Installing solar panels for your energy consumption needs at home, the office or even on your caravan can no doubt eat a significant chunk of your budget.
the benefits can last over a more extended period by way of savings on electricity bills and surviving on an eco-friendly option of energy consumption. So, it is your best interest to keep the solar panels in the best of health to make sure you get the maximum benefit out of this one-time investment.
So how do we make sure the solar panels last long and give you the required amount of uninterrupted electricity? You just have to keep the panels free from dust, grime and bird droppings to ensure longer life to the solar panels by following a strict cleaning regime.
Keep your product manual handy to help you with customized cleaning tips for your solar panels before you proceed with the cleaning process.
Shut down the system before you start cleaning.
Here are some of the essential tips that will help you keep the solar panels clean to ensure it works as good as new.
Clean the panels from the ground using extended cleaning equipment
Most solar panels are installed on rooftops which makes the task of cleaning difficult. It is advisable to clean them from the ground using a soft brush and an extendable mop with a plastic blade and soft cloth-covered sponge on either side.
Always prioritize your safety and do not attempt to clean them out of reach panels using ladders or any other unscientific methods. Hire a specialist to do the cleaning safely.
The right time to clean the Solar panels
Cleaning the solar panels of a cloudy day is often preferred so that you can minimize the loss of energy absorption. Otherwise, on regular days, you can choose to clean the panels early in the morning. The dew that has settled down on the panels will work to loosen the grime accumulated. This means that you will need less water and effort to clean the solar panels.
Avoid using detergents or abrasive powders
A good quality brush and water is all you need to keep the panels clean. If the panels are dry, you can use a soft brush to loosen the dust or grime and then let in water through a hose to make cleaning faster and easier.
Detergents or abrasive powders can damage the panels through fine scratches or streaks. This might, in turn, affect the absorption capacity of the panels.
Avoid using metal objects or heavy duty abrasives
Heavy duty abrasive powders are also a strict no in the list of cleaning supplies for solar panels.
Clean water, a good scrubber (it can be a plastic one as well), and squeegee will help remove the toughest dirt or grime on the solar panels.
Dry the panels adequately after you have washed it
Special care has to be taken while using hard water for cleaning as it can leave fine deposits on the panels once the water dries.
So, use the cotton cloth covered sponge to make sure there is no moisture left on the panels once you are done.
You can also follow the best practice of using rainwater to rinse it one last time to minimize the effects of hard water.
Dealing with stubborn stains
panels are often made with high-quality materials that do not require rigorous cleaning. In rare scenarios, you might have to deal with tough stains such as oil grime, which is possible if you are in a locality which is closer to major highways or airports. In such cases, it is recommended to use isopropyl alcohol to clean it.
We have given you enough know-how on the best way to clean your solar panels. You can apply these cleaning tips to both residential solar panels and 12v portable solar panels for camping. You might be wondering that we never spoke on how often you should be resorting to a cleaning routine. The fact that these installations are in the open it also goes through a natural cleaning process. So, if you happen to notice that there is a right amount of dust or you feel the performance of the system is getting impacted, then it is time to clean it. You don’t want to be traveling on a hot summer day and your caravan air conditioner is running poorly due to dirty solar panels.
Otherwise, it’s not something that should bother you much considering the dangers of self-cleaning and expenses of having a professional doing it.