Sunlight has become an alternative energy source, especially for electricity supply, for many decades. Solar panels are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save energy.How do you make the best of the solar panel installed in your home or office?
There are several ways to maintain your solar panel, one of which is by cleaning the surface. However, how properly can you clean your solar panel to make it more efficient?
Starting with the causes of dirty solar panels, in this article, we'll discuss how to clean your solar panel and ways you can do that to make your solar panel more efficient, among others.
How to clean solar panel?
There are several ways to clean your solar panel. This can be done manually or employ fully automated technologies. We discuss a few below:
This means you can employ a robot to clean your solar panel surface. Many productions enable this. Companies design these robots to clean solar panel surfaces and even other surfaces, depending.
Washpanel and Ecoppia are examples of robots that can help you clean your solar panel. This is mainly recommended in commercial systems.
Scientists have continued to work to provide solutions for problems. Another way to clean a solar panel is waterless vibration which is also known as The Heriot-Watt solution.
This was made possible by scientists at The Heriot-Watt University (Scotland) in conjunction with NASA in the US. They developed this vibration method to shake the solar panel and cause dust off the surface.
What happens is that the DC is connected to the motor at the back of the solar panel, which enables it to tune when necessary to cause vibration and shake off the dust from the surface.
Employ the services of a professional
If your solar panel is installed on the roof and the following situations occur, you can consider calling a professional:
- Your roof is leaning badly.
- You do not have suitable installation equipment to carry out the work.
- You are unable to work on the roof or have acrophobia.
- You live in heavily polluted areas or coastal areas.
- You are too old to climb the roof and clean your panels.
- You have noticed deposits on the panel that is particularly difficult to clean, such as bird droppings.
If there is more than one of the above situations, consider communicating directly with the solar panel supplier, such as BougeRV's after-sales team. We will provide you with a professional service plan, including solar panel cleaning and regular inspection, to save you a lot of time and maximize the efficiency of your solar panel. Of course, you may have to pay some fees, but you are paying for the long-term value.
Although this is old-fashioned, it is still one of the effective ways of cleaning a solar panel. It's cost-effective and the best DIY method.
However, there is a limit to this. For commercial use where the solar panel is spread across a wide space, it becomes difficult to DIY
The hose method is another way to clean your solar panel. However, the water pressure needs to be considered to avoid damaging the surface. The high-pressure water will impact hard on the panel surface and could cause damage to the solar panel.
What is required?
The manual method of cleaning a solar panel requires using water with a sponge, brush, or cloth (non-abrasive by nature) and gently cleaning over the surface of the solar panel to remove the dirt.
Here are some tools to be used by DIYers to clean solar panels:
- Soft-bristled brush
- Window water absorption
- Clean rags
- Nozzle-equipped hose
- Water bucket
- Telescopic handle for water absorption
- Stable telescopic ladder
- Safety belt
Steps to follow
Step 1: Use a soft brush to remove all dust, dirt, or leaves from the solar panel.
After preparing the water, clean the leaves, bird droppings, and dust accumulated on the solar panels with a soft brush, and note that you need to wear work gloves and a mask to ensure that you are not contaminated during the cleaning process.
You can do this on the ground if your brush is long enough. On the contrary, If your brush is not long enough to reach the panels on the roof, you must climb up to the top and take safety precautions, such as wearing a helmet and safety belt. After completing these steps, you will have effectively cleaned off some dirt from the roof, which will positively affect your subsequent cleaning steps.
Step 2: Use the garden hose to spray the panel clean.
After completing the first step of drying and cleaning, you should spray and clean the solar panel. At this time, be careful not to use the high-pressure water pipe to clean the solar panel because the spraying of the high-pressure water pipe will cause small cracks on the surface of the solar panel, which will damage the efficiency and the output power of the solar panel.
The tool you should use is the garden hose. Carefully spray the surface of each solar panel. If some dirt is difficult to remove, it can be adequately removed with a soft brush.
Step 3: Scrub any difficult areas with a soft brush and water.
After you've removed the majority of the dirt with a garden hose and a soft brush, clean the solar panel with a scrubbing tool like a sponge, soap, and a bucket of water.
You must be patient and do a gentle, concentrated cleaning of some of the more heavily contaminated areas, taking care not to scrub vigorously, as this will likely scratch the panels.
