Jessica PirroSeptember 23, 2020920209
Seasonal clean isn’t just for your house. It is also majorly beneficial to clean your solar panels. Most homeowners don’t clean their roof very often with the expectation that the rain will clean their roof for them, the same goes for solar panels.
In most cases, a homeowner isn’t going to need to clean your solar panels that often, if you even need to clean your solar power system. Even though the solar panel installation is going to gather dirt and grime, the next time it rains, the solar panels will essentially get a free wash. But there are going to be certain situations where it is going to make sense to clean your solar panels. Say your solar panels have a lot of bird droppings, as you may know, based on your car, sometimes the rain isn’t going to cut it! Plus, if you live in an area that is lacking rain, such as Southern California, it is going to be a good idea to at least hose off your solar panel installation. Here are a few steps that you can take when it comes to cleaning your solar panel installation.
Consider Your Safety
First things first, you should ALWAYS consider your safety. You are going to want to be around to reap the solar power output rewards of clean solar panels. A solar installer has experience being on a rooftop and working with solar panels. If you decide to clean your solar panel installation yourself you should make sure that you take into consideration how this is going to affect your safety. You should consider the different situations that can affect your safety, such as, the weather, your roof stability, slickness, water buildup, and avoid getting on your rooftop to clean the solar panels.
Will Dirt Impact the Efficiency of a Solar Panel?
This answer to this questions can be either yes or no, depending on a few different factors. Yes, both the dirt and debris can affect how much sunlight is going to get through the solar panels and convert the light to solar power. But, the amount of the efficiency of a solar panel is going to lower is going be very small, around 5% if less. For the typical 5 kW solar power system, this could be around $20 of loss in your energy bill. Even in the areas that often face the droughts, when you do get some rain, all of the dirt and debris will be washed off the solar panels.
How to Clean Your Solar Panels
Say you decide that you need to clean your solar panels, there are going to be two options, you can hire your solar installer, or you can do it yourself. A lot of solar installers are going to offer a solar panel installation cleaning service, or they are going to suggest that you get it down every so often. But what most homeowners get back cost-wise in your energy bill isn’t going to cover how much most solar installers are going to charge you to clean the solar panels. The truth is, what you’re going to get back cost-wise in your energy bill will not surpass the amount that you are going to need to fork over to the solar installers to perform the work. Most solar installers are going to charge a lot to do the cleaning, for not that much of a return that they are going to return on their energy bill.
But on the other hand, if you’re interested in doing it yourself, you will generally have everything that you need to clean them at home. In most cases, it’s not going to involve anything more than a hose, and a little soap then you’re good to go. It may be helpful in the drought-prone area, essentially doing what you had set out to do in the first place.
There’s going to be certain ways to determine if your solar panels are going to need to be clean, they start with. The first is going to be a physical inspection of the solar panels for debris, dirt, bird droppings, etc. The other way is going to be the use of a solar power monitoring system, which is going to alert you if your solar panels are under-performing. This is going to alert you if any maintenance needs for your solar power system, regardless if that’s a mechanical, electrical, or the cleanliness.
What Should You Use to Clean the Solar Panels?
If you’re interested in getting a solar panel installation on your own, there’s going to be a few solar power products that you can clean them with. You are going to want to check with your solar installer and provider to determine if there’s going to be any information about cleaning your solar panel installation and recommendations.
The most effective way that you can clean your solar panels is going to be the way you clean a car, with a hose and a bucket of soapy water. You aren’t going to want to scratch the solar panels in any way possible, it is going to be best if you just use any water and a non-abrasive sponge to apply the soapy water. You should keep in mind that you should not use any high-pressure water sprayer when you wash off the solar panels. The high-pressure attachment may damage the solar panels themselves.
Say you do use something other than only water, you should be sure that you’re only use something that is soft and hard bristle-free. The sponges are going to be great products to clean the solar panels. Say you decide to use a sponge, use something that you would clean your dishes with, but in most cases simply water will work.
You should keep in mind that solar panels may be extremely hot when the sun is beating down on them. It’s going to be best to clean the solar panels on a cool, overcast day to clean the solar panels. You will not only protect yourself from the burns but if you’re choosing to clean the solar panels when it’s hot outside, the soapy water that you put on the solar panels is going to evaporate very fast and might leave smears on the solar panels that could affect the efficiency of a solar panel.
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