panels. Rinse with clean water. Ensure no soap residue is left, as this can lead to streaks that hinder sunlight absorption.

How to Clean Solar Panels on the Roof Automatically

Installing an automatic cleaning system like the Heliotex™ system can save you time and effort. These systems use sprinklers and brushes to clean your panels regularly without the need for manual labour.

How to Clean Solar Panels from the Ground

Cleaning solar panels from the ground is achievable with the right equipment, such as a high-pressure hose or a long-handled squeegee. Some solar panel cleaning kits on the market come with extendable poles for this purpose.

Best Solar Panel Cleaner

Opt for cleaners that are non-abrasive and biodegradable. Some highly rated ones include Bio-Nex, Solar Brite, and GreenFist. They don’t leave residues, ensuring maximum sunlight absorption.

Importance of Solar Panel Cleaning

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates a 25% decrease in solar panel efficiency due to dust and dirt accumulation. Regular cleaning thus aids in maintaining optimal power generation.

Pro Tips for Solar Panel Cleaning

While the basics of solar panel cleaning are straightforward, here are some expert tips to ensure you get the most out of your cleaning efforts:

Use Soft Water: Hard water can leave mineral deposits on your solar panels. Using soft or distilled water can help you avoid this issue.

Avoid Abrasives: Do not use abrasive materials or cleaners. They can scratch the panels and reduce their efficiency.

Consider the Angle: Solar panels at a steeper angle may require less cleaning, as rainwater can help wash away some of the dust and grime.

What About Rain?

Many people believe that rain can naturally clean solar panels, and while this is partially true, it doesn’t do the whole job. Rainwater may wash away loose dust, but it won’t effectively remove bird droppings or stubborn dirt. In addition, pollutants and minerals in the rainwater may even leave residues on your panels.

Is Professional Solar Panel Cleaning Worth It?

While DIY cleaning is a cost-effective option, professional solar panel cleaning offers several benefits.

Safety: Professionals are trained to navigate roofs safely and have the necessary equipment for the job.

Efficiency: Professional cleaners are experienced and can clean your panels thoroughly and efficiently.

Maintenance Check: While cleaning, professionals can also perform a basic check on your panels and may notice if something is amiss.

Don’t hesitate to contact Symons Energy if you require professional solar panel cleaning services.

A Note on Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can play a significant role in how often and how thoroughly you should clean your solar panels. If you live in an area with high pollution levels or frequent dust storms, you may need to clean your panels more often. Similarly, if you live near the ocean, salt spray could accumulate on the panels, requiring regular cleaning.

Seasonal Considerations for Solar Panel Cleaning

The frequency and intensity of cleaning can also be determined by the seasons:

Spring: Pollen and bird droppings can be more common during the spring. A thorough clean can keep your panels functioning at full capacity.

Summer: Dust can build up during dry summer months, so a mid-summer clean might be beneficial.

Autumn: Falling leaves may cause a build-up of debris, especially on ground-mounted panels. Be sure to clear any leaves or dirt.

Winter: Depending on your location, snow may cover your panels. Always safely remove snow to avoid any damage.

The Bottom Line

Solar panels are an excellent investment in our green future, but like any investment, they require care. Regular cleaning ensures that your solar panels operate at peak efficiency, providing you with the maximum possible savings on your energy bill.

If you’re ever unsure about any aspect of solar panel maintenance, remember, professional help is just a call away. Our team at Symons Energy is always ready to assist you.nInvesting in solar energy requires ongoing maintenance to maximise returns. Reach out to Symons Energy for professional advice on maintaining your solar panel system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I clean my solar panels?

A: Generally, solar panels should be cleaned at least once or twice a year. However, the frequency might increase depending on your location and the amount of dust and dirt exposure.

Q: Can I use a pressure washer to clean my solar panels?

A: Yes, but caution is advised to avoid damage. Always use it from a distance and avoid high-pressure settings.

Q: Do I need a professional to clean my solar panels?

A: While it’s possible to clean your solar panels yourself, hiring professionals can ensure a thorough and safer process.

Q: Can dirty solar panels affect energy production?

A: Yes, dirt and dust accumulation can reduce solar panel efficiency, lowering energy production by up to 25%.

Author : Kosta Symons

Published Date : May, 29 2023

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