If you have had solar panels installed on your residential or commercial building, you might probably wonder – how often and how to clean your solar panels. Regular and proper cleaning is what you need to do within the first year of your panel installation. It not only makes your panels look good but help you get the most bang for your buck.
In this blog post, you will take a closer look at why your solar panels must be cleaned, when you should clean them, and how cleaning should be done.
Why you should get your solar panels cleaned?
Solar panels need minimal maintenance after their installation. Although they are designed to work efficiently for 25-30 years, cleaning solar PV panels is as important as learning a guide on calculating area required for their installation to ensure optimal solar power production. Solar panels should be cleaned as much as possible for the following reasons –
Solar panel cleaning is key to ensure improved overall efficiency. According to several statistical reports, the performance improvement and efficiency enhancement can be dramatic up to 60% in commercial solar installations and up to 21% in residential PV panels.
Accumulated dust and dirt on the surface of the panel can decrease the quantity of sunlight absorbed, thereby decreasing power generation efficiency.
Regular cleaning removes the debris, dust, leaves, bugs, and other contaminants that are responsible for reducing efficiency. Reducing the collection of any dust or dirt will continue to improve efficiency over time.
There are multiple grains of sand, debris, and dust particles in the atmosphere that can lead to wear and tear when solar panels are not cleaned timely. When these substances keep building up, they can reduce the panel efficiency and also end up using a system that fails too quickly.
Most rooftop solar system providers in Delhi NCR offer solar panels with 25-30 years warranty. But, it is not always sufficient especially when something goes wrong with any of your panels during the warranty period. Regular cleaning increases the warranty period and makes sure that the panel will continue to provide power even when something wrong happens with them during this period.
Rainwater is not enough
Most solar panel owners believe that rainwater will clean their panels automatically. But, this is the biggest misconception. Solar systems need more often cleaning in the rainy season than in other months of the year.
Improve visual charm
Dirt-capped solar panels don’t look good and also affect the view of your rooftop. Timely cleaning of your panels will make your rooftop more aesthetically appealing to you and your guests.
Whenever you clean your solar panels, you’ll get the chance to inspect them and examine the working condition of your system.
Increases ROI time
Last but not least cleaning solar panels regularly will help in increasing the ROI time of solar panels. When purchasing a system, you must consider how long panels will take before you notice an ROI (return on investment). Regular solar panel cleaning reduces the time required to see the best outcomes with less work needed.
When solar panels must be cleaned?
Well, this question is in debate for a long time. According to solar panel experts, you must clean them on average half yearly i.e. every 6 months. However, some believe that one should not wait longer till they required cleaning and must clean them more frequently. It is definitely the right time to clean if you notice bird droppings, dirt, or dust on the surface.
According to the thumb rule, go for cleaning at least once in six months or possibly more quickly when you notice your panels are getting dirty. Try to clean your solar panels at the end of summer and winter. The reason is that there is a buildup of more residue in these seasons.
Rainwater containing hard minerals can cause damage to the panels and affect their efficiency over time. Thus, if you reside in a region with hard water, rinse your systems now and again.
Per annum cleaning is also sufficient, an annual maintenance contract for solar system will help you with the maintenance process, based on your environmental conditions and living area. To ensure a safe cleaning procedure, start cleaning in the evening as it helps in avoiding contact with warm solar panels.
How can I safely clean my solar panels?
Most homeowners prefer the manual solar panel cleaning process. Start the process by collecting all the essential things you will need. For example, warm water, mild soap or detergent, a soft cloth or a brush, an extension pole, a squeegee, and a garden hose with a spray nozzle.
Remove any light or loose dirt on the panel surface with a brush or a soft cloth. After removing all of the loose dirt, rinse off any remaining dirt or debris using the garden hose. Avoid extremely harsh pressure as it could harm your panels.
Now, apply mild dishwashing liquid or soap and warm water using a cloth or a soft brush. Clean each panel individually in circular motions. Do not scrub extremely hard as it may scratch the surface. Repeat this process until your solar panels are completely free of grime and dirt. At last, rinse off your panels with fresh and clean water from the garden hose once again to take away the remaining soap residue.
This cleaning process can be used for residential solar PV panels and commercial arrays. Note that you will need to implement each step gently. However, if you don’t have enough time for cleaning and wonder whether or not you can safely do cleaning, then you can go for professional cleaning support and services. The experts have special instruments designed for solar panels cleaning without causing any damage.
In conclusion, cleaning solar panels is essential for their improved efficiency, durability, optimal performance, and increased ROI time. Clean them whenever you notice reduced power production or peak power variation on your PV panels. Cleaning process doesn’t take much time and effort. Thus, make sure you clean this timeless investment regularly by yourself or through professional support, preventing the collection of any dust or dirt.
Megamax Solar is a pioneer in the solar industry, offering installation, repair, replacement, and maintenance services for an assorted range of solar systems. Once you get the installation of rooftop or on-ground solar panels, you can rest assured regarding the successful delivery of after-sales services including an annual maintenance contract. So, give your solar panels necessary cleaning to enjoy maximum power production for a long time.