Also, if water can't completely clean off the dirt, consider spraying a mild detergent, mixing one part vinegar with eight parts water, and then wiping with a combination of soap, which can significantly enhance the cleaning ability.
However, any soap should be used with caution, as soap rinses can leave a residue that future dirt can adhere to, causing cracks in the solar panel. This is unsightly and affects the subsequent use of solar panels.
Step 4: Test the impact of this cleaning on the efficiency of the solar panels.
How much of an impact will this cleaning process have on the solar panels, and will this impact be positive or negative? This requires you to look at the energy bills before and after the cleanup.
Since the cleaned solar panels will have maximum exposure, if the cleanup does not damage the solar panel surface, then the cleaned solar panels will be able to increase efficiency to some extent. Of course, this is also influenced by the specifics of the solar system, its location, and environmental factors.
Step 5: Contact a local solar panel professional for complex cleaning and maintenance needs.
If cleaning solar panels is a hassle for you or if you feel it is hazardous, then contacting a professional promptly is an efficient solution to improve the efficiency of your solar panel output. Hire professional solar panel cleaning experts who can solve problems that garden hoses and sponges can't.
The last thing to note is that solar panels are usually placed on roofs or in high places, so when you choose to clean them yourself, ensure you pay special attention to safety and take appropriate safety precautions before cleaning.
Causes of dirty solar panel
A solar panel can get dirty for many reasons, such as dust buildup over time, debris from dead plants and animals, and as well as water damage originating from rainwater which can lead to rust on the solar panel.
Why should you clean up your solar panel? Is it necessary?
Solar panels are installed in an open space where they can absorb sunlight directly and convert it to electricity. While this is the case, environmental conditions such as dust, dead leaves, and other debris find their way to the surface of the solar panel as well.
When these things are on the surface of the solar panel, they block the panel from absorbing sunlight at full capacity. Consequently, the efficiency of the solar panel is also reduced due to the limited sunlight that is absorbed.
This is why it's necessary to clean your solar panel to enable it to absorb sunlight at full capacity for maximum output.
When to clean your solar panel?
A lot of factors can be considered when planning to clean your solar panel. Based on a recommendation, the best time to clean your solar panel is early in the morning before sunrise or in the evening when the sun sets.
Cleaning the solar panel in the afternoon is, however, discouraged as the panel becomes very hot due to the effect of sunlight on it.
How often should you clean your solar panel?
This is a question that the answer lies in many factors such as time, location, and weather conditions of the environment.
Depending on where you live, cleaning your solar panel every six months to one year is enough to maintain the maximum performance of the solar panel system.
However, in a more dusty or polluted environment due to industries or natural causes, more frequent cleaning is required.
Also, rainwater helps in cleaning the solar panel surface. This implies that if you are living in an environment that experiences less rainfall, your solar panel will easily get dusty, which requires more frequent cleaning than the area with more rain.
Benefits of cleaning solar panel
There are benefits to derive when you clean your solar panel. Below, we list a few:
Long lasting: cleaning your solar panel is one of the key ways of maintaining the system. Regular cleaning of the solar panel will enable it to serve you for the projected period of usually 25 to 30 years.
It improves efficiency: a cleaned solar panel surface allows the system to absorb sunlight at its best and perform efficiently too.
Reduces your electricity bill: if you are also using a public source of electricity supply, a cleaned solar panel will serve you and let you consume less from the public supply and therefore pay less for it too at home or the office.
It increases your productivity: because the surface is cleaned, the solar panel performs at its best, enabling you to be more productive in your dealings.
Safety concerns when cleaning solar panel
Use safety equipment: for your safety, especially when climbing the rooftop or any height.
Shut down the system: Your solar panel system must not be in operation when cleaning is taking place
Avoid the use of hard water: hard water can form a residue that diminishes the photovoltaic output of the solar panel.
Avoid abrasive sponges, brushes, clothes, or other materials: the reason is to avoid scratching or damaging the surface of the solar panel.
Avoid solvents and detergents: these are not good for solar panels due to their active content.
Avoid high-pressure water: Water with high pressure can damage the panel surface. You must avoid it.
There is no doubt that home solar charging panels are a relatively significant investment, which is why we continue to feature them on our official website to help you better understand solar systems so that you can enjoy reliable, renewable solar energy resources in the future.
At the same time, our team of experienced solar consultants is ready to answer your questions and meet your needs as best they can. To learn more about us, you can visit https://www.bougerv.com/