Does Rain Effectively Clean Solar Panels?
If you have a solar panel system, you may be wondering how often they need to be cleaned. Most people don’t clean theirs as often as they should, and a dirty solar panel can have a big impact on the amount of energy that is generated by your system.
With all the rain we get in Florida, you might think that rain effectively cleans solar panels, but we’re here to tell you that just isn’t the case. Keep scrolling to learn why!
Will Rainwater Clean Solar Panels?
While rainwater can help clear dust off your panels, it can leave rings of dust and debris when it evaporates, which can negatively impact how efficiently your panels work.
So if rainwater won’t adequately clean your solar panels, what will?
Cleaning Your Solar Panels
Learning to clean your solar panels goes a long way toward extending the life of your panels in the long run. Solar panels degrade at a rate of 0.5% a year, and regular maintenance and cleaning will do a lot to slow this rate down and keep them producing power at an optimal rate.
Solar panels often get dirty due to dust, leaves, water, and bird droppings. In the solar industry, we consider birds to be enemy number one because their droppings can chemically damage solar panels and some like to nest underneath panels too. This can restrict airflow and cause the panel to overheat.
How to Clean Solar Panels
Before you clean your solar panels, you will need to invest in the right equipment so you don’t damage your system.
Equipment needed includes:
- A simple garden hose. Don’t use a pressure washer, as this can damage the panels.
- A cleaning brush with soft bristles or a squeegee.
- A gentle solar panel cleaning solution. You can create this with vinegar, mild detergent, and water. Always avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your solar panels.
Solar Panel Cleaning Steps
Step 1: Choose a cool time of day to being cleaning your solar panels. Cleaning them during the hottest part of the day can make the water evaporate quickly and leave soap marks behind. Plus, cold water hitting hot glass can cause the solar panels to crack.
Step 2: Shut your system down before cleaning. I
Step 3: Remove any loose debris like leaves with a soft brush or cloth. It is safest to clean solar panels from the ground, so use a brush with an extension if your panels are high and out of reach.
Step 4: Spray panels with a garden hose to wash away dust and loosen debris. Use a hose with a nozzle so you can direct the spray at the panels.
Step 5: Use a soft brush and solar panel cleaning solution to scrub any stubborn grim off the panels.
Step 6: Spray the panels again to rinse them and use a squeegee to wipe any leftover water from the panels.
We recommend cleaning your solar panels every six months or less to keep them clean and operating at peak efficiency.
Solar Bear Orlando
If you don’t already have a solar panel system, but want to install one, look no further than Solar Bear Orlando! We are Central Florida’s premier solar company and can get you set up with your very own solar system so you can take advantage of Florida’s ample sunshine.
Contact us for a consultation today; (727) 471-7442!