After having your solar panels installed on your house in Surrey or anywhere else in the UK you probably won’t even think about cleaning them. Majority of solar panels have a glass surface, like your windows, therefore get dirty. Because solar panels are facing upwards they are more prone to getting dirty from traffic dust, pollution, fallen leaves and bird droppings together with other debris and dirt sticking to the surface. The whole point of having solar panels is for them to take the energy from the sun but if the sunlight can’t get through all the dirt then your money saving is going down the drain.
Why it’s important to clean your solar panels?
Although your solar panels appear to be clean when you stand on the ground when you look at them up close you would be able to see all the dirt and grime that had settled on them. The most noticeable dirt that is left on your solar panels are probably bird droppings. Bird droppings are preventing the sunlight to reach the areas of the photovoltaic panel and can considerable reduce its effectiveness.
Unlike windows the solar panels on your roof need to have a clean and clear surface to ensure they are working at their maximum efficiency. If they are not at their optimum performance it means they are not producing the amount of electricity that they could be.
It has been proven by the industry experts that dirty solar panels don’t produce as much power as clean solar panels. According to the National Renewable Energy laboratory the loss may be as hight as 25% in some areas of the UK. Solar panel dealers have reported losses as high as 30% for some customers who never clean their solar panels.
More dirt you have on your solar panels – the lower amount of electricity they will produce. There are many factors affecting how much electricity your solar panels produce however dirty solar panels can be one of the biggest, and easiest to fix.
Surely the rain washes some dirt off the panels?
The photovoltaic solar panels produce most electricity in the summer months when it’s sunny and doesn’t rain as much. When it does rain some of the loose dirt is removed but more is deposited in its place. Bird droppings can remain on your solar panels for weeks and even months if they are not cleaned professionally.
How often should solar panel cleaning be done?
Long established solar panel cleaning companies recommend getting them cleaned twice a year. Some suggest you get them cleaned every couple of months. It really depends on the weather, location of your house (whether it’s in polluted area, near busy street with traffic etc.)
The rule of thumb is to have your solar panels first cleaned at the start of spring as the days lengthen and the amount of sun reaching the panels increases. Later in the summer they should be cleaned again. For the UK climate this seems to be the best solution.
How to clean solar panels?
You might think that cleaning them yourself is not a big deal and it can save you money for not using a solar panel cleaning company, this is not recommended due to the hazards. You might fall down or even damage your solar panels if you are not careful or don’t really know what to do.
There are solar panel cleaning companies so why not try checking those in your area. Professional and experienced solar panel cleaning company will also have the right equipment. For solar panel cleaning you can’t really use a standard window cleaning tools because they would leave a soap residue on your panels and water spots as it evaporates and dries.
A professional solar panel cleaner will use a water fed pole system that can reach the panels on your roof from the ground. They will use a pure water system that uses de-ionised water and a soft head brush attachment so as not to damage the panels. No chemical should be used as these can cause damage to the solar panel surface.