How To Clean Your Solar Panels

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Jack Ayre

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With electricity bills increasing and global warming an ever-present risk, many homeowners are switching to alternative energy sources like solar panels. However, poorly maintained or dirty solar panels may not work efficiently or generate enough power. So, how to clean solar panels? To do it effectively, you need skills and expertise—that’s where this guide comes in.

In this article, we’ll look at the definitive guide to cleaning solar panels, plus tips and tricks for keeping them in good condition so that they can produce electricity at the optimal levels.

Why Clean Your Solar Panels?

Whether you’re an individual or a company looking to reduce your energy expenses and ecological footprint, you should consider investing in solar panels. 

Still, guaranteeing the panels function at their best requires proper preventive maintenance.

As such, dirty solar panels aren’t only eyesores, but they also drastically impact the efficiency of your solar PV system. 

Exposed solar panels are prone to pollen, dirt, dust, and other debris that can accumulate over time. This build-up blocks the sunlight, causing a decline in energy productivity.

Therefore, regularly cleaning your solar panels can boost their efficiency, power output, and, eventually, your financial savings.

How to Gauge if a Solar Panel Needs Cleaning

The most evident sign that solar panels require cleaning is when the system’s output begins to drop. 

Here are some ways to tell if your panels need a clean-up.

1. Physical Inspection

Inspecting your panels is a must, especially when the weather is bad or there’s a lot of dust in the neighbourhood. 

Additionally, you need to examine the connections during these times to keep track of your panel’s status.

2. Consider Seasonal Changes

During dry periods or in drought-stricken locations, dust, and dirt gather more quickly on panels. 

Remember to keep an eye on the seasons in your area and change your panel cleaning routine accordingly.

3. Evaluate Your Location

Panels in heavily polluted or dusty locations require more regular cleaning. If you live close to the coast, salt, and sand can build up on them and reduce their power.

Moreover, if you live in an area prone to strong winds or sandstorms, it’s best to set your panels up for cleaning more often.

4. Monitoring System

It’s ideal to keep an eye on your panels regularly to spot any debris accumulation or other flaws that could affect their effectiveness.

Consider booking periodic maintenance sessions to ensure that your panels are operating at maximum output.

How To Clean Solar Panels

In essence, you can hire a specialist to clean your panels. But, if you have all the tools required, you can reduce the expenses a little by learning how to clean them.

To effectively and safely clean your solar panels, here’s what you need to know:

  • Wipe away dust and debris with a soft brush
  • Spray the panels with a water hose
  • Clean all spots with a soft-bristled brush and water
  • Analyse your home’s solar output to gauge the cleaning overall effect
  • For more complex maintenance and upkeep, contact a solar panel specialist

By following these guides, you’ll be able to maintain your solar panels up and running.

How To Clean Solar Panels on Roof

You must look after your roof-mounted solar panels to ensure maximum energy output.

To maintain their condition and keep them operating at their best, you can follow these methods for cleaning panels on your roof.

1. Consult a Solar Panel Technician

Before cleaning your PV systems, have a specialist evaluate the panel’s glass for any visible flaws, discolouration, scratches, or cracks. After which, confirm all connections and wires are properly linked to the frame and inverter.

2. Invest in a Telescopic Solar Panel Cleaner

The ideal approach for cleaning solar panels is from the ground. Not only does it eliminate having to purchase and store a massive ladder, but it’s also the safest spot to do so. 

However, you’ll require a specialised tool particularly, a telescopic pole cleaner. This is a long-handled brush with soft bristles that works at a range.

In the event you can’t clean your panels, it’s best to hire an expert to get up there and do the job for you safely.

3. Choose a Non-abrasive Cleaning Cloth

If it isn’t included with the telescopic pole cleaner, you need to use a non-abrasive cloth. This reduces the chance of causing scratches to the panel’s outermost layer.

Generally, scratches result in light blockage, which can cause a drop in the panel’s energy output.

4. Ensure the Weather is Clear and Sunny

Preferably, you’ll want to do the cleaning while the sun is up. Clouds can obscure sunshine, which can help in drying the panels quicker.

If panels don’t dry properly, they can create stains, which is another possible blockage to sunlight.

5. Start at Sunrise

The effective time to start cleaning is early in the morning. This occurs after the dew has gathered on the panels. This can provide a helpful layer of moisture and soften any dirt that has accumulated.

6. Fill a Bucket with Lukewarm Cleaning Solution

To maximise outcomes when cleaning dirt, grime, debris, and bird mess, use a mild soap and water solution.

