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Cleaning/Maintaining Your Solar Panels☀️Complete Guide 2024

Posted 30 Jan

Do You Maintain your Solar & Battery Yourself or Hire a Pro?


Like anything that is well-maintained, solar panels run optimally when they’re looked after.

Depending on where you live, solar panels can gather dirt over time which can affect the production rate of electricity that your solar panels generate. Panels can be reduced by 20% in their production if not cleaned.

Other elements such as leaves, bird droppings, and moss can all contribute to a reduction in solar panel production, so keeping the panels clean is essential to getting the most out of your system.


How often do you need to clean solar panels?

It will really depend on where you are situated and your environment. If you live in a dusty area, the wind can kick the dust up onto the solar panels, and it can create a layer on the panel surface over time, reducing the production of the solar panels.

If you’re close or near overhanging trees, it can indicate that your panels may have leaves or other debris on them that might need cleaning.

In general, it is good to clean your panels at least every 6-months.

How do I Clean my Solar Panels?

When looking to clean your solar panels, you can either hire a professional cleaner who clean solar panels thoroughly or have a go at it yourself. If you’re wanting to have a go at cleaning the solar panels yourself, here are things to consider.
Cleaning panels yourself can be dangerous and cause injury. We recommend hiring a professional.

If you live in a place that rains constantly, your due time to clean the panels may have larger intervals between cleans as the rain will rinse the dirt and dust of the panels. However, it is good to at least inspect the panels every 6-months and gauge your cleanliness status.

Identify your environment to adjust your cleaning schedule and for the tools you will need to clean the panels. If you live in a high-moisture area, moss can develop on the panels which will need more attention to remove as opposed to only dust.

It is important that when cleaning your own panels, that you exercise all safety measures. It is safer to clean your panels from the ground with a long-handled tool – we do not recommend getting on the roof as it is dangerous.

Tools and Equipment

Lucky for you, you’ll only need standard cleaning equipment. Something like a sponge or a soft-bristled brush that scrub the panels without scratching the glass as well as a hose to rinse off the soap/dirty water for a deep clean.

Simple spraying the entire array with the soap (you can purchase soap bottles that attach to your garden hose) until it is fully covered, then with your long scrubber, lightly scrub to remove dirt. If you are attempting to remove moss, it may take longer.

Once scrubbed, simply rinse and you’re done! You may need to repeat depending on how dirty the panels are.

Wear eye protection to protect your eyes from soap, dust, or any other debris from cleaning.

Use water-based or solar cleaner specific soap products.

Exercise care for yourself and those around you.

Should I hire Professional Solar Cleaners?

If your panels seem dirtier than just a bit of dirt, you may need to invest in a professional cleaner to come give it a really good clean.


You should contact a professional solar cleaner if:

- You have tall trees close to your house

- You find that it is too dirty to clean yourself

- You do not have the equipment or can’t access the panels

- Your house is more than single story, if so, we highly-recommend getting a professional.

How do I know if I cleaned my Solar Panels properly?

Once the panels have dried, you can inspect the panels to ensure your cleaning was successful and the dirt and other debris has been removed.

You can also check to see if your clean made a difference by looking at your solar production analytics and seeing if any changes have occurred in your solar production.

What NOT to do when Cleaning your Panels

Don't use harsh detergents of chemicals as it may result in corrosion of the panels. Specific solar panel cleaner soap is suitable, as well as any water-based soap.

Don't use harsh brushes or anything with ‘teeth’ (brooms with hard bristles, anything that is not soft etc.), as you may scratch the panels’ surface, lowering its efficiency, defeating the whole purpose of cleaning your panels in the first place.

We do not recommend attempting to clean your solar panels from the roof or any high places, as it will be unsafe and could cause serious injury, and in some cases, death. We strongly recommend hiring a professional to clean your panels if they are not easily accessible from the ground.
Don’t use a pressure washer unless spraying from a distance to remove mold – a simple spray nozzle for the hose will do.


How do you Maintain a Solar Battery?

As more and more solar batteries enter homes across Newcastle, some may not know how to maintain a battery over the span of its life.

Ensuring your battery is at full health can not only give you peace of mind, but it also allows you to continue getting maximum performance out of your investment. A battery that isn’t working at full capacity, or at all is wasted money and, in most cases, can be fixed relatively fast.

Regular Solar Health Checks

Your solar installer will have setup a solar performance analyser where you can see if your system is working at its full potential. From here you can identify errors, when it began, and how long it has been going on for.

Manufacturers may provide updates for your battery, so regularly check to see if there are any available updates to install for your battery. These could have small fixes that allow for more efficiency or removal of any glitches they may be causing problems.

Clean Environment

Maintain a well-ventilated area around the battery to ensure the energy storage system remains cool and can combat the harsh Australian heat on those summer days.

Periodical checks

An easy way to maintain your battery is to simply have a look over it. You don’t need to be a technician to see if the battery and wiring has any signs of wear or malfunction. With the combination of your batteries statistics analysis, and physical check-ups you will know if there is anything wrong.

Conclusion

It can also help to document your maintenance by date and place a reminder on your phone so when 6 months has passed, you can get reminded to inspect your panels and clean them if need be.

Cleaning your solar panels allow your system to run at full capacity, fulfilling estimated return-on-investment timeframes and paying itself off on time.

Solar and battery are both designed and built to last a VERY long time, and with minimal maintenance. Both systems even without any maintenance will most likely continue to run, but just not at maximum efficiency and performance.

All these suggestions are to ensure your entire system is operating at full capacity and helping you save the most money possible.

 

If your solar or battery system is having issues, we have a local team that can come out and provide solar health checks to ensure your system is working properly. Please note that we only provide this service in the Newcastle, Maitland, and Hunter region, and we recommend contacting your local solar professionals to help diagnose your system.





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