If you live in a region that receives strong rays of the sun throughout the year, using the solar energy for household purposes can be an excellent choice. You can keep the water warm, save electricity, minimize billing amount and even enjoy tax benefits. However, installing a solar panel is not the end of the story, not even if you are using solar solutions in a Sun Belt city like Tampa. If you want the panels to work all the time, cleaning them after a span of time is vital. The dust particles from the road, bad weather and bird poops create a layer, which reduces the ability of the panels. So hire a professional or follow the guidelines to clean the protective glass coating and optimize its performance.
Reason to Clean
A solar panel is a series of interconnected silicon cells covered by a protective glass coating, which is always exposed and get dirty easily. With time, the tree leaves, pollution and traffic dust keep on mounting and these prevent the sunlight from reaching the solar cells. The more the layer of dirt, the lesser the amount of electricity produced. According to the experts, more than 25 percent of power is lost due to dirty solar panels. So, if you want to enjoy the maximum benefits of the panels, cleaning them is mandatory.
You can inspect the panels after a specific period and check if there is any debris and dirt over the protective glass coating. Also, ensure that all the connections are tight. You can hire a monitoring service to get the most out of the solar panels. They will monitor the condition of the glass and will inform you whether the system is producing electricity as per its ability.
Safety before Cleaning
Don’t forget to shut down the system before cleaning the panels. If possible, try to clean the coating from the ground using a good quality soft brush and foldable squeegee (plastic blade on one side and cloth covered sponge on the other). Also, use a hose with a nozzle to control the water stream while cleaning the panels. Early morning or evening is always the right time to clean; never use semi-granulated detergent as that can leave scratch marks on the glass.
Ways to Clean
- If you are cleaning the panels all by yourself, reaching the roof can be a bit difficult and it may not always be easy to wash the surface from the ground. So, if you are climbing up the roof, be very careful. The method of cleaning is the same as washing the car windshield using warm water and dishwashing soap.
- In case you are hiring a service producer, ensure they are certified. They will suggest you a time span and will quote you a price for maintenance. Moreover, you can also avail the service of the company from where you have bought the solar panels without paying anything for a stipulated time.
- There are automatic cleaning robots to help you with solar panel maintenance. You can search the Internet to get the company that offers the best technology.
- If you are living in a region that receives rainfall frequently, you can use a nano-cleaning product, which stores the rainwater and uses it for cleaning. In case you live in a dry region, air hose or a garden hosepipe can help you with the cleaning task.
If your solar panels have oil stains, use isopropyl alcohol. Whatever may be the nature of dust, always keep the glass coating clean. It is easy to find the right solar solutions in Tampa and other cities in the Sun Belt region. However, with the rising popularity of polar power, cities all across the US are harnessing this alternative energy. But remember to keep the panels clean in order to optimize their performance.