If you have solar panels, you may think there’s nothing else you need to do once they are installed. While it’s true that solar panels are fantastic in that they require little maintenance, there is one job you’ll need to do – keep them clean.
The reason solar panels need to be kept clean isn’t anything to do with their appearance. It’s all to do with functionality and efficiency. Solar panels work best when they are clean, and you could notice a significant drop in output if you neglect this vital bit of housekeeping.
How dirt affects solar energy production
Solar panels are usually installed at an upward angle. This is to catch the maximum amount of light, but it can unfortunately make them more prone to bird droppings, dust, dirt and general detritus.
This dirt can block light from entering the solar cells, meaning that it can’t generate the same amount of power. If you allow this dirt to build up, you’ll soon notice that the panels will not be performing at full capacity. Some reports claim that energy loss could be as much as 25-30% for those who have never cleaned their solar panels. The more panels you have, the greater the energy loss overall.
Now, solar panels are not cheap by any means. For many households and businesses, they represent a significant investment – one that many people hope will pay for itself in energy savings over the years. You cause a reduction in the amount of money you save on power bills by neglecting solar panel cleaning. It also means you don’t get the best from the expensive and sophisticated technology you’ve spent a lot of money on.
How to clean solar panels
For homeowners with just a handful of solar panels, there are a couple of simple options for cleaning. You could clean them yourself with a little warm water and washing up liquid, if you have a head for heights, a tall ladder and a way to keep yourself safe. Much safer and easier is to use a specialist window cleaner with experience of cleaning solar panels.
If you have an industrial or commercial building with a lot of panels installed, you’ll need a whole maintenance crew of specialist solar panel cleaners on the case.