Why is it important to clean your solar panels
Having dirty Solar Panels, not only creates an eye sore, but also affects your Solar PV System’s performance. As bird droppings, dust, pollution and tree sap start to cover your panels, sunlight can no longer reach the Solar cells. Essentially, dirty panels have the same impact on a Solar PV System as shading does. If your Solar Panels are on a string array, by having just one Solar Cell covered with dirt will cause an inefficiency that will affect the performance of your entire Solar Panel System. Effecting both your Green Energy Generation and return on investment. By making sure your Solar Panels are clean, your Solar Generation will always be at it’s maximum.
Not only does having clean solar panels help increase your system’s efficiency, but they also look far more attractive! After all who wants dirty, dusty, Solar Panels full of bird dropping sitting on their roof? As we say here at Deege Solar, a Clean Solar Panel is a happy solar panel. Luckily, in the UK because of the high levels of rain, an occasional clean will be all that’s needed.
How do i know if my solar panels need cleaning
There are two ways to recognise when your Solar Panels need a good cleaning. Either when you can visually start to see a build up of dirt, bird droppings and dust on the surface of your Solar Panels, or when your generation starts tailoring off. By now you should know when your Solar PV system is performing well or not. By using your monitoring platform, you will be able to identify if any irregularities occur. Once you’ve had your Solar Panels cleaned you should see a rise in efficiency!
How do you clean solar panels
In most cases, getting your Solar Panels cleaned is a professional job, especially if they are roof mounted panels. This is because it is difficult to gain safe access to your Solar Panels otherwise. Another thing to consider, is that if you were to damage your Solar Panels in any way, your warranty would likely become void. By hiring a professional Solar Panel Expert, you will be in safe hands. As they will be knowledgable about the technology, as well as trained to work at heights with access equipment.
Our Top Solar Panel Cleaning Tips
If your Solar Panels are ground mounted and are easy to access, here are some Solar Panel Cleaning tips to keep in mind:
1. Don’t use Abrasive Materials
Abrasive Materials are likely to scratch the surface of your Solar Panels causing damage that will impact your Solar Generation and in many cases warranty. The best tools to use for cleaning your Solar Panels will be a water fed pole with a soft brush, combined with a Squeegee. You can water your Solar Panels using a hose on a low pressure setting, scrub off the dirt with a soft brush and then squeegee the surface dry.
2. Avoid Using Pressured Water
Applying high pressure water onto your Solar Panels may appear to be a quick and easy fix to dirty Solar Panels, however this solution is likely to damage the silicon seams of your panels and get water in places where water is not meant to be!
3. Safety First
Always make sure you have shut down your Solar PV System before you start cleaning your panels. Instructions to do so can be found in the schematics that should have been provided after your installation. But remember that the roof cabling will still be live and can carry dangerous voltages. If you see any damaged or exposed cabling, stop instantly and report them to a Solar Panel Professional.
4. Avoid Cleaning your Solar Panels when the Weather is Hot
Cleaning your Solar Panels on a hot day will result in leaving smudges all over your Panels. This is because the sun will evaporate the water too quickly. The best time to clean your Solar Panels is either early morning, on an overcast day, or late evening.
Do Self Cleaning Solar Panels Exist?
Yes, the majority of Solar Panels in the UK are Self Cleaning, but unfortunately this doesn’t mean this solves the problem. Self Cleaning Solar Panels work by using a hydrophobic coating to protect the surface. The coating essentially stops water droplets from sticking to the surface of the panel, reducing the gradual build up of minerals on the surface of the cells. As when the droplets fall off the Solar Panels, they also take any dust or dirt particles with them. Nonetheless, in certain locations, that are highly polluted, dusty or have regular bird visitors, the hydrophobic coating and rain alone isn’t enough.
How much does it cost to clean solar panels
The price to clean a Solar Panel Array depends on the size of the PV System and the ability to access your roof. If scaffolding is required to safely reach your Solar Panels, the price is most likely to be more costly. A professional Solar Panel Clean is usually charged per panel. Here at Deege Solar we charge £500 for a full Solar Panel Clean and we operate at that price Nationwide. Discover more about our Solar Panel Cleaning Services.
Here at Deege Solar, Solar Panel Cleaning forms part of our monthly Maintenance Packages. For just £27.50 a month, you can receive a yearly solar panel clean and system health check by our Solar experts. On top of that, you will receive free repairs on all Accidental Damage and full technical support all year round.