Is cleaning your solar panels important?

A filthy solar panel is not only unsightly, but it also does not produce a high amount of power. Solar panels use sunshine to create the electricity required to meet all your energy needs. Even shadows are not supposed to fall on a solar panel since they must create a continuous supply of power. So, how can dirt, bird droppings, dust, or any other contaminating item aid the solar panel’s ability to create electricity?

If only one of the panel’s solar cells is filthy, it will result in inefficiency, affecting the performance of the complete Solar Panel System unless it is on a string array. Dirty solar panels might be even more detrimental to your green energy output and return on investment.

When should you clean your solar panels?

Dirty Hand after Rubbing filthy Solar Panel (Source iStock)

Cleaning a solar panel should not be a daily or tedious task. When you notice visible dirt, dust, or bird droppings on your solar panel, this is a sign that you need to clean it. Another sign that you should clean it is when the generation begins shutting down. A monitoring platform will allow you to see how well your solar panels are performing. You will be able to spot any irregularities in your panel’s performance here.

The cost of cleaning a solar panel

Most homeowners pay around $150 to have their solar panels cleaned. If scaffolding is necessary to properly access your Solar Panels, the cost will almost certainly be more. However, most professional cleaning services charge per panel.

The cost of cleaning and maintenance is determined by the size, tilt of your roof, and other factors of your solar panel. Solar firms charge between $3 and $5 per panel, depending on various variables. However, others may charge a set amount of $150 to $350, and annual inspections cost around $150 before cleaning.

Will cleaning your solar panels yourself help you in saving money?

Cleaning your solar panel by yourself will save you a lot of money. However, you must take care not to damage your panels in the process. Ground-mounted solar panels are simpler to maintain. However, here are some cleaning recommendations for your solar panels.

How ineffective are filthy solar panels?

Solar panels lose less than 0.05 percent of their overall efficiency every day on average.

Read here: Solar Panel Maintenance and Repair with Drone technology

Hiring someone to clean your solar panels on a regular basis is not cost-effective:

New research done by a team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego revealed that hiring someone to clean your sole panels is not worth the cost. In this investigation, it was discovered that when the panels were not cleaned, they lost just 7.4 percent of their efficiency. Even while the loss is greater for larger commercial systems, it is rarely enough to justify the expense of cleaning the panels.

Is it feasible to have self-cleaning solar panels?

Most solar panels installed in the United Kingdom are self-cleaning panels. That does not, however, imply that you should never have to clean the solar panel. The surface of these solar panels is protected by a hydrophobic coating. It just prevents water drops from clinging to the surface, limiting the number of minerals that gradually accumulate on the surface of the cells. When water drops fall off the panel, they carry any dust or dirt particles with them, keeping the panels clean. However, this may not be very successful, particularly in places with a large concentration of birds, pollution, or dust.

Conclusion

Maintaining clean solar panels is crucial for optimal energy production and efficiency. The presence of dirt, dust, bird droppings, or any other contaminants can hinder the panels’ ability to generate electricity effectively. Even shadows should be avoided as they disrupt the continuous supply of power. While the cost of professional cleaning services may vary, it is generally recommended to clean your arrays when visible dirt or irregular performance is noticed.

Cleaning them yourself can save money, but precautions must be taken to avoid damaging the panels. Although research suggests that the loss in efficiency due to dirty panels may not always justify the cost of regular cleaning, self-cleaning panels with hydrophobic coatings offer some protection against buildup. Nevertheless, in areas with high concentrations of birds, pollution, or dust, regular cleaning may still be necessary to ensure optimal performance and maximize the return on investment from solar energy.

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