Solar panels generate electricity using sun’s rays without any moving parts, and this makes them extremely low maintenance. However, it does not mean that we should forget about it for weeks, or months together. We still need to do a bare minimum😊 to ensure proper functioning.

Why do we need to clean Solar Panels?

India is generally a dusty country by nature, and that dirt, leaves and substances such as bird droppings, etc. can build up over a period. These are often called Solar blockers, and this can impact the quantity of electricity generated by the unit. Hence, regular solar panel cleaning & maintenance is key to ensure the maximum amount of energy savings for your home.

“If you do not clean your solar panels for a whole year, accumulated solar blockers such as bird droppings, leaves, dust and water could cause your solar panels to generate as much as 25% less energy. Avoid this by learning how to clean and maintain them easily!”

How to go about cleaning your solar panels

Choose the right time of the day

Remember, choose the right time of the day to clean your solar panels. As panels are absorbing the sun’s energy all day, they can be too hot to touch in the afternoon. Cleaning is recommended in the early morning, or late evening when the panels are less hot.

Tools you need

Solar panels are simple to clean and need very basic cleaning equipment

  • A good quality soft brush
  • Sponge with a plastic blade
  • Cloth covered on either side with a long extension
  • Hose with a proper nozzle that will allow the water to reach the panels.

Check The Guidance

We know this sounds very boring and “by the book”, but with so many kinds of solar panels, it can be worth checking your manufacturer’s guidelines first. Generally, you can expect most of the guidelines to look the same, but on the off chance you have a unique model or make it’s worth checking the guidelines and following them to keep your panels in tip-top condition.

Brush off any loose debris

Solar panels are likely to gather dust and debris as time goes on, so before getting any water involved it’s a good idea to grab a brush and remove any loose dirt. This will allow you to get sparkling-clean solar panels when you hose them down.

Pour water on the panels from a hose pipe

Hosing down your panels is also great for removing any excess dirt and might be enough to fully clean the solar panels if they are not really that dirty. Keep in mind not to put water on the wiring behind the panels.

Fill a bucket with soap and water

It sounds quite amateurish, but that’s really all you need to make sure your solar panels stay clean. You can opt for a normal sponge/cloth or an extendable one, so you don’t have to really touch the solar panels themselves.

Things to keep in mind

Scratches can affect the panels and lower their performance, and none of the materials used to clean should be sharp or too strong

  • Don’t use metal objects or harsh abrasive products for removing caked on materials. Scratching the glass on a solar panel can affect its performance as scratches will cast shadows.
  • Avoid using detergents if possible as these may streak the glass of the panel.
  • Avoid using abrasive powders as it runs the risk of scratching the panels.
  • Dealing with oily stains – If due to location of the system, oily stains start appearing on your panels; isopropyl alcohol can be used as a spot-cleaning substance.

To conclude, contrary to popular belief, solar panels are not costly to maintain. Solar panels are made from durable tempered glass built to withstand adverse weather conditions, stretching their lifespan from around 25 to 30 years. Hence, very basic work is required when it comes to solar panel maintenance. Regular maintenance ensures the longevity of your solar panels and protects your investment.

At SolarSphere, we provide solar panel cleaning and maintenance services. You care for the environment; we care for you. Contact us now.

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