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How Often Should I Clean My Solar Panels?

Clean Solar Panels

Solar panels truly are a modern marvel. Sacramento solar electricity generates power by simply collecting our abundant sunlight. There are no emissions from fuel, and they do not create noise pollution, yet they still provide electricity for your home. Your solar panels can even provide electricity for others by sending it to the electrical grid shared throughout California. Like any modern marvel, however, solar panels do require maintenance to keep them working optimally. What does this maintenance entail?

Solar Panel Cleaning

Your solar panels are exposed to more than the blazing California sun. Gentle breezes often carry dust, leaves and debris that settle on the surface of your panels. More accumulates over time. The recent wildfires have also brought in abundant smoke and ash, which accumulates on the working surface of your photovoltaic panels. Eventually, there can be enough grime and dust on the surface of your panels so that the sunlight reaching the photovoltaic cells is reduced – much like a dirty window limits the light coming into a building. As the amount of sunlight getting to the solar cells of your panels is reduced, less electricity is generated.

In most cases, a day of steady rain is more than enough to wash away all the collected dirt from the panel surfaces, clearing the way for sunlight. In the midst of a drought, and with California’s Mediterranean climate, rainwater from May to September can be quite unusual. Therefore, if you have low mineral content in your tap water, you can douse the panels using a high-pressure nozzle with a soap attachment, and then deactivate the soap attachment and rinse the panels off. Without naturally soft water, it’s best to hose off your panels while using a filter attachment that reduces the amount of minerals in the water.

One of the more effective methods to clean your solar panels during drought is to get up on the roof so you are closer to the panels, not spraying water up from the ground. Use a bucket of soapy water and a soft-bristled brush, and gently brush the top of the panels. After that, a gentle spray of water over the top of the panels will rinse them off. Many home improvement stores offer garden hose attachments with long-handled brushes. These brushes emit low levels of water with cleaning solutions through the brush head. After brushing the panels, it’s a simple matter to detach the hose and rinse off the panels. Of course, being up on the roof does not agree with many people, in which case there are service providers who are willing to do it for an arranged fee. There are also cleaning solutions specifically designed for solar panels.

Clean Panels, More Energy

So, how often do solar panels need cleaning? That depends on how quickly they get dirty. Some owners clean them once a year, others do it once a month. It all depends on your surrounding environment and how dusty it is. One way to find out if your panels need cleaning is by monitoring their output. Using specialized SunPower software and phone apps, you can keep track of how much electricity your panels are producing by month, by week, and even by day. If the output slightly decreases over the summer months, they might need cleaning to make way for sunlight to get to the solar cells.

Other than this small bit of maintenance, your solar panel system installed by Solaron keeps turning sunlight to electricity reliably, without any other attention. In fact, Solaron only installs Maxeon solar panel systems, provided by SunPower. These systems are so reliable that SunPower offers a 25-year comprehensive warranty on the entire system! Of course, you might still have questions about Maxeon solar panels or Heliocol solar swimming pools options. To find out more, please give Solaron a call or schedule a free solar analysis online. With clean solar panels, you’ll have a clean, renewable energy source for your entire family.

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