Have you equipped your roof with photovoltaic solar panels? Good news, they require little maintenance: very resistant (because they are not composed of mechanical elements) and covered with a self-cleaning protective film, they do not need to be washed frequently: every day, the best cleaning products, for them … it is rain !
These tips that I am going to give you below will help you to increase the useful life of solar panels.
How can I clean my solar panels?
Solar panels can be cleaned in different ways. You can do it yourself or with the help of a specialized cleaning company.
Photovoltaic panels must be clean and free of dust. This is one of the main disadvantages of solar panels. In many cases, you cannot wash them yourself because you need to have the proper cleaning supplies. Another problem is that going to the roof (where photovoltaic panels are most often installed) is difficult and risky.
Photovoltaic energy loses its effectiveness due to the sedimentation of the following pollutants:
- Fine particles such as exhaust gases
- Dust from fields, especially during harvest
- Sand and sea salt
- Bird droppings
These factors contribute to reducing the efficiency of solar panels. In extreme cases, the efficiency loss can reach up to 20%!
How to clean solar panels
However, manufacturers still recommend a major annual, even semi-annual, cleaning in areas with little water or heavily polluted air – in fact, dirt, dust, and foam clogging panels can affect their performance.
According to various studies, its performance can even decrease between 3 and 16% per year . On the contrary, well-maintained, meticulously clean solar panels maintain their optimal operation and produce a greater amount of energy …
Here’s how to clean your precious photovoltaic roof without putting it at risk.
1.Determine how often to clean
It is advisable to clean your photovoltaic panels:
- On the return of the beautiful days : as for all large homes, spring is auspicious … change of season, they want to make a clean place … Especially since the dirt may have accumulated with the storms of the storm. winter!
- In the fall , if your roof is slightly sloping, if it doesn’t rain often in your area, if your environment is conducive to dirt, renew your big spring cleaning… shortly before winter! It is essential in the following cases:
- housing near factories;
- in urban settings, with heavy vehicle traffic around your home;
- in the field, near farms: plowing, harvesting and spreading produces a lot of dust in the air, pollen from trees too;
- near the sea: the sand, the dew that deposits salt on the panels and the droppings of gulls are formidable in these.
2 avoid certain actions
- Don’t step on the solar panels!
- Do not pour very cold water on the panel if it is very hot and the sun is hitting the glass! This could cause a thermal shock that could damage the solar cells.
- Never use a Karcher type appliance that blows water at high pressure; this could damage the gaskets around the panel.
- Don’t overdo it by scrubbing or scratching the panel if there is stubborn dirt – it could scratch the glass! For the same reason, prefer a foam rubber (or one equipped with a humectant) instead of plastic.
- Be careful, if the tap water is very calcareous, use softened or demineralized water: lime can leave white traces on the glass that can make it difficult for the cells to function properly.
Tip : If you can’t find a long enough handle for your squeegee, you can use a pool cleaning pole.
- Get on the roof with the usual precautions: be careful not to slip!
- Spray clean water, preferably demineralized, on the panel.
- Remove all traces of water and dirt with, passing the squeegee over the glass, with a single supported gesture, but without “scratching”.