All That You Wanted to Know About Maintaining Your Solar Panels

Solar panels are manufactured to work as efficiently as possible and, therefore, they are very resistant to dust, dirt and debris. In fact, the efficiently designed solar panels ensure that a layer of dust (around 0,01 inch thick) does not reduce the efficiency of the solar panel by more than 1 percent. So, unless your home solar panels are covered in a thick layer of dust, you don’t need to clean them that often. That said, one must still ensure periodic maintenance of their home solar panels. The period may vary between 6 months to 12 months depending on the location where the collar panel system is installed.

When should one clean their solar panels?

While in most cases, people don’t need to clean their solar panels often, however, in some cases, it does make sense to ensure regular cleaning. For example, if accumulation of external elements like bird droppings is high and it doesn’t get washed off easily by rain. Or If you live in an area with scanty rainfall then you might need to clean them more often because of lack of adequate rainfall.

The impact of dirt and debris on the efficiency of solar panels.

The effects of dirt and debris, such as dust and leaves, on the efficiency of solar panels is minimal. At max, it reduces the energy the panels create by less than 10%. If you live in an area with low rainfall, you must ensure regular cleaning of your solar panels to ensure optimal efficiency.

Here’s how to keep your solar panels clean.

If you want your panels cleaned, there are two ways to do it. Either you should hire a professional or do the work yourself. Hiring a company would cost you some money but the savings you make on your electric bills, post the cleaning, would be substantial. In case you don’t want to spend any money, you can clean the solar panels on your own. 

Things to keep in mind when cleaning solar panels

If you are interested in cleaning your residential solar panels on your own, there are a variety of products that you can use. However, it’s important to first speak with your solar installers and providers (and to read information given on their websites) to determine what sort of specific cleaning recommendations they provide. In most cases it is best to use soapy water to clean the solar panels. Also, you must follow these five important steps to prevent injury and/or property damage:

  1. Check with the manufacturer if there are any special maintenance protocols. Neglecting the protocols may render the warranty void.
  2. Solar panels can get extremely hot during the peak sun hours. So it is advisable to schedule the maintenance session early in the morning or at dusk if possible. You may also choose to clean them on a cloudy day.
  3. Use a regular garden hose to spray off the first layer of loose dirt, dust and debris.
  4. Make sure you only use non-abrasive soap with a soft sponge damped in warm water to avoid surface scratches when cleaning the stubborn buildup. 
  5. Make sure you rinse off the soapy residue before allowing the solar panels to air-dry. 

Last Word

Cleaning a solar panel is almost the same as wiping down a regular home window. Fortunately, it doesn’t even take much time. However, you must be extra cautious when climbing the solar panels. Make sure you have a coworker to help you with your cleaning endeavor. This is one of the reasons we suggest that you seek help from an expert. If you have any questions or need maintenance related help, talk to the solar experts at Luminous India, one of India’s leading solar products manufacturers.

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