Solar panels do not have any moving part, which explains why they do not need extensive maintenance. In fact, solar panels are generally self-cleaning. However, in dry areas where there’s a lot of dust and other substances such as bird’s droppings, there’s a need to regularly clean the panels. Even in urban areas where there’s minimal dust, it’s important to keep panels clean so they can work efficiently and generate maximum electricity. This article highlights a number of key tips regarding solar panel cleaning.
Make safety a priority before you embark on the cleaning process. To start with, you want to shut down the entire system prior to commencing work. It’s also recommended that you clean the panels from the ground if that’s possible. All you need is a quality soft brush and some squeegee with a plastic blade on one side. Use a suitable hose to allow cleaning water to reach the panel. If your panels are installed too high on the roof, though, you’ll have to use a ladder or contract a professional cleaning company that can do the job within the confines of safety.
Always clean your panels early morning or sometimes in the evening on an overcast day. If the sun is shining hard on the panels, the water will evaporate quickly and leave smeared dirt. But when you clean in the morning, it’s less work and you use less water since the grime is likely to have softened overnight.
If the solar panels are dry, make a point to brush off any dust or other loose materials before you splash them with water. This makes the cleaning work much easier and faster. Never use metallic objects or harsh abrasive items while removing loose materials from the panels. Any form of scratching can negatively impact their performance. Also, avoid any detergents since these may possibly streak the panel’s glass.
Simply use clean water and scrubbing with some course cloth-covered sponge to remove stubborn grime from solar panels. Alternatively, you might want to use a soft brush or plastic scourers.
In the case you have oily stains on your panels, use isopropyl alcohol to spot-clean them. Oil stains are common in some installation situations, especially for people who live near major roadways frequented by trucks, or near an airport.
Before you decide that it’s time to clean, simply check your panels to make sure they’re indeed covered by dirt and other pollutants. There’s no need bothering to clean your panels if they aren’t dirty. Doing so puts you in potential danger if you have to access your rooftop. You may also want to spend your time more constructively and let a solar cleaning company do the job for you. In most situations, these firms are highly affordable and have the equipment necessary to do the job safely and thoroughly.