Much like investing in a new car, your investment in solar power can be maximized by proper maintenance. Solar panels are built for durability and intended to last for a long time. However, proper maintenance, without a doubt, will help you get more out of your system.
For starters, congratulations on transitioning to solar power in the continental United States’ most expensive state for electricity. Now that your home is producing clean energy and you’ve lowered your electric bill, we’ll discuss Green Power Energy’s best tips and actions you can take to maintain the benefits for years to come.
Does Cleaning Matter?
Yes, cleaning matters. As you might expect, the more sunlight your solar panels can absorb, the more energy they will produce. Since you and your solar consultant worked so hard to find the best possible positioning for your solar panels, you might as well do everything you can to maintain high performance.
In a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, experts found that 15 to 30% of power can be lost due to moderate dust. However, if maintenance is ignored for long periods of time and the debris is allowed to settle and cement, it is possible for 100% of absorption to be blocked.
It is recommended that solar panels are cleaned two to four times a year – whether your panels are being obstructed by dust in the Southwest corner of the state, or bird droppings on the coast. When cleaning is prolonged for too long, particles can begin to solidify and cement on your panel, which presents another issue we’ll discuss later.
How to Clean Your Solar Panels
Now that you’re aware that your panels can be significantly less efficient when neglected, we’ll discuss some best-practice cleaning methods.
As we mentioned previously, if debris is able to settle on your panel for a prolonged amount of time, it can start to cement and require excessive abrasion to remove. This type of “rough cleaning” may remove the debris but it can also damage the panel itself – again reinforcing the importance of consistent cleanings.
To avoid abrasion, some owners might choose to use chemicals to clean their panels. This would be a mistake as well – some of the chemicals in these cleaning products could damage the outer coating of your solar panel.
Green Power Energy’s Advice
The most important thing you can do to ensure the efficiency of your solar panels is to consistently clean them, so you don’t need to be tempted to do a “rough clean” or use damaging chemicals.
In addition to consistency, pay attention to your monitoring. While each home will have unique debris, your monitoring system will notify you when your panels start getting dirty.
It’s also important to remember Green Power Energy’s 25-year warranty with complimentary follow-up support. If you’re unsure about how to clean a unique bit of debris, all customers should feel comfortable reaching out to us for guidance.
Visit Green Power Energy today for more information.