Here at Solar Naturally, we are often asked: “Do solar panels need cleaning?” The answer is, yes they do! To keep your panels running at optimum levels and absorb the optimal amount of solar energy from the sun, they must be unobstructed. Bird and bat droppings, dust, sand, dirt and grime are all things that can block the sun’s rays from filtering through the solar panels.
Cleaning and maintaining your solar panels is essential to providing a sufficient energy supply to your home or business. This way you will be able to continue to reap the benefits of solar energy such as longer hot water showers, saving on electricity bills, being more environmentally friendly and potentially selling your power back into the grid.
Do solar panels need cleaning to prevent hot spots and cracking?
Built-up debris on your solar panels can cause hot spots which may develop into cracks. This is because the debris blocks the sun and will start to overheat, causing damage that can lower the effectiveness of your solar panels. By cleaning your solar panels regularly, you can prevent these cracks from happening and get a longer lifespan out of your panels.
How to clean your solar panels
We recommend that when you do need to clean your solar panels, to hire an experienced professional. This does come with a fee but will take away the hassle of cleaning and maintaining your solar system. For those of you who want to DIY, here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean your solar panels.
Please note: We do not recommend getting on top of your roof without using proper safety equipment and receiving training. Rooftops are very slippery, dangerous and can cause fatalities if you are not taking the right precautions.
Contact the solar company that completed the installation of your solar panels and ask them, if they have any recommendations for maintaining and cleaning your solar panels.
Solar panels absorb UV rays making them incredibly hot. To prevent burns, clean your solar panels early in the morning before the sun’s heat makes them too hot.
Find a garden hose that is long enough to reach your solar panels. If the water pressure is good enough, you might be able to rinse them while standing on the ground. Just giving them a once over with the hose may be enough to do the job and remove light amounts of dirt.
If rinsing your solar panels isn’t enough, you may need to give them a scrub. To do this fill a spray bottle with some soap and warm water. Then use a sponge or cloth to wipe down the surface of your solar panels with the soapy water.
Once you are finished, rinse the surface thoroughly to remove the soap. This will prevent streaking and soap scum build up. Let your solar panels air dry.
Note: There is no need to clean the other parts of your solar panels for them to function sufficiently.
If you live beneath a flight path or near a road frequented by freight trucks, you may notice some oily stains occurring on your solar panels. To remove these, try using a little isopropyl alcohol to use for spot cleaning.
What not to use
Avoid using any abrasive products such as metal objects to remove materials that won’t budge. This could scratch the surface, which will cause shadows and affect your solar panels performance. Also, avoid any abrasive soaps or detergents as these can also affect the quality of your solar panels.
Solar panel replacement
Solar panels are expected to run at their best for 25 years, but they have a life expectancy of 40 years in total if they are taken care of and maintained. After 25 years, the amount of energy your solar panels produce will reduce, to counteract this you could always add another solar panel to make up for the lost power or simply replace it when it is no longer providing you with the needed amount of electricity supply.
Decided you want a professional to clean your solar panels?
At Solar Naturally, we not only install and repair solar panel systems but we also offer a handy and reliable cleaning service. If you would like to make a booking, please contact us using our booking form today.
About our maintenance service
When you book with Solar Naturally, we will send our experts out to complete a detailed clean and scrub down of all of your solar panels with water and a mild detergent. This will ensure that no debris or dust is left on your solar panels. This will help to renew the efficiency of your solar panel, getting you back to saving more money on electricity bills again.
After we have finished cleaning, we will do a thorough system power check to assess if the solar panels are producing power in line with our linear performance guarantee. This way, if there is anything wrong, we will be able to fix it on the spot.
We will also complete an extensive electrical safety check to make sure that your panels are safe and are risk-free from a fire. This will help give you peace of mind and keep your home safe.
Our last step is to look at your solar panels to find any microcracks. These are hotspots caused by cells being covered for a long time, hence the importance of getting your panels cleaned regularly. This makes areas of the panel shut down and reduces the amount of power you will receive from your solar panel system. We will look for these hot spots and cracks and then assess if they should be repaired.
For more information on how to maintain your solar panels, contact ustoday. If you would like to book in your solar panels to be cleaned, fill out the form on our Solar Panel Cleaning and Maintenance page.