Solar power generators not only create a renewable form of energy but have no moving parts, which makes the general maintenance on this form of power production minimal. However, that does not mean you should neglect the components, as a simple once or twice a year cleaning can yield superior results. Today we will go over a few simple solar panel cleaning techniques, that will help your solar systems not only last longer but produce more efficient power.
When Should I Clean my Solar Panels?
Where your located typically plays a factor when considering solar panel cleaning. Precipitation and melting snow both play positive rolls in keeping your panels clean. Meaning if you are located in a dry, windy area, you may want to consider a more frequent cleaning based on the time of year. Pollen and pollutants for example seen in early spring or near large cities/factories, can cause a quicker, heavier build-up.
Time of day should be considered when planning a cleaning. Panels can become very hot due to prolonged exposure to solar rays. We recommend cleaning your panels in the early morning or evening, when the surface is cool and there is enough light to work with.
Best Cleaning Techniques
If you live in an area with positive environmental impacts, then a simple garden hose may do the trick. However, if you can still see a layer of pollen, dirt and dust after a rinse, you may require a more thorough cleaning. We typically recommend using a simple warm water and soap mixture. Feel free to use a soft cloth or sponge on the surface of the panel, for the most effective results.
Checking with your solar panel manufacturer is a good idea when debating larger array cleanings. They may have recommended techniques that work best on their type of module. Professional Solar Panel Cleaning Companies are also a good option should you have a very large PV array, and are rather inexpensive.
Before and After Results
Based on a study performed by Google on their 1.6 MW Solar Array, they found their power production had doubled overnight, due to a single cleaning, after a 15-month operation period. This is a perfect example of how effective a clean solar module can be. While rain can be useful in panel cleaning, Google found a far higher efficiency rating in professionally cleaned panels, vs panels that received frequent precipitation exposure.
The best tool in determining when to clean your panels is frequent monitoring. Simply observe the amount of power normally being produced after a cleaning or at initial install. Once you see the power production drop, it may be time for a cleaning.
Remember Safety First! If your panels are in a high or hard to reach place, take safety precautions or hire a professional. As always, we are just a phone call away (877-548-3387) and are happy to offer our expertise on all of your Solar needs!