DIY Green Energy For Homes

Why is Cleaning Solar Panels So Important?

Solar power is increasingly becoming a favorite alternative for many people. Using solar power is beneficial to the environment and to your wallet.

Because it’s a renewable source, many people are opting for solar to reduce over-dependence on fossils, which are getting depleted. 

Solar, along with other renewable forms, contribute 18 percent to the total worldwide energy generation. Solar power generation depends on photovoltaic panels, which trap sunlight and convert it to current.

Since these panels are at the heart of solar power generation, adequate maintenance is important, and that includes cleaning them.

Why you should clean your panels

Keeping a house tidy is hard work, but special attention should be attached to keeping solar panels tidy.

Depending on the geography of an area, dirty solar panels can cause power loss in the range of 5 to 30 percent, although an accurate figure is not easy to determine. Other factors that can lead to loss of solar energy efficiency include weather, smog, droppings from birds, airborne particles, debris, plant leaves and mounting angles of the panels.

Considering that the warranty on most solar panel systems is 25 years (9125 days), the assumption is that there would be power losses on each day of that lifecycle, as a result of any of the named factors.

This would represent a significant loss of money. In addition, there would be losses to the national grid, thus the need to keep the panels clean. There is also the risk of completely losing the solar panels if they are left unclean for long.

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If you choose to clean the panels yourself, there’s a range of solar panel cleaning products to choose from. Do your research before buying a product. However, hiring professional services is often worth the money and hustle.

Nonetheless, should you find it appropriate to do the cleaning yourself, you need to take caution to ensure the panels are safely secured on to the mounting, so that you do not dislodge them. Fortunately, the electrical parts of a solar system are well protected beneath the panels, so there is no need to concern yourself with wetting them.

When cleaning the panels, ensure that you do not leave streaking on the panel surfaces as it builds residue, which causes as much damage as dust or other dirt. It’s better to test any cleaning agent on glass before applying it on the solar panel.

If your solar panels are mounted in a place that’s not easily reachable, consider using an automatic cleaning system, which consists of a mechanical wiping arm and a hose that dispenses cleaning solution. Usually the system is installed at the same time as your solar system.

One consideration during installation is whether to mount the panels in a flat position or at an angle. Although ultimately such a decision is personal, it affects the accumulation of dirt and the ease of cleaning of the panels.

With the above pointers on the importance of cleaning and how to clean solar panels, there is no reason why you should continue to lose your solar power through unclean panels.

It's also a good idea to invest in a handy DIY guide, that will show you how to build your own solar panels easily:

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