A recent experiment involving an array of solar panels on a low-slope roof sought out the difference in energy output before and after a thorough cleaning.
The researchers found that on average there was a 3.5% boost in energy production (the amount of power produced over time) after cleaning the panels by only using a soft rag and water. The implication here is that the energy yield increase was low, despite the high amount of dirt accumulation.
Things became interesting when heavy rain did the cleaning job. The average performance increased by only 1.9% after rainwater pounded on the dirty panels. What does that mean? A good shower from the skies can take care of some clean-up, but it’s not as effective as the use of the proper equipment.
While not all of us can afford the correct brushes, cleaning agents, and equipment. It does beg to ask the question of “what can happen if you use the wrong equipment?”
Here are some examples of what NOT to use when cleaning solar panels.
• Abrasive Materials:
Using abrasive materials like steel wool or harsh scrub brushes can scratch the surface of solar panels, reducing their efficiency and making them more susceptible to dirt build-up.
• Chemical Cleaners:
Avoid using strong chemical cleaners, as they can react with the panel's materials and coatings, leading to damage. Stick to mild, non-abrasive detergents, that are warranted by solar panel manufacturers.
• Ammonia-Based Cleaners:
Ammonia-based cleaners can degrade the anti-reflective coating on solar panels, affecting their performance and potentially voiding the warranty.
• High-Pressure Water:
Excessive water pressure during cleaning can compromise the integrity of the solar panel seals, potentially causing water infiltration and electrical damage.
• Hard Water Deposits:
Mineral deposits can accumulate on the surface of the panels over time, reducing their efficiency. Regularly cleaning with deionised water can prevent this issue. (We use a water deioniser on all our jobs)
Failing to clean your solar panels regularly allows dirt, bird droppings, leaves & debris to accumulate on or under them, which can reduce their efficiency and/or cause long-term damage. Leaves & sticks under panels are a fire hazard too.
So, what then is the best option when it comes to effectively cleaning your solar panels? You call in the experts at Affinity Solar and Gutter Cleaning. We have the right industry grade equipment, coupled with the right practices in solar panel cleaning to give your panels the best chances of soaking up every ray of sun and saving you every cent of money in their efforts.
Best of all, here at Affinity Solar and Gutter Cleaning, we keep a record of your cleaning history meaning that we can schedule your annual solar panel cleans and provide you with relevant documentation of when your solar panels were last cleaned, if manufacturers ever request it for warranty purposes.
So hopefully this cleans up the question on how best to give your solar panels a cleaner boast! Why not call us today to make a booking or arrange a FREE QUOTE!