How to clean solar panels, and should you?
Solar panels are an up and coming industry, and are springing up everywhere. There is one aspect of them that is often forgotten or unconsidered by those who invest in them, and that’s solar panel maintenance. Dust and dirt can build up on a solar panel, and when it gets thick enough, it can serve to reduce the amount of solar energy reaching your panels. Now ‘How to clean solar panels?’ is the next question to be addressed.
Considerations in Cleaning Solar Panels
- Safety First
- Basic Cleaning
- Oily Stains
- Should You Clean your solar panels?
If your solar panel installation is on the ground, then you can pretty much skip this part. On the other hand, if you have them on your roof or another high point, figuring out how to clean solar panels safely is going to be important. If you’re going to be working up high, make sure you have the necessary safety equipment and securing points if you’re over 6′ off the ground. Cleaning solar panels on roof or high places with a buddy system is a good way to make sure there’s someone nearby if things go wrong. Don’t try to work that high up without a securing point. Clean solar panels aren’t worth your life.
Maintenance of your solar panels doesn’t require any special kind of solar panel cleaning gadgets nor does it make use of any unique kind of solar panel cleaning products. It simply requires basic cleaning. One of the things you may worry about when trying to figure out how to clean solar panels is whether or not the material you use may scratch the glass. Solar Panel Glass tends to be of a higher quality than standard windows, and therefor is more resistant to taking damage. They are intended to be subjected to all types of weather, and to directly face the sun and elements each day. As a result, they’re harder to scratch, but it still is a good idea to use soft cloths and gentle detergents, just to be sure. If they’re truly grimy or have algae or mold growing on them (which can occur in moister climates) don’t be afraid to use a rougher cloth or soft scrubbing brush when washing solar panels. They can take it, they’re built to a higher standard. To make it easier, try cleaning in the early morning when the moisture of the dew will lend you a hand in softening that grime.
Some environmental conditions can result in an oily residue building up on your panels. If you live near a heavily trafficked area such as a freeway, or near an airport, you may experience a buildup of oily grime on your panels. You may be wondering what special solar panel cleaning kits to use. Thankfully, isopropyl alcohol is an excellent agent for clearing these substances away without causing any damage to the glass. The same cloth or scouring pad that you use for normal grit and grime is the best way how to clean solar panels.
Should you clean your solar panels?
One of the biggest controversies out there when it comes to how to clean solar panels, is whether or not you should do it at all. Solar panels are very durable, and natural rainfall serves to clean away much of the grit and grime that gathers on them. Additionally, it takes a significant amount of grime to truly reduce the output by a significant effect. Paying someone to clean your solar panels is a fools bargain, regular buildup doesn’t serve to reduce your output enough to justify the expense of paying a professional to clean them. Let mother nature handle the cleaning, and only take the time and expense to clean them yourself if it truly deserves it.
The ways on how to clean solar panels are simple and basic. Its easy use and maintenance is one of the advantages of solar energy.