Ensure that you’re using an eco-friendly solution to avoid compromising your panels.

7. Work Your Way Across the Panel’s Top

Clean the panel’s top layer only. While solar panels are designed to endure any elements, this is critical since their cables are located beneath the top layer.

It’s best to avoid cleaning underneath where the cabling could be affected. As a result, this can eliminate electrical hazards.

Solar Panel Cleaning Service

The ESE Maintenance program provides residential solar panel owners with complete system protection, giving them peace of mind in the worst-case scenario.

Here’s what you need to know about the ESE Maintenance program.

Solar Panel Cleaning Service

Components on solar arrays can malfunction, you might forfeit your warranty, or your provider may no longer be in business. Thus, there’s an increasing need for operations and maintenance packages as solar panels reach the expiration date of their warranty.

With the complete Solar PV Maintenance Package, we’ll compensate for any lost power generation from the time you contact us until we resolve the problem.

Advanced PV Maintenance

With the ESE Maintenance program, we’re carrying out our solar panel maintenance uniquely. We use a drone that flies over a wide area and captures your panel system’s status. 

This technology makes all connections visible in one look through a thermal imaging camera.

Your roof will be evaluated from every angle, taking a 360-degree look at the entire surface. Aside from that, we’ll offer you detailed reports on any issues with the panels that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Maintenance Plans

Solar PV owners can secure complete protection for repairs and maintenance on their panels for a monthly fee of £19.99.

Here are the inclusions of your maintenance plans:

  • Inverter replacement
  • Solar PV panels
  • Call out and labour
  • AC/DC isolators
  • Qualified staff
  • MC4 connectors
  • Telephone support
  • Generation meter
  • Cables
  • Annual health check
  • Repair or replacement of faulty electrical components

This maintenance plan guarantees your solar panels perform efficiently every year, thus, ensuring your ROI.

FAQs

What’s the Best Way To Clean Solar Panels?

We recommend hiring an expert for roof-mounted solar arrays. For ground-level solar panels, you can use water, a soft sponge, and eco-friendly soap to remove dust and grime.

Is it Safe To Power Wash Solar Panels?

Washing solar panels with a power washer, such as a jet hose, isn’t recommended. The high-pressure motion may damage the panels, requiring expensive repairs and forfeiting your warranty.

Is There a Solar Panel Cleaner Near Me?

Yes, there are dozens of local firms specialising in cleaning solar panels near you. While you can handle roof-mounted solar panel cleaning, it’s best to seek out a solar array cleaning specialist to do the job for you.

Conclusion

Generally, many homeowners don’t know how to clean solar panels. By following the proper cleaning methods and taking necessary precautions, you can optimise your panels’ performance and save on your electricity bills.

Moreover, cleaning your solar panels is an essential aspect of maintenance that you need to carry out regularly. The frequency of cleaning depends on seasonal changes, weather conditions, location, physical evaluation, and monitoring.

Ultimately, cleaning solar panels regularly is vital for getting a positive ROI, optimal energy production, and ecological benefits. Maintenance is cost-effective and can prevent potential pitfalls, such as panel breakages or energy loss.

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Born in North West England, Jack kicked off his career in the insurance arena, dealing with claims for three years. Always up for a challenge, Jack leapt out of his comfort zone and embarked upon 5 years of excitement with the military.

Working for the Ministry of Defence, Jack specialised in counter-terrorism which took him to places such as Dubai, Oman, Iraq, Norway and Bahrain. During this period he worked with various Governments implementing strategic operations to prevent terrorism.

After travelling around various countries Jack increasingly came across various forms of solar from large solar farms to domestic solar panels. From here Jack took a keen interest in all things solar and started reading about the technological capabilities with a view to entering the industry after his career in the Ministry of Defence.

Once home after 5 fruitful years, Jack had 3 months leave in which he immersed himself in a solar crash course and got applying for jobs within the solar sector. He came across ESE Solar, a long-established forward-thinking company whose head office was only a stone’s throw away from him. He picked up the phone to see if there were any vacancies and within a week had a successful interview and obtained a full-time job, starting in the technical team.

Within the first few months, Jack onboarded in various online courses during work and social hours to speed up his knowledge of all things solar. Due to his strong work ethic and thirst for knowledge Jack was promoted to Head of Technical at ESE Solar. He currently leads the team and oversees the product development of new technologies within the company alongside assisting where necessary on their maintenance department.

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