Maintaining your System
A solar system is a complex electricity generating piece of equipment, and you want to keep it safe and operating efficiently
Maintaining your system is more than just cleaning your panels. Your system should be checked annually to make sure it is functioning safely and efficiently, you want it to maximise the savings on your power bills for years to come.
Solar Panels are generally self cleaning, but in particularly dry areas or where panel tilt is minimal, dust and other substances such as bird droppings can build up over time and impact on the amount electricity generated by a module. Grime and bird poop doesn’t need to cover an entire panel to have an effect. This is where cleaning solar panels may have to be done.
Tips for cleaning solar panels glass
Safety first for cleaning solar panels – follow the procedure in your manual for shutting down the system before commencing cleaning.
Clean solar panels from the ground
For safety reasons, it’s also wise to clean your panels from the ground if possible. A good quality soft brush and a squeegee with a plastic blade on one side and a cloth covered sponge on the other coupled with a long extension can make for the perfect tools allowing you to stay on the ground. Use a hose with a suitable nozzle to allow the stream of water to reach the panels.
NOTE: If cleaning your panels from the ground is not possible, do not attempt to access your rooftop unless you have the appropriate safety equipment and training. If you don’t; hire a suitably qualified professional instead.
Optimally time the cleaning of the solar panels
Clean your solar panels on an overcast day, early in the morning or in the even- ing. If the sun is beating down on the panels, any water used can quickly evapo- rate and dirt will become smeared.
Early morning can be a particularly good time for cleaning as dew that has settled on the panels overnight will likely have softened grime. That means you’ll need to use less water and less energy to clean your solar panels.
Materials and methods for cleaning solar panels
If the panels are dry, before tackling the modules with water, brush off any loose materials first – this will make cleaning easier and faster.
Don’t use metal objects or harsh abrasive products for removing caked on materi- als. Scratching the glass on a solar panel can affect its performance as scratches will cast shadows. Avoid using detergents if possible as these may streak the glass of the panel. Use of abrasive powders also risks scratching the panels.
Given the nature of good quality solar panel glass, clean water and a little scrub- bing with a coarse cloth covered sponge or soft brush should remove the most stubborn grime. Plastic scourers may also be used.
If your mains-supplied water is hard (mineral-rich) and rainwater is available; use that as a final rinse; then squeegee dry. If hard water is all you have, just be sure to squeegee well as mineral loaded water can form deposits on glass as it dries.
Dealing with oily stains
Oily stains can occur in some installation scenarios, such as if you live near an air- port and are under a flight path or if you live adjacent to and downwind of a major roadway frequented by trucks. If oily stains start appearing on your panels; isopro- pyl alcohol can be used as a spot-cleaning substance..
How often to replace a solar panel?
So, how long will a solar panel last? Most of our solar panels have up to 25 years performance guarantee, and it a lifetime expectancy of 40 years is possible.
So what’s the alternative
We have cleaning packages we can offer you, professional solar panel cleaners, who have all materials, safety gear and know how to keep your panels producing and generating as much as possible. Call us for package pricing and availability.