Solar Panels can help you cut down your electricity bills by a significant margin. Thus, keeping them as new as possible is your duty if you want the Solar Panels to work most efficiently. Most people believe that solar panels can get self-cleaned in the rain; it is somewhat true, but not for the panels that are installed at very minimal tilt angles. And, what about other environmental factors such as dust, bird droppings, etc.?
Even a thin layer of dust and debris on the top of your solar panel can affect its performance hugely. Hence, it becomes your duty to take care of the solar panels and clean them by yourself regularly. In case you want to learn what’s the right way to clean a solar panel, this guide is going to be so helpful for you.
How to Clean Solar Panels
1. Shut down your system entirely
Before you start cleaning the Solar Panels, you must ensure that all the power connections are disabled first. You can’t continue to wash a Solar Panel while it is still active as it can be highly dangerous. If you have a DC system installed in your home, you will have to completely shut it down. And, in the case of AC systems, shutting down the main switch of solar supply will be good enough to proceed.
2. Disconnect or block off any rainwater collections or gutters
If you have any rainwater tanks installed for the collection of rainwater, disconnecting them or blocking the supply is quite essential. It is important to ensure that no dirty run-off water goes into the collected water. Apart from that, if there’s a gutter pipeline on the roof, block it off too for a while. Otherwise, it can get clogged from the dust and debris that might come out while cleaning the solar panel.
3. Choose a cool, mild time of day
To clean the solar panels on your roof, you should always choose to do it when it’s a cool and mild time of the day, preferably early morning or in the evening. It is because the glass of the solar panels usually gets really hot because of direct sunlight falling on them. In that case, if you try to wash them with water, there are high chances that the glass of the solar panels might crack easily.
Moreover, even if you are lucky enough and the glass doesn’t crack, the sudden evaporation of water from the panels can leave marks on the glass. Apart from that, cleaning the panels on a cool and mild day is good for you too, as no one likes to work under the scorching heat from the sun.
4. Clean your panels from the ground if possible
If the panels are installed on a sloping roof where it can be dangerous to reach, don’t try that. Instead, you can simply try to clean them from the ground itself. You can definitely find a pressure nozzle in the market and use it with a hose to clean the panels effectively from the ground. Although it would make you use more water for cleaning, it’s good for your own safety.
5. Make sure that you only direct water onto the top of your solar panels
While you clean the solar panels, you mainly have to focus on cleaning the upper side mostly. Wash it properly with water, but don’t intentionally wash the backside of the panel as it can damage the entire system.
6. For stubborn grime, use a soft cloth and mild soap
There are no special equipment or cleaning solutions that you require for this job. Cleaning a solar panel is just the same as cleaning a glass window. All you need to use is water and mild soap. A soft microfiber cloth or a sponge is good enough to clean and scrub off any grime or stains from the panel.
7. Don’t attempt to climb on your roof without appropriate safety equipment
Going on the roof without any safety is not what we suggest you do. Since cleaning the solar panels will require you to use water, the flooring of the roof might get slippery, and an accident might happen. For your safety, it is better to try washing the panels from the ground if there’s no access to the roof. Otherwise, you can also hire a professional to do the job.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you need to clean Solar Panels?
This is the question that is asked often, and almost everyone thinks about it in almost the same way. Well, there are many reasons why you need to clean solar panels as you can’t just rely on the rain for it. By the time you wait for the next rain, the solar panel might get covered in so much dust, pollen, debris that it can even stop working in some cases.
Apart from dust and similar factors, another major enemy that you need to think of is bird droppings. Due to all such environmental factors, cleaning the panels becomes too essential as if the panels are not clean, you cannot expect them to absorb the sunlight well and produce a good amount of power afterward.
What do you use to clean Solar Panels?
To clean up a solar panel, we would not advise you to climb the roof and do it all by yourself if there are no safety measures. However, if it is fine for you to reach the panels, the cleaning part is pretty easy. There is actually no special equipment needed to clean a solar panel.
Just like a glass window, the solar panels also have a glass sheet on the upper side, which can be cleaned the same way. You can use a water hose to wash off the dust and scrub off the grime with a soft cloth if needed. Moreover, if there are any stains on the panel, you can even use a mild soap to clean them off.
How does weather affect Solar Energy?
As you know, the sun is the only source that can make your solar panels work and produce power for utilization. So, whatever that comes in between the solar panel and the sunrays, causes interruption and affects the overall output. For instance, in the rainy season, the solar panels’ output is usually less than in other seasons, for obvious reasons.
On the other hand, if you believe that the solar panels perform well when the outside temperature is high, it’s not correct. Like any other machine, solar panels also perform their best when they are cool. Yes, the temperatures will surely be high during the daytime as the sun rays directly fall on the panel. But, as the temperature rises, the voltage of the solar panels decreases gradually affecting the overall power output.
From this guide, we hope you have learned quite a bit of good information about solar panels. If you have read this guide until here, you must know how essential it is to keep the solar panels clean. Apart from that, we have also discussed how you can safely and effectively clean the solar panels, and maintain them as new as possible for a fairly long time. If you have any further queries or doubts regarding this topic, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.