Solar panel maintenance is essential to keep them in a good state. You’ve spent a large amount of money on them, and it would be a shame not to maintain their condition.
Solar Panels are an excellent long term investment that will provide you with renewable energy.
Bear in mind that these solar panels will last for 25 years or even more, which depends on how well you maintain them.
In this article, we will discover together the importance of solar panels maintenance so that they provide you with high-efficiency energy while lasting for +25 years.
Do Solar Panels Really Need to be Maintained?
The simple answer is, yes! And let’s be honest, spending your money on any investment like this, requires you to put some effort into caring for it.
The reason why they need to be maintained is because of the dirt and dust that can clutter on them. Whether it’s dust, leaves, or snow, overall, you just don’t want to have a dirty solar panel. Clean solar panels will perform 25% better than dirty ones.
This means spending more on energy bills. Having that in mind, the only important factor is to keep them clean. So how many times should you clean them? Generally, solar panels should be cleaned five to six times a year, which is about once every two months.
However, this number might change depending on your geographical position, which will be related to weather conditions.
Let’s say, for example, your house, which is equipped with solar panels, is located in a small village in Arizona, you will probably need
to do more cleaning than if you live in a large city. Your explosion to dirt will vary on different factors, so it is recommended to clean them as you notice that dirt started amassing on them.
Nowadays, many solar panels retailers will provide their customers with a maintenance schedule to follow. So you can also use that in your guidance.
How to Clean Solar Panels?
For security reasons, if your solar panels are located on the roof, and you have little to no space to move during the cleaning process, we advise you to leave this task for the professionals.
Otherwise, you might expose your health and the solar panels to danger. Nowadays, you can find anything on the internet, including solar panel cleaners.
Or, you can contact your supplier and ask if there is anyone that they could recommend.
On the other hand, if you have easy access and enough space to clear your solar panels, by the end of this article, you will be able to do so.
Tilted solar panels will be easier to clean as dust and dirt will often fall off them. You will also be luckier when it’s raining as rainfall will clean them without you having to do anything.
However, when there is no reason, cleaning them is a necessity.
Here’s everything you need to know about it:
- Most solar panels suppliers provide their customers with cleaning kits, which comes in very handy to use. This kit will usually include a biodegradable soap, a brush, and a wiper.
- Plan your cleaning day ahead of time. Why is that? Solar panels absorb the heat, and so they can become very hot. We recommend that you start the cleaning during the morning or just choose a cooler day.
- First, you can start by sweeping off the dust or removing any litter from your solar panels. However, this is optional as your garden hose might do all the job. Just run the water over the solar panels to rinse off the dust.
- If they are still dirty, fill a bucket with warm water and add some of the biodegradable soap to it. Now clean the surface using a soft rag. Never use harsh rags or sponges as they might damage the surface of the solar panels.
Cleaning Solar Panels after Snowfall
Snow is another concern for people who live in snowy areas. Snow will block your panels’ exposure to the sun, and so the first thought that comes to your mind is to remove the snow.
However, there is a lot of debate on whether you should or should not remove it from your solar panels. There is a lot of information about cleaning it with warm water.
Still, we heard from several professionals that this could damage your panels. To be honest, I would never go for a solution that would expose those expensive panels to the slightest risk as their repair costs can be very costly. So how do we solve this dilemma?
Simply, don’t do anything. Snow will mostly meltdown by the second day the sun is up. Nonetheless, make sure to keep the surface in front of your solar panels bear. This will speed up the process as snow won’t pile up in front of the panels.
We have to mention that this will only work better on tilted panels. For flat panels, you might also leave the snow to meltdown.
However, this might take more time, especially if you had heavy snowfalls. To prevent this from happening, you can simply use a squeegee by sweeping away the snow. If you frequently have snow in your area, consider adjusting or reinstalling them to a tilted angle. This way, you won’t have to deal much with it.
Extra Tips for Solar Panels Maintenance
- Make to install your panels in a sunny area. Being regularly exposed to shade will reduce their energy production efficiency over time.
- Never use hot water to clean the panels. This will damage and might create some cracks on them.
- Inspect your solar panels once every month so you can make sure that everything is functioning well.
- Don’t use a high-pressure hose to clean the panels. The water might penetrate the small gaps between the glass and the frame. If the water reaches the wiring inside, this will create some trouble.
- To monitor your panels’ energy production, compare what has been produced before and after the cleaning to see if there is any improvement.
Overall, solar panels maintenance is a critical but easy task to conduct. It will not cost you much to do, unless if you are thinking of hiring a professional cleaner. That said, we hope we’ve provided you with enough information that will give you a detailed perspective on solar panels maintenance.