Solar Panels are a great source of energy, and it’s becoming more and more popular for businesses, and homeowners, to invest in them. After installation you hardly even notice they’re there, and they save you money on energy bills.
As a result of them being outside, they can gather dust, leaves, pollution and other kinds of dirt quite easily, which will stop you getting the most out of your solar panels. So the only thing you need to keep on top of is their cleanliness; this will ensure maximum energy and money savings.
Why Should You Wash Your Solar Panels?
The primary, and most important, reason you should wash your solar panels is to ensure they are performing at their best capability. If there are things inhibiting the sunrays from reaching the panels they will not work as well.
Research shows that dirty solar panels can mean a 25% – 30% power loss. Although there are other factors that can affect the amount of power made from solar panels (such as the unpredictability of the weather) dirty solar panels are easy to fix and can make a huge difference.
How Often Should You Wash Your Solar Panels?
How often you wash your solar panels depends on what kind of environment you live in. If you live in a desert area, or an area with a lot of construction work or particles in the air, it would be most beneficial to clean your solar panels at least once a week, if not every 2-3 days depending on the extent of the dirt.
Other areas may only require washing once every 3-4 weeks, but it is really up to you. The best way you’ll know is by having a look yourself or even a physical inspection if you can safely get close to them. Otherwise you may wish to employ a cleaning company to monitor this for you, or invest in automatic cleaning equipment.
To save money long term, and have even less to worry about regarding your solar panels, one way you can make sure they stay clean is by investing in automatic cleaners that are attached to the solar panels.
These are little nozzles attached to each panel, which spray water and a specially formulated soap appropriate for the panels. You can control them with the touch of a button or set them to go automatically at whatever intervals you wish.
The only thing you have to do is change the water filter and refill the concentrate soap every so often; otherwise you have nothing else to worry about!
Actually cleaning your solar panels is quite easy, the hard part is often reaching them, as they are usually located on the roof. If you can safely access your solar panels you may choose to wash them yourself.
It is very easy to do, as it’s just like washing a car windscreen or your windows; simply use warm water and washing up liquid to remove the excess dirt. Be sure to avoid using any rough cloths that could damage the surface of the panels though.
Alternatively, you may wish to employ a specific solar panel cleaning service. There are many professional companies that deal specially with solar panel cleaning and will do a fantastic job.
A few helpful tips when hiring a cleaning service though; make sure they are insured in case of an accident, and you may wish to contact the company who installed your solar panels and ask them for a recommendation of where to go. Also, always check the price!
Finally, these are just a few helpful tips for washing solar panels. Following these short guidelines will ensure you have sparkling solar panels that are optimizing energy.
Article by Natalie Moody