Residential Solar Solar Panels

4 Key Points of Home Solar Panels Cleaning You Need to Know

As a proud homeowner of solar panels, you’re already making a positive impact on the environment and reducing your energy bills. However, to ensure your solar panels operate at peak efficiency, regular maintenance is crucial. One of the most important aspects of this maintenance is keeping your solar panels clean. In this guide, EverPower will explore the factors that affect solar panel performance, how often you should clean them, the best methods for cleaning, and the benefits of maintaining clean solar panels etc.

1. Factors Affecting Solar Panel Performance

Solar panels can be affected by various environmental factors that reduce the efficiency. Ireland’s climate brings unique challenges to solar panel efficiency:

  • Dust and Dirt: Accumulation of dust and dirt on the surface of solar panels can block sunlight, reducing the amount of energy produced.
  • Bird Droppings: Bird droppings can create significant blockages that are harder to clean and can damage the panels if not removed promptly.
  • Pollen: Seasonal factors such as pollen from plants and debris from trees can cover panels, reducing their effectiveness.
  • Leaves and Debris: Falling leaves, twigs, and other debris can cover panels, especially if your home is surrounded by trees.
  • Weather Conditions: Rain and fog can leave residues that impact panel efficiency, especially in urban areas with higher pollution levels.

2. How Often Should You Do Home Solar Panels Cleaning?

In Ireland, where weather conditions vary, it’s recommended to clean your home solar panels every 6 to 12 months. However, factors such as proximity to trees or bird populations may require more frequent cleaning, such as every 3 to 6 months.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Urban Areas: Every 6 months to a year, due to higher pollution levels.
  • Rural Areas: Once a year, unless there is a specific event that causes significant dirt accumulation.
  • Near Trees or Bird Populations: More frequently, such as every 3 to 6 months, due to higher chances of bird droppings and falling debris.
  • After Severe Weather: Inspect and clean after heavy storms, dust storms, or snowfall.

3. How to Clean Your Home Solar Panels

Cleaning solar panels is straightforward, but it requires care to avoid damaging them. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Safety First: Choose cool, cloudy mornings or late afternoons. Ensure you have the proper safety equipment, including a sturdy ladder, gloves, and harness if necessary. Never clean panels during wet or windy conditions.
  2. Turn Off the System: Before cleaning, turn off the solar panel system to avoid any electrical hazards.
  3. Use Soft Brushes or Sponges: Use a soft brush or sponge to gently remove loose dirt and debris. Avoid abrasive materials that can scratch the panels.
  4. Use Mild Soapy Water: Mix mild soap with water. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the panels or leave residues.
  5. Clean with Care: Dip your sponge or cloth in the soapy water and gently wash each panel in sections, rinsing frequently to prevent soap residue from drying.
  6. Rinse Thoroughly: Use a hose with gentle water pressure to rinse off the soap. High-pressure washers can damage the panels.
  7. Dry with a Soft Cloth: If possible, dry the panels with a soft cloth to prevent water spots. Alternatively, allow them to air dry.

4. Benefits of Regular Home Solar Panel Cleaning

Maintaining clean solar panels comes with several significant benefits:

  • Increased Efficiency: Clean panels can generate up to 12% more electricity compared to dirty ones, maximizing your return on investment.
  • Longer Lifespan: Regular cleaning prevents build-up that can lead to damage over time, extending the lifespan of your panels.
  • Maximized Savings: More efficient panels mean lower energy bills and a faster return on your investment.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Clean panels enhance the overall appearance of your home, showing your commitment to maintaining your property.
  • Peace of Mind: Clean panels not only function better, but they also look better. Knowing your system is operating at peak efficiency and delivering optimal performance provides peace of mind.

Keeping your solar panels clean is a simple yet essential part of ensuring their efficiency and longevity. By understanding the factors that affect your panels, cleaning them regularly, and using the right techniques, you can maximize the benefits of your solar investment.

Ready to start your journey towards solar energy with the SEAI Solar PV Grant? Contact EverPower today for expert guidance and one-stop services from application to installation. Contact us at info@everpower.ie or call +353 1 625 1000.