Solar Panel Cleaning
When you invest your hard earned cash into solar panels it’s understandable that you would want them to be running at optimum capability so that you can start to recoup your money. However dust, dirt, garden debris (including leaves and bird droppings) all contribute towards decreasing your overall efficiency by preventing sunlight from reaching the solar cells contained within your panels.
In fact, it’s fair to say that the more dirt, the more inefficient your solar panels will become, but just how inefficient? Experts suggest that a loss of solar energy due to lack of solar panel cleaning can decrease efficiency by around 33%, and more for those people who have never cleaned their panels. As it’s fast approaching winter in Australia now is a good time to put that right.
When it comes to solar panel cleaning it isn’t as difficult as you might think. Arguably if you know how to clean windows you can clean solar panels. The hardest part might actually be accessing them. Assuming that you can reach your panels then you should clean the surface of your panels similarly to how you would clean the surface of your car. This is with a mixture of warm water and a mild liquid detergent. Firstly brush off any excess dirt dust and debris, then using a soft brush, dip it in the water and gently scrub, removing any stubborn accumulation of dirt or grime.
In addition if you have any nearby foliage such as trees or hedges then you might also want to make sure that they are trimmed back. Firstly, if allowed to grow they could well impinge on the natural sunlight your panels get, and secondly, if the tree is deciduous, a tree that’s been cut back is less likely to shed as many leaves during the winter months and therefore by a law of averages, they’re also less likely to end up dropping directly onto your panelling.
So how often should solar panel cleaning be carried out?
The short answer is that there is no defined time scale (say every month or every 3 months). Instead it really does depend upon five main elements and these are:
Your location – Do you live in an arid or dry area, or do you get plenty of rain to wash any debris away
The angle of tilt – Panels that are tilted tend to accumulate less debris that those which aren’t
The amount of wind – Wind places and distributes dust and debris far and wide
Your electric rate – If the cost of your electric rate is on the high side then it’s more advantageous to clean your panels more often than when costs are lower.
Ease of access – If your solar panels aren’t easy to access or you aren’t particularly mobile then you mightn’t want them cleaned as regularly, particularly if hiring a pro is expensive in your area.
In the main it is worth checking on a monthly basis while also monitoring your electrical production. However if you’d rather leave it in the hands of capable experts then no problem. At Static Electrics, as well as electrical repair, we also deal with solar power installation and maintenance, including solar panel cleaning. Why not let us set up a bespoke cleaning and maintenance program to suit your needs. This way you have total peace-of-mind for 365 days a year by knowing that your system is running to it’s maximum capabilities.
For further details or if you’d like a free no-obligation quote call Static Electrics on 07 5445 8305 today