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Should solar panels be cleaned

Should solar panels be cleaned?

Here’s our advice from Evergreen Solar Power.

The majority of solar panels are flat, tilted, and on your roof if you have a residential solar energy system installed. How often do you keep your roof clean? Most likely not at all; certainly never before. Why is that? I hear you asking why ” isn’t rain for the same thing?” That’s also the thinking behind solar panels.

In most circumstances, you won’t need to clean your solar panels very often, if at all. After all, the next time it rains, anything that builds up dirt on them (for example, dust or pollen) will be washed away.

There may be instances when it is desirable to clean your solar panels. If you have a lot of bird droppings on your solar panels, it’s unlikely that the rain will wash them away fully, so it’s a good idea to wipe them off.

Do dirty solar panels affect the use of solar panels?

Well, yes and no. And, to some extent, not much. Yes, dirt and grime may decrease how much sunlight penetrates through to convert light into energy.

But the amount by which efficiency is reduced is tiny – maybe 5% or less. And, with a typical 5kW solar system, this might translate to about £40 in losses in your energy bill over time. Not month-to-month; rather, overall over the course of several months

So how do I clean my solar panels?

If you decide your solar panels need to be cleaned, there are two main options: hire a professional or perform it yourself. A lot of solar firms will offer this kind of service for a fee, of course. If you didn’t want to do it yourself, we can provide this service to you at Evergreen Solar Power.

If you were thinking about doing it yourself, on the other hand, you’ll generally have all you need to do it at home. In most cases, all you need is a hose, some soap, and you’re ready to go.

There are a few approaches to check for cleaning as a necessary step in the beginning. Physical inspection of the solar panels for debris, grime, bird droppings, and other impurities is one method. A monitoring system that alerts you to how well your solar panels are functioning and performing is also another option. This may notify you to any system maintenance requirements, such as mechanical, electrical, or cleanliness issues.

What to use to clean your solar panels

If you want to clean your residential solar panels on your own, there are a variety of cleaning solutions available. But first things first. Check with your solar installers and suppliers to see if they have any information about cleaning solar panels, recommendations, or dos and don’ts when it comes to maintaining your system.

A hose and a bucket of soapy water are the most efficient methods to clean your solar panels. Essentially, you’re washing your car at home in the same way. Because you don’t want to scratch the panels in any manner, only water and a non-abrasive sponge should be used to wash them with soap. When cleaning your solar panels, avoid using any type of high-pressure water sprayer. A high-pressure connection can harm the solar panel cells themselves.

If you’re using anything other than plain water to get rid of unwanted bird droppings, make sure it’s soft and hard bristle-free. Sponges are ideal for cleaning solar panels because they don’t scratch the surface. If you decide to use a little amount of soap on your sponge, choose something that can be washed in the sink. Laundry detergents and other more powerful chemicals might have an unfavourable impact on solar panels. Keep in mind that plain water is typically the greatest solution in 99% of cases.

Solar panels, like any other solar equipment, can become very hot when exposed to direct sunlight. Because solar panels get extremely hot when exposed to direct sunlight, it’s better to choose a cool, overcast day to clean them. Not only for protection from burns, but also because the soapy water you put on the solar panels will evaporate quickly when it’s really hot out and may leave a residue or smear on the panels that can affect their performance.

Continuous maintenance

So, in general, leave the rain to do the cleaning of your solar panels. Keep an eye on your system’s performance by monitoring your energy expenditures and consumption on a monthly basis. If you notice any changes in your electric bill, it may be time to consider cleaning or some other type of maintenance.

If you think your energy bill is abnormally high, check if the efficiency improves after moderate to heavy rainfall. If so, that’s probably all there is to it. If the functionality remains unresponsive, it’s possible that an electrical problem needs to be addressed instead of simply cleaned.

When it comes to solar panel cleaning, a visual check, rainwater, and you not climbing up a ladder to clean them maybe all that is required.


If you would like any further advice or have any questions around solar panel cleaning and maintenance, please do give us a call on 0800 0096625 or drop us an email at 24 hours a day.

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