Solar power is becoming increasingly popular because it is seen as a clean, renewable form of energy. However, there are some things you need to know about the technology behind the panels themselves. One thing that can affect the performance of solar panels is dirt. This includes dust, bird droppings, pollen and insects. If left unchecked, these elements can reduce the efficiency of solar cells; this can also lead to overheating, short circuits and corrosion.
Why Do I Need To Clean Solar Panels?
Cleaning solar panels can improve energy efficiency by 5-10%. This might not make a big difference in your energy bills for a small residential setting, but this raise in energy production can be significant on a large-scale commercial or industrial operation.
Solar panels are installed at a tilt for a reason. Of course, it directs the angle towards the sun, but the angle allows falling rain to wash the panels clean. Unfortunately, in Australia’s sometimes harsh weather conditions, long periods of drought, strong winds or wildfires can cause the type of dust build-up and other air pollution that accumulates on your solar panels over time.
To ensure that you’re generating your maximum solar energy output, be sure to regularly inspect and keep your solar panels clean.
Solar Panel Cleaning Guideline
Depending on the size and amount of solar panels installed, the cleaning thereof can be a simple DIY job if done correctly:
- For optimal results and to avoid scratches or damage to your solar panels, use water and a soft, non-abrasive sponge or cloth to clean away dirt and debris.
- Similar to cleaning glass or a car exterior, a squeegee chamois is great for drying as it avoids leaving residue behind.
- If you need to use soap, don’t use anything stronger or harsher than dishwashing detergent.
- Environmentally friendly and chemical-free soaps are best to use to avoid harm to plants or animals from the dirty, run-off water.
- Always use appropriate safety equipment such as a safety harness and hard hat when doing a solar panel cleaning.
How Often Must I Clean Solar Panels?
Given the harsh Australian climate, you want to aim to clean your solar panels at least every six months.
However, should extreme weather conditions prevail or excessive wildfires occur in your area, you may need to consider cleaning your panels more often.
When To Turn To The Professionals?
The average bit of dust build-up can be self-cleansed by rain or wind, or a quick DIY job. However, consider calling in the help of a professional in the following cases:
- You live within a heavily polluted or coastal area.
- You have trees nearby your solar panels which cause a lot of debris.
- A particularly tough buildup on your panels such as bird droppings.
- You are elderly or simply not confident getting up on your roof.
- The sheer size of the solar panel operation requires the need for professional cleaning (large commercial or industrial sites).
The experts at Dan the Sparky Man can handle tough solar panel cleaning while ensuring your safety. We have knowledge in using the best cleaning products and methods to keep your solar panels clean and working efficiently for decades to come.
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Dan Carpenter has built his business to be one of the most successful and trusted electrical businesses on the Gold Coast. He completed his apprenticeship in Adelaide at a young age. With a passion for self-driven success, he established his own enterprise on the Gold Coast at 22, quickly becoming a leader in the local building and solar industries. His dedication led him to win the Gold Coast Small Business Award and earn the title of Accredited Master Electrician.