Owning solar panels is a big investment, and maintaining them is necessary to ensure they provide you with long-term benefits. Here are a few tips for maintaining and cleaning solar panels.
Maintenance Tips for Solar Panels
- Keep solar panels out of shade as energy production becomes inefficient when they are kept from absorbing any sunlight.
- Keep an eye on the solar panels and make sure the inverters are flashing green lights. If they are not flashing, you are losing money by no longer compensating for your electricity use.
- Document the day-to-day performance of your solar panels. It is important to write down how much energy has been produced at a consistent time every day, and make special note of dates where it is very cloudy. Some of the results will be inconsistent. (Your manufacturer would be able to provide you with the best monitoring system for your solar panels.)
- Monitoring systems help you see how much you are benefiting the environment and how much CO2 you are emitting into the atmosphere. They can also help you know how much you could benefit from the feed-in tariff scheme.
- You can also see information about your solar panels on a wall-mounted display when you are at home.
- If you do not have time to clean them yourself, you can install automated cleaners that work like sprinkler systems or even schedule appointments with solar panel cleaning companies.
- Luckily, because solar panels have no moving parts that could be affected by rust or break down, they do not require so much maintenance.
Cleaning Tips for Solar Panels
- Solar panel cleaning kits come in very handy for cleaning solar panels. Inside the kit, you will find a biodegradable soap, a wiper, and a small brush or brush with a longer handle. Mix the soap in the bucket with water. Instructions are provided on the bottle. Dip the brush in the bucket and begin gently wiping the solar panels.You can use plain water or a soft brush to remove any grime or dirt that has built up on the panels.
- Clean your solar panels when they are moist or wet so any dirt so residue that is stuck on them can be wiped off easily.
- Never use an abrasive sponge or soap to clean as you may scratch the glass. Instead, use a soft rag or biodegradable soap.
- It is important not to use harsh materials when cleaning the panels as they could cause damage, and solar panels are costly to repair.
- If you clean often, you might be able to just run a hose along the panels to remove any dirt.
- For your safety and the safety of others around you, use a long handled wiper to clean the panels while you are standing on the ground.
- If you must get on the roof, take proper care as once you begin cleaning, the roof becomes slippery and you could slide off when you get down, so use safety ropes or a harness for support.
- Always watch out for dirt on the solar panels to make sure it doesn’t build up since they can absorb sunlight better when they are free of dirt.
- Depending on the type of panel you have, it might need weekly or monthly washing. Your solar panel manufacturer should be able to advise you on this.