Solar panels are becoming an ever more common sight in Britain. Most streets will have at least one house with panels placed on the roof.
Working at their peak efficiency, solar panels can be a great investment that saves you money and also limits your reliance on fossil fuels. However, many people don’t appreciate the need for regular solar panel cleaning.
Dust, bird droppings, leaves and other debris can build up on your solar panels over time. Research has shown that a dirty solar panel can lose 25% of its annual efficiency. Panels that are left uncleaned for a prolonged period may suffer from module staining. This is generally caused by birds dropping and will permanently reduce the capacity of your panels.
Solar Panel Cleaning
When to Clean
It’s recommended that you clean your solar panels once a year to remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated. If you live in an area that might have more dust in the air (e.g. Near a building site or farmland), then consider a more regular clean.
We also recommend clearing and cleaning your guttering and fascia’s once a year to keep them running smoothly and looking good. A spring clean of all your outside surfaces is ideal as you remove the dirt that has built up over the winter.
It’s best to clean panels on a cooler, overcast day. If the sun is out then any water you apply will quickly evaporate and you’ll be a lot more likely to end up with smears.
How To Clean
For safety reasons, it’s generally advisable to hire a professional company to clean your solar panels. Most domestic panels are situated on a properties roof which makes access to them difficult.
If you do have the right equipment to reach and safely work on your roof then cleaning tools you will need are all standard household items. Your cleaning kit should include, Soap (dishwasher soap is ideal), a small none abrasive brush, a bucket of warm water and a wiper or squeegee.
To clean your panels simply mix the soap into a bucket of water. If you live in a hard water area try and use stored rainwater instead.
Gently clean the solar panels using the brush and warm soapy water. You shouldn’t need to apply to much pressure and as most panels are designed to repel dirt.
Rinse the solar panels down using clean, none soapy water. Finally, squeegee off any excess water to help prevent streaks.