Solar panels do their jobs more efficiently if there are regular maintenance and cleaning. You can learn more about solar panels on this site here. You need to keep them crystal-clear and wipe away the grime. But the question for many homeowners is how often they should do the hard yards and where they should focus on.
This post will cover most of the info about solar panel maintenance and the standard routines that most owners should follow. You’ll also know about the primary sources of grime and dirt, and when it’s the right time to call the professionals.
What do you need to Know About Solar Panels Cleaning
Water, Leaves, and Dirt are Solar Blockers
When you don’t do regular cleaning on the panels, dust will settle on the surface, and it can build up over time. Your property’s location is also a significant factor in your maintenance tasks. If you live near foliage and bigger trees, you should make sure that no leaves and twigs are blocking the panels.
Bits of debris may not have an effect if the sun can still shine through the panels. Rain will also clean the dust and grime if you let nature take its course. However, doing maintenance once in a while can help them run at least 4% more efficiently than the dirty ones.
One company has done tests that found out that the efficiency of dust-ridden solar panels is decreased by 5%. A typical scenario where there’s a 5-kW system can be equated to about $20 of loss in your monthly electric bills. Various analyses from another website show a potential 30% yield loss annually if the panels are not cleaned every month.
Aside from dust and other debris, it is also important to keep in mind that leaves can block sunlight. Some experiments were done by a company called Mountain View that showed that the flat designs doubled their energy overnight after a thorough cleaning. However, in rainy seasons, the water can also do the job efficiently, and the owners don’t need to do anything more.
For properties that are near the main roads or farmlands, special attention should be given as these are considered as dustier areas. The array of dust and dirt will require frequent cleanings as they could lead to less efficient solar panels.
Bird Droppings are Considered as Problems
The bird droppings are detrimental to the solar panels because they create a film of dust. If you have an array of microinverters or string inverters, you must clean the droppings as soon as possible. The microinverter system attached to the separate boards can show where the droppings are currently located. This is also the instance where the inverter will stop showing the area where the current is present.
If you have deciduous trees nearby your home, they will not only drop a few leaves every now, and then, they can also attract birds the whole year. The build-up of the debris over time will be troublesome down the road, and maintenance should be arranged as soon as possible.
You also need to take note of the angle of your array. The flat ones may keep more water and pool it up. This can leave a messy and muddy residue after the rain. When the water evaporates, more twigs and leaves may stick to the surface. Try to get the solar panels in an angled position so that the rain can flow through them and help clear the debris.
Professional Cleaning Services is Still the Best Way to Go
There are a lot of homes nowadays that use solar panel systems on their rooftops. This is because they can save on energy bills every month, and they are environment-friendly alternatives as well. Others who tend to use air conditioners in the summer and heaters in winter find that they can reduce their electrical usage with the help of the panels.
In the past, many owners preferred the DIY route of cleaning. If you choose this approach, it’s better to do the job on the ground where it’s safer. You can read guides or watch tutorial videos for more tips. However, choosing to tidy up the systems is not as easy as it sounds.
Many companies published whitepapers that explored the problems with dirty panels. Factors included in the white paper are geographic, technical, and economical and aimed to give as much information as possible to the consumers.
An example is that the dirt is worse for people who live in dusty and dry places. The flat, tilted designs attract more dust as well. Air pollution can also be a culprit, especially if a home is close to a factory or compost facility.
So, is it worth it to enlist the help of professionals?
This is because professional services can remove every inch of built-up dust on the solar panels. You can know more about their services on this site www.gutterwiz.com.au/solar-panel-cleaning-melbourne and also read more about roof maintenance. The elements are a huge factor in affecting the panels’ lifespan, so it’s best if an expert will do an assessment first and do a thorough cleaning afterward.
Many experts don’t use soap in the cleaning process. They only use rotating brushes and filtered water for a more efficient way of removing dust. The mixture commonly used by companies can include hydrogen peroxide and diluted vinegar to scrub the grime away quickly.
During rainfall, the soil can accumulate on the solar panels’ bottom edges, and they can obstruct the PV cell rows. This can hinder the production efficiency, and it will increase your electrical bills every month.
Solar panels are great additions to your home. However, it is essential to keep them cleaned in the right way with proper solutions. The location of your property will also determine how often you should schedule maintenance. Let them inspect everything and ask them for quotes. Make sure that you check with three other companies and see if you can get quality services in the most cost-effective way.