How to Clean Solar Panels: Before going to clean your solar panels, you need to understand what type of water, brushes, and solutions need to be used. Safety of the cleaning person and panels should be the top priority.
A solar energy system is a big investment for an individual to do. While the solar panels are designed in such a way to last for at least 20-25 years, the amount of electricity that the panels produce is greatly reduced after the first few years. You can get maximum productivity by maintaining the panels properly. Solar energy is not as carefree and hassle-free as it might sound to you at first. The panels do not need too much care, but you will get the most out of your investment with just a little hard work.
How to Clean Solar Panels At Home?
Your energy panels need to be kept clean. Any dust particles or snow on the panels prevent the cells from absorbing as much sunlight as they actually can. You can notice a drastic reduction in energy if you don’t keep them clean and tidy all the time.
- During the winter, you need to be sure to brush the smallest snow particle off the panels after every snowfall. You may also need to scrape off any ice that forms on the panels, as well. This can be performed with the same type of scraper you use on your car’s windshield to remove dust.
- Throughout the year, you will need to remove any debris that might accumulate on the panels. This can be done with the house. Simply spray the solar panels down. This will get rid of dust and leaves in most cases.
- Four times a year, you should get up there and really scrub the solar panels with a soft squeegee. You can use a mild soap, as well, if there is any residue on the glass. Nearby trees may leave sap on the panels and this is easier to remove with dish soap and warm water. Don’t worry about getting the panels wet. The electronic parts are sealed inside and cannot get wet.
- The back of the squeegee should have a rubber blade. Use this to scrape the water off the panels, starting at the top. Removing the water and leaving the panels dry prevents more dust from sticking and can be useful in preventing streaks.
Don’t Forget About the Batteries
If you are storing energy rather than actually feeding it back into the grid, you need to have a battery bank to hold the power for a longer time. It’s important to keep your batteries well maintained so that they perform properly at maximum capacity. The corroded batteries may be cleaned with a mixture of one-quart water with a quarter cup of baking soda stirred in together. Avoid getting this mixture inside the batteries or else they can damage the panels. You must disconnect the batteries before actually cleaning to avoid a shock. Remove the negative cable carefully first from the panels and then put it back on first, as well.
Proper Care and Maintenance of the Panels Ensures Better Lifespan
You can also check the battery levels once in a while. It’s not uncommon for the battery fluid levels to drop over time. Add distilled water to ensure that the liquid is about an eighth of an inch over the lead plates. Keeping your solar panels in great condition ensures that you will get the maximum amount of energy from them. While there is still a decline over the years, you should be able to get more time from the panels if you look after them. Care for both panels and batteries and you’ll be blessed with a renewable energy source for decades.