A solar panel cleaning and maintenance routine is something that most solar panel owners may overlook – and this is a mistake. Why? One of the main reasons not to clean your solar panels is that it’s hard to tell if it’s actually cleaning them or potentially damaging them.
So what’s the answer? As with most aspects of technology and equipment, the answer is (often) a careful balance of both deep cleaning and basic cleaning on a regular basis.
Here, we give a brief solar panel cleaning guide. Read on to learn!
Steps to Clean Your Solar Panels
By following these steps, you can help ensure that your solar panels remain clean, helping you to obtain optimal energy production.
Examine Your Warranty
When examining your solar panel warranty, the first step is to check the manufacturer’s website for information about their specific warranty. Be sure to pay close attention to the terms and conditions to ensure your warranty covers all of the components of your solar panel system.
Next, contact the manufacturer or installer directly to confirm the specific details of your warranty and to ensure that it is still in effect. It is also important to keep track of any maintenance conducted on your panels. Lastly, it may be necessary to contact your solar panel manufacturer or installer once a year to ensure your warranty remains valid and to ask any questions you may have.
Make sure that all the information supplied is correct and that you understand the terms and conditions of your warranties.
Verify the Condition of the Solar Panels
Verifying the condition of the solar panels is an important step in keeping them running efficiently. To begin, inspect the surface of the panels for any damage, such as cracks, dirt, and debris.
Scratches and gouges should be addressed if they are sufficiently large. Next, check dirt, dust, bird droppings, and other objects that may have accumulated on the panels and carefully remove them if necessary.
The electrical connections should also be inspected to ensure that they are firmly connected and free of corrosion. Finally, inspect the frame of the solar panels for damage, corrosion, or any other signs of wear.
Assemble Your Supplies
Before cleaning your solar panels, it is important to assemble the necessary supplies needed to complete the job. The items needed include:
- A soft cloth
- Distilled water
- A ladder or lift
- A brush
- A microfiber squeegee
- Cleaning solution
It is also recommended to wear protective clothing when cleaning solar panels, such as long sleeves, gloves, and a face mask. Now that you have gathered the necessary items, you are ready to begin cleaning your solar panels.
Begin by preparing the cleaning solution with distilled water and following the directions listed on the cleaning solution package. If a cleaning solution is not available, you can use a small amount of dish soap and distilled water in a spray bottle.
The ladder or lift is important when cleaning tall solar panels. A soft cloth, brush, and microfiber squeegee are important tools when cleaning the surface of the panels. Now you are ready to begin the process of cleaning your solar panels.
To do so, gently hose off any dirt, particles, and bird droppings that have collected on your panels. Hold the hose at an angle and avoid spraying directly into the solar cells. The aim is to rinse, not saturate the cells.
If you have access to a ladder, you may need to get up close to clean all parts of the solar array. Use a soft brush or cloth to wipe harder-to-remove residues and debris.
Avoid using harsh or abrasive materials or chemicals, and never put pressure on panels, as this can lead to damage. Be mindful of the hazards of working off a ladder, and never use a pressure washer, as the vigorous force can cause damage to the cells, glass, and racking of your system.
After you have finished rinsing, monitor the performance of your solar system and check for any drops in power output. This may indicate that additional cleaning is in order.
When you’ve completed the first rinse of your solar panels and wiped away any built-up dirt and debris, it’s important to do a repeat rinse. This additional step ensures that all of the debris that may have been loosened up during the first rinse is removed and that your solar panels are clean.
To do a repeated rinse, you’ll want to rinse each panel off with a water hose, working your way from the top down. You don’t need to use a pressure washer, a simple rinse with your hose is all that’s required.
This will help get rid of any dust, dirt, and grime that you may have missed with the initial rinse. Once you’ve rinsed off the remaining debris, give the panels a once over with a soft cloth to ensure they are free of all foreign material.
Taking the time to do a repeated rinse of your solar panels will ensure that your panels are clean and functioning at their optimal performance.
Dry Your Solar Panels
After cleaning your panels, power down the solar array and allow the water to evaporate in the sunlight, as this can help prevent spots and create a uniform appearance. You can also use a microfibre cloth to ensure the panels are completely dry.
If the panels are still damp, you can use a hairdryer at low speed and with a low-heat setting in order to gently remove excess water. Take care not to use too much heat, as this can damage the panels.
Finally, make sure your dried solar panels are free of dust, dirt, or any other residue, as this can reduce their efficiency.
