Solar Panel Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
Solar panels pose as a great alternative for those, who are looking to reduce their monthly electricity bills and do something for the environment. The panels might be easy to install, yet your duty does not end there. You should consider proper maintenance if you want your panels to work at their full capacity. Pollen, dust and overall pollution might greatly reduce your solar panels’ efficiency, leading to more expenses in the long run, which is why we offer you a few handy tips on how to clean your solar panels in several easy steps.
Before Cleaning Your Solar Panels
Before you proceed with the actual cleaning itself, it’s advisable to check the recommendations of the company which has manufactured the panels. Different manufacturers’ panels have different cleaning specifications, so it’s recommended to become familiar with those of your panel to prevent damages from taking place.
You should do your best to prevent accidents from happening. Please note that solar panels tend to become unbearably hot in summer as they are exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day. To avoid burns, you should choose a suitable time to clean the panels. We suggest you tackle the task early in the morning or late in the afternoon. It would be an even better idea to clean your panels on a cloudy day when there is no sunlight at all.
Workload Depends on Conditions
What follows next largely depends on your place of residence. If you are domiciled in an area where there is hardly any rainfall, this might cause a greater accumulation of dirt and dust on the panels’ surface as there is nothing to wash the particles out every once in a while. Provided that you live in a region where rainfall occurs frequently, you might be able to effectively clean the panels, using only a ladder and your garden hose.
Then again, if you’re dealing with very dusty and dirty panels, cleaning them with your garden hose only will prove to be ineffective. In this case, you should fill a bucket with water and add some soap. If you happen to have an old spray bottle, use it – this will render the entire process easier and more convenient.
Choosing The Correct Equipment
You will have to use a brush with a longer handle to reach the backside of the panels. CityCleaners Kilburn suggests telescopic poles are the best option as they can reach to up to seventy feet height. Of course, you can use a hand-held brush to clean the side of the panels that’s easier to reach. All you have to do is dip the brush into the soapy water and rub it over the panels. Don’t scrub too vigorously – a gentle rub will get the job done.
Some long-handle brushes have rubber wipers attached at the back. You can use the rubber wiper to wipe excess water from the panels while they are still wet. If your brush does not have one such wiper, using a squeegee to wipe the water poses as a great alternative. Please keep in mind you should do your best to remove all soap from the panels’ surface as it might block sunlight, leading to reduced efficiency.
Hire Professionals or Do It Yourself?
That’s practically all there is to it. If you live in a three-story house and have your panels installed on the rooftop, cleaning them might prove to be dangerous, which is why you should consider hiring professionals to get the job done.
It’s important to note that cleaning and maintenance pretty much overlap one another. Maintaining your solar panels clean and dust-free is all you can do without any qualification. Yet, it would be a good idea to invest in a specialised system that monitors the performance of your panels. This will enable you to clean them as soon as you notice a drop in the amount of energy they produce.
Neglecting your solar panels will render them less efficient and will end up costing you a small fortune in the future. Don’t rely on rain water only, go through the steps we have suggested above twice a year to increase the efficiency of your solar panels and save some money on electricity bills.
Guest author: Daisy Hargreaves, CityCleaners.
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