With winter storms coming to an end, spring is the ideal time for some cleaning around the house. If you have a home solar system, spring cleaning should include your solar panels.
The Dirt on Solar Panels
Although solar panels are incredibly durable – typically functioning for up to 30 years, their glass surface can get dirty from dust, dirt, leaves, bird droppings and air pollution. And, the angle of your solar panels can also play a role in how dirty they become. In a study from University of California, San Diego, a minimum five-degree angle was shown to enable debris to slide off. This means that even a modest amount of rain can eliminate most dirt and pollen if you have angled panels. Flat panels were shown to collect the greatest amount of debris, requiring the most amount of cleaning.
Regardless of the angle of your panels, keeping them clean is vital as dirt can negatively impact the efficiency of solar energy generated by a home solar power system. According to the Solar Electric Power Association, regular solar panel cleaning and maintenance can improve the efficiency of solar energy by up to 30 percent.
If you notice a drop in your solar power system’s performance, it’s an indicator that you may need to clean your panels. First, remember not to clean panels during the peak sunshine hours as they can become incredibly hot. Cold water can also cause them to crack.
To clean in the early morning or evening, start with a light brush to loosen dirt. Then spray the panels with a garden hose. A squeegee can be used to remove debris that can’t be rinsed away. If there is a substantial amount of build-up, use a soft cloth or sponge. And remember, don’t walk on the panels to clean them. Better yet, call the experts at Cool Blew Solar. We’re here to help you with all your solar power needs.