Tracking Solar Production
Tracking solar production allows you to monitor the production levels of a system throughout the day or at any given point in time. Not only does tracking help in identifying solar production levels, but it also helps in anticipating future output.
This helps homeowners identify when they might need to add more cells to the system to keep up with their needs or to simply keep an eye on any dips in production they may experience.
It also allows a homeowner to compare their system’s output with others in the same geographic area, which is especially helpful in understanding the overall effectiveness of their solar panel system.
By following the right steps and understanding when to clean, you can ensure your solar panels remain free of dirt, dust, and debris. To learn more about cleaning solar panels, check out this resource.
Assessing and Addressing Potential Damage
It’s important to inspect your solar panels regularly to ensure they are free of debris, soil, and other contaminants that can negatively impact their electrical efficiency. Checking your panels and hardware for damage should be an ongoing practice.
Be sure to look for gaps in the sealant, broken glass, dirt, and changes in their panel discoloration. If you find any damage, it’s important to have it promptly inspected and addressed.
In some cases, such as when the frame of the panel appears damaged, it may be wise to replace it. In other cases, a simple cleaning or resealing may be all that is needed.
Also, investing in a quality solar panel warranty could help mitigate the cost and hassle associated with repairs or maintenance. Taking the time to properly maintain and inspect your solar panels can help protect the panels from increased wear and potential damage. If you find damage that you can not repair your self, it may be time to call a professional. A simple Google search of “solar panel installation Arizona” or whichever area you live in, should provide you with plenty of options.
Regular Maintenance Schedule
Regular maintenance of your solar panel can help ensure your system’s energy output remains at its highest level. Taking regular steps to check the system’s function, clean the panels, and monitor the output of your solar panel system can allow you to get the most out of the technology.
It is important to perform a monthly checkup of your solar panel. This should include inspecting the wiring, ensuring all connections are secure, and wiping down the panel with a damp cloth.
Every six months, you should inspect the panels for any damages or signs of wear and tear. Once or twice a year, it is important to check the inverter to ensure it is working correctly and clean off any contamination or dust.
Finally, every 3-5 years, you should replace the battery. This helps maintain the panel’s energy output and helps the system be more efficient over time.
The Benefits of Cleaning Your Solar Panels
Cleaning your solar panels is one of the best ways to maximize the energy output of your system. The process of cleaning not only extends the life of the device but it has a range of additional benefits.
It can help to reduce dust and dirt buildup, which can cause the panels to become blocked and minimize efficiency. It also helps to reduce the amount of shade that is cast over them, making them more effective at capturing sunlight.
It also helps to maximize your cost savings by reducing the amount of energy wasted. The ultimate benefit of keeping your solar panels clean is that it will ensure their maximum efficiency and effectiveness over the long–term. It results in maximum savings for you.
When to Call a Professional
It’s important to know when to call a professional for solar panel cleaning and maintenance. In some cases, you may be able to perform light cleaning and maintenance on your own.
For example, if you have a single panel and want to give it a quick cleaning, you can easily do this yourself. However, in some cases, you’ll need to call in a professional for more complex tasks.
This includes work like panel maintenance, repair, and replacement. If you’re unsure about what’s needed, it’s important to call someone with experience.
This is because incorrect cleaning and maintenance can result in damage to the panel, which could affect its performance. A professional will be able to provide advice on the best course of action so that your solar panel can continue to operate efficiently.
The costs associated with solar panel cleaning depend on the type and size of the solar panel system. Typically, cleaning the panels and other associated equipment can cost from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
This cost includes the purchase and installation of cleaning materials and the labor associated with the actual cleaning process. The type of solar panel cleaning products used will also influence the costs.
Some products are specially designed to eliminate dust and dirt buildup and inhibit the formation of algae and other contaminants. The amount of labor also affects the cost of solar panel cleaning.
Hiring a professional to clean the panels and their associated equipment, or even a technician to carry out additional maintenance, can add significantly to the costs. Ultimately, the frequency and efficiency at which dirty solar panels are cleaned will be a key factor in the total cost.
Learn More About Solar Panel Cleaning Today
Solar panels are a great way to save energy and reduce your environmental impact. Regular solar panel cleaning and maintenance are key to achieving optimal energy efficiency.
With the helpful steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to keep your solar panel system in top condition. So, don’t forget to stay on top of your maintenance safely and regularly – and start reaping the rewards of a solar system that operates at its peak performance.
Did you find this article helpful? Visit more of our blogs!