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The Benefits of Keeping Your Solar Panels Clean

Aug 2 2022

Solar panels are used to convert solar energy to usable electrical energy that can be used at your home. To best use the solar technology, it is recommended that you install solar where you get the most sunlight, most people will get the solar panels installed on their roof or somewhere on the ground of their property preferably not under a shade. The panels need visible clearance to get the most sunlight and that also includes dirt or snow that will cover the entire panel. The location of the panel, because of natural causes, will be covered with dirt that travels with the wind or heavy snow during the winter. The panels are safe from snow and dirt but the effects of the panels being covered will amount to the panels not producing as much as it can if the panels were completely clean. 

Clean rooftop solar panel installation

Clean solar panel installation

Dirt or Snow-Covered Solar Panels

When solar panels become covered with snow or dirt, it does not mean the panels are not producing energy at all. The contaminants will cover the panel and disable the panel from properly getting sunlight to the silicon cell so that sunlight can turn into electricity. Depending on how much snow you have on your solar panels, you will be able to get a percentage of the sunlight you are supposed to. 

Sunlight can travel through about 4.5 inches of snow and reach the panel although the energy produced from the panel is not enough to make a difference. Solar panels need to have a clean surface to produce the most energy that the panels can. You have places that snow more than others and if you have solar panels installed, then you must make sure to keep them clear and working efficiently. The center of the United States, due to the flat lands, is known to create a lot of dusty wind. These areas are common with tornados. The flat land allows for wind to travel faster and creates dust storms. 

Cleaning Your Solar Panels

Rain does an excellent job of cleaning the solar panels when they are dirty, rain will wash away dirt, debris, and grime. If you do not want to wait for the rain to come around to make sure your solar panels are running optimally. If your solar panels are easy to reach, you can wash them down with water but do make sure you are safe. If a panel is not easy to reach or clean, a professional to clean your solar panels is needed and recommended. Professional cleaners have a full knowledge of types of panels and how to maintain them. If you want to make sure it is completely clean from grime that builds up, you can scrub the panels with a non-abrasive soap mixture and a soft brush to clean the panels from any tough dirt and grime. Then wash the panels with water from a hose, not a pressure washer, a pressure washer will lead to fine cracks on the panels from the pressure the water will create. Monitor the output of your panels to make sure you can see the increase in energy production after cleaning the photovoltaic solar panels. 

Process to clean solar panels (get a professional for harder to reach solar panels) 

  1. Contact a professional if the job seems hard or dangerous.  
  1. Use a soft brush to remove large objects from the panels like dirt build up or leaves. 
  1. Wash the panels with water from a source that is not pressurized. 
  1. Scrub solar panels with a soft brush and non-abrasive soap mixture. 
  1. Monitor the output of your solar panels to make sure you are making more power. 

Clean Your Solar Panels

The main thing to know is that unclean solar panels hinder energy production and cleaning them is highly recommended. The goal of solar panels is to produce electrical energy from the sun to help lower the cost of their utility bill. If anything hinders the ability to make green energy, then we must fix it to have an optimal system that functions correctly. Solar panels help homeowners save thousands over the lifetime of solar panels and their importance at home should not be overlooked. Every little thing you do to improve the performance of your solar panels should be exercised; efficiency benefits the whole household. Cleaning your solar panels only takes a couple minutes up to an hour depending on the size of your solar panel installation on only needs to be done when you notice the panels becoming dirty or if you notice on meter to see if you are producing less than what you are used to producing. A meter will help indicate when the solar panels are dirty based on the amount of energy you are producing, make sure the weather is not an issue, days of severe weather like rain will lead to a lower production of solar energy. 

Cleaning your solar panels is just a high recommendation, you do not have to do it but doing it provides better productivity, which will increase your investment. Solar panel installations do increase  equity so if you are planning to sell your home with solar panels installed, it would be a clever idea to get them cleaned. That is another thing, most homeowners do not like going outside and looking at dirty panels, it is not a visual attraction like it would be if they we squeaky clean. Again, if cleaning your solar panels puts you in any danger, call a local professional to get them cleaned, there are plenty of solar panel cleaning services in most major cities. 

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Solgen Power is a solar energy equipment company that sells and installs solar for homeowners. Solgen Power has been recognized by INC. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation. Solgen Power has grown nationwide and continues to provide excellent customer service to homeowners.

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