The significance of cleansing your photo voltaic panels
For some people there is a school of thought that installing solar panels is an established and forgotten process. Just have them put on your roof, enjoy cheaper utility bills, and let the rain take care of removing dust or debris. Law?
Unfortunately, this is not entirely the case. It is important that you clean your array regularly to ensure that it is working properly. There can be some strange and wonderful environmental elements that can cause them to become inefficient, creating an inefficient system that hinders your investment.
… like bird droppings.
Yes, bird poo is a major cause of solar panels to reduce inefficiency. The bottom line is that panels are often attractive to our little friends in the sky, largely because they are glossy and offer shade under them. Over time, birds nest and poop in your system, and their offspring then grow up to do the same. It’s not an ideal situation.
A solar panel covered in feces just isn’t efficient, and cleaning it up is a mega-pain too. For this reason, we recommend that you remove as much bird droppings from your panels as possible. You can also prevent them from bothering your system by sealing the access to the recess under the panels with chicken wire. Spikes and other deterrents aren’t bad ideas either.
Why do I need to clean my solar panels?
Solar panels let light into the cells inside, where it is captured and converted into electricity. So if your panels are covered in dirt or bird droppings, the light can’t get in and your system doesn’t have to convert anything.
Solar panels are flat angled and pointed towards the sky to provide more surface area. This means they can capture more light, but unfortunately they are also more likely to collect droppings, dirt, and dust. Because of this angle, rain is unlikely to wash away all of the matter. It just kind of sits there.
Despite the angle, rainwater isn’t particularly effective anyway. Think about your windshield. What would happen if you didn’t clean it for six months? Rainwater contains dust particles, so your solar panels may be messed up rather than cleaned.
How to clean solar panels effectively
Old-fashioned methods are often the best, and so is your system. A simple bucket of soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge (to make sure you don’t scratch your solar panels) are all you need.
There are specialty detergents on the market, but honestly it is not necessary to pay three times the price (or more) for a “specialty product” if ordinary soapy water – combined with a little elbow grease – does the job perfectly.
However, there are some safety precautions to be followed before climbing onto your roof. First make sure that your solar system has been completely shut down and disconnected from the power grid according to the instructions in the operating manual. Another thing to consider is that the panels get very hot and can cause burns. So choose a cooler time of day to wash them off.
If you are concerned about the risk, there are always professionals available who we also highly recommend.