Before investing in solar panels, you need to spare money, time and thought for choosing the best one. Once the system is installed and everything is ready, you have nothing else to do but let the sun do its bit. Now, you can relax and take comfort in knowing that you have actually done the right thing going greener and you are helping our planet. However, you must not neglect the condition of the solar panel and you need to clean and maintain it on a regular basis. In order to enjoy the benefits of the solar panel for many years in future, roll up your sleeves and lets find out how to keep them functioning properly.
Why do you need to clean and maintain the solar panels regularly?
Installed outside and dependent on the atmospheric conditions, solar panels can easily and quickly get dirty. Grime, dust and other contaminants are carried by the wind, or even transported by animals. If grime builds up and is not removed on time, the sunlight gets blocked which means that it cannot reach the solar cells. Asides from this, the solar panels have to be checked in regular intervals to make sure that all of the components are functioning properly.
How often should you clean the solar panels?
These days there are many types of installations some of which are even self-cleaning and do not require your efforts and time. Depending on the type, weather conditions, location and much more factors, the frequency may vary. If not sure, turn to your installer and ask for advice. But to figure out whether the panels need a clean up or not, you simply need to look at them. If there is grime or other contaminants on the surface, you need to take action. In case it is difficult for you to inspect the panels, then it may be possible to tell by keeping track on the electricity generation figures.
The right way to clean your solar panels
It is a good fortune that you can easily clean the panels by yourself. Simply follow these steps and tips:
1. You can easily clean ground installed solar panels by hand but when it comes to roof installed ones it can be pretty challenging. Provide yourself with the right safety equipment.
2. Before cleaning the panels, make sure to shut down the system.
3. The best time to clean the solar panels is early in the morning because the panels have already cooled and the dew in the morning can help loosen the dirt particles. Avoid cleaning them on a hot, sunny day.
4. Check the manual in case there are any specific recommendations. Provide yourself with the proper equipment and do not use abrasive chemical solutions because you risk scratching the surface.
5. In case the solar panel is dry, use a soft brush to loose the grime first.
6. With plain water, hose down the surface to remove most of the grime and other contaminants. If the grime is too stubborn, use soapy water.
While cleaning, you are given the chance to check for any signs of damage such as cracks. If there are some serious problems like damaged wiring or loose mounting clips, you’d better turn to a professional company.
If all of these steps sound too labour-intensive or you cannot reach the panels, there is great number of companies who would gladly give you a hand and do the cleaning for you. An expert technician can check the entire system to ensure the proper functioning of the components, too.
No matter whether you prefer to do the cleaning on your own or book a professional, you need to make sure that the solar panels are always clean.