One of the most common questions for homeowners is how to clean solar panels on their roofs. Although solar panels by and large come with self-cleaning technology, they require some cleaning and maintenance to keep them working effectively. Solar panels are a great investment in your home and enabling them to work at their optimal efficiency will make them worth it in Ireland.
In most cases solar panels are self-cleaning but in some situations such as dust accumulation and bird droppings, they need to be cleaned manually on a regular basis. If you have a roof mount system, it is usually safest to get your panels cleaned by a professional. Unless you have the right equipment to safely clean your panels, it’s best not to attempt doing it yourself.
Why is it Necessary to Clean Your Panels?
In general, when your solar panels get dirty, you can expect up to a 5% loss of output. This is because dust and other droppings may prevent the solar cells from absorbing energy at their optimum level. Most solar panels are positioned at an angle that will enable dust and grime to glide off easily. However, it’s certain conditions, manual intervention is required.
When you purchase new solar panels for your home, you may want to look for a cleaning service as part of your agreement. You can ask your installer if this can be an added benefit to your contract. Although it’s fair to assume that rain washes away dirt from the panels, it’s not always the case. Even though there are grants available in countries such as the UK and Ireland to become affordable, they are still a big investment to make and taking proper care of the panels will give better output.
While cleaning the panels yourself might seem like a great idea, it may not always be the case especially if you have a steeply slanted roof. It is not only risky for your panels as they may get damaged or cracked but also for your safety. There are also some that think investing in a professional solar cleaning service may not be worth the cost, so this is a decision to make based on your living conditions and the safety of doing it yourself.
How Often Should You Clean Them?
It is advised to clean solar panels anywhere between once a month to once a year. If your panel system is ground-mounted it is much easier for you to monitor the cleanliness of your panels. On the other hand, roof-mounted solar panels are a bit tricky to monitor on a regular basis.
More often than not, the angular position of the panels should help in them getting cleaned naturally through rainwater and wind. Another important factor in determining how to clean solar panels is the location. If you live in a crowded city area, you may want to clean your panels more often as compared to a house in the outskirts where there is less pollution and dust in general.
A quick weekly or monthly check would be ideal to make sure your panels are performing without hindrances. According to a source, an annual solar panel cleaning routine has proved to improve energy output by 12% higher.
How to Clean Solar Panels Without Damaging Them?
How to clean solar panels effectively? When you choose to install solar panels you are making a fairly big investment towards renewable energy and a greener lifestyle. A small effort in cleaning and maintaining your solar panels can go a long way to make sure the panels are working at optimal efficiency. Here are 10 cleaning tips that you need to know:
- First and foremost, you need to check your panels for dirt and dust and see if they have accumulated in any of the panels, since this can block the panels from absorbing sunlight.
- Never use a regular sponge or soap to clean the panels. You will end up damaging the glass of the panel. If you’d like to give the panels a proper wash, you can use a biodegradable soap with a soft rag.
- Roof mounted solar panels are not very safe to climb up and clean, and therefore, it is recommended to call a professional who has the right equipment required. If you choose to clean the panels yourself, you must make sure to use safety ropes and ladders as the panels can get slippery while washing.
- If you would like to clean your panels frequently, you could use a hose and run them along your panels to remove any dust on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Make sure to not use any harsh cleaning materials on your panels as they can scratch or damage the panel glass, which can be a costly repair.
- One of the most common tips on how to clean solar panels is to do it early in the morning. At this time the panels are cooled through the night, and with dew and mist on the panels will make it easier to clean the dirt and grime.
- In most cases, using plain water to clean the panels is the most effective and safest way to clean them.
- If you would like to use something more than water, make sure it is mild and does not contain harsh chemicals. A mild dishwashing detergent diluted in water should work well for this purpose.
- If your panels are floor mounted it is way easier to do a DIY cleaning as compared to roof mounted panels which can be risky.
- Do not use a washer spray on your panels as their pressure can damage the panels and hinder them from working effectively.
Solar Panel Maintenance Tips
Good maintenance with regular cleaning can increase your solar panel efficiency in general. Check your system regularly and document day to day performance to keep track of the panel performance and maintenance requirements.
People who do not enjoy regular cleaning can install automated sprinkler systems or schedule regular cleaning appointments with local professionals. How to clean solar panels has never been easier with multiple options to choose from. Fortunately, solar panels are immovable and are comparatively lower maintenance systems.
So, in general, taking regular care and monitoring your system’s performance and functionality should help a great deal in protecting your solar panel system. If you’re a DIY person and do not want to spend a lot on regular cleaning appointments, you can easily clean the panels by using these tips. In the case of solar panels, a little maintenance goes a long way.
At JK Services, we install solar panels at homes and businesses throughout all of Ireland. We also install EV chargers, provide electrical maintenance services such as PAT testing, periodic inspections and out of hours emergency electrician. JK Services are one of Corks best rated electrical contractors with a fantastic team of qualified electricians. Get in touch with our solar panels Cork team today.