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Solar Panel Cleaning

The more light that hits a panel, the more power it will generate.

Due to the upwards angle of solar panels, they are more prone to bird droppings and a build-up of general dust and dirt that does not wash off with just rain. This reduces the amount of light hitting the panel and reduces its output.

Solar panels are generally self cleaning, but in particularly dry areas or where panel tilt is minimal, dust and other substances such as bird droppings can build up over time and impact on the amount electricity generated by a module. Grime and bird poop doesn’t need to cover an entire panel to have an effect. This is where cleaning solar panels may have to be done.

A good way to illustrate why rainwater will not clean solar panels is by looking at your car windscreen. If you didn’t clean your windscreen for 6 months, how much visibility would you lose? If left, the grime on your windscreen would accumulate and eventually ‘green’ over. Even if the car is rained on, the rain contains airborne dust particles that settle and attach to the surface after the rainwater evaporates.

When we use our windscreen wipers, we clean the centre of the screen, but where the wipers do not reach, there is a film of dirt. The whole of your solar panel is in exactly the same condition as the edge of your car windscreen because they are both exposed to the same elements. Visibility through your windscreen is lost due to the loss of light. Therefore, the same principles hold true for solar panel cleaning. It is very important to maximise the light getting into the solar panel and in turn, increase your financial reward.

How should you clean the panels?

Whereever and whenever possible, panels should be cleaned using purified water (PURE WATER SYSTEM – WATER FED POLE) and a soft brush. Panels should not be cleaned with a pressure washer, as doing so could result in cracked glass. Abrasives and chemicals should also be avoided, as both can result in ‘rough spots’ on the panels where dirt is likely to accumulate.
Pure water is the best way because the water is “pure” and you don’t want the minerals that can leave residue on your panels. Avoid using detergents as this can cause the same problem.

Also remember that you should never put pressure on the panels by stepping or putting weight on them.

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