Even though your solar system doesn’t need a lot of maintenance, your solar panels function more efficiently when they are clean rather than dusty or dirty. The energy output of your solar panels can be lessened if there is dust, grime, or dirt. According to a study conducted in Spain, the average performance of solar panels is reduced by 4.4% after 1 year of dust buildup. However, if there are long periods of no rain, daily energy losses can be higher than 20%.
Dirt, pollen dust, leaves, and bird droppings can affect the performance of your solar panels. Therefore, regular maintenance can do a lot to keep its efficiency. Although rain can wash the dust or dirt away, using a garden hose might still be needed. But before we give you a step-by-step guide on how to clean your solar panels, let’s watch the video below. Paul tested his panels before and after cleaning. Have a look at what difference it can make to clean your panels regularly.
6 Steps to Cleaning Your Solar Panels
1. Shut Down Your Solar System Completely
Before cleaning your solar panels or solar shingles, you need to shut down your system completely following the shutdown instructions indicated in the user manual or the operating manual of your inverter. DC systems need to be shut down entirely, and you can shut down the AC system through the main switch of the solar supply.
2. Block or Disconnect Any Gutters or Rainwater Collections
You temporarily disconnect the areas where the rainwaters tanks are placed and connected to the gutters. You can also shut them off from the gutters to ensure that no dirty water goes inside your tank.
4. Clean Your Panels on the Ground
If possible, it is best to clean your panels on the ground for safety reasons. You can use a hose to water your panels directly. You can use a hose with an appropriate nozzle to let the water reach and clean all parts of the panels.
5. Use a Soft Cloth and Mild Cloth for Stubborn Dirt
You do not need to purchase expensive cleaning solutions for your solar panels since mild soap and water are enough. The perfect tool in cleaning solar panels is a quality squeegee and soft brush with a long extension. The squeegee with plastic on one side and a sponge covered with a cloth on the opposite side is recommended. Moreover, these tools keep you safe while cleaning on the ground.
6. Clean on a Cold Day
When your solar panels are exposed to hot weather and cool water, there is a chance that cracks appear because of the sudden temperature changes. Moreover, if the hot sun is shining on the panels, the water can evaporate easily and cause dirty marks, which make your cleaning efforts useless. That is why it is recommended to clean your solar panels on a cool and early morning.
Finally, dust, dirt, and other pollutants can accumulate on your solar panels, depending on the weather. Therefore, you must regularly clean them. It is best to follow the tips given to clean them. If not possible, you can get help from professional cleaners. When cleaning is done regularly and right, your solar panels can function effectively. You can enjoy all the benefits your solar panels give for many years.