Solar panels provide sustainable energy despite their low maintenance. Regular cleaning is one of the best ways to ensure your solar panels function efficiently. Dirt, grime, and dust accumulate on the solar panels, hindering the photovoltaic cells from absorbing the sun's rays. The panels' efficiency reduces when a layer of grime and debris blocks these cells. Research has shown that accumulating soot, dust, and other particulates reduces solar panels' efficiency by up to 7%. Luckily, you can clean solar panels to remove grime and dust, restoring their maximum efficiency.
A Step-by-Step Guide for Cleaning Your Solar Panels
Before you start cleaning your solar panels:
The best product is a solar panel cleaner, a combination of water and dish soap, and a little vinegar. You may ask your solar panel manufacturer about the best cleaning products, buy them, and follow the manual when using them. Here are the steps for cleaning solar panels.
1. Gather Materials and Equipment
Ensure you have everything necessary for the cleaning project ready. Also, set up an extension ladder, ensuring you can access the solar panels on the roof. Make the cleaning solution you will use in your gallon sprayer. Also, ensure you have a friend or family member to hand you the products and hold the ladder.
2. Turn off Your Solar Panel System
Avoid cleaning the solar panels while the system is still working. Turning off the power is essential in protecting your system and ensuring safety.
3. Spray Down the Roof and Panels
Climb the ladder to reach the roof while your friend or family member securely holds the extension ladder. Rinse off the top and solar panels with a garden hose and the spray attachment to remove loose dirt and debris.
4. Apply the Cleaning Solution
After washing off loose dirt and debris, apply the cleaning solution with the gallon sprayer to a small part of a solar panel. Let the solution cut through the grime and dirt for some minutes. However, avoid leaving it on the solar panels for too long so it doesn't fry.
5. Wipe Down the Cleaning Solution
Wipe down the solution using a sponge or soft brush. Avoid leaning over the panels and stand on the extension ladder instead. If necessary, you can wrap a clean towel around the squeegee on an extension pole.
6. Do the Same on Small Segments
Follow the above steps to apply the cleaning solution and wipe it off in small segments until you clean all solar panels.
7. Rinse All Panels
Once you've applied and wiped off the cleaning solution in all solar panels, use the hose and spray attachment to clean them off. Finally, dry your solar panels with the squeegee before turning your solar system on.
The best time to clean solar panels is when outdoor temperatures are cool. Avoid washing your solar panels when the sunlight is harsh because you can damage them. Please call Saskatoon Solar for professional assistance if you're uncomfortable cleaning your solar panels.