Your solar panels are an investment, one that you want to last for as many years as possible. Keeping them clean is an important part of keeping them in good working order for the long term. However, no matter how tidy you keep your home, there will come a time when your solar panels need some tender loving care. Luckily, cleaning your solar panels isn’t rocket science; most panel manufacturers recommend simple methods that don’t take up too much of your time or resources. Following these seven tips will help you get the best out of your solar panels and ensure they stay in great condition for as long as possible.
Change the batteries in your inverter
The batteries in your inverter are used to store the power generated by your solar panels. Over time, these batteries will lose their charge, reducing their ability to transfer power to the grid. Fortunately, replacing the batteries in your inverter is a quick and easy job that doesn’t require any specialist tools or knowledge. If you keep an eye on your battery levels, you should be able to change them as soon as they start to run low.
Use a mild soap
Most panels will be able to handle a small amount of mild soap. The soap will help break down any dirt and grime on the panels, making it easier to wipe them off with a soft cloth or squeegee. Be careful not to use too much soap, as this could damage the panels.
Don’t use pressure washers
Pressure washers are designed to blast dirt and grime off patio furniture, cars, and other outdoor surfaces. While they’re great for these applications, a pressure washer is too powerful to use on solar panels. The high water pressure can cause damage to the panels, reducing their efficiency. If you want to clean your solar panels, use a soft cloth, sponge, or squeegee instead.
Rinse with rainwater
If you live in a rainy area, you may have noticed that water runs off the roof faster than it used to. This is because your roof is getting cleaner as it accumulates dust and dirt. Now that it’s more efficient, it’s possible to clean your solar panels with rainwater. This is great for avoiding the cost of water, and it’s also better for the environment than using water from the mains supply. To save the water in a bucket for cleaning, use a slanted surface, such as a roof or awning, to direct the water into a container.
Get a professional cleaning
If your solar panels are really dirty, you may need to get a professional cleaner to look after them for you. We will fully inspect your solar panels, making sure they’re in good condition and remove any dirt or grime we find. Depending on the state of your panels, a professional cleaning could cost you between a few hundred and a thousand dollars. While this might seem like a lot of money, it’s much cheaper than replacing your panels, it will restore efficiency and generate more electricity.
Check for damage and corrosion
While you’re cleaning your solar panels, take a few minutes to check for damage, such as broken glass and corrosion. Corrosion is common on older solar panels and can usually be spotted by the formation of orange or brown stains on the panels. While you can clean corrosion from the panels, you should replace them as soon as possible, as corrosion is a sign of damage that will only get worse. Do a quick visual check for broken glass, as this can reduce the power output of your panels and prevent sunlight from reaching the rest of the panels.
Keeping your solar panels clean will help to extend their lifespan and keep your electricity bill low. You can clean your panels at any time of year, although you may want to do it more often during the spring and autumn months when dust is more prevalent. To clean your panels, use a soft cloth, mild soap, and water. Check your panels for damage and corrosion and replace any panels that are broken.