Solar panels effectively convert the energy of the sun into usable electric energy. Thus, they are a great way to harness the sun’s power and reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels. Moreover, solar panels are extremely durable and require minimal maintenance. However, just like any artificial device, solar panels require some maintenance occasionally.
This is why if you have installed a solar panel on roof or are planning to install one and want to learn about solar panel cleaning & maintenance, then this blog is for you. Read on to find out the top DIY solar panel cleaning tips and tricks to keep your solar panels running optimally all year round.
Why do solar panels need cleaning?
Solar panels consist of tiny photovoltaic cells that convert the sun’s energy into usable electric energy. However, since solar panels are installed outside in open spaces, over some time, these photovoltaic cells may get blocked by debris, dirt, or even bird droppings.
A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory states that soot, dust, and debris can decrease solar panel efficiency by 7%. Thus, for optimal solar panel functionality, you need to clean these panels periodically. However, getting a professional to clean your panels might not always be feasible and may also prove to be costly, especially when you need periodic cleaning.
This is where DIY solar panel cleaning comes into play. You can easily clean your solar panels with some DIY tools and negate the need for professional cleaning.
Top DIY Solar Panel Cleaning Tips & Tricks
It is relatively easy to clean your solar panels yourself if you know what you are doing. Below are some top DIY solar panel cleaning tips and tricks for your convenience.
Safety first – turn off the power
The first step in cleaning your solar panels is turning off the power. This reduces the chances of electrical short circuits if any electrical component comes in contact with water. Moreover, it also prevents your panels from getting damaged.
Conduct a visual inspection
A visual inspection can be a great way to detect small problems with your panels before they turn into more problematic ones. You should be looking for signs of ingress, degradation, and any damage caused by pests. You can also keep a lookout for fallen debris, branches or any dirt that can accumulate over your panels and block their efficiency.
Get a pair of binoculars
A pair of binoculars will help you get a closer visual inspection of your panels. Aim your binoculars at the panels and ensure all the panel lines are straight and in a square shape. Then make sure there arent any wires hanging down below the panel racking. Moreover, any wires attached to the panels shouldnt be dangling, and should be well-suported without any signs of damage.
These are some DIY tips that you can use to clean your solar panels. However, if your panels have been running for more than a year, then it can be wise to get a licensed solar panel contractor to inspect yourn panels.
A qualified solar panel installer in philippines will conduct s thorough inspection of your panels, which will include:
- Looking at the solar panels and how they’re attached to the roof. They will also check for any issues with the bolts, and inspect the wiring.
- Checking that all parts of your solar setup are working by doing an electrical inspection.
- Looking inside all the equipment like devices, boxes, inverters, and switches.
- If you have batteries then they will inspect and maintain them accordingly.
- Using infrared tools to find any loose connections or hot spots in the electrical system.
- Getting a report with the inspection results and any suggestions for what to do next.
Cleaning your solar panels yourself is not a daunting task, provided you have the right tools and knowledge. Thus, the next time you want to clean your panels, keep the above points in mind. This will help you effectively clean your solar panels and avoid damaging them.