Have you noticed dust or snow building up on your solar panels? Not to worry, there is a way to clean them easily and without costing you a lot of money. Read on to find out how to clean your solar panels yourself and why it is important to do so!
How important is Cleaning Your Solar Panels?
Cleaning your solar panels is more important than many think. Some assume that you only need to install them and they are good to go. However, that is not the case if you want them to work as best as they can. With regular maintenance, your solar panels will stay fully functional much longer.
When your solar panels are clean and pristine, it is a lot easier for them to absorb the light they need in order to convert light into power. Layers of dirt, bird droppings, leaves, etc. build up and cause your solar panels to work less efficiently.
Snow should never be on the panels because it blocks the sunlight from coming through and can damage them. Snow accumulation can cause all types of problems: loss of power, not generating power and even water damage to your home.
As you can see, cleaning your solar panels is of importance to maintain your investment.
Precautions When Cleaning Solar Panels
Before you get started cleaning your solar panels, there are some things to take into account. First, solar panels are usually mounted on roofs, so this can become a dangerous task if you do not take the proper security measures. The risk of falling is especially high when the roof is wet or when there is snow present.
Another factor to take into account are chemical products. Most manufacturers of solar panels do not recommend using traditional chemicals to clean the panels, nor water with a high mineral content. If you do, your solar panels may get damaged. Now that we know what NOT to do, let’s look at how to clean solar panels the best way.
How to Clean Solar Panels
Follow the guidelines below and you should have no problems keeping your solar panels maintained properly and working efficiently.
Check the Manufacturer Manual
First, check the manufacturer manual that came with your panels. The manual contains valuable information on how to shut down the system before you get started with the proper maintenance steps which are recommended. Some manuals also contain detailed information on how to clean your specific panels. If you cannot locate your Manual give us a call call at 216-333-1364 or contact us online and we will be happy to get a copy over to you.
Turn the System Off
The most important thing to do before you clean your solar panels is shutting of the system entirely. If you do not shut down your system, there is a high chance that you will inflict irreparable damage to your solar panels and the system itself.
Inspect for Cracks
During the maintenance, it is always a good idea to check for cracks or other irregularities on the panels. When you do notice any cracks or faulty connections, do not attempt to fix the problem yourself. Trying to repair electrical damage can potentially be dangerous, so hire an electrician to come over and fix the problem.
Clean from the Ground
In order to safely maintain your solar panels, it is better to execute the maintenance from the ground with an extension pole.
Clean During a Cool Time
Your cleaning will be much more efficient in the morning or evening when it is cooler. When the solar panels get hit with a lot of sunlight, dirt will become smeared because the water you use will evaporate faster.
Brush Off Loose Materials
Before you start to use water on your solar panels, brush off any loose debris.
Spray with Water and Scrub with Non-Abrasive Cleaner
The maintenance of solar panels should be executed with water and a non-abrasive cleaner. As was mentioned before, some chemicals have the potential to damage your solar panels, so avoid those products at all costs! Spray the panels to get them wet, and then use a soft pad on the end of an extension pole to clean them with the non-abrasive cleaner.
Rinse and Squeegee Dry
Once you have washed the panels with a cleaner, rinse them off and use a squeegee to dry them.
Dry Edges with Lint Free Cloth
The edges of the solar panel are also quite sensitive, so use a lint free cloth to dry the edges after you are done using the squeegee on the panel itself.
In the Case of Snow
When snow accumulates on your panels, you can already get rid of some snow by circulating warm indoor air through the panels. If this fails, you can use a snow rake tool on an extension pole to remove it manually.
Available Tools to Clean Solar Panels
In order to complete these steps, you'll need to pick up a few tools, many of which are similar to those used for window washing. There are a number of tools which are especially made to clean solar panels. The following can help you to execute the job safely and efficiently.
- Extendable pole: a good option to safely clean your solar panels from the ground.
- Brushes: soft brushes that will not damage the surface of your solar panels and attach to the extendable pole.
- Mac Pad Lamb Skin: a soft pad that can be added to the end of an extendable pole to wash the panels without scratching them.
- Angle Adapter: a flexible extension tool for your extendable pole. The tool makes it easier to maneuver your pole into the desired position.
- Squeegee: tool to remove water from the solar panel without damaging the surface.
- Snow Pro: rake tool that makes it easier to remove snow from your solar panels.
- HP06T Portable DI Tank: system that produces pure water for cleaning.
- Window Washing Kit: combination of specialized tools, such as poles and brushes, which will enable you to clean solar panels without needing ladders or scaffolding.
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When you maintain your solar panels on a regular basis, the results are quite evident. Solar panels last much longer and work more efficiently. Follow the guidelines and see for yourself how easy it is to keep your solar panels clean and pristine. Contact us if you still have questions, we're here to help.