High-quality solar panel cleaning is impossible without understanding how to clean solar panels. For the cleaning of solar panels to be successful, familiarize yourself with the information in this material in more detail.
This article will explain whether solar panels require cleaning, answer the most pressing questions, and examine the best way to clean solar panels.
Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?
Although the panels do not require much maintenance, clean solar panels last longer and work more productively. Therefore, it’s quite logical to wonder how to choose a solar panel cleaner or ask yourself, “How often should I clean my solar panels?” But the ease of care of the panels does not mean such care is unnecessary.
There is an opinion that the panels are self-cleaning. This idea is only partially correct. On the one hand, the correct inclination angle means the panels will periodically self-clean due to rainwater. On the other hand, that might be an uncommon event.
Think of the climate of Australia, which is characterized by long droughts. That means that without periodic solar cleaning, deposits of dust, dirt, and bird droppings will accumulate on the surface. Leaves will fall from nearby deciduous trees, meaning that cleaning solar panels on roofs, in many cases, is a mandatory procedure.
In addition to extending the life of the panels, timely cleaning also provides another important benefit, increasing their efficiency. If you do not neglect solar panel cleaning, no extra factors can interfere with the functioning of these systems, and their visibility to the sun remains at a sufficient level. Therefore, the answer to “Should I clean my solar panels?” is affirmative.
Next, we’ll also dwell on how often you should clean solar panels. That’s the next step after answering this question: “Do I need to clean my solar panels?”
How Often Do You Need to Wash Solar Panels?
Sometimes on the Internet, you can find universal recommendations regarding how often to clean solar panels. However, this approach needs to be revised.
Its disadvantage is that it doesn’t consider climatic and other factors that affect the condition and performance of the panels. For instance, if the weather conditions are favorable, solar panel washing once every six months will suffice. But if there are extreme weather conditions (heavy showers, storms, fires, etc.), it is necessary to clean solar panels more often. Therefore, you should not focus on very general advice. Consider the weather conditions and other efficiency factors instead.
For example, this applies to situations where the house is located near a construction site or a highway with dynamic traffic. The same can be said about homes near the sea coast, where a layer of wind-blown particles causes a “film” to form on the panels, blocking the sun’s rays.
The conclusion is that general advice about washing solar panels every six months is unsuitable for all regions and conditions.
How To Clean the Solar Panels: Where To Start?
If you are looking for an answer to how to wash solar panels on the roof, you must consider your safety before weighing in on all the intricacies of this procedure.
Safety should always be a priority for everyone considering how to clean their solar panels without risk to themselves. Here’s how you can ensure it:
- Put on your helmet and tie yourself up with seat belts.
- Choose a day with favorable weather. It shouldn’t be hot or too cold outside.
This recommendation is explained very simply. For instance, on hot days, the roof with solar panels attracts a lot of heat. Since the heat is retained, it can complicate the task and create unnecessary discomfort.
Let’s move on to exploring how to clean a solar panel. You must properly prepare the materials you will use in this process. While you might think it’s worth looking into expensive solar panel cleaners, that’s unnecessary. To accomplish the mission, you should prepare the following:
- Soft, non-abrasive sponge or cloth
The second point is worth dwelling on in more detail. The object with which you will clean the panels must be as soft as possible. Hard brushes are not suitable for this purpose. Sometimes they are tried to be in use in the hope that such inventory will help achieve more efficient cleaning of solar panels. But it won’t.
Dust on solar panels is much less of an issue than abrasive brush scratches. So what is the best way to clean solar panels? Since the surface of the panels is very delicate, choose only safe products and materials.
Can Soap Be of Any Use?
In some cases, panels can be too dirty and require more effort than sprinkling some water around. For that reason, owners of these systems often wonder how to clean solar panels from the ground. Let’s explore what to use to clean solar panels in more detail.
Consider what cleaning products can be used when water alone is insufficient to achieve the desired result. If you want to understand what to clean solar panels with, remember one important caveat — use only environmentally friendly products that do not contain toxic chemicals. There are several reasons for this decision:
- Such products will not leave unpleasant residues.
- They will not create an unnecessary layer of harmful substances on the panels.
- Such cleaners will not harm the ecosystem of your home and yard.
If you focus on preserving the environment, the panels themselves will benefit from this, and you will provide reliable, gentle care.
Experts say: use less powerful cleaners to clean the panels than you would use to wash dishes. And here, again, it is worth recalling the absence of abrasive particles.
