What is the Best Way to Clean Solar Panels?
Upon purchase and installation, solar servicing firms provide essential maintenance tips and warranty assistance on how to maintain and extend the lifespan of their products. It’s an appropriate gesture but you should not totally depend on such approach considering that the service is only free within a certain time stretch.
Let’s make one thing clear here. Keeping your panels neat and tidy is about a couple of things. Longevity is the primary reason. Just like any tools or equipments, you want everything to last long enough to be utilized, which in this case, as an alternative energy at your home.
Secondly, you want to harness the full vigor of the sun in order to power your lights, your appliances and other electrical items. Although this actually depends on how big the solar panels are, still, you want to maximize what has been installed.
Cleaning those roof-situated materials will probably be the most practical and cost-effective way to do. According to studies, it has been cited that solar panels lose around 20% of its capacity to produce energy. In addition, these items deteriorate every couple of years. With that said, it is up to you to make the most out of the equipments.
While solar panels are self-sufficient enough to be maintained, you must be aware that leaving these energy components on their own will cost you more in the long run. It will be so judging from the fact that repairs or replacements will soon follow.
On surfaces and dirts
Generally, solar panels come in two forms. For the flat surface, all you need are some water and some cloth to wipe and to dry the items out. You don’t need a strong liquid to do the job. You also don’t need abrasive materials to remove impurities. Soft brushes will do.
Tilted surfaces, on the other hand, have a distinct advantage. The external angles allow rains to wash off impurities. Remember to utilize only tap water since chemical-laden liquids or powders can have destructive effects.
Understand that there are certain times and certain conditions where cleaning the panels is appropriate. Dust and other miniscule particles like pollen can be left out for the rain to be washed out. Snow can also be left to melt. Stains, heavy fragments like bird droppings may need your attention for its removal because they get stuck.
Steps to follow
Prior to cleaning, the primary step that you need to do is to turn off the solar panel controls. It is important that its operational mechanism will not be disturbed in any way. Water, most notably, can cause electrical connections to malfunction.
Second, get a ladder that is high enough for you to overlook the whole panel setup. Never step on the solar equipment to avoid breaking anything. Have the whole area within your grasp before starting to clean the surfaces.
Third, use a hose to allow more flexibility in washing the panels. When you are on the ladder, it is easier to have water running through those rubber tubes than holding a bucket with one hand and pouring water with the other.
More importantly, cleaning the solar panels call for favorable times of the day. Early in the morning or late in the afternoon are perhaps the best stretch to go onto the roof. At those times, an overcast sun will less likely trouble you while you’re up there cleaning.
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