Dirty solar panels reduce the amount of sunlight being absorbed by the panel, thus reducing the amount of electricity being generated by the solar panel. Further to that, solar panels are a product of electrical technology, and need to be maintained in order to keep them working and in good condition for years to come.
The ZEN Energy Fact Sheets recommend that solar panels be cleaned every six months, and the best times to clean are late spring and late autumn, but homes located in areas with construction and/or regional/farming areas should clean their panels more frequently. Alternativey, if you live in a relatively clan area that experiences regular rainfall, periods between cleaning could e longer, or even unnecessary. Have your panels inspected by a reputable solar specialist before getting your panels cleaned.
Clean your solar panels on an overcast day in the early morning or evening in cooler months. Not only will this protect you from sun damage, but it’ll stop any cleaning products drying too quickly on the solar panels, leaving additional grease or residue.
Any able-bodied person can clean their own solar panels, as long as they do so from the ground, or have professional knowledge of carrying out rooftop solar panel cleaning. If this isn’t possible, you will need to hire a Clean Energy Council accredited technician with the appropriate safety and equipment training instead.
Renew Economy reports that solar panels generally cost up to $15- $20 each to clean, which means the annual cleaning of an average-sized 2KW solar PV system with 10 panels could cost around $330, depending on your location and service provider.
If you can safely reach your solar panels from the ground, then you can give them a clean yourself. According to Energy Matters, you need a good-quality soft brush and a squeegee with a plastic blade on one side, and a cloth-covered sponge on the other, with a long extension arm. Use a hose with a suitable nozzle that gets the water stream to the tops of your panels.
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