Is It Possible To Use the Help of Professionals?
Only some people want to try it out to understand how to wash solar panels. And this is the right of every person – to decide if you have to clean solar panels or entrust the issue to professionals. Some people specialize in such activities. Their assistance may occasionally be relevant in cases where:
- Your place of residence is a coastal zone.
- There is leafy vegetation near the panels on your roof.
- You have seen a lot of excess on the panels (for example, accumulated bird droppings).
- You just don’t have enough health or strength to climb onto the roof alone.
Each of these cases complicates the choice of solar panel cleaning solution. The best call would be to contact specialists who can carry out all the necessary work and guide how to monitor the solar panels further. For example, if the question “How often should solar panels be cleaned?” keeps you up at night, the only option is to consult the experts. They will tell you in detail how often solar panels need to be cleaned, considering the specifics of your region.
What New Panel Installers Need To Know About Cleaning
Those who have not yet installed panels often ask questions about how to clean solar panels. This approach is also justified since it allows for avoiding some installation errors. For the panels to be properly cleaned naturally during rain, they must be installed at the correct inclination angle. In this case, along with the rain streams, everything accumulated will drain from them.
Therefore, you should carefully choose a company that installs panels. Relevant industry experience and positive customer feedback are important, confirming that true professionals work there. Otherwise, the wrong angle of inclination of the panel during installation will lead to several negative phenomena at once. Difficulties with cleansing here will not be the main problem, and the key disadvantage will be that the panel cannot function effectively by generating enough electricity.
A Few Topical Questions
Let’s consider more issues related to the cleaning and maintenance of panels. You need to know more facts to prevent bird droppings, dirt and dust, and dust from the ground from becoming a critical problem.
Namely, to distinguish between the frequency with which it is necessary to wash the panels in different conditions. If all the statements from the list below are relevant to your case, then the panels can be washed no more than once every six months.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
- The main contamination of the panels is dust. You do not live in an area where many other natural and man-made factors affect the condition of the panels.
- The layer of dust is not too large so that natural precipitation can wash it away.
- These precipitations occur with due regularity.
If all these factors work, solar energy is processed into electricity with the required intensity, meaning household appliances work smoothly.
Sometimes panel users ask what else might be needed when cleaning these systems. It all depends on the features of the structure, the number of panels, and their placement. For example, sometimes they use a pressure washer when cleaning solar. This happens when the panels need cleaning after stressful conditions and large pollution. Among the useful tools, in addition to the mentioned soft cloth, there may be:
- Water hose: It will allow you to reach those panels that are in hard-to-reach places.
- Bucket: Regarding its content, there are different points of view. Some people use water alone to clean the panels. But you can use a soap solution if there’s a case of severe pollution. Remember the recommendation about the naturalness of the soap, which was already mentioned above. As for the concentration, it is optimal if it is 3%.
The algorithm of work may look like this:
- Fill a bucket with a 3% soapy water solution.
- Clean the panels with this solution.
- You can fix the result using water from a spray bottle.
- If dirt remains, you can use a hose.
As you can see, caring for panels is relatively easy. On the contrary, it’s understandable and simple and requires no additional knowledge or large waste.
Should You Clean Your Solar Panels? Conclusions
The answer to “Do solar panels need to be cleaned?” is now obvious. If you live in an area with no periodic rain and an unfavorable climate, then periodic cleaning is necessary. It depends whether the panels will function qualitatively and for a long time. Thus, you achieve two goals at once. The first is to extend the life of the panels, and the second is performance improvement and aesthetics. So, to sum up, it is worth highlighting a few important thoughts:
- Rooftop solar panel cleaning should start with safety (wear a hard hat and fasten your seat belts).
- Solar panel cleaning solutions must be non-toxic; choosing natural-based products is better since such solar panel cleaners are environmentally friendly.
- Do not use abrasive substances and tools during panel cleaning, which may damage the surface.
- Remember that clean solar panels on roof can be not only in the case when you take over the process. You can contact a professional who will help in this matter.
If you need a solar clean panel, experts can also be a good option if the house owner is not ready to spend energy on it. In addition, many people worry about their health or are unsure that they feel good on the house’s roof. In all these cases, the services of specialists will be appropriate.
Does cleaning solar panels make a difference? After reading this material, we hope you have found the answer to this question. Panel cleaning is the key to its more efficient and productive work. Nothing will prevent the sun’s rays from reaching the surface, so the panel will effectively perform its task.