Solar Panel Maintenance Guide Keep Your Panels Clean

Solar Panel Maintenance Guide

Solar panels are one of the most popular sustainable power alternatives that offer clean energy without harmful consequences. The good thing is that these photovoltaic panels are eco-friendly and offer high returns on investments. But after solar PV system installations, many users think that is all, however, in reality, to get a consistent and uninterrupted power supply, it is essential to understand the fact that solar panels require periodic maintenance and cleaning. Though this maintenance is not as hectic or costly as it is assumed, most solar consumers overlook this aspect. So, in this blog, we will provide in-depth insights for cleaning solar panels.

What Should Be the Frequency of Cleaning Solar Panels?

Let’s burst the bubble of regular cleaning! Solar panels have a sturdy build that does not need high-end maintenance except routine cleaning that keeps them free from dirt and gangue deposition. If not cleaned periodically, the performance of solar panels will decrease significantly. At this stage, it is necessary to understand that solar panels require a clear path and surface for optimal performance and power production. Due to their durable design, most solar panels come with 25 to 30 years of system and product warranties.

Best Ways to Maintain Solar Panels

Debris, dust, and other particles, like birds’ droppings can make solar panel surfaces dirty. Excessive accumulation of these particles can lead to the underperformance of solar panels. And if accumulated for a longer time, this will interrupt the performance of the solar panels. Therefore, it is essential to clean solar panels periodically. Here are the five best ways to clean solar panels:

  • Use a hose and spray lukewarm water on the surface of the solar panels. Later on, wipe the water with nonabrasive microfiber to avoid scratches.
  • Avoid the use of cleaning soaps, detergents, and other cleaning agents as may remove the slick layer of the solar panels.
  • It is best to consult professional solar panel service providers like Ultimate Solar Energy, who offer free quotes here: https://ultimatesolarenergy.com.au/get-a-quote/. Also, such service providers have professional technicians with the proper equipment and offer cleaning under a pocket-friendly budget.

Pro Tip: Avoid solar panel cleaning on a sunny day as water will leave smudges and streaks on the panels’ surface because sunlight will cause water to evaporate quickly.

Solar Panel Cleaning in Winter

Sometimes ice and snow can stash on solar panels but since panels are bent, snow usually slides off or melt away. But if the snow stays, it will be better to spray lukewarm water on the solar panels’ surface.

Caution: Do not use hot water to melt snow/ice as temperature changes can crack solar panels’ surface. Solar users can use microfiber brushes to brush solar panels’ surfaces as they are nonabrasive and can remove debris easily.

What Should Be the Optimum Cleaning Frequency for Solar Panels?

Now come to the most asked question: what is the optimum cleaning time for solar panels? The short answer for that is 2 – 4 times per year. At this point is it essential to understand that different brands of solar panels have different recommended cleaning times. So, solar users must consider their solar product manuals for cleaning frequency.

As a rule of thumb, spring and fall are excellent times to do solar panel maintenance tasks. After winter most of the solar panels require cleaning because of snow accumulation and after fall solar panels also require maintenance due to dirt and dropping depositions.

Generally, keeping a check on the solar panels 4 times annually is not a hectic task, and such inspections assist solar users to keep an eye on the performance of their solar PV systems as well. Such reviews are also helpful in early diagnostics of any issue in the performance and efficiency of solar panels. Solar users must inspect connections and wires to confirm optimal operation. Occasionally critters and mice can chew wires that should be replaced immediately to avoid efficiency loss.

Difference between Servicing and Cleaning a Solar System

Solar panel cleaning is a simple spray wash of the panels however, solar panel service includes what solar users can’t do at home. For instance, intricate electrical testing of the solar PV system and a comprehensive visual examination to ensure wiring and the equipment are working as they should be.

How to Know When Solar Panels Require Maintenance?

It is essential to monitor the power output of solar panels weekly to avoid efficiency loss. Generally, a major drop in power output indicates deep cleaning or professional maintenance. Dirty surfaces of solar panels decrease their efficiency and lifespan. The good thing is that solar panels are easy to clean and if solar user consults any professional installers their charges are always budget-friendly.