Why would you ever need to clean a solar panel?”
It's a question many owners ask themselves when presented with the thought of tidying up their modules. Luckily, there are few quick, easy suggestions to be found through gemenergy.com.au/solar-panels-brisbane/
It's easy to assume there'd be no need to clean them at all, since many consider their solar panels to be on par with satellite dishes and other outside equipment that requires little to no maintenance.
However, this doesn't prove to be the same with panels. Debris such as bird droppings, oil, and dirt buildup over time can affect your modules' ability to generate electricity effectively. So how do we keep our solar panels squeaky clean for optimal performance? Here's a few tips on how to get the job done yourself.
- Safety First!
Before you begin cleaning your modules, take the time to plan when and how you're going to start your project. Factors such as equipment, time of day, and your own physical abilities will determine your first steps.
If you plan to climb on the roof to clean your solar panels, make sure your ladder is of a sufficient height and is built to properly support you while you perform this activity. To avoid burn injuries, it's also best to wash off solar panels on overcast days as they can get extremely hot when the sun is out.
- Water Hose & Soapy Water
The most effective way to remove most debris from solar panels is with a good old-fashioned backyard hose and a bucket of soapy water. Try to stay away from using any high-pressure hose attachments as these can damage the modules.
You may want to use a brush to sweep off any excess dirt and loose materials before choosing your modules down. Try to stay away from using detergents or corrosive powders as these can leave streaks and damage the panels. Otherwise, treat this process the same way you'd treat your kitchen floor. Sweep, mop after.
One of the best tools to scrub off those pesky bird droppings is a bristle-free sponge. These are great tools to use since they won't leave scratches behind.
Try to avoid wire sponges as these can be too corrosive and damage the panels. The best sponges to use are the typical, yellow cellulose kind as well as the combination cellulose with the green abrasive side as these tend to still be gentle enough that they are not potentially damaging.
- Brush & Squeegee
If climbing a ladder isn't an option for you, a cleaning brush & squeegee with a long extension might be just what you're needing. The squeegees usually come with a plastic blade and a cloth covered sponge on either side. This tool is especially useful for hard-to-reach areas.
The safest option for cleaning solar panels installed on a roof is to clean them from the ground instead of climbing up a ladder and risking a fall.
- Plastic Scourers
In addition to sponges, household plastic scourers can also be utilized since they aren't as abrasive as other scourers and sponges.
Plastic scourers in particular work since they're meant for cleaning grills, cookware, and some outdoor furniture. They're not as harsh as other types of scourers and won't scratch or leave streaks across modules.
- Isopropyl Alcohol
Oil stains can be tough to get out since they tend to get caked in to surfaces due to sunlight exposure.
Isopropyl alcohol is best used for oil stains, which may be a problem for owners who live close to a major highway, an airport, or an area directly underneath the airport's flight path.
- Wait for Rain
The easiest and safest method for keeping your panels clean is to simply let mother nature take care of them. Since most modules are installed with a tilt, rain water can easily wash away most debris. This also keeps you off of the roof.
This is also the most cost-effective way to maintain sparkly-clean solar panels. Simply monitoring your electrical usage, inspecting your modules' appearance, and allowing rain to wash off most of your debris are all easy, convenient ways to ensure your panels stay in optimal shape for your electricity needs.