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How to Clean Solar Panels – When and How You Should Do It

    Solar panel

    Solar panels get dirt since they are left outside all day, everyday. Dust particles, smog, and sand blowing around make cleaning a necessary task. Occasionally, the rain will wipe away dirt and keep your solar kits free from dust and debris. After all, cleaning is one way of maintaining their efficiency. Let's get down and learn how to clean solar panels.

    Have you installed a residential solar system? Generally, solar panels are flat-mounted and well tilted on your rooftop. But have you ever thought about cleaning your roof? Maybe you had previously thought about it but wondered how.

    Do debris, dirt, and pollen have an underlined impact on the solar panel's effectiveness? The answer is yes. The dirt may affect the amount of sunlight striking your panels, thus less energy generation. Roughly, 5% of sunlight will go unused. That's why you should make solar panel cleaning a routine.

    The performance and efficiency of your solar panel system can be compromised when dirty. While dirt can come in different forms, it can produce 10 percent less compared to a clean system under the same conditions. Why is cleaning necessary?

    Apart from the excellent solar panel system installation, maintenance, and cleaning are also crucial. Just like how you clean your house and its glass windows to maintain superb energy efficiency, it is the same way that should happen to solar panels.

    If the dirt, bird droppings, and dust build-up on these kits, the power output will decrease. Some people believe that rain will get the job done, but pollen is quite stubborn and sticky in nature. Rain won't get rid of such things.

    Another important thing is that you can check the failing and old seals while cleaning. This is one of the best inspections of time to time. With that, you can easily identify any crack that may be causing your system to be ineffective. If necessary, you can replace that part.

    How to Clean Solar Panels on Roof

    Solar panel

    Cleaning your solar panels is your call. The manufacturers and solar companies advise homeowners to clean solar panels regularly. So, you shouldn't wait for friends to tell you this. And it's a simple task as long as you take it seriously. Let's understand more about how to clean solar panels on roof.

    To kick off the cleaning process, you need some equipment that includes:

  • A premium, soft brush
  • A hose that comes with a nozzle
  • Water sprayer
  • A squeegee with a cloth-covered sponge
  • If you can't do it yourself, just hire a company or a professional for a fee. It's a simple kind of job, which needs no skill. Just follow the instruction as per manual user.

    Safety first – first, it's advisable to shut down the solar system before taking any further steps. I hope you have a good ground mount system. However, the roof cabling is live, thus can carry dangerous voltages. Remember that you can't switch off the sun! If you detect any damage, just stop and inform the manufacturer for guidance.

    Early in the morning or late in the evening is particularly the best time to clean your panels. Pour the water keenly using a sprayer onto your panels. Let the water evaporate and leave some marks. When it's dry, use your soft brush and clear the loose dirt. The last step is to tackle the panels using clean water once more. Remember to squeegee the solar panels.

    How to Clean Solar Panels on Garden Lights

    Solar panel

    As renewable solar energy takes another twist of adoption, solar garden lights are not limited. They provide not only illumination during night hours but have also an added advantage of being eco-friendly and as a way of giving your home an appealing look.

    Instead of installing a household electric circuit that is exorbitantly expensive to power up the lights, modern solar garden lights come to reduce your monthly bill expenses. To power their batteries, they use miniature panels.

    The light can run all overnight in the compound from free energy. But to enjoy these benefits and others, it important to know how to clean solar panels on garden lights professionally.

    One important feature of solar outdoor lights is that they are quite resilient and weatherproofs. Despite that, they require a bit of maintenance and care so that they can deliver at their best. One vital area of consideration involves cleaning them. How?

      What you'll need;

      You can use plain soapy water, but first, check whether your garden lights have special cleaning instructions. Some models come with a tempered glass layer, so it's significant to have a window cleaner. It may help with this.

      Guide-to- guide instructions

    1. Fill your bucket with clean, warm water and then mix mild detergent or a soapy detergent. However, avoid other cleaning agents such as bleach because it can damage the outer layer.
    2. Using a garden hose, spray enough water all over to tackle the dirt. This will remove the loose dust as much as possible on the panels. Still, it will loosen the sticky dirt. Later, you can scrub the dirt
    3. Dip a kitchen sponge in your bucket. Avoid a scouring pan because it can scuff up the panel's surface and interfere with its efficiency. With a sponge, scrub the solar kits.
    4. After scrubbing, grab the hose and rinse your solar panels.

    Take caution

    Never dunk or dip garden light inside the water. They may be water-resistant in nature but not 100 percent waterproof.

    Scrub lightly and slowly. Too much scrubbing may leave you panels with some marks and cracks.

    Clean your panels when there's a warm condition. It's helpful to clean them when the weather is not hot. Instant spraying cold water on hot panels may cause thermal shock.

    Make sure you clean your garden solar panels regularly. Nevertheless, the weather conditions in your area will influence the frequency of cleaning. If your location is dusty and dry, wash them after every three months.

    In some areas that experience a tropical climate, it's decent to clean them after every six months.

    How Much Does It Cost to Clean Solar Panels

    Many underestimate the benefits that come with cleaning their solar panels. Failing to do so leaves your system dirty with a build-up of bird droppings, dust, soot, and leaves. As a result, the performance of solar panels will decline.

    Your system will need minimal maintenance – probably, cleaning it at least twice per year. To keep your solar panels at peak performance, an annual inspection is critical.

    The average solar panel cleaning cost for a residential home is $110 to $150. However, many companies out there charge per-panel cost. This is somehow effective if you own a few solar panels. The total cost will account for various outings like labor time, time spent traveling, materials and equipment used, and the scale of the job, too. One panel may cost you around $4 to $15.

    In simple words, these are the factors that will affect the cleaning cost.

  • Size. Large kits will take more and materials to clean. A small array will call for a less fee, plus the labor costs.
  • System location. If your system is ground-mounted, then the charge will be less. But if you own a two-story building, expect a maximum fee. The contractor must consider safety prospects.
  • Level of build-up dirt. Imagine you've never cleaned your solar panels. If you've been ignoring the service for years, more work must be done hence high cost and supplies.
  • Proximity to the contractor. A contractor who lives near your place will charge you fewer dollars than a person who lives miles away.
  • Conclusion

    When it comes to solar panel maintenance, cleaning should come first. As you clean, you'll also inspect your system, which is s primary concern. These two things need to be done regularly and not annually. That said, the solar panels will be safe, effective, and offer remarkable performance.

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