A clean and properly conditioned solar panel can be used up to a couple of decades. But how do you maintain that it is efficiently working? Will you rely on natural forces to remove dust and debris from it? Let us take a look at things that make panels dirty and inefficient, and some ways how to maintain their excellent condition.
What Can Make My Solar Panels Less Efficient?
Let’s start with dust
Solar panels accumulate dust over the years. According to an experiment done by one solar panel installer, a bit of dirt might not cause a problem because light can still penetrate. You can leave it in the rain to do the cleaning.
This fact was also confirmed by another company that carried out a test and found out that rain on rooftops can do the job of panel cleaning. After the panels were cleaned, their energy doubled overnight after being in use for 15 months.
Cleaning will also depend on where you live because if you live in dustier areas such as adjacent farmlands or roads, the solar panels need to be cleaned frequently. In the American Southwest deserts, where it is dry and dusty, panel dirt is worst, and cleaning the panels will take some time.
Air pollution can also pose a problem for your panels. According to a paper by the company Kipp and Zonen, dust accumulation happens on arrays near factories and composting facilities.
Ohh those bloody birds!
Another thing to consider is bird droppings, especially if trees surround your house. If you have inverters that are attached to each panel, then you can easily spot bird droppings because the inverters with droppings won’t be showing any current flow.
Hmmm are my panels angled correctly?
The angle of your solar panel will also be a factor in keeping it clean. Flat panels will need regular cleaning because water can pile up and leave muds when it evaporates. Angled panels can rely on the rain for cleaning. Also, flat-tilt designs can trap more dust.
How Can This Effect my Solar System?
One company carried a test and found that a dirty panel is inefficient by 5 percent and increases as time goes by. The lower efficiency of the solar panels might cause an increase in your energy bill. A similar experiment by another company showed that cleaned panels increased its output by 3.5%. An analysis of some data from an energy laboratory noted that if panels are dirty, there is a 30% energy loss each year.
Should I Seek a Professional to Clean my Panels?
Some people are trained to clean solar panels. But when is the time one needs these services?
At present, there are now more than two million Australian households with solar-panelled rooftops, and these homeowners choose to do solar panel care on their own.
Hiring professionals may not be needed yet for a bit of dust piled up over time. But it would also be dangerous and costly if you plan to clean it yourself. You might want to check the condition of the panels – lookout for cricket balls, birds nest, debris from the storm, and cracks. From there, you can see if enlisting the help of cleaning experts is still needed.
DIY Solar Panel Cleaning
If you opt to clean the panels by yourselves, you should be cautious not to damage your solar rooftops. You can find simple materials at home which you can use for cleaning. It is better to use a smooth sponge, mild detergent, and water to avoid causing abrasion on the panel. Refrain from using a pressure washer to clean the panels because it might damage them. It is safer to clean panels from the ground using a long cleaning material. But if climbing unto the roof is needed, caution should be taken. One should wear a safety hat and gear for protection. One way you can check solar panels without climbing unto the roof is by installing a CCTV camera directed at the panels. This way, you can assess if the solar panels need a day of cleaning.
Innovative Solar Cleaning Solutions
Solar companies have also provided solutions to help solar panel homeowners maintain the cleanliness and effectiveness of their equipment. These include robotic cleaners, exclusive coverings for glass panels that hold off the dust, and Kipp and Zonen’s Dust IQ monitor, which can measure dirt levels.
Assuring the cleanliness and efficiency of the solar panels should be a priority for homeowners whether they get experts to do it or opt to do it themselves.
If you decide to enlist the help of professionals in cleaning your solar panels, we at Solar Shop Online can handle the job efficiently. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 1300 620 290 to schedule for a solar panel maintenance. Our customer support is ready to assist you.