How to maintain your solar panels
In our latest blog post, you’ll find out how to maintain your solar panels so they operate as efficiently as possible and continue to provide clean, green, renewable energy for many years to come.
In addition to advice on maintaining your solar panels and whether you should pay for professional maintenance, we also cover what you should know about solar panel warranties and guarantees.
In this post we expand upon the following areas:
- Do I need to clean my solar panels?
- How do I clean my solar panels?
- What to avoid when cleaning your solar panels
- How often should I clean my solar panels?
- Checking for debris
- Paying for professional maintenance
- How long do solar panels last?
- Do solar panels come with warranties or a guarantee?
- Studies show solar panel maintenance is crucial
- Extending the life of your solar panels
Scroll down to read more on the points listed below or get in contact with us to speak to an expert.
Do I need to clean my solar panels?
No. Unless you live in an area that suffers from smog or there’s lots of dust or sand blowing about, you won’t need to clean your solar panels regularly. That’s because the likelihood of debris affecting their ability to generate electricity is low.
However, if you live in an area where debris might be a problem, you might want to consider a cleaning regime at least once a year so they are not being prevented from capturing the sun’s rays.
How do I clean my solar panels?
Cleaning solar panels is easy if your panels are accessible. If they are not accessible — perhaps on a hard-to-reach part of your roof — you should hire a professional company who will know how to carry out essential solar panel maintenance and clean the panels safely and to a high standard.
If you are cleaning the solar panels yourself you should use a combination of the following items:
- Cold water
- Biodegradable soap
- Long-handled wiper
- Soft brush
Simply mix the cold water and biodegradable soap in the bucket and wipe down the panels with a Long-handled wiper. If using a bucket is dangerous, due to a slanted roof, for instance, a water-fed long-handled wiper will feed water directly onto the panels as you wipe.
Once you have cleaned the panels with the long-handled wiper, you should wait for them to dry before using a soft brush (again, on a long handle if possible) to wipe away any remaining debris.
What to avoid when cleaning your solar panels
If you are carrying out your own solar panel maintenance, you should avoid using an abrasive cloth, such as a scourer, or any cleaning products, such as detergents. Both may leave marks on the panels which reduce their effectiveness. A scourer will scratch the glass and cause damage that’s costly to repair.
Avoid cleaning your solar panels on hot sunny days, because the cold water could smudge the hot panels. Instead, choose to clean them in the mornings, evenings or on cloudy, cooler days.
How often should I clean my solar panels?
To protect your investment and ensure maximum efficiency, you should clean your solar panels at least once per year.
Checking for debris
You will have an idea of the output your solar panels are generating and will know if they aren’t operating to their potential. One reason they might be underperforming is the build-up of debris.
Keep a regular eye on your solar panels for anything blocking the panels from sunlight, such as leaves, branches or bird droppings. Your solar panel maintenance plan should include removing debris, whether you do it yourself or hire professional help.
Paying for professional maintenance
If your solar panels are situated in an inaccessible position you may want to consider paying for professional maintenance. A professional solar panel cleaning company will offer panel services, repair and cleaning, and will do so in a safe manner.
How long do solar panels last?
The standard lifespan for solar panels is around 20 to 25 years.
Do solar panels come with warranties or a guarantee?
Yes. In most cases yes they do.
For instance, Seamless Smart Integrated Panels come with a 12-year limited warranty and 25-year performance warranty. This offers reassurance that your investment is protected over the long term.
Studies show solar panel maintenance is crucial
A study published in 2011, called Effects of Dust on the Performance of PV Panels, found that, as expected, dust can significantly reduce the ability of solar panels to generate electricity.
The study, published by the World Academy of Science, Engineering & Technology, said that “the accumulated dust on the surface of photovoltaic solar panels can reduce the system’s efficiency by up to 50%.”
The study concluded: “Dust must be removed from the surface of solar PV panels in order to ensure the highest performance, given the fact that it is still a costly form of energy source and the short lifespan it has.”
Extending the life of your solar panels
To get the most out of your investment you will want to ensure you extend the life of your solar panels for as long as possible. By following the advice above for proper social panel maintenance, you’ll be well set to achieve just that.
Remember — acquire the right cleaning tools for the job so you don’t damage the panels. If you can’t maintain them safely you should hire a professional solar panel cleaning service to complete the job.
Clean your solar panels at least once a year. But also bear in mind the debris can affect the performance of solar panels, so keep an active eye on them to see if leaves may be covering the surface.
By being proactive from the very start, the solar panels at your property will be working to their full efficiency well beyond their 20 to 25-year expected lifespan.
How to maintain your solar panels
Contact our team of experts if you have any questions