Solar panels have become an increasingly popular source of renewable energy for homes and businesses. With the advent of modern technology and advances in photovoltaic cells, solar panels are becoming increasingly efficient and cost-effective. With their increasing popularity, it is important to understand their maintenance and upkeep. One of the questions commonly asked is: can we wash solar panels in the day time?
Benefits of Cleaning Solar Panels
In order to maintain the efficiency of solar panels over time, it is important to keep them clean. Efficiency losses due to dirt, dust and debris can be reduced when a panel is cleaned. Regularly cleaning a panel can also reduce vegetation, bird droppings and airborne dust that may accumulate on the panel’s surface. All of these factors can reduce the amount of energy that a solar panel is able to produce or “capture”. This means that the electricity generated by the panel could be lower than what it could produce when it is kept clean.
When is the Best Time to Clean Solar Panels?
Ideally, cleaning should be done in the springtime. During this time, solar panels will not be too hot to touch, which is important as touching a hot panel can lead to damages, even small cracks in the panel’s edges. In addition, the cooler temperatures in the early morning or evening hours are better for cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning in the afternoon may not be a good idea as the heat of the day could cause the water and soap mixture to evaporate too quickly, resulting in streaking or spots on the panel.
Tips for Cleaning Solar Panels
When it comes to cleaning solar panels, it is important to use the right tools and methods. It is best to use lukewarm water and a mild soap or detergent to prevent any staining or etching to the panel. Additionally, while scrubbing the panel it is important to be gentle and use circular motions. Pressure washers should not be used as the pressure stream could end up damaging the panel. The panels should also be rinsed with clean water after cleaning.
Safety Considerations During Cleaning
As a solar panel’s surface temperature can be high, it is important to take safety precautions. Sunglasses, gloves and other safety gear should be worn to protect against any potential exposure to the sun’s rays and the heat of the panel. It is also important not to touch the panels directly, as oils from the skin can leave streaks and damage the panel.
Cleaning solar panels can lead to improved efficiency and protection from environmental elements such as dirt, dust and debris. Although it is important to clean the panels on a regular basis, it is also important to do so at the right time and with the right methods. Ideally, this should be done during the spring at either the morning or early evening when the temperature is cooler. In order to properly clean solar panels, it is also important to take safety precautions such as wearing sunglasses and gloves, and avoiding direct contact with the panel.
1. Safety Tips for Cleaning Solar Panels. 2021. https://solarofcentralwaxahachie.com/solar-panel-cleaning-and-maintenance/.
2. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 2021. Cleaning Solar Panels. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy20osti/72295.pdf.
3. Consumer Solar Guide. 2021. Cleaning and Maintaining Solar Panels. https://consumer-solar-guide.com/cleaning-and-maintaining-solar-panels/.