How To Clean Solar Panels

| March 1, 2013

Installing solar panels is one of the best investments that you can make. It cuts down utility bill substantially and you can be sure that the rates won’t hike. But this investment is very expensive and the expense depends upon the size of the system that you require and your power consumption in a month.

The solar panels get dirty from bird poop, airborne particles, leaves and other debris. Dirty panels result in loss of power as the dirt reduces the capacity of the panels to perform well. If the solar cells are not clean, they will not be able to absorb sunlight and resultantly generate less electricity.

So, if you have a photovoltaic system, then you need to keep it in a good condition, and maintain it well to ensure that you expensive investment works well for you. The maintenance requires only regular cleaning. Here are a few ways to keep your solar panels in pristine condition –

1. Cleaning Solar Panels Manually – Most homeowners prefer to use elbow grease to clean the panels in their home. You can just wash the panels with dishwashing soap and tepid water. This cleans the surface and the frame. But manual cleaning is risky. The first risk is that of personal injury. You have to get on top of your roof, which is risky. Secondly, even though the dishwashing liquid is fairly safe, it can still damage the panels. Also, the combination of soap and water on a slanting roof is highly unsafe.

2. Using Automatic Solar Panel Cleaners – In contrast to the manual cleaner, automatic cleaners are also available that not only keep the system clean but also save a lot of time and money.

a. Residential Cleaners – There are automatic cleaning systems for homeowners that you can program to wash with soap and rinse with water. You can use them as often as you want, though the recommended frequency is twice a week.

These systems make use spray nozzles with low volume. Each of the nozzles is connected to one panel, a water source and a controller (programmable). Only special biodegradable soaps are used to wash the panels. They work just like your washing machines with a wash cycle and a rinse cycle.

b. Industrial Cleaners – You also get industrial cleaners for large photovoltaic systems. These industrial cleaners are similar to the residential cleaners. They also have nozzles that are attached to one solar panel each. A microprocessor runs the nozzles that wash and spray clean the solar panels. This automatic cleaning system has programmable controls with software interface. You can schedule a wash remotely with just a program

Although you need a professional to install industrial cleaner, it does not require too much maintenance. An occasional replacement of water filler and refill of soap concentrate will be enough.

These are some ways to clean solar panels. Unless you keep them clean, you will not get the maximum power out of them. For more information on cleaning solar panels, contact solar electricity company.

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Category: Articles, Eco-Friendly

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