Cleaning Solar Electric Panels
While having zero moving parts, solar panel cleaning is one aspect of solar panel maintenance that should not be forgotten. Dust, dirt, pollen, bird droppings, and recent forest fire ash can reduce the amount of solar power you are able to create This is calling 'soiling.' In the article, you will learn the proper techniques to fight soiling and to get your solar producing back at 100%.
How To Clean Solar Panel Glass
Solar panels are a very durable product, however, doing these 3 things will ensure your safety and a clean solar panel system. If cleaning solar panels requires you to climb up on your roof, consider hiring a professional solar panel cleaning service. We recommend a1 Integrity for the Portand and Vancouver metro regions (Salem, OR to SW Washington).
1) Pick A Cool Time Of Day
Solar panels get extremely hot during the day. Pick a relatively cool day or choose to do your cleaning in the morning or late evening.
2) Rinse With Garden Hose
Because dust and dirt will come off easily, first try if your garden hose is enough for the task. If there is anything remaining you might need to clean more thoroughly.
3) More Thorough Cleaning
Fill a spray bottle or bucket with warm water and begin to clean solar panel glass with a soft sponge or auto squeegee. There is no need to use soap or other chemicals. If there is a need, just use one drop of low concentrated cleaner, such as Dawn with the animal on it.
Solar Panel Cleaning FAQs
Why should I clean my solar panels?
Anything getting in between the sun and the solar cells will impact the output of solar energy. Rain will rinse the larger debris off, however, we found that the #1 way to maximize the solar energy produced is by cleaning the panels.
Sunbridge Solar's system is a low tilt (10 degrees) and it's overall power reduction due to the 2017 Eagle Creek forest fire ash resulted in a -53% reduction.
How often should I clean my solar panels?
Cleaning frequency will vary depending on where you are located. For example, someone living closer to the road will accumulate more fine dust and debris, therefore, requiring more frequent cleaning. Furthermore, if your panels are angled at a low-tilt we recommend adding cleaning your solar panels to your yearly spring cleaning to-do list.
For high angled tilt panels, you may let Mother Nature take care most of the cleaning.
Is there anything special to do to remove forest fire ash?
While there is nothing special to remove ash, we highly recommend to clean off the ash ASAP. Ash is a thicker particulate and will severely reduce the solar energy output. To do this, simply wash the ash off with air or water. If fires continue, you might want to do a few more cleanings.