How to clean solar panels

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How to clean solar panels
Bax Clean
Bax Clean
May 22, 2024
minute read

Cleaning your solar panels for your home or business

Solar panels are excellent at converting sunlight into energy. But for solar panels to work their best, they must be taken care of. Dust, leaves, and other debris can dirty them and make solar panel efficiency less effective.

This is where Bax Clean can help. We're experts at keeping solar panels clean and working well. Our team knows exactly how to take care of your solar panels so they can keep making as much electricity as possible. Here’s how we do it.

Why clean solar panels?

Dirt, leaves, and debris can significantly lower the efficiency of solar panels. These obstructions block sunlight, directly affecting how much electricity your panels can produce. Even a thin layer of dust can lead to a noticeable decrease in energy output, sometimes reducing it by 25% or more. This means less power for your use and higher electricity bills.

Cleaning solar panels does more than just boost efficiency; it also extends the lifespan of your panels. Dirt buildup can cause damage over time, leading to expensive repairs. Keeping your solar panel system clean ensures it operates smoothly and lasts longer, saving you money and keeping your energy green.

  • Increase energy output
  • Save on your electricity bills
  • Extend solar panel lifespan
  • Prevent costly repairs

When to clean your solar panels

Seasonal cleaning

The changing seasons bring different challenges for solar panels. Spring cleaning helps remove the grime accumulated over winter, while autumn cleaning clears leaves and debris that can block sunlight during shorter days. These seasonal cleanings ensure your panels are prepared to capture as much sunlight as possible year-round.

Signs your solar panels need cleaning

Visual Checks: Regularly take a look at your panels. If you notice dirt, bird droppings, or debris, it’s time for a clean.

Monitoring Output: Keep an eye on the energy your panels produce. A sudden drop in output often signals it's time for a cleaning.

Professional assessments

While DIY cleaning is possible, professional solar panel cleaning offers more. Experts can spot and address not just cleanliness but also potential performance issues, like shading or damage. They can determine the best cleaning schedule based on your panels' location, tilt, and local environment, ensuring they always run at peak efficiency.

A Bax Clean team member professionally cleaning solar panels in Melbourne.

How to clean solar panels safely and effectively

DIY cleaning tips

Safety first

Before you start, ensure you can clean the panels safely from the ground or using a stable ladder. Wear appropriate safety equipment, including gloves and glasses, and never attempt to walk on the panels.

The cleaning process

Use a garden hose to rinse off loose dirt. For more stubborn grime, fill a bucket with water and add a small amount of gentle soap. Gently scrub the panels using a soft brush or a non-abrasive sponge attached to a long handle. Finish by using a squeegee to remove water and prevent streaks.

What to avoid

Never use high-pressure water, which can damage the panels. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaning tools that can scratch the surface, affecting the panels' efficiency.

Professional solar panel cleaning services

The benefits of hiring Professionals

Companies like Bax Clean bring expertise and the right equipment to clean and inspect your panels for any issues that might impair their performance. Professionals can clean panels more thoroughly and safely, ensuring you get the most out of your solar investment.

Tools and techniques

Professionals use specialised tools and eco-friendly cleaning solutions for solar panels. They're trained in the best techniques to clean without causing damage, including using soft brushes and purified water systems to leave a streak-free finish.

Tailored services

Bax Clean understands that not all solar panels are identical. We customise our solar panel cleaning service based on your panel types, location, and the specific environmental challenges they face. This personalised approach ensures optimal performance and extends the life of your solar investment.

Freshly cleaned solar panels.

Solar panel maintenance and upkeep tips

Keeping your solar panels in top shape requires more than just cleaning. Regular maintenance and protective measures ensure your solar investment pays off for years.

Regular inspections

What to look for

Check for any visible damage like cracks, loose connections, or wear and tear on the panels and mounting equipment. Also, look for shading that wasn't there when the panels were first installed, as new obstructions can reduce efficiency.

When to do it

A thorough inspection is recommended at least twice a year. Spring and winter are ideal times, aligning with major cleaning sessions. However, it's wise to perform spot checks after extreme weather events like heavy storms or high winds.

Protective measures

Dealing with birds and leaves

Install bird deterrents if pigeons or other birds frequent your roof, as their nesting materials and waste can cause issues. For leaves and natural debris, trimming nearby trees can minimise accumulation.

Preventing damage

Consider installing mesh guards or similar protective barriers around the panels to reduce damage from larger debris, especially in areas prone to heavy winds or storm activity.

Monitoring systems

Tracking energy production

Many solar systems come with monitoring software that allows you to track your energy production in real time. A sudden drop in output could indicate an issue, from dirt buildup to more severe panel damage.

Panel Health

Regularly checking your system’s output helps you ensure you’re getting the most from your panels and helps spot potential problems early. This data can be invaluable during inspections or maintenance calls, providing a clear picture of your system's health over time.

If your solar panels look like this, you need a professional solar panel clean!

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