Have you installed solar panels for your business? Great! But that is not all. Because after the installation you need to clean solar panels and make sure you keep them well maintained throughout the years to get the most efficiency out of them.
Solar panels work with exposure to sunlight, which is why they must get all the sunlight exposure they need. One thing that can hinder that is dirt and other gunk on the panels. Dirty solar panels will not be as efficient as you would like for them to be. This is why you must clean solar panels regularly, but how?
Let’s learn the right way to clean solar panels!
Ways to Clean Solar Panel
There are multiple ways you can clean your solar panel, here are some ways you can use different equipment to clean your solar panels:
Water Hose Method
If you have your solar panels on the roof you can use the hose method and clean them from the ground. All you need is a good hose and you can use the pressure of water to spray all over the solar panels. This is a lot similar to rainwater. When you spray the water on the panels, the water will flush down the dirt and other gunk.
The dirt can easily wash away with the water but gunk-like bird poo might be stubborn. However, if not the first wash, the second wash will be most likely to wash that away too. The first wash will soften it and with the second or third wash, you can completely flush it away.
You may not have a ladder in your office which is why washing with a water hose is a good idea as it can give you the pressure to clean your solar panels from the ground. But it is important to note that if the pressure is extreme you might end up damaging your solar panels.
Moreover, this way you can even avoid the risk of falling from the roof if you clean solar panels.
Isopropyl Alcohol Method
For a closer wash, you can use the Isopropyl method and climb to your roof. The Isopropyl alcohol method is the perfect solution to clean off the oil smudges that are very stubborn and might not wash off with a water hose.
If you clean them using the Isopropyl Method you are most likely to get them completely clean without any smudges that are usually left behind. Using a cleaning solution such as a detergent or soap can affect the efficiency of your panels as they leave smudges and residue. This is will not only dirty your panels but will attract more of the dirt to stick to the panels.
This is why using the Isopropyl alcohol method is a great option as it helps you clean the solar panels without leaving them stained and oily. However, cleaners must be very careful when cleaning the solar panels as they can easily step on the solar modules when cleaning. This is very harmful to the panels and even if there is a microcrack it can significantly hurt the panels. This in turn will affect the energy output.
Brushes or Scourer
Scrubbing is not generally recommended unless you have soft-bristled brushes that are exclusively designed for solar panels. These brushes can be used as they do not scratch the glass and prevents the shade that other brushes might create. The shade harms the production of energy, thus bringing down the effectiveness of the solar panel.
If you have stubborn scum that you want to get rid of, you must first use water to soften it and then you can remove the scum with the help of a plastic scourer.
Pro-Tips to Keep In Mind to Clean Solar Panels
Now that you know the various ways you can clean solar panels, here are some pro tips you must keep in mind when you start with the cleaning:
- It is always best to clean your solar panels according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. You might be harming your solar panels if you don’t use their advice to clean them properly. Your manufacturer may have exclusive instructions for their solar panels.
- It is best to clean your solar panels with the hose first. This basically removes all the dust and the dirt. Give it a good 2-3 washes and the dirt will come off. If there are still some stains there, you can try other methods to thoroughly clean the panels.
- There is absolutely no need to clean the wiring underneath the solar panels as it is of no use. You must only clean the panels. The surface of the solar panel can also be cleaned with a soft cloth or a sponge. Avoid using soapy water as that can be harmful to the panels.
- You need to clean solar panels depending on the amount of pollution you usually experience in your area. If your area is highly polluted, you may need to clean your panels more frequently as compared to others. In most areas, the rate of pollution is higher during the winter as compared to the summer. This is why you must clean your solar panels right before winter and as soon as winter ends so that you can get the highest efficiency of power.
- It may be very difficult for you to clean your solar panels during the summer as they will be too hot to touch. You can risk yourself if you plan to clean your solar panels during the day or even at night during the summer.
- Make sure you have all the safety equipment required to clean the safety panels. If you are getting on the roof to clean them then you must have a harness, a strong rope and a hard hat to protect you from any unfortunate accidents.
When to Clean Your Solar Panels?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions. Annual cleaning is the best way to go and the best time to clean solar panels is during spring. Over the year, rain can do the cleaning job for you but if there is a lot of pollution where your business is, then you can consider cleaning it more than once every year.
More importantly, the location of your business also gives you an idea as to how many times you must clean your solar panels. If your business is near a place where there is a lot of traffic then you may have to pay more attention to the cleaning of your solar panels. These areas usually are very dusty and that can cause your solar panels to be dirty. If your solar panels are installed in a tilted fashion, it will be a lot easier for you to have them cleaned with water. You can ask your installation company to install them at an angle so that it is easier to clean.
Make sure that you use all the ways and the tips mentioned properly so that you effectively clean your solar panels without damaging them!